The most comprehensive resource for the early mini fan anywhere

Formed by Bill Needham in the 1960's & based in Sheffield at the heart of industrial northern England Coldwell had a very definite engineering bias, and seemed to have little time for the boy racer brigade.

As well as manufacturing their own range of racing & tuning equipment including such items as GRP panels, inlet & exhaust manifolds, modified cylinder heads and at least one cast alloy A Series rocker cover carrying the COLDWELL name, they were also closely involved in the design and manufacture of racing cars both single seater & saloon.

Of particular interest is Bill Needham’s, Coldwell developed A series Twin cam. This impressive machine was a regular competitor in GT races during the late 1960's & early 1970's.

It is still in existence and has been seen at one or two mini events in the last few years. Another Coldwell survivor is the Coldwell Mink a F3 single seater that is currently under restoration.

I have received a large number of pictures and some more info on the Coldwell Twin cam from Nick Rogers of Min-e-bitz in Sheffield. Nick is a long time Mini fan and an excellent (& one of the few remaining) sources of early second hand & NOS Mini parts.

Coldwell Engineering
One of the great northern tuning houses

Twincam engine.

Designed & built by Bill needham, the Twincam was an almost unique project. Built mainly on good will & help from many friends & contacts it is said that it would have cost the same as a family house back in the late 60's. Quite a considerable amount for a 1 off Clubmans racing special.


This is a photo of the fully developed engine. Featuring a 1071 Cooper S bottom end on a 190 gearbox casing. The top half however was a "bit special" featuring a one off twincam cylinder head, twin distributors & coils and ultimately fuel injection.

Coldwell twincam Head

An image of the more or less bare twincam head. As can be seen this is a very serious piece of kit! Not a cut down Jag head as I have heard said but a completely new head casting designed by Bill Needham.

Twincam head combustion chamber view

The Hemispherical chambers can easily be seen in this view, this has to be the most exotic head even placed on a Mini block!

Coldwell end cover.

Every part of the engine was beautifully finished. All alloy castings apart from the head were cast within a few miles of Bill's base in Sheffield. At that time Sheffield had an engineering industry that could match anywhere in the world. Sadly, now it has a large shopping centre!

Coldwell Engine Steady

Original fitting instructions.

A selection of images taken of the Twin cam in action

Restored engine compartment.

Still sporting it's final fuel injection system the Coldwell Twin cam is running again.

Another view of the engine

And a third

The spartan drivers area. Note the magic wand gearlever this was grafted to the back of a Cooper S 190 gearbox casing as the weight saving over the standard Cooper or Cooper S item was invaluable.

External shot of the Coldwell Twincam. Some may say that he bodywork may need some attention, but it is truly staggering to find such a survivor after nearly 40 laid up.

The Twin Cam Today
Original Press Review