Save our classic British cars

Endangered classics – save 10 makes of British classic cars

Austin Maxi
Austin Maxi: once ubiquitous, now verging on extinction  


‘Save our Classics’ campaign encourages the preservation of endangered ‘everyday’ British cars. Using data obtained from the DVLA which reveals that many vehicles that were once a common sight on UK roads are declining at an alarming rate, insurer ClassicLine has compiled a list of the top 10 endangered cars.

Based on those registered in the UK, 75,624 have been lost in the last decade, with experts predicting that the numbers could continue to fall rapidly for some years to come.

Motors that made the list include Eighties’ best-sellers the Austin Metro and the Ford Sierra. Those facing an equally bleak future include the once popular Ford Cortina, Austin Allegro and Vauxhall Victor.

The campaign aims to ensure that once familiar and much-loved family cars don’t disappear from UK roads forever.

The most endangered car in Britain is the Morris Ital. According to figures from the website, only 35 registered examples remain.

The 10 most endangered British cars

Make and model Left 2015 Left 2005 Amount built % lost
Morris Ital (1980-1984) 35 185 175,276 99.98004
Austin Maxi (1969-1981) 140 318 472,098 99.97035
Austin Allegro (1973-1982) 170 543 642,340 99.97354
Vauxhall Chevette (1975-1984) 202 765 416,058 99.95145
Hillman Avenger (1970-1981) 215 291 638,631 99.96634
Morris Marina (1971-1980) 273 550 809,612 99.96629
Austin Metro (1980-1991) 464 8395 1,518,932 99.96946
Vauxhall Victor (1961-1978) 828 1050 827,159 99.8999
Ford Sierra (1982-1993) 3350 67817 3,470,524 99.90348
Ford Cortina (1962-1982) 3580 4967 4,154,902 99.91384

Built first at Cowley and then at Longbridge from 1980 to 1984, the Ital was the last production car to wear the Morris badge. In the past decade, 150 Itals have disappeared from Britain’s roads, and today the youngest Morris is on the verge of extinction.

The new data also highlights the decimation of the Ford Sierra, one of the biggest selling cars of the Eighties and Nineties. With more than 64,000 being lost in the last decade, less than one per cent of the total built now remain.

The Save Our Classics campaign is calling for a number of incentives to help motorists and enthusiasts maintain the dwindling stock of mainstream cars. The campaign’s five-point plan proposes the reduction of current UK road tax exemption from 40 years to 30 years and for an increase on current UK MoT exemption on vehicles made before 1960 to 1970, both intended to help reduce running costs and encourage ownership.

Other proposals include flexible insurance policies for drivers under 25 to make classic cars more affordable for young enthusiasts.

The campaign plan also aims to address the issues of an aging industry workforce by petitioning the Government to encourage schools and colleges to promote courses in classic vehicle restoration. It also suggests developing a nationwide network and online database of classic car-friendly garages and restorers to advise and support owners to look after their vehicles.

Save Our Classics logo
The campaign logo

Ian Fray, managing director at ClassicLine, said: “The cars that have made it on to the endangered list will come as a surprise to a lot of people. There’s some big name models there, but sadly due to the disposable nature of secondhand cars in Britain, these vehicles are extremely vulnerable.

“Many people will have fond memories of these cars and I believe that this new campaign will really capture people’s hearts and imaginations. These cars are a big part of British manufacturing history and we need to do all that we can to save them from the scrapheap and help people to preserve them and enjoy them for many more years.

Classic Car Days help keep our fleet of British Classic Cars on the road by putting all money raised from rental back into the cars upkeep. When will you experience a British classic car.

You can pledge your support for the Save Our Classics campaign at

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