Nostalgia is okay, in small, sensible doses. The newest Bullitt Mustang and, most recently, the $3.6 million Goldfinger edition Aston Martin DB5 are gross misuses past Hollywood glamor — the former takes inspiration from a memorable yet mostly boring movie and the latter is literally useless. However, despite this current fervor for cars dedicated to days gone by, there’s only one worth considering and it’s this 1960 Austin Mini MK1 Monte Carlo tribute.
With its bump to 480 horsepower, beautiful green paint so deep you get lost in it, awn absence of any spoilers or Mustang badges and built on an already fantastic chassis, the Bullitt Mustang is, without a doubt a wonderful sports car. So why not call it the 390 GT – like the actual car Steve McQueen used in the movie – and give it its own place in history? Bullitt wasn’t even Steve McQueen’s best movie car. A Thomas Crown Affair Meyers Manx or a The Great Escape Triumph are more deserving, granted the names don’t roll off the tongue as well.
And then there’s the Goldfinger edition Aston Martin DB5, which Aston are only building 28 of, fitting with non-functional but movie-accurate gadgets and slapping an exorbitant price tag onto – and it’s not even road legal. Pointless is one word for it.
If you’re one to truly pine for the automotive nostalgia of yesteryear, this recreation of the 1965 Monte Carlo Rally-winning car piloted by Timo Mäkinen and Paul Easter beats both the wanna-be movie props mentioned above, hands down. Unlike the modern Mustang, this Mini actually rolled off the factory floor in the ’60s. Not to mention, completely opposite the Aston, all the add-ons that make this little rally car a faithful homage are functional and, you know, it can be driven past the end of your driveway. It’s also going for just $8,450, a sliver of the price tag on the Aston. True to the Mini’s reputation, it continues to be a giant killer, even now when we’re all stuck in the past.
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