Classics in UK Disappearing at Alarming Rate

Recent research by leading UK classic car insurer, ClassicLine has revealed that a number once-popular British classic cars are facing an extinction crisis.

Saving Our Classics

The list of top ten most endangered cars in Britain has been published by the insurance specialists as part of its new ‘Save our Classics’ campaign.

Taking the top spot on the endangered list is the British Leyland built, Morris Ital. The new figures revealing that with only 35 registered examples left they are now rarer than a Javan Rhino.

Built at Cowley and then later Longbridge between 1980 – 1984, the Ital was the last production car to wear the Morris badge. In the past decade, a shocking 150 Itals have disappeared from Britain’s roads, and today, the youngest car in the Morris family is on the very brink of extinction.

Is the Morris Ital on its way out

“Once common 1970’s and 80’s cars are disappearing at an alarming rate and this new list is evidence that a serious extinction crisis is mounting”, said Ian Fray, managing director at ClassicLine. “Tens of thousands of Itals were built during the 1980s, they are a proud part of our British manufacturing heritage so it is very sad to hear that so few now remain”.

The new data also highlights the decimation of the iconic Ford Sierra. Often seen roaming across the British landscape in vast numbers through the Eighties and Nineties they are now in a worrying state of decline. With over 64,000 being lost in the last decade, less than one percent of the total built now remain.

Other cars high on the Save our Classics endangered list include the 1980’s best seller, the Austin Metro, the once popular Ford Cortina, the Austin Allegro, the Vauxhall Victor and the Hillman Avenger.

Fray added, “It is a tragedy that such huge numbers of these cars have been lost in the last decade. Through our new campaign, we aim to raise awareness and support for the plight of these once common and much loved British classics that are being recklessly driven to extinction”.

The new Save our Classics campaign, launched earlier this month by ClassicLine encourages the preservation of British classic cars and has called for a number of incentives such as reducing the current UK road tax exemption from 40 years to 30 years to help enthusiasts maintain the dwindling stock. Drivers and enthusiasts can pledge their support to the campaign through the ClassicLine web page and join the growing community of ‘spotters’ who are being encouraged to share sightings of the endangered cars when they see them out on the road.

For more information about the campaign or to pledge your support visit or

Top 10 endangered cars in the UK

2015 2005 Amount built % lost
Morris Ital (1980 – 1984) 35 185 175,276 99.98004
Austin Maxi (1969 – 1981) 140 318 472,098 99.97035
Austin Allegro (1973-1982) 170 543 642,340 99.97354
Vauxhall Chevette (1975 – 1984) 202 765 416,058 99.95145
Hillman Avenger (1970-1981) 215 291 638,631 99.96634
Morris Marina (1971 – 1980) 273 550 809,612 99.96629
Austin Metro (1980 – 1991) 464 8395 1,518,932 99.96946
Vauxhall Victor (1961 – 1978) 828 1050 827,159 99.8999
Ford Sierra (1982 – 1993) 3350 67817 3,470,524 99.90348
Ford Cortina 3580 4967 4,154,902 99.91384

Information source:


1 Comment

  1. Age alone dose not make a classic, and most of the cars on the list have few features that warrant the term Classic. These were cars that got one from pillar to post and not much else, and they might have been someones treasure at one time but that time has gone and that someone has moved on. Save the things that matter and recycle the rest. I have rocks in my yard that must be a million years old and might shine up nice but they are still just stones. I’ve been enjoying Brit iron since 62′ and still do with a XKE,Triumph T140 and a modern Mini Cooper S. I’ll keep the T140 until I can no longer kick-start the old girl and as I’m 78, that day is creeping up on me.
    Don Hilston

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