Classic Cars UK
With many classic cars available for purchase throughout the UK. What is your favourite Iconic British Classic Car? Below we have listed our top ten British Classic Cars of all time with a brief summary history for each vehicle.
The small economical car was initially designed due to the fuel shortages during the 1956 Suez Crisis. With petrol being rationed throughout the UK, the sales of large cars quickly declined. Leading to imported small German built bubble cars becoming popular in Britain. To combat this competition from overseas vehicle manufacturers. Leonard Lord the head of BMC British Motoring Company, started work on designing a proper miniature car. By commissioning Alec Issigonis, who had previously worked for Alvis to design a small car that will fit within a 3.0m x 1.2m x 1.2m box. The two-door Austin Mini car was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley production plants. Originally launched in 1959, the Austin Mini has been voted the second most influential car of the 20th century.
Land Rover Series 1
Originally designed by Maurice Wilks chief designer at the Rover Company. He would further develop the vehicle in conjunction with his brother Spencer. The Land Rover Series 1 vehicle was heavily influenced by the Jeep used by the American Military during WW2. With the original Land Rover Series 1 model built by utilising the Jeep Chassis and axles. Early vehicles would be painted in surplus military colours after the second world war. The original Land Rover was designed to be a field serviced vehicle.
With Enzo Ferrari publicly declaring the Jaguar E-Type ‘the most beautiful car ever made’ when launched in 1961. The British two-seater rear-wheel drive Grand Tourer sports car. Soon became an established motoring design icon throughout the world. This is largely due to the Jaguar E-Type’s astonishing performance. By reaching a top speed of 150 mph accelerating 0 to 60 mph in under 7 seconds. The Jaguar E-Type incorporated revolutionary design and engineering features. Including monocoque construction, independent rear and front suspension along with disc brakes. These innovative inclusions would spark widespread automotive industry changes. With rival car manufacturers eager to match the performance demonstrated by the E-Type. When competing in professional motor-sport competition racing events around the world. In 2008 the Jaguar E Type was the declared the Worlds most beautiful car by the Daily Telegraph newspaper publication.
Aston Martin DB5
Made famous by featuring in the 1964 James Bond Goldfinger film. The Aston Martin DB5 grand tourer launched in 1963. Is beautifully designed by Italian company Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. With the legendary car fitted with a 4-litre aluminium engine and five-speed gearbox. The 282 brake horsepower Aston Martin DB5 could comfortably reach 145 mph. Also to enhance performance the engine was fitted with 3-weber carburettors. Enabling the vehicle to accelerate 0-60 mph in under 8 seconds. The Aston Martin DB5 luxury grand touring car was also available with a Borg-Warner automatic transmission unit.
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud
When originally launched in 1955 to replace the pre-world war two Rolls Royce Silver Dawn. The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud designed by J P Blatchley was constructed using a body on frame configuration. This permitted great flexibility with building specialist variant versions for clients. Lightweight aluminium would also be utilised for the bonnet, boot lid and vehicle doors. With a 12-metre turning circle, the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud could reach a top speed of 103 mph. The original car cost around £5078 during 1956 with a 4.9 Litre engine only delivering around 14.5 miles per gallon based on average fuel consumption figures. Rolls Royce also made the silver Cloud chassis available to external coach-builders. With the beautiful drophead coupé designed by Mulliner Park Ward. Based on styling influences found within Italian automotive design during this period. Widely recognised to be an all-time classic car masterpiece.
Originally launched in 1970 by the Triumph Motor Company to compete for market share with the Mercedes Benz SL. The luxury 4 seater convertible sports car was created by Giovanni Michelotti. Who had previously designed cars for Ferrari & Maserati. The iconic British convertible sports car was fitted with a roll bar. To make the car compliant with American vehicle rollover legal and safety requirements. It was also possible to purchase a body colour removable hard top and lever operated quarter windows. The Triumph Stag based on a styling experiment, incorporating a 1963-64 pre-production Triumph 2000 salon. The car was quickly put into production, once Harry Webster director of engineering at Triumph fell in love with the prototype concept.
With over 1.6 million Morris Minor cars built between 1948 and 1972 after launching at the Earls Court Motor Show. The two-door Morris Minor designed by Alex Issigonis became the first British car to achieve 1 million sales. Due to this popularity the Morris Minor model range was improved to include a ‘Traveller’ wood frame estate car, pick up truck and panel van. The iconic British classic car was initially conceived in 1941. However, a wartime government ban on building civilian cars meant the project was placed on hold.
Initially developed to create a larger model that would compliment the already successful Land Rover Series in 1951. The project would remain dormant until 1966 when Spen King & Gordon Bashford started to work on creating a luxury 4×4 SUV vehicle. With the finished vehicle being unveiled and launched during a 1970 Musée du Louvre exhibition in Paris. The British designed and built Range Rover 4×4 would be the first vehicle to travel north to south across the Americas during 1972. Also, when originally launched the 2-door Range Rover did not focus on luxury motoring. With the off-road vehicle only fitted with a basic interior incorporating a plastic dashboard and vinyl seats.
Designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro whilst working at Italdesign. The prototype was previewed during the 1972 Turin Auto Show and simply called ‘The Silver Car’. It would be 1975 before the Lotus Espirit was officially launched during the Paris Motor Show. With the new car model entering production the following year. This revolutionary polygonal designed fibreglass body sports car. Soon became the perfect successor to replace the Lotus Europa model. With the series 1 Lotus Espirit fitted with a longitudinally mounted rear wheel drive engine. The wedge-shaped 1,973cc sports car could reach a top speed of 138mph accelerating 0-60mph in under 7 seconds. However, the factory fitted turbocharged Lotus Essex Turbo Espirit model variant launched in 1980. Could achieve a top speed of 150mph, with impressive 0-60mph acceleration in 6.1 seconds.
The Jensen Interceptor grand tourer car was designed by Italian designers Carrozzeria Touring. With Jensen Interceptors manufactured at their UK based Kelvin Way Factory. Located in West Bromwich near Birmingham between 1966 and 1976. Throughout production, Jensen Motors fitted Interceptors with powerful Chrysler V8 engines. Also during 1967, the innovatively engineered Jensen FF (Ferguson Formula) model variant. Would become one of the first production cars to benefit from four-wheel drive. Other rare notable model variants include a soft top convertible introduced during 1974. Along with a coupé version launched the following year.
Classic Cars UK
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