Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hail Britannia

Welcome to the first installment of G&G's World of Cars , recognizing the contributions each automaking nation has made.

First, we start off with the United Kingdom, creator of Top Gear, Monty Python, Harry Potter, the Spitfire, the Titanic, several Oscar winning actors and too many hit pop and rock artists to list here.

The sun may have set long ago on the British Empire and almost all the iconic cars that came from the UK are defunct,or owned by American, German, or Indian conglomerates, but the classics that originated there live on in legend

First, the godfather of the small roadster, the MG TA Midget

The Morgan Plus 4; the gold standard of wealthy collectors over the age of 60

Of course there's the Rolls Royce Phantom, the ride of Hollywood and Saudi royalty

The Mini; icon of 60's London hipness

One of the most beautiful examples of automotive design art, the Jaguar XKE

The Aston Martin, the car of choice for James Bond. This is the Aston Martin Vanquish driven by James May in the Nevada to Mexico trip on Top Gear's Series 19 Episode 2 which aired on February 10, 2013

The Bentley Continental, driven on the streets of London by John Lennon and into swimming pools by the the late legendary drummer Keith Moon

And of course the workhorse of BBC news and documentary crews around the world, the rugged though temperamental Land Rover

Last but not least, the Anglo-American collaboration, the AC Cobra. Yes, that's the car William Shatner and Kaley Cuoco drive in the Priceline commercial

For those of you who wonder if it's only the British who drive on the "wrong" side of the road, the left hand lane/right hand drive is the rule of the road in every nation of the Commonwealth except for Canada. Japan is the only nation not a Commonwealth member with left lane traffic.

Quite an impressive list of automotive excellence from the UK, but let's not forget that like all countries they had their share of vehicles in the Hall of Shame. Examples are the Morris Marina, Austin Allegro, Triumph Stag, Ford Cortina, Triumph TR-7, and numerous infamous models. British Leyland is a primary example of the fallacy of government run companies and all were wired by the infamous Lucas Electric, the butt of more jokes than the Yugo

When all is said and done though, well done mates!

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