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What is an ERA Mini?


Shaun Murray ( writes:

In the 1920's and 30's, ERA were a successful racing car company. At that time it stood for English Racing Automobiles. The company changed hands a couple of times and all that remained was the ERA badge. When the ERA Mini was built in 1989-92, ERA were called Engineering Research and Application, and usually built parts for Formula 1 cars and expensive Bentley's and Jaguars.

Through their link with Jack Knight Developments, another company which did F1 car parts, they got interested in developing a Mini. Jack Knight was a mechanic who worked with Cooper in the 60's, designed Mini gearboxes and other bits. The ERA Mini was what they ended up with. It's a Mini with a 94 bhp turbo-charged engine, modified suspension, 13" wheels, body kit and posh interior.

ERA originally planned on producing 1000 ERA cars but they were very expensive. At a time when a Mini in the UK was about 5000 UKP, the ERA was 13,000. Eventually, they stopped production after about 600 (figures are unkown). Apparently, about 250 - 300 of the ERA's went to Japan.

I've been to Japan myself a few years ago and was pretty amazed by the Mini's I saw there. I remember seeing a brand new Mini Cooper made to look like a 60's Mini in Ginza, Tokyo. Very cool there amongst the BMW's and Mercedes.

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