Classic Collection

Austin A30
Year: 1955
Age: 68 years
Place of first registration: UK
Facts: The A30 was the post-war successor to the Austin 7. Launched in 1951, This model was purchased in 1955 from the Prideaux garage in Barnstable, Devon. It still only has 24461 miles on the clock as the original owner stopped driving and garaged it The car is Conway blue and despite having new wheels added it is still one of the most original cars in existence and will give you a great experience of what it was like to drive an original A30
We Love: The A30
Not so good: I
Austin Allegro
Part of the
Year: 1980
Age: 41 years
Place of first registration: Coventry
Facts: Only 38,000 miles in 41 years. The colour is Applejack Green!
We Love: The colour which helps to disguise the dumpy shape
Not so good: Its still an Allegro and the Escort Mk 3 and Astra made it look hopelessly old. Sales compared to the previous Austin 1100 were dismal. Drive it and see what you think!
Austin Metro
Part of the
Year: 1989
Age: 32 years
Place of first registration: Warwick
Facts: A very low mileage, low owner car in amazing condition.
We Love: The optimism encapsulated in the launch of the Metro and its genuinely spacious interior.
Not so good: By the time this car was registered the Metro badly needed a facelift and development. This city model was incredibly basic, with no parcel shelf or rear wash/wipe. Sadly, by this stage even the Austin badge had gone and the car was marketed purely as a Metro.
Chrysler Avenger
Part of the
Year: 1979
Age: 42 years
Place of first registration: Wiltshire
Facts: A very rare original Avenger from the late 70s. Very hard to find one of these in this condition.
We Love: The eccentric but functional interior switchgear.
Not so good: We prefer the hockey stick rear lights of the original car and the front restyle is also a bit clumsy.
Ford Capri 1.6 Laser
Part of the
Year: 1986
Age: 35 years
Place of first registration: Bristol
Facts: A nicely preserved original late Capri, still looks the business.
We Love: The timeless shape, long bonnet and fast back.
Not so good: On a wet roundabout with clumsy use of the throttle.
Ford Escort MK3/4
Part of the
Year: 1988
Age: 33 years
Place of first registration: Lincoln
Facts: Although its paint is slightly faded this bog standard Escort had only done 11,000 miles in over 30 years.
We Love: The interior is like a new car, with no wear on the pedals and the thin steering wheel of the time.
Not so good: This is the most basic 1.3 model, the CVH engine was not as good as Ford believed but that didn’t stop this being by far the bestselling car in the UK during the 80s.
Ford Fiesta MK3
Part of the
Year: 1991
Age: 30 years
Place of first registration: Devon
Facts: Until we bought it, this car had never left Devon and covered only 14,400 miles.
We Love: The fact that Ford cleverly and constantly refreshed the Fiesta, which still survives in their range today. The MK3 offered an attractive new shape, five doors and a five speed gearbox.
Not so good: … for the Metro, which was fast being left behind.
Ford Granada MK3
Year: 1994
Place of first registration: Preston
Facts: It is a long time since both Ford and Vauxhall abandoned the executive segment of the car market but for those of us of a certain age , the Ford Granada was at the highly desirable end of the Company car list. This car which is a booted version is from the last year of production after eight years of great sales of the Mk3 variant. These cars are now a very rare sight.
We Love: The big car feel and the very functional and easy to live with ergonomics.
Not so good: The trim is a bit flimsy and this is only a 2 litre so a bit more power would be nice.
Ford Sierra Sapphire
Part of the
Year: 1989
Age: 32 years
Place of first registration: London
Facts: Almost certainly originally belonged to a Sales rep, this is a high spec. 2 litre Sierra with a boot.
We Love: The fact that Ford again kept this car updated, cementing its position as a fleet favourite.
Not so good: The colour is a bit challenging and we cannot help but wonder if it would not have been better with front wheel drive.
Hillman Imp Super
Part of the
Year: 1971
Age: 50 years
Place of first registration: West Sussex
Facts: Not many Imps have survived and the super in this colour is particularly unusual.
We Love: The instruments, warning lights and the choke control on the floor as well as the opening rear window.
Not so good: The engine, which is canted over at 45 degrees tended to leak oil and overheat. Sadly, the Imp never seriously rivalled the Mini.
MG TF Spark 1.8
Part of the
Year: 2004
Age: 18 years
Place of first registration: London
Facts: Less than a year after this car was registered, the mighty Longbridge factory would fall silent ending almost 100 years of production. One of the last MG sports cars built under British ownership.
We Love: The lively 1.8 engine giving really peppy performance. It looks pretty too.
Not so good: The mid-engine layout gives good handling but makes maintenance difficult and quite expensive.
MGZS
Year: 2002
Age: 21 years
Place of first registration: UK
Facts: The MG ZS in 2.5 litre form was a seriously quick car. This two owner from new example has been well looked after and shows that in its final years of British ownership, MG Rover still employed great engineers and designers capable of producing innovative and desirable cars. These cars were raced successfully in the British Touring Car Championship with multiple champion Colin Turkington being one of the drivers. Metallic green makes this car look every inch a racer – a true modern classic with only 55964 miles on the clock
We Love: The MGZS
Not so good: I
Mini 25 Special Edition
Part of the
Year: 1984
Age: 37 years
Place of first registration: Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Facts: Not many cars have had a production run of 25 years, but in 1989 the Mini hit this milestone and to celebrate 5000 25th Edition cars were made. These featured special celebratory logos and more comfortable and lavish interior, as well as metallic silver paint work. The cars were powered by a 1 litre engine perhaps reflecting that most Minis were not performance versions.
We Love: The Mini
Not so good: It is notable that the 1989 car was not very different to the one built 25 years earlier, this is mainly because the original design was so advanced but it might have been possible to have updated the car further.
