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Tony O'Kane | Jun 17, 2009

RUMOURS ABOUND OF a special-edition MINI model that will be given the bespoke treatment by Rolls-Royce's talented team of trimmers, bringing more than a dash of premium panache to the chic retro classic.

MINI's customisation options for the MINI range are already extensive, but a Rolls-trimmed model is reportedly under serious consideration by the brand's top brass. Why? Well, it seems it all has a lot to do with history.

Back in the original Mini's 1960s heydey, customised versions were popular with the rich and famous. The actor Peter Sellers is widely believed to have been the first to order a bespoke Mini, with his finished car apparently costing over four times the price of the standard vehicle.

All four members of The Beatles reportedly had their own custom Minis, and a number of companies specialising in luxury Mini modifications enjoyed a good trade at the time.

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Fast forward nearly fifty years, and the now BMW-owned brand is looking to revisit its past. But why Rolls-Royce? Well, with the luxury carmaker also under BMW's ownership, one would have to presume there'd be less corporate arm-twisting involved in getting the two marques to play ball.

The plan is for prospective buyers to be able to visit Rolls-Royce's Goodwood factory to select the interior appointments to be fitted to their MINI - the same process enjoyed by Rolls Royce customers.

The idea has yet to be given the official green light, however a prototype sporting a woodgrain dash and swathes of leather on nearly every interior surface has already been spotted in the UK.

Support for the Rolls-Royce-MINI partnership is reportedly high, and many executives apparently believe such a car would appeal strongly to affluent drivers looking for something a little less gargantuan than a Phantom.

[Autocar]

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