What Singer started for the classic Porsche 911 a British company is taking to the next level with a “remastered” version of the Mini, the original 10-foot-long city car.
To be launched in April at a supercar show in Monaco, the Mini Remastered is the brainchild of British car company David Brown Automotive, better known for a DB5 look-alike called the Speedback GT, a rebodied and exquisitely retrimmed Jaguar XKR.
The starting point for the Mini Remastered is a donor car, preferably from the end of the original Mini production run in the 1990s, when it was powered by a fuel-injected 1,275 cc engine and rolled on 12-inch wheels.
Its centerpiece is a new body shell from British Motor Heritage, who maintains production for restorations. DBA refines the body even though it’s new, adjusting panels and gaps and de-seaming the shell — a technique to smooth out the body, favored by tuners in the 1960s.
With the body perfect, DBA gives it the full custom paint treatment, which consists of 400 hours of body prep and building multiple layers to a glossy finish.
Tuned and tweaked running gear for the Mini continues to be available, so the Remastered includes a reconditioned engine and four-speed manual transmission with a choice of two levels of tune: 75 bhp and 90 bhp, with the latter from a 1380 cc overbore.
Where DBA really goes the extra mile is in the interior trim, which adds a level of luxury rarely seen in a modified Mini. A new carbon-fiber dash features a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, while DBA’s trimmers install custom seats, sound-deadening, perforated suede headlining and beautifully crafted door cards. Total labor clocks in at 1,400 hours.
Of course, none of this obsessive attention to detail and lavish hand-finishing comes cheap. A price hasn’t been set, but “from £70k” is the guide — a startling $87,000. At that price, the Remastered clearly is not for everyone, and production is limited to “50 to 100” per year.
So far, U.S. sales haven’t been considered, but DBA says it will consult with authorities on the legality of the package if customers show interest. (For what it’s worth, recent legislation governing replica cars seems tailor-made for this sort of vehicle.)
But for the collector whose garage is already chock full of exotica, the cost might not be relevant — it’s just the driving and ownership smiles that count.