The Mini Marcos, Mini Jem and Kingfisher Sprint are descended from a common ancester, the DART, a racing special built by Dizzy Addicott and Paul Emery. The name comes from the initials of "Dizzy Addicott Racing Team" emblazoned on the front. However although the original DART had a steel body, its offspring are all GRP (fibreglass) monocoques onto which the subframes and mechanical components from any BMC/BLMC/Austin-Rover Mini can be bolted.
Any transverse A-series engine can be used, from the humble 850 to a 1380 or even larger capacity machine. The automatic gearbox can be used with the appropriate front subframe. The low bonnet line precludes use of the KAD twin overhead camshaft 16-valve head without serious modification. The installation of any 1275 engine in a Mini Jem requires careful choice of inlet manifold and air filter.
The MG Metro Turbo engine has been installed in both Mini Marcos and Mini Jem, but requires surgery to the engine bulkhead and cross-member to make room for the turbocharger. Weber carburetters also require bulkhead modifications on some models.
The side-mounted Mini radiator can be used in the Mini Marcos if dropped 25mm in the fan cowling, but the nose section is designed to accept an alternative radiator with an electric fan. A Metro or Allegro unit is the usual choice. Serck made a special front mounted radiator for the Mini Jem, and a swirl pot with filler was usually supplied.
A variety of Mini-based braking systems can be used. The most popular set-up for 10" wheels is Cooper 'S' discs at the front, drums at the back and a remote servo. With larger wheels ventilated Metro discs and calipers can be accomodated. Various dual-circuit configurations have been used for competition purposes and to meet regulations in some countries.
Suspension is by the Moulton rubber cone system as on the "dry" Mini. The rear trumpets need to be shortened slightly to compensate for the lighter weight of the GRP body, ar Adjusta-Rides can be used. The Mini Van fuel tank is installed behind the rear subframe and precludes the use of the earlier type Hi-Los which are adjusted using a long "T" bar. For the same reason Hydrolastic suspension is awkward to fit.
Speedex and similar beam suspension units incorporating coil-over spring damper units are a popular alternative to the rear subframe. However on cars prior to the Mk. V Mini Marcos the inner rear wheel arches may need modification.
Last updated 14th February, 2012