If your knowledge of the "Swinging '60s" is limited to Austin Powers movies, you may not realize that one of the "it" cars of the era (at least at ground zero in London) was the coachbuilt Mini. And the leading Mini coachbuilder of the day was Harold Radford.

George Harrison Mini 250Radford's custom minis were the cars of the stars. All four of the Beatles had one (that's George Harrison's at right). So did Peter Sellers. Radford Coachbuilders hope to revive the coachbuilt Mini with today's BMW MINI.

The example shown above is built for a performance-minded customer, making 265 hp through its considerably uprated supercharged engine. The usual suspension, brakes, wheels and interior mods, together with the engine work, make this a $51,000 MINI.

Unfortunately for Radford, today's MINI owner can catalog-shop for most of the same upgrades, ready for installation at home or at the local tuner shop for a fraction of the price. I suspect the market for coachbuilt Minis is over - just like the '60s.

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