The original Austin / Morris Mini, which debuted in 1959, remains a desirable classic, with innovations such as a space-saving transverse engine and front-wheel drive. But as a car that you can use today, it has some limitations, especially the small 850cc engine that was in the base cars. It was only producing 34 horsepower, with a zero to 60 time of, yes, 27 seconds. It could hit 70 miles per hour, but barely.
David Brown Automotive is betting he can capture customers for his “Mini Remastered, Oselli Edition”. Only 60 of these hand-built cars – with the look and feel of an original Mini – will be made, building at an 18,000 square foot factory in Silverstone, England, taking 1,400 hours. The first Oselli, announced in 2019 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Mini, was delivered to a customer in Scandinavia. Other customers around the world will be getting their cars in the coming months.
In place of that original Austin engine is a 125-horsepower powerhouse with 113 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a zero-to-62 mph time of 7.8 seconds. Despite the huge power boost, this is an authentic Austin A-Series engine, featuring a modern Electronic Control Unit (ECU) brain, bored to 1450cc and fitted with twin SU carburettors.
David Brown Automotive tells Penta, “Each Remastered Mini’s creative journey begins with an original classic Mini, which we then restore without compromise and remaster to each client’s personal specifications. Specifications include an all-new British Motor Heritage body, leather and Alcantara interior, and everything the customer wants including air conditioning, power steering, central locking and Bluetooth enabled navigation / infotainment packages . The car delivered in Scandinavia was in carbon gray with heritage green accents and 13-inch alloy wheels finished in graphite. (The original wheels are only 10 inches.)
Makeovers like this don’t sell for one song. The base price for the Mini Remastered is $ 150,000, the company said, and $ 185,000 for the Oselli Edition.
The Mini isn’t the company’s only car. It announced the 503-horsepower Speedback GT, a large roadster with distinct 1960s Aston Martin styling cues and a modern 5-liter Jaguar XKR drivetrain, in 2014. Deliveries have since been in “double-digit territory.” with clients in Asia and Australia. , Europe and North America. In 2018, a 600 horsepower Silverstone Edition was released. The base Speedback cost $ 753,000 in 2015, but it varies in the US, and only 100 will be built.
The Speedback GT’s aluminum bodies, with more than a whiff of Aston DB5, are handcrafted using traditional methods, including an English wheel. There is room for three golf bags in the back and a fold-down picnic seat. The GT takes 8,000 hours to build. With both cars, customers are encouraged to tour the factory and select leathers, paint colors and wood veneers.
Cars are available in left hand drive. David Brown Automotive tells Penta, “It goes without saying that the US market is extremely important to a UK company like ours. Beautifully designed and handcrafted British cars are highly valued by Americans, and we have always had many inquiries from the US market since the inception of the company. We have already started sales in the United States and have already delivered a number of our custom vehicles to customers in the United States and Canada. In fact, left-hand drive models account for around 60-70% of our production.
David Patrick Brown is a serial entrepreneur who started 30 businesses, selling everything from craft beer to high-end tile work. His stint as a competitive rally driver drove him to become a bespoke car maker.