Coachbuilt Speedback GT flashes some patriotism

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A Union Jack trio of Speedback GTs, each wearing a unique paint color designed for its specific owner

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Back in 2014, British coach builder David Brown Automotive showed its first work, the Speedback GT. Since that time, the car has moved from prototype to production, reaching the hands of five buyers. This week, the company is highlighting the car's British roots, showing a red, white and blue trio as it prepares to move into the next phase of development.

Over the past 2.5 years, the Speedback GT has been quite busy logging miles and building a resume of major international auto event appearances that includes Top Marques Monaco 2014, Monterey Car Week 2015, the 2015 Dubai Motor Show, Techno-Classica Essen 2016, and the 2016 London Motor Show. Chassis #001, meanwhile, was delivered to David Brown's first buyer in February and five cars total have now rolled out of the Coventry production facility to owners.

The styling and specifications remain much the same as they were on the 2014 prototype, though David Brown does say that the car underwent more than 237 specific engineering and design changes over time, including soft-close doors, a modified taillight design, improved brightware finishes and a bespoke alloy wheel option.

The car still relies on a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 from Jaguar for 510 hp and 461 lb-ft. That engine powers it to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.6 seconds before rolling through to a 155-mph (250 km/h) limited top speed.

One key piece of information that wasn't available when we first looked at the Speedback GT was price, a rather exorbitant £495,000 (approx. US$606,000), before taxes. Whether you hate or adore the Speedback GT's 1960s-inspired styling with clean, pillar-less roofline, that price looks rather out there, 142 hand-formed aluminum panels or not.

But the Speedback GT is designed to be a completely bespoke creation for each owner, no two exactly alike. Each car is painted in a unique color created specifically for the individual owner.

David Brown highlights three of those bespoke colors this week to show a little British pride. Cars 003, 004 and 005 create a Union Jack theme with their Ruby Tuesday, Blue Moon and White Knight paint jobs. Each one was prepped, painted and lacquered over a period of eight weeks.

The interior of the Speedback GT also helps create the car's luxurious, no-two-alike ambiance. Here, too, the buyer has carte blanche, and polished metal, full-grain leather, single-batch wood veneers, and handcrafted, 1960s-inspired instruments team up with modern touches like a satellite navigation system with touchscreen and high-performance audio to create a classic-meets-modern space. The car can be built in buyer's choice of 2+2 or two-seat plus added luggage capacity configurations, and can include a fold-out tailgate bench or just cargo space in the trunk.

Half a million pounds might sound like way too much money to you or me, but David Brown seems to be finding a market. With five cars in the books, it is working on the next batch and plans a new production facility to increase capacity from its current rate of six to 10 cars per year. It also plans announcements about future models in the coming months.

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