England-based David Brown Automotive builds some of the most mesmerizing classic Mini models we've ever seen. Its latest creation is no exception: Commissioned by a client in Japan, it leaves behind the Mini's econobox roots and proudly highlights the car's upscale side.
In a way, David Brown is to the Mini what Singer is to the Porsche 911. It keeps the original car's basic design and proportions but modifies nearly everything else. For this posh, England-inspired build, it applied a coat of paint called Fade to Black and installed 13-inch wire wheels, which were never available from the factory. There's also a hand-painted Union Jack flag on the roof. Look closely and you'll spot several other subtle changes, like LED exterior lighting, bullet-shaped door 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 a 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 to carry an umbrella and attached to the passenger-side door panel.
While the company has dabbled in performance, it doesn't sound like the customer who commissioned this Remastered asked for rally-ready speed. The standard engine that David Brown Automotive puts in its cars is a 1,275-cc four-cylinder that develops 71 horsepower and 88 lb-ft of torque in its standard state of tune. It's fuel-injected, and in this application it spins the front wheels via an automatic transmission.
David Brown Automotive hasn't revealed how much this specific build cost. However, it previously noted that each Remastered takes about 1,000 hours of labor to complete, so it's reasonable to assume that it's priced accordingly — and likely far above anything Mini makes.