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A Rolling Token: Sushi Machine’s Mini


As we go through the journey that is life, we face many crests and valleys along the way. Since time is but a finite resource, one thing that we can never keep with us are precious moments. Moments can be fleeting, felt heavily one second and gone the next. Given that, the only thing we usually have left are memories and sentiments of those times. Often, we attach these sentiments to things and trinkets, but what if that ‘trinket’ came with an engine and four wheels?


Such is the case for Jeiven and his Mini Cooper. Affectionately dubbed ‘Makino’, the little Mini was a gift to Jeiven by his father years ago. While that alone is enough to merit some sentimental value, the mini also serves as somewhat of a reminder of the ups and downs of life in general. When a car has been around long enough, it serves to tell us how far we’ve come. Thankfully for this Mini, Jeiven decided to return the favor by giving it a proper refresh and a different identity.


What started as a traditional British Rally themed setup has since been treated to the signature retro JDM styling that Sushi Factory has become known for. While that shop’s name conjures the image of a certain japanese sports car, this car is also another reflection of the ethos behind that build, albeit with a hint of Japanese-European fusion.

Contrary to the Celica that put Sushi Factory on the map however, the Mini’s bodywork has been done in quite a restrained manner. Thin riveted overfenders give the Rosepetal Alloys a proper contour to the rest of the car’s body, and the subtle Desert Tan-like color lends itself well as contrast to the black wheels and markings.

Perhaps one of the key pieces that Sushi Factory’s cars posess would be their Works leather hood buckle pins and the rubberized trunk latches. Somehow these simple pieces go a long way towards giving their cars that extra bit of character. Tiny bits and bobs like these give cars a semblance of individuality, and is truly a welcome sight in any build!

One thing that can also be found as distinct with Sushi Factory builds would be how the ‘rawness’ of the exterior carries into the interior, yet somehow the interior is clean and appears to be a nice place to be in. Stripped of carpeting and roof liners, the interior shares the same color as the exterior. A pair of bucket seats with harnesses and a roll bar pretty much sums up the safety features of this munchkin Mini, I suppose that’s more than enough compared to when it first rolled off the factory!


While the whole car looks refreshed inside and out, the motor has actually been backdated. Backdating is a process often pertaining to fitting older parts and pieces of a car to newer models. (e.g. Porsche 964s backdated to longnose faces) In the case of this Mini, the modern 1300cc motor has been swapped out to the 998cc powerplant found in older Minis. The motor with lesser displacement is often favored by Mini afficionados mainly perhaps due to the lesser weight and space it takes up in the engine bay.


Tokens come in different shapes and sizes. From pockets to garages, different objects mean different things to many people, but items of sentiment are kept and loved all the same. The work that went into this Mini goes to show how much this is worth to its owner, and if you had to count how many zeroes it’ll be worth to him… I doubt you’ll ever stop counting.

Sushi Machine’s Mini Cooper



998 BMC A Series Engine

Ported and Polished Head

Racing Cams

SMT Custom Intake Manifold

SMT Carburetor linkage

Single Side draft Weber 40

Playmini Headers

Playmini Exhaust

Paddy Hopkirk Rocker Cover Bolts

Aluminum Radiator

Lucas Gold Ignition Coil

Lumenition High Tension Wires


Brakes, Wheels, and Suspension

Hi Lo Adjustable Suspension

Spax Shock Absorbers

Toyota Starlet Brake Booster and Master Cylinder

Rover Mini AP Front Brakes

Rosepetal Alloys 12×5.5

Yokohama Tires



Bride Kevlar Bucket Seat

Sushi Factory Bucket Seat

Takata 4 pt. Harnesses

Safety Devices 4 pt. Roll Cage

Sushi Factory Custom Dash

Smiths Gauges

Rally Clocks

ARC Shift Knob

Nardi Classic Steering Wheel



Sushi Factory Front Lip

Sushi Factory Rear Wing

Rover Mini Body Panels

Rover Mini Flares

Wipac Foglamps


Works Leather hood belts

Works Rubber boot straps

Lucas Reverse Lamp


Datsun Fender Mirrors

Quick Release Grill Bolts

Aston Gas Cap


Photos by Kelvin Go

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