RAC Cars News


Where Have They All Gone? 5 Of The Rarest Cars On British Roads

By raccars Published

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While classic car collecting is an increasingly popular hobby, the fact is that most cars do, eventually, end up on the scrap heap - and the more popular the car, the more scrap metal they make. Over supply of the best selling models drives used values down and, of course, familiarity breeds contempt, so it is the most popular models of one era that end up vanishing the fastest in the next. The popular classics movement keeps a small, hardcore collection alive, and you'll always find a few unloved examples rusting away in garages and back yards, but essentially, some of our once most loved cars are fast disappearing from UK roads.

DVLA data shows how numbers are declining by registering how many of the following are actually taxed and still on the road in the UK, but does not include potential barn finds.

Ford Sierra

The Sierra's controversial styling meant it had a shaky start on the market on release in 1982. Divisive looks aside, the Sierra went on to sell 3.5 million units, outselling the Cortina it replaced. However, while the Cortina has become a cult favourite, the Sierra doesn't seem to have acquired any retro charm with age and only 3,800 remain in existence on British roads.

Vauxhall Nova

Nearly half a million Novas were to be found terrorising council estates and car parks up and down the land in the Eighties, often driven by youths with only recently acquired licences. However, only 1,803 of the former teenage driver's favourite remain on the road.

Renault 5

The Renault 5 had a stellar career over a 20 year period, which included putting in a respectable performance in the hot hatch category. But of the 5.5 million models sold, only 1,659 remain on the road. Where did they all go?

Vauxhall Carlton

Twenty years ago there were some 190,000 of these butch saloons prowling UK roads, but the Carlton has undergone an astonishing decline to just over 500 active examples. Of those, the only models likely to achieve any further longevity are the specials, such as the spectacular Lotus Carlton or the high performance GSi 3000.

Austin/Rover Montego

The Montego used to be the car of choice for practically every slimy sales rep in the country, although it's rather unfair to tar it with the 'repmobile' brush, as it was a rather good car, and quick as lightning in MG Turbo form. Today only 224 Montegos remain in existence.

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