Sumini - classic 4x4 Monster Mini

Sumini is based on a 1980 LJ80 Suzuki Jeep and Mini parts

Lee ClassicCarConnections owner picture

Current Owner Lee Mini - PRESENT

Introducing Sumini
February 2020
Posted on: February 2020
Classic 4x4 Mini
Timeline post: Introducing Sumini
Purchased in 1993, Sumini was re-born as a Monster Mini in 1999 ready for the Mini’s 40th Birthday and has been both on and off the road ever since. Sumini is based on a rare 1980 LJ80 Suzuki Jeep, with Suzuki SJ413 and Vitara running gear, topped off with a Limited Edition Mini 30 body.

In very simple terms, we placed the Mini shell on the new chassis, added an engine and wired it up.  I really wish it was as easy as that!  A lot of blood, sweat, tears and scuffed knuckles have gone into getting Sumini on the road, she still remains an 
on-going project – like all classic cars!  

Weighing in at 920 kilos Sumini really is a Sumo compared to the Classic Mini weight of 580 kilos. At 5ft 7” Sumini’s impressive stance towers over a Classic Mini roof height of 4ft 5”.

In 2017 Sumini was finally repainted a new red in preparation for display at 
Chris Evan’s Carfest South.

Sumini made her debut at the London Motor Show in 2018.

Find out more at:
Beautiful body
July 2017
Posted on: March 2020
Sumini shows off her new paintwork
Timeline post: Beautiful body
In preparation for featuring in The Vintage Village at BBC Children in Need's Carfest South we did the following.
Prepare the car for respray and got it sprayed in an amazing red/pink metallic colour.

Sumini proudly displayed at the London Motor Show in Excel and BBC Children in Need's Carfest South Cartopia.

Sumini celebrates 20 years of being on (and off-road) and the 60th year of the Mini. She ventured over the water for the first time to make a star appearance at the Jersey International Motor Show. Sumini's new wheels took her all over the Island of Jersey where she was met with friendly smiles at each stop.
Back on the road again
August 2014
Posted on: March 2020
The fundraising years
Timeline post: Back on the road again
After a few years off the road due to me blowing up the engine, Sumini came back to life with a new 1.6 Vitara engine. Sadly during her down-time, the bodywork had suffered badly with the lacquer peeling and signs of slight rust.

So we decided to write a message on the car saying how sad her paintwork, almost like an excuse (well it did mean we didn't need to polish her)! At the International Mini Meeting, we left some chalk-pens for others to write their messengers and came back to find her body full of signatures (and a few rude drawings which were edited quickly)!

Then the phrase 'hand on lads I have an idea' came ringing in my ears.. we decided to let people draw on the car to raise funds for charity.

We raised money for lots of different charities.
Sumini the early years
August 1999
Posted on: March 2020
Timeline post: Sumini the early years
Sumini was launched in 1999 for the Mini's 40th Birthday and has been both on and off the road ever since. Traveling as far as Scotland to the rugged highlands she was in her perfect setting.
The build
February 1993
Posted on: March 2020
Creation of Sumini
Timeline post: The build
Sumini is based on a LJ80 donor car, using SJ413 running gear (engine now upgraded to Suzuki Vitara 1.6 petrol) with a Mini body.

Purchased in1993 as a Suzuki LJ80 chassis with a very rough body.

Sumini was launched in 1999 for the Mini's 40th Birthday and has been both on and off the road ever since.

Got donor vehicle Suzuki LJ80 in 1993 and took of all parts. required.
• In 1994 purchased a Mini 30 body shell and new panels. Replaced bonnet, doors and bootlid with new panels.
• Purchased a Suzuki SJ413 engine and added an Weber carb with bespoke exhaust system.
• Spike Engineering made a chassis made to suit the Mini body.
• Rus Suzuki garage adapted new Vitara steering box to suit, fitted brakes and fitted engine.
• Upgraded front brakes to Suzuki SJ413.
• Shortened prop shafts and fitted new tunnel for gearbox/transfer box.
• Added high lift shackles.
• Added webasto sunroof.
• Resprayed car, fitting Mini sport wide wheel arches.
• Fitted second hand Mini 30 interior, new roof lining and walnut dashboard.
• Added second hand wide wheels and tyres, added a tow bar.
• Replaced wiring system by engineer.
• Added Procomp shock absorbers.
• Fitted microwave alarm, central locking and battery isolator.