RE: Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive

RE: Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive

Sunday 9th April 2017

Mini Remastered by David Brown Automotive

Coachbuilt classic Minis for well-heeled hipsters as David Brown takes us back to the swinging 60s



David Brown Automotive, the coachbuilder responsible for the £600,000 Speedback GT, has now launched its take on the classic Mini - Mini Remastered. The unveiling of the "classic British icon, remastered for the 21st century", took place in Shoreditch - natch - which gives an indication of the customer base this new car is aimed at.

Take your pick!
Take your pick!
Price is the obvious question. While David Brown insisted they're still debating the precise cost of the car ahead of its public launch at the end of the month in Monaco, he did say it would be "considerably south of six figures", which is a stark departure from the half-a-million pricing of the Speedback. The company reckons that, when running at full capacity, the new Silverstone-based factory will produce between 100 and 200 remastered Minis a year, which again marks a departure from the ultra exclusivity of the Speedback, of which just 11 cars have been built in two years.

While the new version resembles a Mini in overall shape and proportions, the chassis and body panels are all new. The engine is a reconditioned original 1,275cc unit with 79hp and 91lb ft unit and the transmission a reconditioned four-speed. The main design differences are the panels and the lights: the silhouette has been 'de-seamed', with smooth body panels creating softer edges, the rigidity provided by bespoke structural beams and struts.

The headlights vary depending on which version you order; three were on display in Shoreditch comprising the 'standard' car, with classic lights and a clean, retro interior, the Cafe Racer version, with a white and tan leather interior and fake but beautifully made and engraved leather bonnet straps, and a Monte Carlo version, with the LED headlights aping the triple bulbs of the original.

Chassis new; 1,275cc lump very familiar!
Chassis new; 1,275cc lump very familiar!
At the rear, a cluster of three LED lights with the same details and bezels as the Speedback mark the car out as a DBA creation; the Mini also has the same grille as the Speedback to create a family face for the coachbuilder. Each car gets DBA enamel badges and puddle lights fitted to each handsome bullet-style wing mirror.

All versions get a Pioneer touchscreen with sat nav, Apple CarPlay, USB connectivity, a push-button start and remote central locking. The interior is as well-appointed and crafted as you would expect, with knurled aluminium finishing for the buttons and stalks. The steering wheel is still in a fixed position though, so there's no allowance for the more portly of new customers.

David Brown said he hoped "it will be driven as a fashion icon, like the original was in the 60s."

You sense that this car, whatever else, is a more sound commercial proposition than the Speedback, and heralds some significant growth for the company. Let's see what's coming next!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author
Discussion

V8 FOU

Original Poster:

2,588 posts

85 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
Oh dear!
Nice trimming,etc. But why have a stock 1275 engine and a 4 spped gearbox? 5 speed conversions have been around for some time.
So you have a smart, very expensive mini (small "m") that has a whiney A series etc. Drum brakes, anyone for the full 60's experience? Points? Oh yes!

Well south of £100K? Oh, per-leease.....

Rawwr

21,372 posts

172 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
No.

Smitters

2,523 posts

95 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
I like it, but I don't love it. I do love Binky though. I'm weird I guess. Also, fake anything, even leather bonnet straps isn't right. Surely just make them work?

ducnick

889 posts

181 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
It looks the dogs danglies. Now drop in a modern engine and gearbox and sell them for under £18k.....

can't remember

528 posts

66 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
I wonder if the Speedback shared bits are down to them hanging around the workshop due to the lack of Speedback sales.
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Never you mind

1,223 posts

50 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
V8 FOU said:
Oh dear!
Nice trimming,etc. But why have a stock 1275 engine and a 4 spped gearbox? 5 speed conversions have been around for some time.
So you have a smart, very expensive mini (small "m") that has a whiney A series etc. Drum brakes, anyone for the full 60's experience? Points? Oh yes!

Well south of £100K? Oh, per-leease.....
Back in the 70s you could get a Mini 1275GT, they where awesome, nippy for a mini and in general made you laugh out loud when driving them. I suspect this was the reason for going for that engine.

SpeckledJim

17,147 posts

191 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
I think that's excellent. Well done them.

Now can we have the same take on a TR5?

hornetrider

63,161 posts

143 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
It's nice but I'm not a fan of that android-a-like massive blot of a nav in the middle of the screen. Needs something with contemporary sound but period looks. And sod nav.

J4CKO

26,330 posts

138 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
People get all misty eyed with Minis, I remember them as rattly, bouncy, rusty, damp, mouldy heaps of chod that didnt ever want to start, they were dog slow and the fun factor didnt make up for that most of the time and if you crashed you died.

100k plus for a restored one with an aftermarket stereo and a retrim, nah.

