Premium Collection

Austin 1300GT
Part of the
Year: 1971
Age: 50 years
Place of first registration: Lancashire
Facts: Having only done 32,000 miles in half a century, this car has been sympathetically restored to a high standard.
We Love: The bold external colours, the vinyl roof and the sporty steering wheel and interior.
Not so good: The 1300 was by this stage getting old and we all hoped the Allegro was the answer. In retrospect the 1300GT was a rather good car.
Austin A40 Somerset
Year: 1952
Place of first registration: Exeter
Facts: The Austin Somerset replaced the Devon in the Austin lineup and it’s swoopy styling was aimed at the American market where the Devon had been such a success. It was a big car with a separate chassis and with only 1200cc and around 40 bhp progress in a Somerset was leisurely with a 0-60 time of 36.6 seconds. Performance was not helped by poor quality petrol in the early 1950s. Nevertheless , in a production run of only 2 years, more than 170,000 Somersets were produced although there are very few left in the UK a now.
We Love: The gear change is on the steering column so there is a nice big bench front seat
Not so good: Rather a challenge on a Motorway. Best to enjoy quiet country roads and not worry about journey times.
Austin Seven Ruby Saloon
Part of the
Year: 1937
Age: 84 years
Place of first registration: Scotland
Facts: Completely rebuilt and restored. This is a lovely little car.
We Love: Everything is in the right place and it’s just sweet!
Not so good: Slow, noisy, cramped…but much better than a motor-bike and sidecar!
Ford Escort Cabriolet
Part of the
Year: 1997
Age: 24 years
Place of first registration: Southampton
Facts: This car has had one lady owner from new and covered only 48,000 miles.
We Love: The elegant shape, plush interior and electric hood.
Not so good: It could be a bit quicker but on a sunny day with hood and windows down would you really care?
Ford Granada MK1
Year: 1972
Age: 51 years
Place of first registration: UK
Facts: These early Granadas were built at Dagenham and have a silky smooth 2,5 litre V6 engine. This car has been very well looked after and drives really well. It has automatic transmission and looks great in the Sweeney colour scheme of Bronze with a Vinyl roof. It is a GXL so has all the appropriate accessories. The Mk2 Granada was never made in the UK.
We Love: The Granada
Not so good: I
MG Maestro 2.0 Litre EFI
Part of the
Year: 1991
Age: 31 years
Place of first registration: Birmingham
Facts: One of the last of the 32,000 two litre cars
We Love: The engine which gives 0-60 in 8.5 seconds mated to a sweet Honda 5 speed box. It’s a quick and comfy drive
Not so good: The earlier 1.6 MG Maestro was much less good and the brand’s reputation did not recover with this much better car
MG Midget Sports
Part of the
Year: 1963
Age: 58 years
Place of first registration: Scotland
Facts: An original Mk 1 Midget. A taste of the 60’s.
We Love: Light, agile, low and pretty.
Not so good: Very basic, bumpy and noisy. Hood is hopeless!
MG Montego 2.0 EFi
Year: 1989
Place of first registration: Birmingham
Facts: The MG Metro, Maestro and Montego were never fully appreciated by a public besotted with Fast Fords and the Vauxhall Cavalier SRI. By the late 1980s in fuel injected form, the MG Montego was a fast, competent booted saloon and its performance was surprisingly brisk.
We Love: The fact that these MG versions looked crisp and went well
Not so good: There is obvious Torque steer which was much worse on the Turbo versions!
MGB GT
Part of the
Year: 1981
Age: 40 years
Place of first registration: Staffordshire
Facts: The MGB left Abingdon 23rd October 1980, so this is one of the last MG’s made in Oxfordshire.
We Love: Iconic shape dates back to 1965. The original hot hatch.
Not so good: The plastic bumpers required to satisfy the American safety legislation.
