Depreciation Station: 2006 Mini Cooper S JCW GP

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Story by David S. Wallens • Photo Courtesy Mini

Rarity, improved performance and a nod to the past usually add up to a price premium. Oddly, though, we’re now seeing reasonable prices on the one-year-only Mini Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit. Despite the name, this wasn’t a kit added by the consumer or the dealer; it was fitted at the factory.

The model served as a final sendoff for the original “new” Mini, which admittedly has a better reputation than the follow-up model. Only 2000 copies were built, with just 415 coming stateside.

The Works GP picked up where the standard Cooper S left off. An improved supercharger, intercooler and engine management system boosted output from 168 to 214 horsepower. While the original Mini release didn’t claim that it helped performance, a low-restriction, twin-pipe exhaust also came standard. Top speed was listed as 146 mph.

A limited-slip differential, a feature not found in the rest of the Mini lineup, was also fitted. Other performance niceties included stiffer suspension components, larger brakes and reduced weight-88 pounds lighter than the standard Cooper S, thanks in part to losing the rear seat and some sound-deadening material.

The Works GP was hard to miss, too. A special aero package added a deeper air dam, lower side sills and a roof spoiler. The four-spoke wheels were also unique to the model.

Then there was the sole offered color scheme: a silvery Thunder Blue matched with a silver roof and red mirrors.

The model originally fetched more than $31,000, nearly $10,000 more than a standard Cooper S. So far this year, two have sold via Bring a Trailer: One brought in $17,505, the other $21,250.

The Works GP arrived to rave reviews. That R53-chassis Mini Cooper S reignited a love affair with small, yet potent, performers. The Works GP only added more fuel to the fire. -David S. Wallens


Mini Mania has been serving Mini enthusiasts for decades. Ken Suzuki is the parts supplier’s product manager and in-house expert on new Minis.

The 2006 John Cooper Works GP included various upgrades to the engine, suspension, brakes and interior to differentiate it from the Cooper S and the John Cooper Works models.

If you’re shopping for one of these JCW GP cars, make sure none of the GP-specific components have been replaced with aftermarket components. That diminishes the value of the car. It may also be a sign of hard use and an owner who might not have cared to fix something correctly.

Also look out for tires with worn outer edges (which may indicate abuse), a dirty engine compartment (which may indicate neglect), and dirty engine oil (which may indicate a lack of maintenance).

Check to see that the strut towers are not “mushroomed” from bottoming out. Check the passenger-side engine mount for signs of fluid leakage. Check for the same thing with the rear bushing on the front wishbone–both of these bushings are filled with fluid.

A good buyer’s candidate will have all the GP-specific upgrades intact and a complete service history, including receipts. The car should be clean inside, outside and under the hood.

Once you buy one, we typically recommend that you first replace all fluids, including engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid and brake/clutch fluid. Also replace the engine oil filter, intake filter, cabin filter and, depending on mileage, the fuel filter in the tank. If you’ve bought the right car, it shouldn’t need much more than that to be a great performer.

If you do want to improve upon the GP, our advice depends on what you want to accomplish with the car. There are many upgrades available to improve power, handling and braking. However, we advise performing one upgrade at a time to appreciate the changes from each one.


Mini Mania
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View comments on the CMS forums
8/13/18 2:44 p.m.

Reasonable prices seem less odd if you know owners of first generation "new" Minis who encountered high repair costs after 60K miles or so.

8/13/18 4:52 p.m.

"Despite the name, this wasn’t a kit added by the consumer or the dealer; it was fitted at the factory."  = Fake News.....  The cars were not fitted at the factory in Oxford England ! 

Originally each of the cars were just a standard 2006 S models, clad in pepper white then shipped from Oxford England to the Bertone Factory in Italy...which is where this original and first GP was born !  

8/15/18 11:39 a.m.

In reply to gray_raven :

Seriously?  He didn't say it was fitted in Oxford.  And you even said it was installed at the Bertone Factory.  

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