Right up front, you should know that the M7 Speed Billet Aluminum MINI Cooper Tow Hook is not designed to actually tow your MINI, it is simply a really good looking accessory. If you are looking for some bling, however, this is an awesome accessory to have for your MINI, at least initially. I should also mention that although it is called a tow hook, a tow hook is not really how to tow a mini cooper down the freeway, it is meant to pull it back on to a track, back on to the road, or up on to a wrecker bed.
If you need a real MINI tow hook get ones like this 72157953893 for the R60 or this 72157203519 for the R57. Don’t use the pretty ones to try and actually pull your car, very bad things could happen. I would also suggest you purchase a mini cooper tow strap, such as this very nice one from Sunferno, and a pair of D Ring Shackles like these from Rhino USA. This makes sure that you have everything you need even if it is just you out on the road with no help.
So why buy a decorative tow hook? A lot of people find it really sexy to have a front tow hook mounted all the time. I have to admit, I like mine on Buster. The problem here is that the hook supplied by MINI, if you got one at all, while very functional, is just plain ugly. Finding an aftermarket MINI Cooper tow hook is easy and most of them look pretty much the same at a distance, so how does the one from M7 Speed stack up?
Let’s start with a simple question, are all tow hooks the same, do they interchange with each other? The answer is no. For example, M7 makes two different models, one for Gen 2 R60-R61 and F55-F56, and another for the R50-R59. This means Buster, my 2015 Countryman R60, uses one model while Lola, my wife’s 2009 Convertable R57 uses the other.
One question I hear all the time is what is the mini cooper tow hook thread size? There are a ton of answers to that question, and no one seems exactly right. I have heard M16x3, although that does not seem to fit exactly on the thread gauge, then I hear its actually 15.8×3.175, but that doesn’t seem right either. Even if one of those is right, right for which MINI model? Just order the one for your model car and be done with it.
The M7 Speed Billet Aluminum MINI Cooper Tow Hook appears extremely well made and is a nice solid chunk of aluminum. They have really paid attention to the details and even with close inspection, it is a really nice piece. While I doubt anyone will ever be inspecting my tow hook from six inches away, rest assured it looks good when you get it.
The biggest problem is that that situation doesn’t take long to change on this particular MINI Cooper tow hook.
Aluminum does not rust and is very hard to make corrode, but the anodizing process they use to make the hook portion red certainly fades over time. A couple of years of being on the front of Buster has turned it from a nice vibrant red to pale pink, hardly reminiscent of the aggressive piece it once was.
The other issue with it is the pins they used to hold the hook to the bolt portion which is obviously not aluminum as they are rusting. Knowing this now I am sure I could have prevented it with some clear fingernail polish, but alas, it is too late.
Physically, the item is still in great shape. Unfortunately, even at a medium distance, the faded color is obvious taking away from the intended effect of this MINI Cooper Tow Hook.
This means in order to return the M7 MINI Cooper Tow Hook to its former glory I will need to remove it from the vehicle, disassemble it, sand it, prime it with some self-etching primer, paint it red, and then repaint the white letters. Had this been one of those $15 Chinese knock offs I would probably chuck it and buy a new one, but it was a $65 high-end piece so I am left trying to refinish it or replace it with something different.
Again, in retrospect, I probably could have extended the life of the hook had I used some Krylon K01309 UV-Resistant Clear Spray Paint on it before installation. That does seem like something the manufacturer should have done with something at this price point, however.
Overall I would give the M7 Speed Billet Aluminum Tow Hook a 3 out of 5. All three of those stars are for the way the item looks and performs when new. It really is a shame too as it was very nice and not inexpensive. Would I buy it new again? Probably not, I would instead buy several of the cheap Chinese models and just throw one away when it started fading and install a new one.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the M7 Speed Billet Aluminum MINI Cooper Tow Hook!