Rahoul Ghose


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Rahoul Ghose

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2002 MINI Cooper (Winston)
(as featured in the March/April 2008 edition of MC Magazine

Canadian Launch Edition No 46 of 500     

·         Second New MINI on the streets of Vancouver, BC, CANADA in March 2002 (built 02/02)

·         Launch Editions pre-sold before Yaletown MINI dealership was even open and included a mix of Sport (suspension, front and rear fog lights), and Premium (heated leatherette seats, chrome bumper inserts, leather steering wheel) package items as well as a specially numbered tachometer.

·         Pure silver with a black roof

Performance Enhancements

·         John Cooper WORKS ECU software (European version)

·         MSD Ignition Coil and Spark Plug Leads

·         NKG Iridium Spark Plugs

·         K&N Racing Air Intake with K&N Filter

·         M7 Strut Brace

·         Cobalt Chrome Rear Strut Brace

·         ALTA 22mm Sway bar

·         John Cooper WORKS 18” R95 Rims with PILOT SPORT 4S -215/35ZR18 x 5
(1 spare mounted in back)

·         Moss MINI Low profile Battery Cover

·         H&R 20mm Wheel Spacers

·         Ohlins Road & Track Coilovers [BMS Mi10S1] with Vorshlag Motorsports Camber Plates

·         JCW Brake Kit with Ceramic Brake Pads and Steel Braided Brake Lines

·         JCW Carbon Fiber/Black Rear Spoiler

·         Magnaflow Performance Exhaust

·         Sprint Boost Power Converter Accelerator Module

Interior Enhancements

·         Speedo and Tachometer Silver Union Jack face plates

·         Chili Red Center Posts and Arm Rest Posts

·         Chili Red TT-Style Arm Rest

·         JCW Illuminated Door Sills

·         Whalen Shift Machine Shift Knob (MINI/UJ Chrome and Brushed Steel)

·         Craven Shift Plate Cover (black)

·         Anodized Aluminum Parking Brake Handle with engraved MINI Logo

·          Brushed Steel MINI Pedal Kit

·         Aluminum Plate Rally Mats / JCW Checkered Mats

·         CD Changer and MP3 AUX Port Kit

·         Original Chrome Mini Cooper Script Badge

·         Chili Red Rear View Mirror Cover

·         Rear Seat Delete Kit with Strap System to Mount Spare R95 Rim

·         Chrome Rings: Woofer, Tweeter (Door Speakers), Door Locks and Surrounds, Speedo, Tach, Center Air Vents, Emergency Lights and Dimmer Surrounds, Seat Handles, Shift Stick Surround, Steering Wheel Horn Surround, Dashboard Vents, Toggle Switch Rings

·         JCW Tax Disc Holder

·         Xenon Light Kit

·         Rennline Fire Extinguisher (H3R 1.4 lbs.) Mount with Quick Disconnect

Exterior Enhancements

·         Bespoke Two-Tone Silver Union Jack Roof Graphic (pure silver/ dark silver)

·         Chrome Union Jack Raised Decals (3)

·         Amber Driving Lights with Chili Red Covers

·         Black Hood Racing Stripes with John Cooper Signatures

·         Chrome Rings (front fog lights and front indicator lights)

·         Angel Eyes Running Lamps with Chrome Bulbs

·         Orciari Bonnet Vent Scoops

·         Chrome Shark Gill Side Marker Grills with Smoked Crystal Lenses and Chrome Bulbs

·         Black MINI License Plate Frames (front Euro plate with MINI COOPER)

·         Chili Red Mirror Caps

·         Chrome Door Handle Cups

·         Classic Mini Valve Stem Covers

·         Chrome Cooper S Gas cap with Chrome Trim Ring

·         Aluminum Shorty Antenna with Shark Fin Base

·         Rear and Front Mud Flaps

·         Rear Bumper and Tailgate Chrome Plates

·         Altezza Taillights – Black, with Chrome Bulbs

·         Chrome Window Trim, B and C-Posts

·         Chrome front Bull Bars

·         John Cooper Chrome Signature Badge

·         England Football Badge

·         Chrome Exhaust Tip

·         80 per cent window tint on rear three windows

·         M7 Tuning carbon fiber Air Plate Diverter (APD)

·         Magnetic Grill Badge holder x 2


Engine Compartment Enhancements

·         Chrome Caps: Engine Block, Radiator Cap, Steering Fluid Cap, Brake Fluid Cap

