DOM 337C has been built to represent what might have been produced by BMC, in limited numbers, as a road-going version of the ‘Twini’ to gain homologation for rallying and racing programmes. Interestingly, had the project received the go-ahead, BMC would have built a four-wheel drive rally car some fifteen years before the arrival of the seemingly revolutionary Audi Quattro.
Following the success of the BMC twin-engine Mini Moke designed by Alec Issigonis and continued motorsport success, the idea of a twin-engined competition Mini was taken a step further in 1963 by BMC’s Experimental Department.
Two prototypes ‘Twini’ Minis were built, one with two standard 997cc Mini Cooper engines and the other, 931 RFC, with two Downton Engineering, tuned engines. The BMC/Downton car was entered for the 1963 Targa Florio road race in Sicily. However, due to a rear engine radiator failure and no servicing allowed, the rear engine overheated and the car lost precious time during the race. Motoring Journalist John Blunsden commented at the time:
“Remember, you only need to build 100 of them to get them homologated as a Grand Touring, and I reckon there are a lot more than 100 people in this world who would pay a lot of money for one – if only to twiddle with the two ignition switches, and find out just what is the difference between understeer, neutral steer and oversteer!”
Unfortunately, both cars were reputed to have been broken up by BMC following the Targa Florio teething problems and the idea was not developed any further.
Notable examples of homologation specials by BMC and its successors are the Mk1 970cc Cooper S and the Metro 6R4.Chassis Number CA2S7/676896 is an original 1275cc Mk I Austin Mini Cooper S and was first despatched to Evans & Kitchen Ltd, Birmingham on 27th April 1965.
It was restored and modified over a period of 6 years. The restoration and conversion to a twin-engine Cooper S took over 2,000 hours using all genuine Cooper S parts wherever possible. For example, DOM 337C boasts 2 original Cooper S engines, 2 gearboxes and two sets of disc brakes. It has a set of 5 genuine 4.5J X 10 Magnesium Minilite wheels shod with Dunlop D93J tyres and is presented in excellent condition.
Since completion, this very special Mini has covered only 2,000 miles. The car can be driven using either engine on its own, or both together and is relatively easy to drive in traffic. On the open road, however, you can truly enjoy the power and torque of two tuned 1275 Cooper S engines, driving all four wheels.