The Kimini by Guest Blogger Alex Butti

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Intro by Ben:

Alex goes by “jdmized” on the blog here. After enjoying a good variety of his comments and then stumbling on to a treasure of photos he has taken, I became quite intrigued by his background and great content . So I sent Alex an email and asked him if he had the desire to contribute something original for us all to read. After all, I’m always on the quest for fresh content regardless of whether its from me or from our friends. I was thinking actually that Alex would like to talk about some crazy pictures he has, including what appears to be Toda experimental dry carbon coilover shock bodies (more later?) or some pretty great detail shots and commentary on some highly tuned time attack cars ranging from Japanese to Ferrari. But I was wrong. Instead Alex came at me with a totally different and unexpected topic. The Kimini. And who am I to turn away something unique as this? So here it is for us all to see! Thanks Alex for contributing! Keep on bringing it whenever you feel inspired!

“I was given the opportunity by Ben to write about something special. Specifically he asked me to write about something “inspiring, something unique, something that I would want to share with the world.” Although I had plenty of ideas, I wanted to bring something particular to The Real JDM. So here I am, a little nervous. The topic I chose to talk about is the “Kimini.” Kimini stands for Kim, the builder’s wife, and well, the Mini.

The Kimini has never seen too much media coverage in my opinion, so I thought it would be a great idea to share this car with you.


The Kimini started life in 1995 as a Mini on steroids, so to speak. Massive fenders, lightweight tube-chassis, a carbon fiber one-off monocoque body, 40/60 weight distribution and an RR H22 Honda engine!

The car took over 10 years to be completed; it was painstakingly refined. The owner went through some (though “some” in this case is an understatement) outside-the-box thinking with this project.


As most of you know, the Honda Prelude engine doesn’t have much grunt by today’s standards, but if you take into consideration the Kimini’s weight (it’s about 1700 lbs.) you have a serious porsche-killer.

Kimini Laguna Seca

Yet the owner wanted to keep the car somewhat conservative, and use it as a daily driver. The stock H22 engine received only an air filter/box upgrade, a Super Trapp exhaust and an Accusump unit. Koni’s double adjustable coilovers find their way in all four corners, along with Eibach springs. Several Auto Meter gauges decorate the one-off carbon fiber dash, while Tilton/ Wilwood brakes bring the car to a stop.

Kimini Undertray

Anyway, my words can’t do justice to how much work went into the Kimini.

Check the full project at and judge for yourself.

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