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New UK brand reveals retro sports car

By: IOL Motoring Staff

London, England - these are the first official images of David Brown's unique handcrafted GT car, unveiled at a media preview in London on Thursday evening and christened Speedback.

It's based on the outgoing Jaguar XKR platform and five-litre supercharged V8 engine, rebodied in classic 1960's Grand Touring style, with more than just a nod to the iconic Kammback-tailed Aston Martin DB6 of 1965 - although Brown, an engineer with a long-standing background in automotive manufacturing, stresses that he has no connection with either Sir David or Newport Pagnell.

The Speedback, he says, is the product of an 18-month project led by Brown and chief designer Alan Mobberley, and has been designed, engineered and hand-built in Britain, using traditional English materials and craftsmanship, and featuring, amongst much other detail, a fold-down picnic seat.

It will make its public debut at the exclusive Top Marques show in Monaco, on at the Grimaldi Forum from 17-20 April.

EXCLUSIVITY

Brown said: “This car will appeal to anybody who desires a truly individual sports car, which can boast a fine British pedigree and which will only be produced in limited numbers, thus ensuring the kind of exclusivity associated with Britain's once proud heritage of traditional, high-quality, automotive coach-building.”

Customers, he said, would be able to choose any level of tuning or engine enhancements they wanted, although he made no mention of anything so crass as price, nor is there any pricing on the David Brown Automotive website or the specification sheet for the Speedback.

Given that the filler cap, switchgear, centre stack and most of the metal trim elements are machined out of solid blocks of aluminium, and that several walnut trees and a small herd of cows gave their all to clothe the cabin, if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.

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