A British style, to me, would be a case of making the best of what you've got. Pristinely detailed engine that might not be about straight line power, but can hold its own on a twisty track. Paint in the stock colour to save money on a full respray. Interior kept basic, but not completely spartan so it still looks comfortable.
Something like this.
I suppose this is closer to an American style, but not many tweaks - wheel choice, exhaust tips - and it'd be bang on.
Trouble with the Rover lump is it's done to often? I like the tvr idea in something.
Tvr powered GT6 anyone?
This. ^^ Is both genius and suicidal and therefore MUST be built.
I have a tatty morris minor 3dr and am desperate to make it fun/fast but have a budget that can be measured in red letters from the bank...
Kv6 & coilovers? hmm
I think you need to keep it simple,a nice 4 pot in there. Keep the power moderate,I mean even 140horses will shift that along nicely, as has been mentioned,being able to show a clean pair of heels on a typical twisty B rd is what it should be about .. I mean anyone can go fast in a straight line ......
Yup, keep the Moggy white, loose the over riders, tune up the existing engine or get something fruitier in, perhaps paint the wheels in a contrasting dark grey and lower it a smidge. Then just clean it to within an inch of its life and enjoy.
True. Stiffen up the ride without dropping it to the ground and a snorty twin choke 4 pot soundtrack. The best part is although it looks rough its solid so I'm tempted to just leave the body as is for maximum savings.
Side note, if you google british modified car you get so horrifying results. You have to scroll down a fair way to yield some none-barryboy/max power finds
I think my Rover P6 falls into this, full interior, engine/transmission/suspension mods done with whatever I could get my hands on (mostly from larger/later models or commercials), and I've not seen another done like it.
It's low, but still has suspension that'll take a direct hit from a pothole at speed, and is as good cruising on motorways as it is round the back lanes
I agree, there's already a 'Brit look'. cleaned lines, period colour, warmed up 4 pot engine, dramatically improved handling, general subtlety, etc. Even the mini above has elements of it. Take a trip to most historic racing events and you'll see plenty of it.
Strange how ideas come from different directions all at once.... we used to run old Austin 1100s and 1300GTs with a modded engines and totally stripped out in the early 80's. The ultimate incarnation of that was a mates Savage mk2 cortina.. With modern engines being smaller lighter and more powerful putting one in a 60s or 70s car should be a breeze. with electrics being the biggest hurdle.for me at least. Myself i have literally just bought an old 1100 with the plan to strip the interior and fit a 2.5 KV6 out of an MGZS. A set of banded rostyles to finish the look with some uprated brakes behind them, some smoothing and weight saving on the outside and using the redundant power steering pump to adjust the hydrolastic ride height on the fly and i should be good to go.....
For me, to apply the design/look to a car it would come down to 4 basic elements
Simple, Spartan, Subtle, Sophisticated
Simple – or rather purity of design. Keeping the car a true to the original as the designers intended. To put in a context: Mini’s on 10” wheels or a modified Mk1 Escort without bubble arches
Spartan – The unnecessary removed but not complete stripped out. These bikes were modified to go fast so things that were not needed were removed but they were still road bikes so you still needed to keep in some things. Most 60’s British cars are pretty Spartan anyway
Subtle – The overall package need to look right like. Even to the untrained eye it would look like there is something a little special without it shouting out. Think of a subtle bonnet bulge (like the ones on the pre-facelift Mk1 Capri’s with the 3L Essex V6) rather than a huge supercharger sticking out of the bonnet
Sophisticated – This is a British design so a little leather, a hint of chrome and the odd bit of walnut. Everything in moderation, nothing to the extreme.
When it comes down to the power and handling behind the look I would always go for fast of the blocks and the ability to handle itself on the twisty bits. As a Mini owner this is quite simple for me, a well-tuned A-Series engine with the diff ratio dropped down to 3.67:1 or 3.9:1 and a few tweaks to the suspension. But for other makes and models there are some great engine swaps out there then would really compliment the cars they would go in (MX5 engines in Triumphs or MGs for example)
A perfect representation of this for me would be an early Spitfire (I always preferred the lower front bumpers and rear ends on the mk1 and Mk11’s) with a GT6 engine and bonnet in BMC dove grey with a nice set of black minilight wheels. A little lower on stiffer suspension but not dropped to the floor.
I've been thinking about this on and off for a while and my mind keeps coming back to the lesser modified BMC cars. Obviously Minis and Minors have been done a lot in every style imaginable but what about 1100/1300s or A60 Farina? Let's see, wider (but not massively so) steel wheels, British racing green or off white, little corner bumpers, low back bucket seats. Keep all the mods basically in period with the base car, and only things that serve a purpose. I may have to put pencil to paper.
sansamn has pretty much hit the nail on the head for me of what a truly British style would be. I think you need to add Small to the list as well because once you get above about Escort sized the cars start to look more Tourer than Cafe Racer even with the same modifications.
Thinking of bikes that are used for the cafe racer helped me find shapes in cars I hadn't considered: Norton - Matchless - Vincent - Royal Enfield - BSA - Triumph
Dollies and Tollies are surprisingly well suited to this look.
This one I found after finding a cafe racer with a very similar paintjob and some blacked out chrome that looked brilliant and very British somehow, I couldn't make the link to the photograph work. Basically, strip off the spotlights, the roll cage, the logos and then black out the door frames and windscreen surround on this Triumph and you have a strikingly similar look.
There's a host of inspiration in the Cafe Racer 'scene' I suppose it is, and it's a scene that's been evolving for a very, very long time by the look of things with plenty of transferable ideas, shapes and colour schemes. For the most part, the older bikes seem to fit into that idea of a very smart, very simple looking piece of machinery, impeccably finished and with an air of Britishness about them that is as difficult to explain as any other national identity in modifying.
I agree totally with the comments on subtlety (we are British after all). I love old cars that look almost standard, but need a second glance and only the fully initiated will spot ALL the little mods and tweaks. Combine that with modern unseen touches and comforts from later models, like RCL, EW, stereo and a fast modern engine transplant and that is a great car.
I love the blue Toledo above.
BMW 2002 Tii (in total rehab)
BMW 1602 (Also in rahab !!)
Obviously there is more to it, but I don't reckon you could go wrong picking something from there (outside of the US V8s they let run in the series, because they are just uncouth).
Purposeful drop over some non-minilite rims (sorry minilite fans but they are for the common man, and/or actual race cars), some throaty carbs, a straight through exhaust, deep shiny paint, leather interior with carefully chosen, tasteful accessories and you have a manifesto for something pretty damn awesome.
The point is that these aren't actual race cars, they take inspiration from them for sure, but like the evolved version of the cafe racers there are now days they are a style as much if not more so than they are a performance exercise.
Really though I should show what I mean by actually doing it,... just got a Datsun to finish and a house move to complete first...
You say minilites are for the common man , yet they are the quintessential British wheel ? Thats a comment which would offend a lot of people - what happened to not saying anything if it wasnt your cup of tea .