Mini reborn: Yes, it’s the real thing, but Remastered

  • Mini Remastered brings back 1960’s classic
  • Second David Brown model after Speedback GT
  • Public debut for May 2017 in UK capital
BACK FROM THE DEAD: The Mini Remastered is the real thing from the 1960's - but all-modern. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
BACK FROM THE DEAD: The Mini Remastered is the real thing from the 1960’s – but all-modern. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
      LONDON, England – Just as Jaguar recently brought the original E-Type back from the grave so British coachbuilder David Brown Automotive has elected to resurrect the original 1960’s Mini – or, more accurately back then, the Morris Mini Minor and the Austin 7.
      And thank goodness for that – the current BMW ‘Mini’, while having a similar (sort of) shape, just isn’t, well, a Mini, is it?
      The Mini Remastered, complete with a Union Jack flag on its bonnet, will have its public debut at the May 4-7 2017 The Confused.Com London Motor Show in  Battersea Park in London, England.
BACK FROM THE DEAD: The Mini Remastered is the real thing from the 1960's - but all-modern. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
JUST LIKE THE FIRST ONE – BUT BETTER: The Mini Remastered could be out of a long-lost box from the 1960’s. Well, except for those tyres. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
      This the second model to be made by British-based coachbuilder David Brown Automotive and will take pride-of-place at the show alongside the debut car, the classically-inspired Speedback GT (see images).
      The Mini Remastered is based on a classic Mini rebirthed as a city car for modern living – read “the perfect match for London life” – powered by a reconditioned 50kW 1275cc engine and a four-speed gearbox. The original Mini had an Austin / Morris (BMC) four-cylinder 850 turned sideways by Sir Alec Issigonis to become the first transverse car engine.
      The chassis – though the original Mini didn’t have one in the conventional sense – and body panels, however, are all brand-new and, the Brown guys say, “de-seamed and with perfect shutlines”. Oh yeah, it also had a heater / demister and was – radical back then – front-wheel drive.
mini remastered pos 3
THE ORIGINAL OR THE 2017 VERSION? At a glance, it would be hard to tell. A second glance will delight old farts like our editor who used to drive one with holes drilled in the floor. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
      The original Mini had a big, round, central speedometer and odometer and warning lights for Things That Can Go Wrong, such as the radiator boiling and high beam. There was a steering-wheel stalk for the then new-fangled indicator flashers; the last one I owned in the UK was pretty old and the door seals leaked, so I slung the carpeting out and drilled holes in the floor.
      Worked pretty well and before emigrating to SA in 1973 I sold Doxy in running order for five pounds – about R10 back then. Doxy, BTW, is rude English slang for a strolling lady, and was based on the registration number: DOX976C. Hell, how come I remember that when today I sometimes have to pause before entering my credit-card password…?
      Today’s car and its equipment would have existed only in the brains of science-fiction comics authors back in the 1960’s – just like a lot of things today which owe their existence to their imagination.
BACK FROM THE DEAD: The Mini Remastered is the real thing from the 1960's - but all-modern. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
NO ’60’s MINI HAD A PAINT JOB LIKE THIS: Mini Remastered says the 2017 versions will have a finish that takes FOUR WEEKS! to complete and only comes with a contrasting roof colour. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
      So, the Remastered has an infotainment / satnav system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the four-speaker sound system, keyless-go, USB connectivity / charging, push-button start and remote central locking.
      Every Mini Remastered comes with with an exceptional paint finish and contrasting roof colour, a leather-lined boot and a fuel  tank painted in each car’s contrasting roof colour.
      “The paint application is,” Brown says, “a four-week four-week process that gives a flawless finish equivalent to that of the Speedback GT of which units will also be on show in Battersea Park.”
Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
IS THAT A MINI GRILLE? Whatever, it looks good ahead of the V8 monstermotored David Brown Automotive Speedback GT that will out-perform most modern sports cars. Image: David Brown Automotive  / Newspress
      The Speedback has a five-litre, twin-scroll supercharged, V8 engine capable of 380+kW and 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, handy for road trips that might, amazingly, include time on the German autobahn.
      Wouldn’t it be nice to be rich enough to have one of each…?
      David Brown Automotive uses a combination of engineering, state-of-the-art tech and traditional coach-building to assemble each car at its new HQ at Silverstone, England. A media release sent to The Corner by the company expounded:
      “We’re redefining modern coach-building to build fully engineered, limited-edition, bespoke automobiles with hand-formed aluminium and entirely hand-crafted cabins.
      “Each must be commissioned by a customer.”
      AND A WORD FROM THE SPONSOR…
      Alec Mumford, chairman of The Confused.Com London Motor Show, also weighed in to The Corner with: “We’re enormously proud to play host to the UK debut of the Mini Remastered. The car has attracted much attention from media and fans since its launch (April 2017) and will, I’m sure, be a huge draw to discerning
Londoners.
      “This Mini, alongside the unique Speedback GT, will amplify the UK’s core engineering base and showcase the latest work from the talented team at David Brown Automotive. Each car is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.”
      Michelle Gay, brand and business boss at DBA, added: “We had a fantastic response to the Speedback GT in 2016 so are hugely excited to be making the first public
debut in the UK of our second model, Mini Remastered.
      “We know it is the ultimate modern classic for city driving.”

      If you’re reading this in the UK or Europe tickets for the show are available at £17 from thelondonmotorshow.co.uk

Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
THE DBA SPORTBACK GT: It was launched in the UK in 2016 by David Brown Automotive as a seriously exclusive high-performance sports car capable of 250km/h (limited). It will be on the DBA stand at the Battersea Park auto show. Image: David Brown Automotive / Newspress
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