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British-inspired roadsters to make a comeback

16 June, 2014


It’s looking like Mini and MG are both exploring options in bringing the classic British roadster market back into the land of the living.

The classic British sports car  is looking to make a reappearance in the form of Mini’s Superleggera — a two-seat roadster concept with obvious Italian style.

The Superleggera was shown in late May and is simple and sleek. It has no door handles, a simple dashboard is formed from untreated aluminium steel, and the seats are leather bucket seats.

Although at 4167mm it is longer than the British sports car Austin Healey ‘Frogeye’ Sprite, it matches the Mazda MX-5 — with this particular vehicle taking the roadster market previously. 

Mini has said that it is just a concept car and plans for productions are non-existent but it is known that the company is looking for another body style to replace the slow-selling roadster and coupe.

It is likely, that if it ever did make production, the engine would be the BMW-shared 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo seen int the newest Mini.

MG could be another company to keep an eye on when it comes to entering a roadster into the market. The brand left the market when it discontinued the MG TF back in 2011.

With the market for light-weight, rear-wheel drive sports cars near abandoned with basically only Mazda at the helm, it could be a new game if British-inspired models make a reappearance.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?