Latest Custom Mini Focuses on Classic Practicality
Few are familiar with the name Carrozzeria Castagna, a small Italian bodywork company. But that's about to change come Geneva of this year.
|Remember the Austin Mini Countryman from the 1960s? Thanks to Carrozzeria Castagna it's back! At least it is in spirit. (Photo: Carrozzeria Castagna)|
Some of the Milanese firm's projects include complete conversions on Ferraris and Maseratis, such as the Rosselini concept, but its latest undertaking is much less radical and much more diminutive.
Rather than re-skinning the lovable Mini completely, Castagna stretches it to create the Miniwagon, a car that brings the Austin Mini Countryman from the 1960s back into today's world.
The idea of modifying Minis is anything but new. Leaving the original car alone in this discussion, we've seen a drop-top Mini (prior to the recently announced factory conversion) and an M3-powered rear wheel driven racer enter the picture, but this latest creation is something much more practical.
|The interior of the Miniwagon can also be backdated to a classic 1960s theme. (Photo: Carrozzeria Castagna)|
In order to turn the regular two-door Mini into the Miniwagon, significant structural alterations have taken place. It's true that the front half of Castagna's new car has been left unmolested, much like the Countryman that had the same front end as the original mini. Besides, no one would appreciate the Italian firm messing with the car's bubble headlamps and cheeky little grille; it's perfect as it is.
On the other hand, the rest of the car has been modified to create the longer profile. The Mini, while a limousine in comparison to its originator, is quite small when placed beside the average car sold in the U.S. Even with its 9.8 inch stretch, it's still diminutive. While tempted to dub it the Mini-limo, it's still a two-door just like the olde Countryman. The total length of the car is now 152.6 inches, up from the 128.4 inch length of the regular Mini Cooper. Width and height remain identical.