Before Minis
Austin A35 (Alfa version!)
Three New Era Minis
POP 22 through the years
POP 22 restoration
POP 22 today
Technical details
New Era Ltd

This is the history of the New Era Mini conversion, an attempt to produce a higher performance version of the basic Mini which looked sporty and special.   The first version appeared within a year of the launch of the Mini.   Ken Nightingale, designer of the car and owner of New Era Ltd, searched for financial backing for his conversion and initially some interest was shown by Cyril Kieft, a businessman who owned an engineering company in Wolverhampton.   Cyril Kieft had become involved in motor racing through Kieft racing cars which contested the 500 cc racing car class along with Coopers.   Had Cyril Kieft taken the plunge with investing in the conversion, there would have a Mini Kieft as well as a Mini Cooper!   The Dutch journalist, Jeroen Booij (http://www.jeroenbooij.com/) , features 58 attempts by companies and individuals to build different versions of the basic Mini in the first edition of his book entitled ‘Maximum Mini’, although he admits that several attempts (including the New Era Mini) eluded him.   The first version of the New Era Mini appeared in 1960 and may have been the first of all of them, although at least one other attempt was around in the same year.   It pre-dated the launch of the Mini Cooper by several months.   The various stages of the genesis of the New Era Mini are described in the pages of this website including a full description of the surviving car.

POP 22, the sole surviving New Era Mini after completion of restoration in 2011