England-based David Brown Automotive builds some of the most compelling classic Mini models we’ve ever seen. Its latest creation is no exception: commissioned by a customer in Japan, it leaves behind the roots of the Mini’s econobox and proudly showcases the car’s premium side.
In a way, David Brown is to the Mini what Singer is to the Porsche 911. He retains the basic design and proportions of the original car, but changes almost everything else. For this chic England-inspired build, he applied a coat of paint called Fade to Black and installed 13-inch wire wheels, which were never available from the factory. There is also a hand-painted Union Jack flag on the roof. Look closely and you’ll notice several other subtle changes, like LED exterior lighting, bullet-shaped exterior mirrors, fender flares, and smooth fenders (the originals have a seam).
The resto-mod treatment continues inside with red leather upholstery, black inserts in the seats, a wood-rimmed Mona-Lita steering wheel, Smiths gauges and push-button ignition. David Brown also replaced the air vents and most of the switchgear, and added a modern sound system. The finishing touch is a pair of leather straps designed for carrying an umbrella and attached to the passenger side door panel.
Although the company dabbled in performance, it doesn’t appear that the customer who ordered this remaster asked for rally-ready speed. The standard engine that David Brown Automotive put in his cars is a 1,275cc four-cylinder that puts out 71 horsepower and 88 lb-ft of torque in its standard state. It is fuel injected and in this application it turns the front wheels via an automatic transmission.
David Brown Automotive did not disclose the cost of this specific build. However, he previously noted that each remaster requires around 1,000 hours of work, so it’s reasonable to assume that it’s priced accordingly – and likely well above anything Mini does.