Mini “Italian Job” Special Edition
Part of the
Year: 1993
Age: 28 years
Place of first registration: Oxfordshire
Facts: The Mini was always a good subject for “Special Editions” and as 36 Minis were used in the making of the original “Italian Job” film, an “Italian Job” special was always on the cards. Surprisingly, it was more than 20 years after the film that one finally appeared in 1992.
We Love: Everything about it
Not so good: “You were only supposed to blow the bl—y doors off!”
Mini Cooper
Part of the
Year: 2000
Age: 21 years
Place of first registration: Reading
Facts: One of the last Minis ever made this car shouts British with its Union Jack roof.
We Love: The peppy fuel injected engine, flared arches and racy alloy wheels.
Not so good: Still only has a four speed gearbox and although the handling is first class the ride is bumpy at best.
Morris Minor Million
Part of the
Year: 1961
Age: 60 years
Place of first registration: Nelson, Lancashire
Facts: One of the 350 special edition Minor Millions built to celebrate the millionth Morris Minor. This car was sent to J S Horsfall Ltd in Nelson Lancashire as every Morris Dealership received one. This was car number 191. Less than 60 Minor Millions survive in 2021 when it celebrates its 60th birthday.
We Love: The colour, the interior and everything about it.
Not so good: Underneath it just a standard Minor, these days it would probably have had a tuned engine.
Reliant Scimitar SS1
Year: 1986
Facts: As sales of the Scimitar GTE declined, Reliant believed that there was a gap in the market in the late 70s with the imminent demise of British Sportscar stalwarts such as the MG Midget, MGB and Triumph Spirfire. Unfortunately for Reliant, the advent of the “hot hatch” in the form of the XR2 and Peugeot 205 GTI dampened enthusiasm for cramped two seaters with draughty and leaky hoods. Launched in 1985 , Reliant predicted sales of at least 2000 cars per year but sadly only around 1000 were ever made.
We Love: Reliant’s optimism and bravado for investing millions in developing a British sports car. It’s fun to drive.
Not so good: Although it was styled by Michelotti, the complex moulded composite panels don’t fit well and the overall impression is a bit “kit- car”. A very brave effort.
Rover P4 110
Rover P4 110
Part of the
Year: 1963
Age: 59 years
Place of first registration: Bromley
Facts: Known as the ‘Auntie Rovers’, the 110 is the last and most powerful variant made.
We Love: The 110 despite its considerable weight could achieve 100mph without any stress!
Not so good: The replacement Rover P6 showed how the solid and dependable looks had become dated.
Sunbeam Rapier Convertible
Part of the
Year: 1960
Age: 61 years
Place of first registration: Greenock, Scotland
Facts: A lovely example of Rootes stylish four seater drop top.
We Love: Just about everything about this car. The American but reasonably subdued styling, the slightly crazy interior trim and the traditional wooden dashboard.
Not so good: Like all cars of this era suffered from terrible corrosion so only a tiny number survived. The hood is tricky to operate and not the most weatherproof if the family got caught in a storm.
Triumph TR7
Part of the
Year: 1980
Age: 41 years
Place of first registration: Coventry
Facts: In amazing condition. Had 18,000 miles on clock when we bought it.
We Love: Brave wedge shape and wacky interior
Not so good: It needed the 16 valve engine with more go.
Wolseley 14/60 “ A star of Foyle’s War”
Part of the
Year: 1938
Age: 84 years
Place of first registration: Cornwall
Facts: A very original example having had only 4 owners . Was used extensively in ITV’s Foyles War and driven by Honeysuckle Weeks who played Foyle’s chauffeur Samantha Stewart. Also appeared in “Poirot” with David Suchet.
We Love: The smooth six cylinder engine, the upmarket instruments and the comfortable ride. After her film career a kind new owner gave her an extensive engine overhaul
Not so good: Like most cars of this era, the steering is a bit vague and the brakes need a good shove on the pedal. The film company did not look after her particularly well with the dents in the bonnet caused by camera mounts, the engine in desperate need of a rebuild and holes in her original number plates so additional fake plates could be screwed on top