What is the oldest car model on sale in the UK?
What are the oldest cars on sale in the UK today? This is a question that is not as easy to answer as you might think.
This is because there are so many models that have had the same name for decades, including the Mini, the Porsche 911, the Land Rover Defender and the Caterham Seven.
So I’m going to be a bit arbitrary here and weed out various models as they are too different from their early editions to count. Ditching the Mini is easy, as it’s philosophically so different from the 1959 original.
The same goes for the VW Beetle. The Range Rover and Porsche 911 are getting closer to qualifying because the look and intent of both models is the same as when they were born.
But there isn’t a curve or component on either car that’s the same as when each was new, although both are instantly recognizable. So they went out.
The Land Rover Defender has also changed considerably over the decades, but it is visually, conceptually and philosophically close to the original, and the pickup version even shares a component with the 1948 version.
But the Defender is certainly not the oldest new car on sale today. This distinction belongs to the Morgan 4/4, born in 1936. Although many parts of this car have also changed, notably the transmission, the advantage of this car is that it is pretty much the same as the original. from 1936.
Attractively, the 4/4 was only 22 years old before it became the first car to remain in production for a century. The 4 / 4’s Plus Four Siblings is a little less squeaky for launching as recently as 1938, while the very young Morgan Plus 8 debuted just 48 years ago in 1968.
Other old people? There’s the Lotus Elise, which despite its facelift is pretty much the same car underneath, making it 18 years old. Its ancestor the Caterham Seven dates back to 1973 in terms of branding, but the model itself, the Lotus Seven, was born in 1957.
Surprisingly, the conceptually similar Ariel Atom is now a decade behind, and the soon-to-be-replaced Mazda MX-5 is not far behind at nine years. And at the other end of the scale, the Bugatti Veyron is at ten.