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The Best of British Classic Cars
Posted on April 28, 2023
Choose any era in the automotive age, and you'll find a British car at the forefront of exceptional quality and technological innovation. From Aston Martins to Mini Coopers, Land Rovers to McLarens, some of the world's most jaw-dropping vehicles have been born and made in Britain.
Whether you're looking to import a car to NZ from the UK or simply daydreaming of what you'll do when you win the lottery, we have created a list of the best British classic cars that will surely get any enthusiasts' engines revving.
Legendary designer Gordon Murray's universally worshipped McLaren F1 is a spectacle of sleek and stunning design. The distinctive dihedral doors open like the wings revealing a cockpit that looks more like a fighter jet than a car. Its low-slung profile gives it an aggressive presence, while the triple exhaust pipes hint at the raw power beneath the hood.
Part streetcar, part fighter jet, and radical in every conceivable way, the F1 is the fastest naturally aspirated car ever made for the road, with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it top speed of 240.1mph. The F1 is a true landmark of engineering prowess. However, with only 106 models ever made, the McLaren F1 may have to stay parked in your daydreams.
More than just one of the best British classic cars, the Mini Cooper is an iconic piece of British pop culture. One of the most recognisable cars on the planet, the Mini has cemented itself into our cultural consciousness like no other motor before or since. The surprisingly plucky 1959 Mini burst onto the scene and instantly became a giant slayer in the automotive world thanks to its affordability and practicality. While it may be the slowest car on this list, ask yourself if any other vehicle could pull off a bank heist in Italy quite like a Mini Cooper.
Aston Martin DB5
If there's an Aston Martin you recognise, it's probably the DB5, often referred to as the most famous car in the world, thanks to its role in the James Bond franchise. But the DB5 never let the fame go to its head and remains one of the best British classic cars around.
The DB5 blends elegant lines with a muscular frame for a suave design fit for someone like James Bond. But this model was more than just a pretty face! The DB5 was a technological marvel of its time, featuring the aluminium inline-six engine and front and rear disc brakes. The DB5 was one of the premier sports cars of its era, and it will forever be the definitive Aston Martin.
Land Rover Series 1
Like the Mini, the Land Rover Series 1 has become an unshakeable part of British culture, and no list of the best British classic cars would be complete without it. Tough as guts and practically indestructible, the Land Rover Series 1 is the brutally stripped-down predecessor of today's cushier Rovers. You won't find any comfort in fancy interiors with this hard-nosed vehicle. Instead, you will enjoy a muscular, utilitarian appeal that is yet to go out of style. You'll still find plenty of Series 1s taking a battering on the countryside and loving it!
When Jaguar turned their racing-winning track car into a heading-turning roadster, they produced one of the company's most defining models, the Jaguar XKSS. Its sleek lines and race-ready curves flow together seamlessly for a vehicle resembling a sculpture on wheels. The definition of mid-century cool, the Jaguar XKSS was a true movie star car owned by the likes of Clark Gable and the ever-cool Steve McQueen.
Forget being one of the best British classic cars; the Jaguar E-Type is one of the best cars made anywhere. Its sleek and slopping design is a feast for the eyes, with sweeping lines that exude elegance and power. Every inch of the E-type is a work of art, from its long hood to its tapered tail.
Beyond its breathtaking aesthetics, the E-type was also a game-changer in performance, boasting a top speed of 150 mph and a 0-60 lightning-fast time. Its engineering innovations, such as the independent rear suspension and disc brakes, were revolutionary at the time and set new standards for sports cars.
Track Down Your Dream Car with McCullough
From Jaguars to Mini Coopers, a list of the best British classic cars could go on and on. If you've been eyeing up a British export, contact McCullough. As New Zealand's leading auto importer, we can help get you in the driver's seat of your dream car.
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