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Best Of British Top Ten Cars According To Classic & Sports Car

By raccars Published

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In the lead-up to the new London Motor Show event at the end of this month, a new 'Best of British' top ten cars poll has been launched.

Top ten cars nominations

There have probably been thousands of polls asking the same question over the years, but what really is the best British car ever? Classic & Sports Car has organised a new motoring event for London, taking place at Alexandra Palace at the end of October, at which the best British car will be announced. All of the nominees will take part in a £30 million display at the event, celebrating British motoring.

The top ten was chosen by 100 motoring experts including car collector and Pink Floyd drummer, Nick Mason, and Russell Carr, design chief at Lotus. The public can now vote on the winner from among the following ten classic British cars.

Jaguar E-Type

The E-Type pops up with tedious inevitability in 'best of' lists, but it remains a spectacularly beautiful and impressive car. Its introduction in 1961 opened up the prospect of sports car ownership, previously the preserve of the super-rich, to a wider audience. At £2,000, it was much cheaper than the best Italian sports car makers had to offer and more usable than similarly priced British efforts.

Range Rover

Range Rover was genuinely revolutionary. Before 1970, off roaders were utilitarian work horses, but the Range Rover created an entirely new sector - luxury 4x4s or, as they were later scathingly dubbed, 'Chelsea tractors'. That's because the Range Rover combined serious off road ability with on road style and comfort. The Range Rover is equally at home at Kensington High Street traffic lights and in a muddy field, and it just gets better with age.

Ford GT40

Commissioned in Detroit and executed in Slough, the GT40 was created for a specific purpose: to beat Ferrari at the Le Mans 24 Hours. This it did decisively, taking consecutive victories from 1964-1969. It's a world away from the Fiesta and looks strikingly modern even today. Probably Ford's finest moment.

Austin Seven

Britain's equivalent of the Model T Ford, the Seven got Britain motoring. 300,000 Sevens hit the road from 1922-1939 and were affordable, reliable and user friendly. Car ownership was no longer limited to the elite.

Mini Cooper S

Like the E-Type, the Mini is a regular habituée of 'best of British' polls. In this case it was the most nominated car in the list, thanks to its combination of funky styling, ground breaking engineering and entertaining driving dynamics. It's not just a car, it's an icon.

Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

The Silver Ghost saw British car building reach its zenith in refined, luxurious motoring. It was the most advanced vehicle of its day - 1906-1925 - and built to last. This is the car that created the RR reputation.

Lotus Seven

The Seven has represented glorious, back to basics motoring since 1957. Exquisite in its simplicity, it's still available in almost identical form six decades later, albeit wearing a Caterham badge. Countless manufacturers have attempted to emulate its blueprint of lightweight, perfectly balanced, rear wheel drive road legal racer.

Jaguar XKSS

Jag's Fifties racer is now an extremely desirable classic, worth up to £10 million. It was a development of the D-Type racer made road legal, but with only 16 ever built, it's ultra-exclusive.

Bentley Speed Six

A story of glamour and excess, the Speed Six ruled the Le Mans track in the Twenties, at the hands of the famous Bentley Boys. It's another frequent contender in the top ten British cars list.

McLaren F1

The most hyped car of a generation, the McLaren is the most modern entrant to the list. It achieved success as a Le Mans racer and a road car, and a top speed of 242mph in testing, thanks to some serious engineering.

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