Ok it’s an American car, so it’s probably more suited to the Liam Gallagher school of Mod (i.e. more scruffily rock and roll) than any other, but there it is.
Following on from the previous post about Minis being vamped up for the 21st century, here’s another, though slightly less exciting post about the Jaguar E-type. I only say less exciting only because Jaguar themselves haven’t sought to upgrade the machine itself with high-tech additions, but rather restore it as-was.
As per the article: “The only parts that will be changed are "safety-critical" parts, although in some cases the workshop will fit new body panels. "Sympathetic upgrades", such as improved cooling and Series 2 brake callipers, can also be fitted.”
This general rise of modern-vintage blended vehicles is quite exciting for anyone who is a fan of stylish cars. Modern cars (except for the odd Aston Martin or Ferrari and sometimes not even then) I tend to find look a bit boring. Somehow they never quite match the look of their past greats.
It has always been assumed that the essence of Mod has always been one that looks back to the 1960s for its inspiration. While I would agree with most of this, I would also argue that the Mod of the 1960s spent a lot of time looking forward; adopting styles before everyone else did for instance and, as the name suggests, being as unlike the older generation of the time as possible and being thus ‘modern’. They were the first to seek out clobber from all across the world. First to get the best and the newest import tracks. First to grab the chic Italian scooter as the alternative to the grubby motorcycle.
It sounds contradictory, but I see Mod now as still representing that 1960s optimism that has impeccable taste in the most stylish clothes, but that also still looks forward to clean living and doing things in a modern way. It is (or can be) a blend of vintage style with a present day, extroverted attitude.
This brings me to today’s post. Having read the above, you will understand why I am so excited about this.
David Brown Automotive, a British coachbuilding company, has taken on a number of original Minis and restored them. In the restoration, not only do they sympathetically treat all of the cars’ original features, like the leather seats, dials and exterior, but they also virtually upgrade the insides with GPS, LED rear lights and, presumably, a reliable engine system.
When I think back to my own Mini, it is always with the impression that the car was so stylish and cool, yet I couldn’t seem to drive for more than a week without it breaking down in some way. There was the radio fault for instance - water leaked in through the bonnet and shorted out the radio system. I had this replaced numerous times before anyone realised what was wrong.
Then there was the battery fiasco. I’m not sure exactly on the details, but basically, the driving of the car was not charging the battery in the way it should have done. Every time it came to restart the engine to go out (or usually, go home), a simple turn of the key just didn’t cut it. I quickly discovered that nowadays, the number of people who actually know what a “jump start” is, let alone how to perform one is limited generally to the older generation. The alternative obviously was giving the car a push - something that’s even more tricky to ask from a stranger at the shops.
Yet when I think back, I always remember the shimmering chrome bumpers, the red paintwork and the stylish compactness of it all. Car designs nowadays tend to prioritise safety over style and it really shows.
This new project is a great idea and, although these Minis look pretty pricey at £70,000 each (more than ten times what I paid for mine in 2006), perhaps that combination of vintage style and 21st century technology would be worth it.
My uncle has come through with those glorious pics of his Daimler - see below for the full effect. It looks great with the sun glinting off the chrome. Very sixties look.
First registered 1968.
32k mileage from new.
My uncle actually keeps one of these and I am trying to get photos. But for now you'll have to imagine how good it looks with the help of this pic.
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