There were a few surprises too. For example, despite many thousands being sold here in period, it is now very rare to see an old Ford Cortina or Escort, a BMC/BL 1100/1300, Hillman Imps, Morris Marinas and Renault 4s being used, and when did you last see a Hillman Avenger, a Renault 12, a Vauxhall Viva or Chevette, for example, or indeed almost any Japanese car 25 years or older, such as a Datsun Cherry or Toyota Corolla?
Despite slightly questionable statistics on the Internet, popular sites such as How Many Left give some indication as to how many, or more often how alarmingly few, once common vehicles are now left on our roads, or declared SORN. It’s worth a look to see if your own cherished car is listed, and if so, how many other examples remain registered in the UK. Now rare cars such as the Fiat 131 Mirafiori and original Lancia Beta Berlina could be assumed to have virtually vanished, yet at the recent Italian Car Day at Brooklands almost a dozen of these ‘they’ve all rusted away’ saloons were present, and in very rude health indeed.
Relatively ‘modern classics,’ such as early Mazda MX-5s, MG TFs, Peugeot 205s, Porsche 944s and more recent 911, plus original Land Rover Discoveries, are still quite familiar sights on our roads, but it may not be long before these virtually disappear as well. After all, have you seen a Mini Metro recently…?
Lead image by Thomas Doerfer licensed under CC-BY SA 3.0