Best UK Classic Cars
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The automobile plays a huge part in the history of twentieth-century Britain. Enthusiasts reminisce about a time when both car design and manufacture took place in Britain and the cars produced were classics.
All enthusiasts will have their favourite models. Even within models, there are particular marks or editions that stand out. Here are our top ten classic cars which have stood the test of time.
10. Ford Escort (MK1)
The Ford Anglia was a much loved compact car produced by Ford UK. When Ford updated it in 1967, they renamed it Escort. This was thought to be a much more European-friendly name, and coincided with Ford setting up as Ford-Europe. The Escort was a beautiful car, but less quirky and distinctive than its predecessor.
Younger buyers were attracted to its sleek design, and it quickly became one of the second most popular cars on the road, after the Cortina (which was also produced by Ford).
The Escort was renowned for its performance (especially those models which sported bigger engines). All in all, it’s performance, economy and good looks made it fly off the production lines and onto the roads.
9. Ford GT40 (MK3)
The Ford GT40 (MK3) hit the roads in 1967. This was a purpose-built roadworthy version of the Le Mans winning race car, the original Ford GT.
8. Lotus Elise
When the Lotus Elise took to the roads in 1996, it was an instant hit. It weighed around half that of the typical small saloon of the time. It had an innovative chassis design, which was glued instead of welded.
The Elise had exceptional dynamics and is often cited as the car which redefined sports cars. The innovative Elise technology has been particularly lucrative for Lotus, as they continue to sell their designers to other manufacturers.
7. Range Rover (MK1)
The Range Rover has always been considered a luxurious status symbol. It is just as at home on the road, cruising along at speeds over 90mph, as it is off-road on cross country trails.
Of course, it is not the first vehicle to do this, the Jeep Waggoner did all of this in 1964, but the Range Rover does it with style. The Range Rover looks great on the road, where it is as good as any other car for commuting, as well as a fantastic cross country vehicle, tug and load carrier.
6. McLaren F1
At more than half a million pounds, nothing speaks extravagance quite like the McLaren F1. It is a true supercar. It is exceptionally light and probably the fastest, most powerful car you will ever come across.
5. Caterham / Lotus Seven
This is the ultimate race car for the road. It’s simple and lightweight chassis and super-quick acceleration make track day thrills possible on the open road. The Caterham Seven 160 or 165 turn a track car convertible into a suitable roadster for motorway and urban driving.
Almost every British Citizen has been behind the wheel of a mini. Many Brits used them to learn to drive in or purchased them as their first car. Most drivers have fond memories of driving around town in a mini, at some time in their life. It was, in fact, the car that changed us into a nation of small-car lovers.
Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis was responsible for designing the iconic car. It was individual and the original supermini, the success of which has never been equalled. These days, it’s a cult car and still a head turner.
3. Aston Martin DB5
The 1960s Aston Martin is a solidly built, heavy car that has more than just an air of quality about it. If you take corners too fast in a DB5, you become very aware of its weight, whilst the tail runs wide.
The engines in Aston Martins don’t clatter or sound harsh, rather you will hear the valve gear roaring away healthily.
2. Land Rover Series / Defender
Originally known as the Short Wheelbase 90, the Land Rover Defender is an all-time classic which remains popular today. The early models feel like agricultural vehicles. In fact, even later defenders feel more utility than plush. These are workhorses that will stand the test of time, rather than provide a luxurious drive, which is exactly what Land Rover intended them for.
1. Jaguar E-Type (Series 3)
The Jaguar E-type was a sleek and stylish car of the sixties. A decade later, with flared wheel arches, mean looking grille with egg-crate slats, disc wheels and extra chrome, the Series 3 Jaguar E-type was the business.
The Series 3 was only available in longer wheelbase 2+2 roadsters and coupes. It’s desirable, innovative and creatively designed, remaining popular even to this age.