10 critically endangered British cars that used to be commonplace


1. Ford Cortina

Once a common sight on British roads, the cars contained in this gallery are now so rare that they risk disappearing altogether.

Read on to see what are officially now some of the rarest cars in Britain, starting with the Ford Cortina. According to How Many Left there are now only 3,814 remaining of the 4,154,902 Cortinas of all types produced between 1962 and 1982.

2. Ford Sierra

It’s another Ford in ninth. The Sierra replaced the much-loved Cortina in 1982 and 3,470,524 were built up to 1993. There were 67,817 left in the UK in 2005, but that figure has plummeted to 3,900.

3. Vauxhall Victor

The Vauxhall Victor is in eighth. Although its recent rate of decline is not as alarming as the Sierra's, there are now only 829 left compared with 1,050 a decade earlier.

4. Austin Metro

In seventh it’s the Austin Metro, shown here in swanky Vanden Plas spec. More than 1.5 million were made between 1980 and 1991 but only 478 are still registered. It soldiered on as the Rover 100-series until 1997.

5. Morris Marina

The sixth rarest everyday car in Britain is the Morris Marina. Only 550 were left in 2005 and that number has dwindled to 294, although;809,612 were produced between 1971 and 1980.

6. Hillman Avenger Tiger

It’s the Hillman Avenger in fifth. Despite 638,631 being made 1970-1981, only 229 survive. This is the sporty Tiger model.

7. Vauxhall Chevette

The visually challenged Vauxhall Chevette was sold as a three-door hatchback or estate and this four-door saloon. Only 232 of the 416,058 built are still on UK roads.

8. Austin Allegro

The bronze medal goes to the Austin Allegro, the car that has come to symbolise all that was wrong with Seventies Britain. Of the 642,340 built 1973-1982 only 186 survive.

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9. Austin Maxi

The runner-up is the Austin Maxi. It wasn’t actually that bad – essentially a scaled-up Mini, with loads of space and a practical hatchback rear, but the build quality problems endemic in the British car industry at the time mean that it’s not been remembered with fondness. Between 1969 and 1981 production totalled 472,098 and of the 318 left in 2005 only 159 remain.

10. Morris Ital

The rarest of the once-common British-built cars is the Morris Ital, which was essentially a restyle of the Marina it replaced. Production numbers weren’t huge, with 175,276 built from 1980 to 1984. It was scarce in 2005, when only 185 were still registered in the UK, but now there are only 47 – it’s more rare than a Javan rhinoceros, apparently.

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