Great Britain has a lot to be proud of: tea-drinking abilities, fuel cards, our unique sense of humour, and truly brilliant British-made cars that revolutionized the motor industry. This list revisits the iconic cars that defined an era and they haven’t been ranked by top speed or flashy appearance like their contemporaries. Instead, this celebrates the combined characteristics that make these cars truly unforgettable.

Olga Besnard /

Lotus Elise
The late great Lotus founder Colin Chapman designed the Lotus Elise to perfection. Prior to the Elise bursting onto the motor scene, the company was in a state of turmoil, so this truly salvaged their reputation as a remarkable car company. First launched in 1996, the Elise marked the return of a genuinely affordable British sports car. And a cleverly designed one at that – Chapman insisted that the unnecessary bulk and weight of most cars be stripped from the Elise to fine tune them for performance and smooth handling.

aGinger /

Aston Martin DB5

This speedster may be recognized worldwide as the car belonging to James Bond in Goldfinger, but the DB5 doesn’t need the glamour of 007 to make it appealing. Released in 1963, the Aston Martin dazzled with its incredibly high performance and sophisticated feel featuring pile carpet interior and electric windows – features we may take for granted now but an innovation in the early 1960’s. The DB5 was (and still is!) a statement of luxury and style, certain to make anyone feel like a secret agent.

Maxim Blinkov / 

Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II
First launched in 1959, The Silver Cloud II merged class and sophistication with practicality. A vast improvement upon its former model, the second Silver Cloud was the first Rolls Royce-produced car to feature a V8 engine, which gave it an impressive top speed of around 115 mph. The acceleration and stoppage times were also extraordinary (reaching 0-60 mph in roughly 10 seconds); remarkable for such a heavily built car! The Silver Cloud didn’t let its weight limit its potential and this is why it is still seen as a feat of engineering today.

Bocman1973 /

Jaguar E-Type
The Jaguar E-Type was as much of a ‘60’s icon as Twiggy or The Beatles with its sassy appearance and incredible performance.  First launched onto the motor scene in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type became an overnight success for Jaguar, selling over 70,000 during its brief lifespan. Even Enzo Ferrari was bowled over by the E-Type, claiming it to be the most beautiful car ever made. High praise indeed! The Jaguar E-Type had incredible looks and the performance to back it up, making it more than capable of keeping up with other sports models of the time. For many this will always remain THE ultimate British car.

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