THE cream of the British motor industry crop has been decided, and a small but mighty contender has been crowned the “Best British Car of All Time.
A panel made up of CEO’s from the country’s top manufacturing companies and leading industry experts picked out the top 50 in our nation’s car production history for a special project by AutosSpeed magazine.
From Vauxhall to Aston Martin, a diverse selection of British motors made the list, but a lightweight contender proved too good for the rest and took a convincing victory.
Made world-famous by Rowan Atkinson and its role as Mr Bean’s trusty motor, the Mini was voted Britain’s all-time greatest auto creation.
The car’s 41-year history proved too successful to afford it any other place, with its ingenious, space-saving design created to perfectly meet the needs of the average family, the Mini is still considered an icon of British innovation.
Up until it ceased production in 2000, some 5.3 million had been built and enjoyed throughout the nation.
According to AutosSpeed magazine’s judging panel, there could simply be no other winner.
“There’s only one choice for the top spot: the Mini,” AA President Edmund King said.
“It’s one of the most influential cars ever built, and lasted for decades with the design barely changed.”
Looks like the best things really do come in small packages.
Coming in at second place was another of Britain’s most iconic vehicles: the Jaguar E-type.
Once described by Enzo Ferrari as the most beautiful car he had ever seen, the E-type saw incredible success both as a racer and a luxury car.
Interestingly, the Land Rover Series/Defender was voted Britain’s third best export, largely for its simplicity, but also for its role as the ultimate utility vehicle.
Rounding out the top five were two slightly more dazzling vehicles: the Aston Martin DB5 and the McLaren F1.
According to the judges, the DB5’s place at fourth on the list could largely be due to its extensive use in classic 1960’s James Bond films – not denying its incredible performance and vintage-worthy design.
Sneaking on to the bottom of the list was the Triumph Herald.
Once a popular choice for many learner drivers, the Herald enjoyed a 12-year history as a cheap, reliable family car for 1960’s Britain.
On the market for around £700 when brand new, a Herald can now fetch as much as £10,000 in peak condition, in the right market.