The story of British car industry is one of the most interesting tales in car history. Once upon a time, Great Britain was the biggest exporter of motor vehicles in the world. They got there by producing signature machines and dominating several market segments. However, today, the real British car industry no longer exists. Brands like Rover, Austin, BMC, Singer, Sunbeam and Jensen are long gone.
So, what took them down? Inadequate management, subpar quality and missed market opportunities were their downfalls. The surviving brands are all under the ownership of foreign companies. Nowadays, BMW owns Rolls Royce and Bentley owns Volkswagen. The Tata Group from India owns Range Rover and Jaguar, and a Kuwait investment firm now owns Aston Martin.
Practically, all automotive jewels from the British crown are in foreign hands. This is a big blow for traditionalists, especially how Jaguar and Land Rover belongs to a company from an ex-British colony, India. Despite all that, the British car industry is still highly respected among automotive enthusiasts. It is full of important classic models, innovative designs, legendary sports cars and several groundbreaking designs.
Read on to discover the essence of cars from UK through a deeper look at the 14 most iconic machines. You will also be able to see how important the British car industry was and why it is still influential even today.
Jaguar has always occupied a place in the market as a brand that produces unique, elegant, powerful and fast cars. During the 60’s, they enjoyed enormous success with the Mk2 Saloon and legendary E-Type sports car. But, the product that withstands the test of time is the famous XJ6.
Jaguar introduced the XJ6 in 1968 and back then, there was nothing similar on the market. The XJ6 was a low, sleek and elegant sedan. Jaguar equipped it with powerful straight six engines and a 5.3-liter V12 for the most demanding customers. This was the first car to perfectly blend luxury with sports appeal and a signature shape. The XJ6 lasted all the way up to 2009 through eight different generations.
Throughout its iterations, the Jaguar XJ6 was always a popular luxury car in America. This means there are plenty of them around. Some of the early models are quite affordable. This could be the perfect starter classic if you are into legendary British motors.