Lookswise, I’m pretty certain this is my new favourite car.
Looking like it’s arrived straight out of a sixties James Bond movie, the David Brown Speedback GT is a tribute to those utterly beautiful classic sports cars of that era.
It’s actually a refitting/reimagining of the Jaguar XKR, though you might need a few seconds to take that in and to appreciate the fact. It instantly appears to be an Aston Martin DB5 kind of crossed with a Jensen CV8.
To be exact, the one I find so appealing is the model released last spring called the Silverstone Edition, which really looks the business with that mesh grille and additional embedded twin lights. The Silverstone Edition also produces 601bhp from its V8 5-litre supercharged engine and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds. Afterburner spoked wheels compliment the front grille perfectly.
The tasteful Union Jack badge tells you everything you need to know; David Brown Automotive is all about classic British automotive heritage. The company aims for usability and comfort as well as the retro feel.
They are able to achieve this by using modern vehicles as donor cars and developing them into something that harks back to a bygone era – but with all mod cons. Appropriately enough, David Brown Automotive has its headquarters and factory based in Silverstone.
The idea of usability extends to the practicalities of storage too – the David Brown Speedback GT can store away up to 502 litres with the rear seats up. While the aluminium body eliminates that devil to all classic vehicles – rust.
Inside, the only word to describe what you see is plush. The company say that their craftsmen spend over 2,000 hours creating a finish for each vehicle involving the best natural grain leathers, high-grade veneers and wood to create a bespoke interior design. No two Speedback GTs will ever be alike, the proudly say.
The Speedback is a grand tourer of course, and so comfort and a decent luggage capacity are paramount to the success of the car. Hand in hand with this ideal is an integrated picnic seat that is hidden away in the rear boot floor and can be folded out to enable two people to sit reasonably comfortably.
It should be no surprise that the interior and exterior styling appears to be so perfect and just right when you realise that it’s all the work of an experienced ex-Land Rover designer by the name of Alan Mobberley.
Alan had retired, but he was impressed enough by the concept to come back into the automotive industry and lend his expertise. He feels that his age and experience give him an insight into why classics such as the sixties-era Aston Martin are so revered.
If you want all the sure-footed handling of a Jaguar XKR with a truly beautiful and unique take on British sports car nostalgia, then you should take a look at David Brown Automotive.
Not withstanding the price of course; a David Brown Speedback GT will set you back around £500,000, while the Silverstone Edition – if you can still find one; only ten were built last year – will drain your bank account to the tune of £600,000 (before tax).
Images: topgear.com, autocar.co.uk