Days numbered for old motoring favourites

Last updated 09:59 02/07/2014
Austin Allegro

DISAPPEARING ACT: The quirky Austin Allegro is among many classics that are disappearing from roads in the UK.

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There are just 161 Austin Allegros left on British roads.

The quirky four door built by British Leyland in the 1970s has almost become extinct while another popular family car, the Ford Cortina, has had a better fate. There are almost 3500 Cortinas left running in Britain - but it's a big drop from the millions sold when it was new.

The figures of what cars are still on the road come from weloveanycar.com, a British car review site. It has launched a service that allows users to check how many cars of a particular make and model are still licensed on British roads.

The largest group of drivers on British roads were born in the 60s and 70s. But the cars of their youth have now almost gone - there are fewer than 22 Bond Bugs to go with the 161 Austin Allegros. Ford Cortinas, once Britain's most popular car, now number 3482.

There are 2477 Triumph Stags and 1258 Triumph 13/60s. But just 42 Hillman Hunters.

These figures don't include those cars which are "unregistered" or have been taken off the road. There are thought to be more Allegros in classic car collections than licensed to drive on the roads.

About 2.6 million Cortinas were sold in Britain so just 0.1 per cent of the Ford success story remains on the roads.

There are 4119 Ford Sierras, the Cortina replacement, still licensed of the 1.3 million sold in Britain.

Specialist models such as the Ford Sierra Cosworth (RS and Sapphire) tend to be better preserved than the average Sierra, with 956 still licensed - that's more than 23 per cent of all Sierra models remaining.

Even cars which were built much later can be rare. Although Renault changed the market when they built the Espace, they didn't achieve the same success with the Avantime. There are 23,049 Renault Espace models but only 273 Avantimes still registered for British roads. And there are just 19 Renault Fuegos.

Using UK government statistics, the car review site has made it easy to look at how many cars are exactly like the one they drive or one they used to drive.

A spokesman for WeLoveAny Car.com said, "Our easy-to-use site allows anyone to look at how exclusive their cars are and in some cases drivers might be surprised to find they are one of a handful driving the model they own."

Even current car owners can be in a very exclusive group. There are only six examples of the Audi Q7 SE TFSI 333 Quattro model and just nine of the Peugeot 308 Sportium E-HDI S-A variant.

The data supplied is taken from British Government information from 1901 to December 2013.

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- Waikato Times

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