Moto Magazine

Proud to Be British: Historical Cars

Posted on the 18 May 2013 by Classiccarweekly @classiccarweek

When you think of British cars, you will automatically think of sports cars, Rolls-Royce, along with the typically British Land Rover and Mini! Britain has been an established car manufacturer since the late 1800s. With exquisite iconic brands such as Aston Martin, McLaren, Lotus, TVR, Bentley and Jaguar exporting the epitome of British-ness to over 170 countries.

It was in 1860, when Thomas Rickett, made the first British steam-powered car… The rest is history. It was then car manufacturer Rootes, who fast tracked Britain in to becoming Europe’s largest motor distributing company by 1926.

1860 Rickett Steam Carriage photo 1860RickettSteamCarriage_zpsf033c0ee.jpg

1860 Rickett Steam Carriage (drawing)

Car business was booming as people wanted to find new ways of achieving that adrenaline rush. In 1909, Louis Coatalen was appointed as chief engineer at Sunbeam and began designing cars capable of achieving high-speed records at Brooklands racetrack in Surrey.

The car industry truly flourished around the time of the war. There was a rush for new technology, safer and quicker transport, and this only fed our need for speed. British sports cars are iconic, and popularity increased significantly during the 1950s. The war was finally over, and many people had disposable income to play with. Motor racing was also thriving, and more people wanted to feel that rush.

In 1973, Caterham Cars in Surrey opened its doors, developing specialist lightweight sports cars.  It was Colin Chapman that launched the Lotus Seven, which has since been evolved in to the Caterham Seven, still in production today.

Surrey itself is rich in car manufacturing history, with Invicta gaining sporting success when it won awards for reliability in 1926 driving 5,000 miles. Recently, the name was revived for the Invicta S1 sports car produced between 2008 and 2012. The company Auto Carriers Ltd, also known as “AC”, also moved to moved to Surrey in 1911. Their first four-wheeled car was produced in 1913; it was another little sporty number that Britain could be proud of. Be sure to find a car dealer in surrey, which can help find you that perfect car. Be proud to be British.


This post is the first of a number of weekend guest posts that are currently in the works. It comes to us courtesy of Amanda Walters, a journalist, blogger, poet and an artist. She have written for various websites including Huffington Post, DailyWaffle and had her concrete poetry work exhibited at university events in the UK. She love to network, attend events across the UK, and loves to learn in order to expand my horizons and gain inspiration from those around her. Follow her on twitter.

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