The Type 10, a Restomod Mini From Spectre, Is a Sight To Behold

In today’s sustainability-minded vernacular you could call it upcycling — shops are reviving classic machines and remaking them better than new, rather than shuffling them off to the scrapyard. Restomods, as they’re often called, are red-hot right now. Following the early success of Singer Vehicle Design’s million-dollar “reimagined” Porsche 911s, new restomods are hitting the street every month, from the Gateway Bronco to Cyan’s Volvo P1800, Totem’s electric Alfa Romeo Giulia, and all the Lancias: the Kimera 037, the Aurelia Outlaw, and the Amos Integrale.

No doubt the restomod market is oversaturated, but that didn’t stop our jaws from hitting the floor when we first saw this mid-century Mini hot rod from Vancouver’s Spectre Vehicle Design. Philip Ogilvie, Spectre’s technical director, says the idea began two years ago as a project at his day job at Steveston Motor Co., a B.C.-based shop specializing in classic Minis. “A client and friend of the shop said, ‘I’m looking for something different; what can you do?’ and I suggested a mid-engine Mini, because it’s something I always wanted to build,” Ogilvie says — as if it were easy.

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Like all good projects, the idea quickly evolved into something much more ambitious. Instead of building a one-off, they decided to produce a limited run of cars — designed and built by the newly formed Spectre Vehicle Design — out of their new shop in North Vancouver. The original client, David Hogg, became the financial backer and CEO.

The question at the tip of their tongues was: “What could the Mini have been if it were a sports car?” Unlike, say, the Porsche 911 and other exotic classics, the humble Mini has never been the subject of a “moonshot project” — at least not until now, says Ogilvie. Spectre’s Type 10 has a reinforced Mini Mk3 chassis, coilover suspension, and a mid-mounted 2.0-litre Honda motor that puts 232 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. The car is an impossibly light 794 kilograms, so it should absolutely fly.

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But what makes the Type 10 unique is that it marries such high-performance specs — every hardcore gearhead’s dream — with an unorthodox mid-century cabin full of sculpted wood and custom seats. The stunning design is the work of Marco Lii, Spectre’s creative director. The floating centre armrest, with its spindly metal legs, was inspired by the Eames Eiffel chair. The seat pads, according to the team, were inspired by “a one-piece swimsuit worn so powerfully in the 1980s by Monica Bellucci.”

Lii, whose background is in animation, says he brings a similar design philosophy to cars. “It’s about using the fewest lines to say the most, and that’s what we’re trying to do with the car,” he explains. “We have a lot of power, but we’re not fitting big wheels or spoilers. We’ve got a stereo with 10 speakers, but you can’t even see them.”

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Last summer, Spectre took the Type 10 to shows in Riyadh and the famed Monterey Car Week. “In Monterey, we were right next to a Shelby Cobra and multi-million-dollar Ferraris, but we had a crowd around our car. Everyone loves it,” says Ogilvie. The first finished prototype is running now, before customer deliveries begin later this year. If you want one, it’ll be $180,000 USD.

Learn more about the Spectre Type 10 here.