·         MINI Logo-Shapes Oil Dip Stick

·         JCW Engine Cover

·         Red Hose Replacement Kit

·         Chrome Covers on Hood Arms and Rear Hatch Arms

·         Cobalt Aluminum Skid Plate


·         Vancouver ABFM:  Five-time winner of Combined New MINI Class ( 2003-2007)

·          MINI Meet West 2007 (Hood River, Oregon) Winner of Neo-Cooper Class

Companies that have Worked on Car or Provided Parts:

·         MINI Yaletown Service (http://yaletown.mini.ca):
Graham Price, Manager; Keith McMullen, Technician

·         MINI Corsa (http://www.minicorsa.com) Danny Darwichian

·         Docksteader Collision: painted parts

·         3M Trimline: roof graphic and hood stripes

·         ABD MINI (http://www.abdracing.com/mini/index.html):  Monster Force Air Intake

·         CTD Germany (http://www.ctd-germany.com): real chrome rings

·         Moss MINI (http://www.mossmini.com) : various

·         MINI Mania (http://www.minimania.com) : various

·         MINI Speed (http://www.minispeed.co.uk/new_mini/): parking brake handle, door handle cups

·         Cockpit Specialties (http://www.cockpitspecialties.com): Speedo/Tach UJ faceplates

·         CooperSport (http://www.coopersport.ca/) : Rear Seat Delete Kit, interior xenon light kit

·         MINI Sport (http://www.minisport.com/): chrome bull bars

·         M7 (http://www.M7Tuning.com)

·         Cravenspeed (https://www.cravenspeed.com/)

·         Out Motoring (https://www.outmotoring.com/)

Club Affiliations

·         Vancouver MINI Cooper Club (http://www.vancouverminicooperclub.com):
founding member, president 2002-2005

·         SoCal MINI Maniacs (http://www.scmm.org)



Car History

I first discovered my need for a New MINI in the pages of all the major British car magazines in 2001 (Top Gear, Car Magazine, EVO) and as a photographer/graphic designer I was taken by the design elements of this retro re-launch.  I had always loved the classic Mini but had unfortunately never owned one.  That love of the Mini instead manifested itself in a huge (400+) collection of Corgi Minis.

Upon hearing they would be selling them in Canada in 2002 I put a deposit down for a launch edition model through the MINI Canada website without ever having seen one in person.  Ironically, the yet-to-be-opened dealerships in Vancouver had a guerilla marketing campaign going on where three MINIs would drive around the cool areas of Vancouver and stop to attract attention … so I did get to sit in one eventually right outside my Yaletown townhouse one evening.  If my wife had any doubts about the purchase before, she had none after sitting in the car. I picked up Winston, named after the eternal bulldog himself – Churchill, in March 2002, Launch Edition No 46 of 500 and the second MINI on the road in Vancouver.

Since then, Winston has seen two decades of revisions both cosmetic and performance oriented, he has participated in road rallies, numerous show competitions, raced around Mission Raceway, and he helped to form the Vancouver MINI Cooper Club.  The most interesting addition, though hidden under the bonnet, was the car’s Monster Force Air Intake.  I was the stills photographer for the Discovery Channel Monster Garage MINI/Snowmobile episode, where Jesse James installed a Monster Force racing air intake on his combined vehicle, which he raced against Richard Petty on a snowmobile in Wyoming. I found out where he got it and purchased one for Winston as well.

The most common comments about Winston though are usually about the two-tone silver Union Jack on the black roof of the car and the red elements which complement the silver and chrome … the red interior posts and arm rest, the red mirror covers and the thin red pin stripe on the outside of the car. The chrome bull bars also garner a lot of attention.

Despite “ONLY” being a Cooper, Winston won the combined New MINI Class at Vancouver’s ABFM five years in a row (2003-2007), a show competition voted on by all participants in the field meet.  Winston also made the trip down to Hood River, Oregon for MINI Meet West 2007.  There he was voted best in class in the Neo MINI Cooper category.  Many thanks go to Manager Graham Price and Technician Keith McMullen of Vancouver’s MINI Yaletown Service Department for always treating Winston like he was their own personal car through numerous additions and upgrades in the early years and to Danny Darwichian (MINI Corsa) for getting Winston up to snuff after an eight-year period in storage here in the Valley when we moved to NYC.