Not Much Argument

Some Brit place did a poll:

That’s not a bad list (and yes, the Ford GT40 is a Brit car — designed and prototyped by Ford UK).  I would take issue, however, with the omission of the 1960s Rolls-Royce:

…and the equally sumptuous Bentley of the same era (pre-German takeover):

I would also have replaced the Lotus Elan Mark I (below):

…with the Esprit:

I also feel that a lot of the older iconic Brit cars were ignored — like the MG TF:

…and the pre-war (later Jaguar) SS:

Compared to those two, the Lotus Elan is a clown car.

Feel free to agree / disagree or add your own entrants in Comments.


  1. The E type as number one, no contest, but get rid of the Austin Healey. Since we are talking all time British cars, how about the Blower Bentley? I would substitute the lovely little Lotus Elite from the sixties for the Elan, I like the MG-TD over the TF, add in your SS-100, maybe a C-type Jag, and maybe a Morgan.
    There are no British car manufacturers any more, maybe Bristol or TVR if they even produce anything anymore. Morgan is no longer family owned, and they were the largest manufacturer that was British. As to Aston Martins, I like the DB-9 over the two mentioned in that poll.

  2. The Poll was done by an American Insurance company Hagerty. The report comes from a British Newspaper. But if the question is Best British Car and not most popular, then the list is different.

    Then yes lose the AH 3000 and replace it with a Bentley, Aston Martin should be represented by the DBR and Jaguar by the D-type and the Mini needs to be a Cooper engine version not the 986 cc version. The Lotus Esprit ( but only on dry mild days ) .

    And yes the Original GT40 MkI’s were basically Lolas. But the ones that came after that that actually won races were SOCAL rebuilt by Shelby American.

    1. You missed the “Hagerty UK” attribution.
      The original Mini is cool, regardless of engine.
      The Healey 3000 is even cooler.
      And the DBR is German.

    1. Yup. The Top Gear guys analyzed the DB9 and DB11 a few years back and worked out that pretty much the only thing British about them anymore was the seats. I think they’re BMW or Audi engines, I don’t remember which.
      Ditto Bentleys.

        1. Sorry, as you can see I mixed up the DBR with the DB9. And yes, the engines are AMG not Audi, my bad.

  3. My favorite was my 1953 Austin Healy 100-4.
    I acquired it as a ‘toss-in’ at the end of a convoluted series of trades in about 1968 or so.
    After realizing the amount of abuse required to merely keep up with traffic, I tenderly removed the tired four and inserted a Chevrolet V-8.
    OK, now we had a memorable automobile… especially with the addition of wide-wide gumballs.
    It alternated between terrorfying and cool.
    California Highway 93 between Newcastle and Lincoln is a twisting mountain farm road deserving of such a set of wheels.
    Coast Highway 101 Seattle-San Diego was the scene of many sideways cornerings.

    But that was then.
    Today’s youngsters would need seat-belts and a windshield.

  4. LargeMarge — I remember Hot Rod magazine did the Healey V8 conversion in the sixties, and the V8 Chevrolet was significantly lighter than the clunky Healey six cylinder. Also, I think that you could not get the jack under the car to change a wheel if the tire was flat. Do you remember that as being true?
    I had a lot of fun in my TR3A, but I have no interest in ever getting another.

  5. Kim, that photo you posted of a “Lotus Elan Mk-I” (actual nomenclature is “S-1”)is not what you think it is.
    This is the S-1:×661.jpg
    What you posted is the Elan + 2 which followed the introduction of the S-2 fixed coupe.
    Actually the S-2 was a better car than the S-1.
    And though the Elite was a fabulous car, it had a serious engineering problem that was never really fixed completely.

    1. One of my high school teachers in the 90s drove a little Lotus Elan S1 hardtop. He was a skinny, tall guy, about 6’5. When he sat in it he looked like the top of his head was literally touching the roof.

  6. I’d ditch the D type and add an xj variant. Any of the v12s are special.

    It’s deeply sad that an industry that let the world for 50 years and produced these and many other great cars basically got driven into the ground in the 70s. It’s disgraceful that the youngest of these cars is what 50 years old?

    Mind you, I do like the look of some of the recent Aston Martin offerings and the latter 4.7 v8 vantages are just about getting to the point on the depreciation curve where a brave person….nah, who am I kidding

  7. As long as I live I won’t understand why people slobber over the E-Type Jag. I think it’s fucking hideous. A drooping hot dog with bicycle wheels.

      1. I never heard criticism like that of the Jaguar.

        Though I am reminded of my sister’s friend who felt that the (then brand new) Porsche 914 looked like a tuna fish sandwich.

        1. I assure you that my automotive tastes are otherwise normal, but to me the E-Type just looks like an abortion. Plus those hideous panel gaps between the bonnet and doors that look like the work of a kid who had to patch up his model because he didn’t measure properly. Mind you, a few years ago I saw an E-Type fitted with modern wheels which almost made it look OK. But the TVR Griffith 500 is what the E-Type should’ve looked like.

    1. Why, because of it’s direct ancestry from the D-Type via the XK-SS.
      They gave it the sex of the long-nose D, and outfitted it with civilized accomodations.

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