Founded in 1885, Triumph is a car and motorcycle manufacturer most famous for producing models such as the Herald, Stag and TR range. It was a hard choice to pick our favourite, but we’ve narrowed it down to the Triumph Herald. A small two-door car introduced in 1959 and manufactured up until 1971. As with many of the Triumph cars, it was designed by Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti and came in saloon, convertible, coupe, estate, van and even courier versions. In its lifetime, over 500,000 of them were sold, even after Triumph suffered financial difficulties in the 1960s and were taken over by Leyland Motors.
Owned by BMW since 2000, MINI was used in car model names from 1959 but became an automotive marque in 1969. Its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout influenced a generation of car makers and resulted in MINI being voted the second most influential car of the 20th century behind the Ford Model T. Around 5.3 million of the original two door MINIs have been sold, making it the most popular British car of all time. The original MINI has seen many facelifts over the years and produced various others like the Clubman, Countryman, Roadster, Paceman and even an electric version. Despite all this, the original is still the best!
Although it is owned by French car manufacturer Groupe PSA, Vauxhall the brand is exclusively used in the UK and Isle of Man and is manufactured from two locations in the UK, Luton and Ellesmore Port. It became mainly mass production after the end of the second world war leading to the opening of the Ellesmore plant in 1962. The model range of Vauxhall is extensive, from small city cars like the Adam and Viva, to the popular supermini Corsa, hatchback Astra and more recent SUVs like the Grandland X and Mokka. There’s also a range of commercial options like the Combo, Vivaro and Movano. The Corsa is one of the UK’s most popular cars, the third in fact in 2018 with just over 1.2 million taxed and on the road.
Established in 1952 through a joint venture between the Austin division of the British Motor Corporation and Donald Healey Motor Group, Austin-Healey were responsible for such models as the 100, 100-6, 3000 and the Sprite. Featured heavily on the racing circuit, Austin-Healeys were raced at the Le Mans and in Sebring in the US. Like many of our favourite British cars, they’ve made many appearances on TV in programmes like Mad Men, Father of the Bride and Transformers.
Known for some of the most luxurious cars in the world, Aston Martin was founded in 1913 and has had success across the globe. The road hasn’t always been a smooth one, with ownership changing hands several times over its history but has always remained a solid British manufacturer and a favourite brand of many – not just 007 himself. Of the many classic models Aston Martin are known for, the DB6, DB9, Vantage and Vanquish are just a few of them. Introduced at the 2001 Geneva Motor Show, we’ve seen two generation of the Vanquish, both built here in Britain. Sadly, its run ended in 2018, succeeded by the DBS Superleggera.
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