interior of a mini cooper

Passion Projects: Simon Cowell’s Custom 007 Mini Cooper

While many people know Simon Cowell as the savage American Idol judge with an acerbic personality, the man has an excellent grasp on his automobile tastes. His controversial music persona is less of a concern to the world of petrolheads, as he indeed does have a likening for customised cars. With his recent build that pays homage to the incredible character of James Bond, it is no doubt that Mr Cowell is using the money he has earned on things he loves. 

The David Brown Automotive shop was commissioned by the music-mogul to craft a custom classic Mini for an amount that is around the £75,000 mark. Custom cars have a special place in people’s hearts, as their builds can be over-the-top and exquisite. When people have the money to splurge on something as incredible as works from David Brown, you know that something good is going to happen. 

Simon Cowell’s 007-Themed Mini Cooper

For Your Eyes Only was the 1981 James Bond film that had all the proper elements of the Bond universe. A dashing protagonist, an equally beautiful Bond girl, cool spy items, and of course: CARS! The classic Mini in that movie was blown up at the start as a result of the incredible anti-theft system doing its work. While it is unfortunate that the car was “lost,” it made a reappearance in the movie later on with a burnt orange colourway that included a ski rack. 

Simon Cowell must have enjoyed seeing this Mini even if it wasn’t exactly the most “luxurious” Bond car out there, as dropping £75,000 on a custom is not a small amount. His custom classic Mini has a set of “Turbo” decals slapped onto the side with a Sahara Gold colour, which meshes in nicely with the Lotus Copper Glow paint that is very shiny. The bright orange-tinted colourway fades to black as it reaches the roof and arches, which is even further supplemented by 13-inch custom alloys that are in Sahara Gold. With various accent pieces and other visual stances, the car appears to have a very ‘80s vibe to it when viewed at any angle. 

The Features Don’t Stop at Visuals!

That price tag doesn’t stop at just the paint job and aesthetics. Simon had LED headlights added for that extra rally look and feel, providing additional illumination at night or whenever he needs to hit the blind twisties. Other modifications he had done were adding a panoramic sunroof to take in the beautiful UK summers and breathe in the fresh air. One change that looks oddly familiar is the wooden dash that comes in an American Burr Walnut that is shined with a gloss lacquer to supplement the dark wood material. You might have seen the use of wood dashes in the custom classic Minis of The Beatles, so it is a beautiful touch indeed. 

Seats and other leather upholstery come in a beautiful Arctic White colour that has a premium white Alcantara lining. David Brown didn’t want to stop Simon Cowell from enjoying his favourite tunes, so he put a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system for a modern touch. The classic Mini also has a six-speaker sound channel that plays sounds at very high-quality. 

Power In a Small Size

Despite his decals stating to be “Turbocharged”, the custom classic Mini of Simon Cowell houses a beefed-up 1,330-cc engine that is naturally aspirated. This engine is nothing close to underpowered, as it delivers 94 horsepower at around 6,100 RPM with 87 lb-ft of torque. With the size and weight of a Mini Cooper considered, this power is incredible, and the added touch of a 5-speed manual gearbox gives top-control of power distribution. 


Custom classic cars are always an incredible aesthetic, especially in a world shrouded by technology-centred cars. Simon Cowell’s back-to-basics approach is highly appreciated by petrolheads, as the pure driving ecstasy is present in this custom classic Mini build. Nonetheless, it was another fantastic job done by David Brown Automotives and will continue to be a fan favourite for classic Mini enthusiasts. 

If you dream of owning a classic Mini Cooper one day, UK Minis provides you with the opportunity to obtain one for a low price. Through our regular raffle draws, signing up gives you a raffle ticket and the chance to drive out a piece of motoring history. Enter a competition today for your chance to win a Mini!

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