Mini 850 MK1
Part of the
Year: 1966
Age: 55 years
Place of first registration: Erdington, Birmingham
Facts: June Bowen bought this car for £360 when it was exactly 2 years old. She was to keep it and love it and look after it for over 50 years, during which time it served her well and covered over 60,000 miles.
We Love: The incredible cleverness of the original Mini design, the work of a genius called Alec Issigonis.
Not so good: There is nothing not to like about the MK1 Mini.
Mini Clubman Estate
Year: 1978
Age: 45 years
Place of first registration: UK
Facts: This car has had one previous owner and has covered less than 30,000 miles. It was originally shipped overseas and it was treated with some sort of anti rust treatment which has kept it remarkably well preserved. The Clubman Estate sold in large numbers but they are extremely rare now. This one is VERY original and gives that true stretched Mini driving experience.
We Love: The Mini Clubman
Not so good: I
Morris Marina 1.7 Four Door
Part of the
Year: 1980
Place of first registration: Roxburgh
Facts: The Marina hardly ever gets a good press. Yet more than a million were sold and in its late versions like this one, with its 1700cc Overhead Cam engine , it was a perfectly good, if ordinary car. This is one of the last Marinas as it was soon to morph into an Ital which was really only a chang of name and an attempt to update the shape.
We Love: Russell and Margaret Bannister who owned this car for decades and most generously donated her and loads of spares to us.
Not so good: So easy to be rude about the Marina…but it was not derided at the time.
Morris Minor Convertible
Part of the
Year: 1957
Age: 64 years
Place of first registration: Southampton
Facts: This car was comprehensively and expensively restored near 30 years ago, it has hardly covered any miles since.
We Love: The lovely matching hood and interior. Our founder remembers this as the first car his father owned and very long journeys to Cornwall on summer holidays.
Not so good: These cars are not quick.
Reliant Robin
Part of the
Year: 1999
Age: 22 years
Place of first registration: Darlington
Facts: By 1999 Reliant were in deep trouble, this is one of the last 3 wheelers actually designed using a computer and featuring Vauxhall Corsa headlights.
We Love: No one can deny that it is entertaining to drive and because it is so light it is terrifyingly fast.
Not so good: High speed cornering is not recommended and at a new price of £8000 it hardly represented value for money.
Rover 216 Coupe Automatic
Part of the
Year: 1994
Age: 28 years
Place of first registration: Blackpool
Facts: Facts: The Rover 200 Coupe now seems to be a bit of a curiosity. However the Ford Puma and Vauxhall Tigra proved there was a market for inexpensive coupes and in turbo form the Rover was a seriously fast car
We Love: The fact that Rover built it in the first place and the very exciting one make race series for the turbo cars
Not so good: This is only a 1.6 and its automatic but it still has a decent turn of speed
Rover Metro Cabriolet
Year: 1995
Place of first registration: Essex
Facts: Launched in 1994, the Metro Cabriolet was a brave attempt to join the drop top market for small cars. Of course the Metro was badly in need of a facelift , but with the hood down and 75 bhp from its K series engine, it was a worthy competitor for the Escort and even the Peugeot 205. The look with the hood up was less convincing and at a price of over £12000 , only a couple of thousand were ever sold , making it one of the rarest Metros around. This well cared for example is part of our founder’s collection of Metros.
We Love: The easy to erect electric hood
Not so good: Looks a bit pram -like when it’s up!
Vauxhall Astra MK1
Part of the
Year: 1981
Age: 40 years
Place of first registration: Gloucester
Facts: This very early Astra has a secret story: the Vauxhall production line in the UK was not ready when the Astra was launched. Consequently the early cars were actually made by Opel. This one has a plate under the bonnet stating made by Adam Opel GmbH, in West Germany.
We Love: The modern new shape, the overhead cam engine and the very simple switch gear. Also it’s a great colour with a matching interior.
Not so good: The shape dated quickly in a decade when tastes where changing so the MK2 Astra was launched only 4 years later.
Vauxhall Cavalier 1.6
Part of the
Year: 1992
Age: 29 years
Place of first registration: Basildon, Essex
Facts: Victor Stokes bought this car which was a demonstrator from J Toomey Motors in Basildon, who are still Vauxhall dealers. Most Cavaliers were sold to Companies and where beloved by the sales representatives of the time. Mr Stokes kept this car for all his life and by the time we acquired it, it had covered 67,000 miles and never failed a MOT test. A 1 owner Cavalier is genuinely a rare thing.
We Love: The fact that the front wheel drive Cavalier gave Vauxhall a moment in the sun as it outsold the Sierra in the early 80s.
Not so good: This is rather a dull colour but again the car is totally original and even now is a perfectly satisfactorily mode of transport.
Vauxhall Chevette Saloon
Year: 1980
Age: 43 years
Place of first registration: UK
Facts: The Chevette like many cars of the 70s had only rudimentary rust protection. This rare booted version is not dissimilar to an HC Viva sharing the same engine and gearbox. Not everyone wanted a hatchback so Ford introduced the Orion and Vauxhall relented by offering the Chevette with a boot. This low mileage car is light and fun to drive and very rare.
We Love: The Chevette
Not so good: I
Vauxhall Viva
Part of the
Year: 1972
Age: 49 Years
Place of first registration: Durham
Facts: Clearly loved and well looked after by 4 owners in over 4 decades, during which it has covered a mere 36,000 miles.
We Love: The simplicity of the controls and the functionality of the design, like Ford. Vauxhall realised that the British motorist valued simplicity and size over complexity.
Not so good: This is a very basic car as shown by the fact that the passenger does not even get a sun visor.