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The Motorists' Guide

10 Final Quintessential British Vehicles

Steve Q

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In the final installment Steve takes a look at another 10 British vehicles. 

Morgan 4/4

The 4/4 has been produced by the Morgan Motor Company since 1936 and the current styling was introduced on the Mk2 in 1955. All 4/4 models are fitted with a ford 4 cylinder engine and manual gearbox and is still in production. the 4/4, like other Morgan models is made with traditional methods of using a wooden frame made from ash and then covered in an aluminium skin. This means all Morgan's are hand made and no two cars are identical, and can be fully personalised by the first owner. They have proven very popular both here and abroad and currently the waiting list goes into years rather than months. 

File:1967 Morgan 4 4 2-seater - fvr.jpg - Wikimedia Commons


Founded in 1945 by Joseph Cyrill Bamford, JCB was been producing a variety of earth moving, agricultural, construction, waste moving and demolition machinery which is renowned across Europe and other parts of the world, and a most famous for their bright yellow/orange digger and tractor range. JCB also broke the land speed record in their Dieselmax land speed record vehicle which clocked a speed of 350.092mph. 

File:JCB 3CX ECO backhoe loader at VDNKh, Moscow.jpg - Wikimedia ...

Land Rover Series models 

The series Land Rovers were the first mass produced civilian 4 wheel drive vehicle with doors fitted and started production in 1948 to be a competitor at the successful yet 2 wheel drive Willy's Jeep. There were 3 Series variants built between 1948-1985 and all were available is a short wheelbase, long wheelbase, pickup, convertible and modified variants for different uses such as in cherry pick or recovery vehicle form. The series Land rovers proved an instant success both with farmers and the British military and as such helped Land Rover to build a reputation of building "go anywhere" vehicles.  

Land Rover Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures


Launched in 1955 the MGA replaced the TF-Midget and became an instant success in America and other export markets selling over 101,000 units. Of those fewer than 6,000 cars were sold to UK buyers making it one of the least sold cars at the time on the UK market. Engines came either as a 1500cc or 1600cc and a twin cam model was available. The MGA also proved to be very competitive in motorsport where it has won multiple regional and National events in the USA and was entered into the 1955 Le Mans race where two cars finished 12th and 17th. 

Photo: MGA Mille Miglia 1955

AEC Matador/Marshall

The Matador was a lorry built by Associated Equipment Company between 1938-1953 and was available as a 4x2 or 4x4 configuration and distinctive due to its flat front, radiator grill and cured roof. A 6 wheeled version was also produced known as the Marshall but its design was the same. In civilian use the Matador proved very successful as a tow truck, in forestry work, construction roles but the Matador is most famous due to its invaluable service during the Second World War where it was used for troop transport, tanker roles, supply transport as well as an artillery tractor. 

A.E.C. Matador (1945) | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AEC_Matador | Flickr

Range Rover Classic

The Range Rover was the first executive vehicle from Land Rover and notably the first executive four wheel drive vehicle, which combined Land Rovers off-road capabilities but the luxuries of an executive saloon car. Built between 1969-1996 it became an instant hit in the UK and America and was available either as a 2 door or 4 door with a V8 or later a diesel engine. 

Good old honest Range Rover before the slide into bling an… | Flickr

Jaguar XJS 

The XJS was designed to be the replacement for the very popular E-Type and available as a coupe or convertible, the latter came much later during production. Designed to be a grand tourer the XJS was built between 1975-1996 with engines ranging from V6 through to V12, the latter being the first true mass produced V12 engine in a production car. Despite not looking as pretty as the E-Type, it certainly is a design that looks better with age. The last role of the dice for the XJS was when Ford owned both Jaguar and Aston Martin, of which Ford used the XJS chassis and bulkhead on the Aston Martin DB7. 

File:1989 Jaguar XJS.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

Rover BRM LE 

Named after Rovers BRM race car the Rover BRM was based on the Rover 200 3 door family hatchback but featured a British Racing Green paint job, red quilted leather, alloy wheels, sports suspension, alloy gearknob and other alloy interior trim plus an orange grill surround and fitted with Rover's 1.8 K-series engine and reportedly faster, with better handling than the MG ZR which was also a sportier version on the 200 bodyshell. With only 1,145 examples ever built it is now a very rare and future classic. 

File:1999 Rover 200 BRM 1.8 (2).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Land Rover Defender

The Defender was the successor of the Series 3 Land Rover and was also known as the 90, 110 or 130 dependent on chassis length. Built between 1983-2016 the Defender was able to build on the reputation of the former Series models and proved popular with the British military, farmers and general members of the public who had recognised the Defender as a UK cult vehicle. It has also been described as a classless vehicle as it has the ability to blend in on any street and have been driven from all walks of life. Even the Queen owns one. It could be argued the last iconic Land Rover which has a loyal following. 

HD wallpaper: vehicle surround with trees, winter, land rover ...

DeLorean DMC-12

The DMC-12 is the only British car to be built in Northern Ireland between 1980-1982 and was devised by John DeLorean who was a former General Motors designer. With a chassis designed by Lotus, a stainless steel body with gullwing doors and a 2.8 V6 petrol engine, on paper the DMC-12 had the makings of a supercar. Unfortunately it wasn't to be due to quality control issues, poor vehicle performance and a drugs scandal surrounding John DeLorean, it left the company in tatters after only 2 years of making cars. The cars biggest claim to fame was in Back to the future when Doc Brown builds a time machine out of a DeLorean. 

Download free photo of Car,asphalt,delorean,parking lot,bttf ...

Does it count?

This is one I want our readers to decide on and let us know in the comments whether you think the ZS can be considered quintessentially British. 


The MG ZS was based on the Rover 45 which  technically was a Honda design with Rover influences which was down to Rover/Hondas partnership in the later 80s/early 90s. The last of the line ZS models were aimed towards younger buyers thanks to its pearlescent paint finishes, large spoilers, side air vents and bodykits which fitted right in with the Maxpower era and ultimately did help boost sales. Along with engines which ranged from the 1.8 K-series engine through to the 2.5 V6 engine found in the bigger Rover 75/MG ZT. 

2005 MGZS Absolutely immaculate SOLD | Car And Classic


I hope you've enjoyed reading this 3 part installment on quintessentially British vehicles as much  as I have enjoyed compiling them. 

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