Mike Cooper doesn't miss a detail. The energetic forty-eight-year-old chairman of John Cooper Works and son of the eponymous founder and racing legend ushers a multinational group of journalists into his garage here in southern England. As we cross the threshold of his gleaming showroom, three young Sussex lasses--"my girls," says Cooper without a hint of irony--wearing matching T-shirts with "MINI" emblazoned unsubtly across their chests smile and offer refreshment. Cooper is nothing if not a gracious host, and entertaining the press must be child's play compared with having BMW AG to tea and agreeing to develop a performance variant of the Mini Cooper S. Imagine the repercussions to fame, fortune, and the family name, not to mention Anglo-German diplomacy, if he got it wrong.
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