Personality goes a long way, but not far enough, driving a tidy one on high days and holidays wont make me forget the purgatory that made a MK3 Escort fell like a limo, then people slag the Metro off, its like you arent meant to say anything about Mini's, but the Metro is fair game,Mini was cute, Metro wasnt, same engine and box, better suspension, hatchback, but no, the Italian Job, Mary Quant, the Beatles etc etc, I like them but its like a spoilt little dog of a car, its a little st but people like it cos its cute and fluffy.

V8 TEJ

370 posts

99 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
No real details of the chassis set up.

Mince

75 posts

59 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
J4CKO said:
100k plus for a restored one with an aftermarket stereo and a retrim, nah.
You should probably re-read the article... "considerably SOUTH of six-figures."

jayemdoubleu

51 posts

28 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
Apparently, the figure is expected to be around £75k. Nothing confirmed though.
Looks brilliant, and will no doubt be impeccably finished. However, at that price it needs modern running gear. a wheezy A Series engine and 4 speed box just won't cut it. Why modernise/refresh every other part of the car, then leave the heart of it underpowered and underwhelming?
I'm possibly missing the point of it, but touchscreen sat nav, push button start and central locking seem somewhat odd combined with a 75bhp, 65 year old engine design.

Max_Torque

13,177 posts

155 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
Are these going through IVA? Driving a carb feb, non catalyst, brand new car seems a bit ridiculous in a time when we are talking about banning EU5 diesels from our roads.....

J4CKO

26,330 posts

138 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
Mince said:
J4CKO said:
100k plus for a restored one with an aftermarket stereo and a retrim, nah.
You should probably re-read the article... "considerably SOUTH of six-figures."
Maybe, but any more than 10 grand is too much for a Mini of any description, 75 grand, you can get a proper car for that, but I guess for the buyers its a novelty and like me spending £200 on one, which is incidentally how much I paid for my last one.

Andynbr

49 posts

97 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
Max_Torque said:
Are these going through IVA? Driving a carb feb, non catalyst, brand new car seems a bit ridiculous in a time when we are talking about banning EU5 diesels from our roads.....
Won't be carb'd; that's an MPi block so will run a cat as well. Emissions on the later MPi engines weren't "that" bad

Seems overpriced though. There's nothing on there that you can't do already; remote central locking kits, electric windows, air conditioning etc has been available to buy as kits for years!

Edited by Andynbr on Friday 7th April 11:01

J4CKO

26,330 posts

138 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
Max_Torque said:
Are these going through IVA? Driving a carb feb, non catalyst, brand new car seems a bit ridiculous in a time when we are talking about banning EU5 diesels from our roads.....
Will they have ABS and ESP ?

Guessing must be some low volume dispensation.

RosscoPCole

2,583 posts

112 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
I do like this, especially the interior. Though I feel they could have done better with the gearbox as there are 5 speeders out there. As has already been said I am sure it would be less expensive to find a Mini specialist who will produce a restomod car for you.

Evilex

452 posts

42 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
I wonder how crash-worthy these are compared to modern small/micro cars?

Also, 5 speed, discs all round and maybe even a hatchback conversation (yeah, I know the purists won't like it...)

And a Clubman version with the flat front, too, please!

STiG911

954 posts

105 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
V8 FOU said:
Oh dear!
Nice trimming,etc. But why have a stock 1275 engine and a 4 spped gearbox? 5 speed conversions have been around for some time.
So you have a smart, very expensive mini (small "m") that has a whiney A series etc. Drum brakes, anyone for the full 60's experience? Points? Oh yes!

Well south of £100K? Oh, per-leease.....
A stock 1275 engine is a potent enough lump when partnered with the 4-speed box. 96bhp is far from whiny, and has plenty of shove for those driving their Mini (Big 'M') in towns and cities which the 4-speed is perfectly geared for plus, 5-speed conversions are notoriously fragile.
I'd expect these to have disc brakes on the front at the very least. Anyone who's driven a 1275 Mini properly will tell you they're a right giggle, and these seem to hit the ethos very well, IMO.

ETA: I think the DTM exhaust is a bit much, though - 2.5 inch NSR exit much cooler.

jayemdoubleu

51 posts

28 months

Friday 7th April 2017
quotequote all
STiG911 said:
A stock 1275 engine is a potent enough lump when partnered with the 4-speed box. 96bhp is far from whiny, and has plenty of shove for those driving their Mini (Big 'M') in towns and cities which the 4-speed is perfectly geared for plus, 5-speed conversions are notoriously fragile.
I'd expect these to have disc brakes on the front at the very least. Anyone who's driven a 1275 Mini properly will tell you they're a right giggle, and these seem to hit the ethos very well, IMO.
I didn't enjoy the 1275 I drove, although that's likely due to the fact I'm 6'3" and 'powerfully built'. It was about as comfortable as trying to sit on a washing line.
The friend who owned the car still maintains it is the most fun he's had in a car with his clothes on though.