All this talk of Britain being doomed with out the European Union is really starting to get me down. So I thought I would have a look at some of the cool and significant cars Britain had made between the end of WW2 and joining the European Union (EEC at the time) in 1973.
For this list I’m going to be looking at cars you could actually go out and buy to drive on the road rather than cars built for racing as they are the bigger contributor to the economy.
First up we have the 1945 MG TC Midget. The TC was an updated version of the companies pre-war TB model. It certainly wasn’t a revolutionary car and wasn’t exactly fast; 0-60 took 22 seconds and the top speed was 77mph. The TC made this list though as it was the first British sports car to be exported in large numbers to the United States, opening a gateway for many many more cars to be introduced to that market.
The first post war revolutionary car that Britain produced in my opinion was the Jaguar XK120. This beautiful machine broke 8 world records in 1952 when Stirling Moss, Jack Fairman, Leslie Johnson and Bert Hadley ran a XK120 coupe around the Montlhery Circuit for 168 hours averaging 100mph.
Sadly I’ve never actually seen a XK120 in real life so you will have to make do with a google image rather than one of my own.
Of course we can’t talk about Jaguar and things that are beautiful without mentioning the E-Type Jaguar. In my opinion the E-Type is one of the most beautiful road cars ever produced. It was a bargain at the time too retailing at £1550 whereas the Ferrari 250GT was £6600 and Aston Martins DB4 was £4000.
Both the convertible and the coupe was stunningly elegant.
A car that was revolutionary in a completely different way was the Morris/Austin/Rover Mini. This little machine had a production run from 1959 and 2000 and 5,387,862 cars were sold. It is THE icon of the British motor industry and a car that really puts a big smile on your face every time you see one. They are like puppies, you just have to love them!
Finally, we come to the Ford plant in Dagenham. It’s certainly no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of Fords, especially the later cars, but to ignore the significance of the Ford brand in British automotive history would be a sin. The Dagenham plant has built some special cars from the Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts which saw huge rallying success, commercial success and were popular with tuners at the time thanks to their front engined, rear wheel drive layout and relative simplicity.
To the Ford Transit which has got to be the most successful van of all time.
They made some really cool saloon cars too; the Mk1 Cortina, Zephyr, Zodiac etc. They were all cool cars.
In conclusion, the world has not ended because we have left the EU. We can make cool stuff ourselves!