John Cooper was a young man when his love for racing first became apparent. In 1946, Cooper and his father started the Cooper Car Company where they specialized in modifying rally cars. Inspired by this, John Cooper would take his racing insights and apply it to the Mini Classic. He saw the potential of a racing machine in the original design. Cooper installed a more stable chassis that could withstand the rigors of high speed racing and also added an improved engine. Mini re-branded to MINI in 2001 and made it a focus to continue to use the performance and design innovations that Cooper had fostered. Birthed from this, in 2003 the John Cooper Works tuning kits were introduced, bringing the classic racing-style to the modern MINI.