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David Brown to celebrate exclusive Speedback GT’s one-year anniversary

11 March, 2015

David Brown Automotive, Britain’s premier, 21st-century coachbuilder, unveiled their Speedback GT at the Top Marques show in Monaco last year. To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Speedback GT’s successful launch, David Brown will be showcasing the car at the prestigious Retro Classics in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Speedback GT is a clear modern classic, styled upon the timeless lines of the Aston Martin DB5. David Brown, the businessman behind the car, owns one and, though he wanted to sort out the car’s issues, he found that he couldn’t take away from its classic character. The solution to this problem was to design and build a modern version, with classic lines and character, and modern reliability and comfort.

This is achieved through the chassis and running gear of a Jaguar XKR convertible (chosen for its pre-strengthened chassis), powered by the supercharged, five-litre V8 and six-speed automatic. The coach-built body comprises a blend of old and new techniques — a clay model was handcrafted initially, and a scan was made, allowing a lifesize computer rendering to be produced. According to this precise rendering, a wooden buck was made, allowing the bespoke, alloy body panels to be precisely hand-formed.

“Since the car first appeared a year ago, we have had a very strong response in Germany,” said David Brown. Several early orders for the Speedback were from the German market, and David Brown is aware that many of the Speedback’s qualities resonate with affluent German enthusiasts, making Retro Classics the perfect place to commence their 2015 show programme. Retro Classics showcase the finest classics, and modern vehicles, to a discerning crowd between March 26–29, at the Stuttgart Landesmesse. 

Penny’s Pagoda – Mercedes Benz 230 SL

We scouted out a few different locations for photographing this car, but they all had one thing in common. At every stop, people could not help but come up and compliment owner Penny Webster on her stunning Horizon Blue Mercedes 230 SL.
There’s something about the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes — so-called because the distinctive dipping curve of its roofline echoes that of the famous Eastern tiered temples — that encourages people to speak up.
Many classic cars attract a second look, but in most cases people keep their thoughts to themselves. It was striking how many people felt the need to express the warmth of their feelings about this car.
The expansive glass cockpit, the friendly, subtle lines, and its simple three-box shape seem to encourage openness among passers-by.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.