Minker K1: PH Carpool


Name: Steven Smith
Car: Turbo Technics Minker K1 (one of only three ever made, one red, one white, one blue)
Owned Since: Autumn 2001
Previously Owned: 205 GTI, Renault 19 Turbo, three XR2s, Dolomite, Fiesta SI, Jag Mk10 to name a few! Also currently own: RX-7 FD, MX-5, 7 Series, Legacy GTB and more!

A rare beast - beast being the operative word
A rare beast - beast being the operative word
Why I bought it
"I knew the original owner of the car and remember him bringing it home for the first time. After my first ride in it I was hooked, I knew from then on I wanted that car even though they only ever made three! It took 11 years but the day came when he said he was selling it and I had first dibs - after a long wait it was mine at just 19 years old, I couldn't even afford to insure it at first!"

Things I love
"The sheer power of the thing is constantly amazing, to think it is still quicker than most cars by today's standards. It's good to know you are the quickest thing on the road. I personally like the look but it is a Marmite car, the sound of the exhaust and turbochargers are always pleasing, the wood interior is dated but 'retro' and it even has the original speed camera sensor built into the dash! The fact its four-wheel drive is always a confidence booster and room for five adults! I love reaching 60 in 4.5 seconds (with one rolling road reading it hitting 60 in 4.2!) and seeing the amazement on people's faces being slaughtered by an old Sierra!"

Looks are Marmite, pace easier to appreciate
Looks are Marmite, pace easier to appreciate
What I wish I'd known
"I suppose the expense of owning such a unique car is always the main thing, the cost of insurance and upkeep let alone the fuel (as low as 6mpg)! I am a mechanic so wasn't so daunted by the prospect of labour costs, it's fairly low on the ground so have to be a bit careful where you go but that can be said for many cars! The thought of the unique body kit was always scary when parking, knowing replacement panels would be virtually impossible to obtain."

Things I hate
"Not a lot really, the fact it is a 'twin-turbo Countach beater', while also being a very practical family saloon with a boot and four-wheel drive really takes away any reason to dislike it in any way. It is an everyday car; you can decide how it behaves by your right foot! Saying that, it's had a long-term problem of not the easiest car to start on cold mornings but I can live with that."

320hp or so from twin-turbo V6 still potent
320hp or so from twin-turbo V6 still potent
Costs
"Costs haven't been too bad, everything on the car has been upgraded in one way or another (even having a tank of nitrous at one point!) but it still uses the odd standard part here and there, I bought the car for a good price because the last owner knew how much I wanted it and appreciated what it was. General maintenance really, I can't complain. The standard issue of rust on Sierras is normal but has been done and dealt with."

Where I've been
"Nothing out of the ordinary really, it's never been shown anywhere, just as my weekend car. It's been in various magazine and there aren't many people who know the name Minker so it doesn't get recognised beyond a Sierra most of the time, despite its actual rarity."

The Minker with the RX-7 lurking behind
The Minker with the RX-7 lurking behind
What next
"Where do I start! I love the Minker to pieces but really do fancy an Evo 8 to add to my collection, something I can personalise fully to make my own. Having said that I'd love to get the Minker fully restored in time for the summer to enjoy that 3.0 V6 twin-turbo in the sun."

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (116) Join the discussion on the forum

  • nagsheadwarrior 13 May 2013

    Wow what a thing, I'd never heard of them myself.

    Whats it based on a Cosworth or an xr4X4, who are Minker?

    Is the engine a modified Cologne and if thats the case can I bolt a couple of Turbos on my Capri 2.8 to make it that fast (instant death would surely follow!)?

  • Du1point8 13 May 2013

    possibly the v6 cosworth lump.

  • NismoGT 13 May 2013

    Never heard of it before. Looks mental.

  • s m 13 May 2013

    nagsheadwarrior said:
    Wow what a thing, I'd never heard of them myself.

    Whats it based on a Cosworth or an xr4X4, who are Minker?

    Is the engine a modified Cologne and if thats the case can I bolt a couple of Turbos on my Capri 2.8 to make it that fast (instant death would surely follow!)?
    Based on an XR4x4 and basically a 'brand' created by Turbo Technics. ( Min-ker came from a combination of TT guy Geoff Kershaw's surname and a section of his wife's maiden name )

  • offspring86 13 May 2013

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