My Car Quest

May 26, 2024

The David Brown Speedback GT

New from Blighty: an Aston Martin look alike from a chap who has the same name as Aston Martin’s hero.

by Wallace Wyss –

I thought I was paying attention to what’s going on in England but maybe I saw the Speedback GT in Octane Magazine or CAR and passed it by thinking it was but a modified Aston. Now, sent a press release from David Brown Automotive I realize that it is an all new car, albeit it is retro styled. It appears to be part Aston Martin DB4 style along with, egad, the 2002 Thunderbird and little bit of new Mini.

David Brown Speedback GT

When they sent me the press release along with it a video that somewhat tediously goes through the founder’s father’s tractor company story but in the end you realize the present David Brown has started 30 companies and, relaxing a bit decided to make motorcars. Not once in the release does he mention the David Brown that was owner of Aston Martin and whose initials ‘DB’ were used in many Aston Martin models.

David Brown Speedback GT

One thing that he is emphasizing is that each car is custom, by offering bespoke exclusive accessories and bespoke options. Nothing is said in the video or press release about the chassis, if it is a separate frame or unitized. They do say it takes 8,000-hours to build one at their Silverstone manufacturing facility, where they also make a car they call the Mini Remastered.

David Brown Speedback GT

The symbol of the company is a sort of British flag re-cut to their own use. The flag is also used on the alloy wheels. Inside the Speedback GT has a sort of mix of traditional wood and gauges with some modern features. But no video screen, thank God.

“All of the brightware has been milled from solid billets of aluminium and then plated in nickel chrome to give additional warmth to the cabin” coos the PR release. And of course once you reach your destination if you added it to the Speedback GT’s interior options list you can enjoy a gin and tonic served in one of two crystal highball glasses. There’s even a picnic seat that extends out of the boot of the car and a picnic blanket.

David Brown Speedback GT

I had to muck about on the web to find out about the engine–amazingly not mentioned in the PR release sent me. It is a 5 liter twin-scroll supercharged V8 engine delivering 510 bhp. They quote a time of 4.6 seconds going 0-60 mph. The top speed is limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). The torque is quoted at 461 lb.ft. (625 Nm). With typical British understatement, they said it “provides discretionary performance and ample cruising ability.”

After a further search on the web I found the frame info–all-aluminium monocoque chassis with hand formed aluminium body panels. The gearbox is a known factor 6-speed ZF automatic transmission. I couldn’t find mention of the suspension, but suffice to say if you’re selling cars to the tifoi they want to know all this first before you talk about cocktail glasses and picnic blankets.

And when I went to find the price, I found Car & Driver featured the car seven years ago, saying it was $715,000. Car & Driver said it was built on Jaguar XKR bones. Wikipedia said the price as of April 2018 is £520,000.00 GBP plus local taxes.

My take on the styling:

FRONT grille needs squares or rectangles or mesh not lines. Something about the grille reminds me of the abandoned Ford revival of the T-bird in 2002.

David Brown Speedback GT

SIDE Also Thunderbird-ish and boring.

David Brown Speedback GT

REAR I like the three taillights in a shallow vertically mounted cove as on old Aston Martins but the enclosure is maybe half an inch too wide.

David Brown Speedback GT

INTERIOR Love the wood, but I’m afraid modern buyers in this price range need a pop up screen for navigation.

David Brown Speedback GT

David Brown Speedback GT

IN SUM Really should have got permission from Aston to copy an old DB4 or DB5 instead of sneaking all around it. The price seems astronomical when a used XKR coupe is $19,000 give or take. And the PR people should tell us, what we want to know about the frame, the engine, the suspension, and the price before you wax on about the picnic blanket.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 automotive histories.


David Brown Automotive Logo

All photos compliments of David Brown Automotive.
The David Brown Speedback GT
Article Name
The David Brown Speedback GT
The David Brown Speedback GT appears to be part Aston Martin DB4 style along with the 2002 Thunderbird and little bit of new Mini.


  1. One wonders how many of these cars exist.

  2. Fred Johansen says

    It doesn’t look that bad. Still wish it 3 pedals, and a stick though.

  3. Wayne Watkins says

    There was a sports car made in Australia in 1986 by Paul Halstead in Queensland with a bottle of Bundaberg Rum in the tool kit . I think this predates the Speedback GT by providing a bottle of alcohol as standard equipment ! He only made 15 of these cars called GIOCATTOLO which were Kevlar & carbon fibre bodied Alfa Sprints with the tiny 1.5 litre 4 cylinder Alfa engine replaced by a mid mounted Aussie Holden 5 litre V8 ( 308 ) . They were capable of 160 mph top speed ( 257k ) and knocked out 190kw ( 255hp ) . There are still fifteen of these cars remaining with 007 being destroyed at Eastern Creek Raceway and the driver killed and the other being destroyed in a race in 2007 . His latest project is a mid engined W16 Super car made by bolting two 7 litre Chev LS1 engines together , knocking out 1,200 hp .

  4. SKIP HINOJOS says

    David Brown Speedback GT

    SIDE Also Thunderbird-ish and boring.


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