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Little Classics Feature: 10 May 2014

Mini Voted Best of British Cars

Top Classic Cars - MiniReaders of Autocar, the world’s oldest motoring title, have voted the original Mini as the best British car ever built - with many of the top runners echoing the appreciation of classic cars over their modern counterparts.

We have said many time before that despite modern cars often being better built, more efficient, safer, faster and more reliable, you simply can’t replicate the soul and character that these iconic classics deliver.

Top 100 Classic Cars - McLaren F1Lotus came out as Britain’s most popular manufacturer of all time, with seven models making the top 100 - more than any other. Following the Norfolk manufacturer closely were Jaguar and Ford with six each and Aston Martin, often voted the coolest brand in the world, with five.

Overall, the closest rivals to Sir Alec Issigonis’ original Mini are McLaren’s blistering and iconic F1 road car, which placed second on the list and the much loved classic Jaguar E-type in third.

Autocar is unusual in this kind of survey, having seen more years than any of the cars on the list. It has covered the British industry since day one, having been established in 1895.

Top 100 Classic Cars - Jaguar E-TypeAutocar brand editor Chas Hallett commented: “It comes as little surprise that the original Mini has topped the list of all-time British greats. It’s such an iconic vehicle and represents a lot more than the British car industry; the Mini is associated with Great Britain around the world and, in many ways, it was ahead of its time.

“Everyone loved and still loves an original Mini; it ensured a fabulous drive every time, with a wheel literally at each corner and a low centre of gravity, plus it was cheap to own and run. Many a former owner will undoubtedly be wishing they had held on to theirs, as good examples are now worth tens of thousands of pounds.”

Top 100 Classic Cars - Ford Escort Mexico

Top 25 of the Autocar Top 100

  1. Original Mini
  2. McLaren F1
  3. Jaguar E-type
  4. Range Rover
  5. Yamaha Motiv.E
  6. McLaren P1
  7. Jaguar XJ220
  8. Aston Martin DB5
  9. TVR Griffith
  10. Ford Escort Mexico
  11. Jensen FF
  12. Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
  13. Jaguar D-type
  14. Lotus Elise
  15. Rolls-Royce Phantom
  16. Ford GT40
  17. Jaguar XF
  18. Bentley Blower
  19. New Mini
  20. TVR Chimaera
  21. Rover SD1
  22. TVR Speed 12
  23. Lotus Elan
  24. Morris Minor
  25. McLaren 12C

Top 100 Classics - Bentley BlowerThe ‘Lotus seven’ – the models that made the top 100 as opposed to the classic model in its own right – are the Elise, Esprit, Elan, Cortina, Evora, Carlton and Sunbeam.

“Again, it’s no surprise that a manufacturer that is held in such high regard tops the list of manufacturers,” said Hallett. “Over the years, Lotus has produced some wonderful examples of British engineering, so it is a worthy winner of such a prized accolade.”


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