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Jimmy'Z Mini Cooper
By Larry Edsall

The surf's always up somewhere – endless summer and all that. But even if it's winter where you are, the cold season can be a great time to heat up the garage and get going on that car customization project that's been on the back burner far too long.

Maybe the Jimmy'Z Mini Cooper will provide inspiration. It's an on-going project car commissioned by Aeropostale, the clothing store chain that acquired and has resurrected Jimmy'Z, a surf wear brand that was popular in the 1980s and has been transformed for the 21st Century into a line of funky, irreverent and "Hollywood inspired" clothes for the young trendsetter.

"Back in the day," it says on the car's spec sheet, Jimmy'Z had a woody wagon that "stood for California cool, individuality; a life spent looking for the next great wave. With a wink and a nod to the past, the Jimmy'Z Mini Cooper Woody embodies that independent spirit."

New York City-based Aeropostale turned to resident car guy and in-house graphic designer Alex Zartman to work with Leonard Lopez of Dominator Street Rods of Brentwood, Calif., on the wood-clad Mini. They brought in concept artist Joe Iacono, who also did the Airborne Mini, to turn a revitalized icon – the Mini – into a revitalized Jimmy'Z Woody.

Doug Carr's Wood N' Carr created the white ash body trim. Valentin Shmidov of Pravda Surf built the board that rides atop the car. DuPont Hot Hues created the special Jimmy'Z Orange paint, with Mike Martin doing the paintwork and Rick Valdez of Creative Images adding airbrush art effects such as the flames on the car's hood and front fenders. That same orange hue is used in the custom interior by Blind Stitch.

Budnik Wheels incorporated the same shade into the car's custom and BFGoodrich-wrapped rims. H&R Springs provided the lowered suspension hardware,

That's how the car appeared at the recent aftermarket exposition, aka the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. But like most every customization effort, this is an on-going project, so work was scheduled after the show to install a Magnaflow cat-back exhaust and an Arc Audio system.

Your pockets may not be as deep as national clothing chain's, but lowered suspension, cat-back exhaust, special wheels, high-performance tires and even a custom paint job and audio system not only should warm your thoughts, but likely are within your reach as well.

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