The David Brown Automotive Speedback GT costs £495,000. Plus tax. Round up delivery and other costs and you have a cool £600,000 list price.
Too much for most of us – but despite this, many people have told founder David Brown that they would still love to own one. “If I win the lottery, I’ll be back, they told me.
“Because of this, I considered getting a lottery machine installed next to the car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.” And after spending a day with the enthusiastic, irreverent and passionate Brown, we can confirm he was probably entirely serious.
Speedback GT: a super(elite)car
Brown admits the Speedback GT is a very expensive car, one aimed at the super-elite. “After we showed the car for the first time, one of our first big spikes in interest was from Superyachts.com; we’re competing in the luxury goods market, rather than the traditional car market. £600,000 is not a deal-breaker for such people, if the product is worth it.”
Rarity, exclusivity and the simple fact it is unlike anything else on the market are the reasons why Brown feels the Speedback GT is worth it. “We’ll never make more than 100, to protect and support residuals, and each one is hand-built to the buyers’ spec.” It’s the familiar ‘send a sample and we’ll match the paint’ level of bespoke build, only this time, the paint job requires umpteen coats and takes 120 hours – a round working month – to hand-apply…
A unique approach to coachbuilding
The uniqueness comes because nobody has taken a classic car and reinvented it in quite this way. Eagle E-Types are based around actual E-Types; other third party recreations are based around simple spaceframe chassis. The David Brown Automotive approach is to work on a Jaguar XK platform and use the inherent flexibility in its aluminium construction to build a bespoke-looking new car around it.
“Jaguar have been very helpful, even supplying is the original CAD drawings so we could work around all the hard points,” revealed Brown. “This is how we’ve been able to engineer completely new details such as a new rake angle for the windscreen. It’s also why the shutlines are so even – we were working from production-ready data.”
The engineering collaboration with Envisage Group of Coventry helped here: it works very closely with Jaguar Land Rover anyway, further helping improve standards of the finished car. Envisage is not a manufacturer, though: another Coventry firm, Premier Group, will instead be hand-building the Speedback GT. You may already have heard of it: Premier built all the Olympic torches. Oh, and both the Queen’s Bentley limos.
There’s something else special on the nose of the car too – a David Brown Union Flag badge made by Britain’s most experienced badge maker, Fattorini. The firm, a Royal Warrant holder, made all the badges for those Olympic torches, but also has history within premium British automotive brands. Brown is now hoping the Speedback GT itself is able to join this elite, not just the badge on its nose.