From the elegance and class of an Aston Martin, to the rough and dirty nature of a Land Rover, British cars come in all shapes and sizes – including Mini. Their influence has extended across both land and sea to leave an impact on drivers and the world as a whole. While many car manufacturers in the country have come and gone over the years, there’s no denying that Britain has produced some of the most noteworthy cars in existence. Let’s take a look at just of few of the best car companies to ever come out of Britain.
Aston Martin is a company synonymous with elegance. Founded in 1913 by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, the company has a long and storied past of producing some truly awe-inspiring luxury sports cars. Their very first car was produce in 1908 when Martin decided to take the chassis of a 1908 Isotta-Fraschini and put a four-cylinder engine in it. Since then, Aston Martin has been responsible for manufacturing some of the best cars to ever hit the road, including entries from both their DB and Vantage series. Their vehicles are so beloved that they’ve even gone as far as becoming one of the official car brands used by fictitious secret agent James Bond.
Though no longer in the game, no discussion of British car manufacturers would be complete without at least touching on Austin-Healey. The company came into being in 1952 when the British Motor Company’s Austin division and the Donald Healey Motor Company decided to work together for a 20 year agreement. During that time the company gave the world the likes of the Austin-Healey 100, 100-6, 3000, and Sprite.
Jaguar Land Rover now operates under one banner, but these two instantly recognizable British car companies have had an on-again, off-again relationship that would rival that of Ross and Rachel. While Jaguar dates back to the 1930s and Land Rover to the 1940s, the two companies didn’t work together until 1968 when they were both acquired by the British Leyland conglomerate. They would later split again as Jaguar became a subsidiary of Ford and Land Rover became a subsidiary of BMW. It wasn’t until 2008 that both companies came back together again when they became a subsidiary of Tata Motors and adopted the name Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC. Across the course of their tenuous relationship, they have both put out some of the greatest cars to ever exist. From the iconic style of the Jaguar E-Type to Land Rovers famous “Huey” series.
Arguably the most recognizable company on the list, the MINI marque was founded in 1969. However, its origins can actually be traced back to the 1959 Mini that was manufactured by the British Motor Company. This new line of compact and fuel-efficient cars was developed in response to a fuel shortage in Britain caused by the 1959 Suez Crisis. Since their inception, MINI has elevated past the ranks of other car companies to become a full-blown cultural fascination. Their iconic MINI Cooper has been showcased and displayed across all form of pop-culture media, including the 1969 hit film The Italian Job, as well as its 2003 remake.
Much like Austin-Healy, the Triumph Motor Company is no longer is business but that doesn’t mean they haven’t earned their spot. With origins dating all the way back to 1885 in the import/export business, Triumph was one of the oldest car companies in existence. During their years of operation, the Triumph Motor Company was responsible for developing both the TR and Spitfire series, two highly respected vehicle lines. Unfulfilled with their cars alone, however, the Triumph Motor Company also went on to become a well renowned name in the world of motorcycles as well.