9 Classic British Cars That’ll Bankrupt You Through Repairs And Maintenance

Britain is home to some of the world’s most beautiful cars ever. Stunning cars such as the Bentley S2 Continental, the Morgan 3-wheeler, and the legendary 1964 Aston Martin used by James Bond all hail from Britain. These beasts pack a serious punch under the hood – or, as the Brits would call it, the bonnet.


With a century of experience producing cars, British manufacturers have a vast array of awesome classic cars under their belt. However, the royal land has also had terrible cars creeping out. Owning classic British cars is courting trouble as some were unreliable, poorly designed, and downright disappointing. Hop on, and let’s discover ten classic British cars that we wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

9/9 Marcos Mantis M70

Marcos Mantis M70 - Front Quarter
Via Car From UK

While Britain is the mother of many beautiful models, some can be flat-out ugly, and no one wants to be near one. The Marcos Mantis was one of the ugliest cars in production.

Marcos Mantis M70
Via: 

Not many know anything about Marcos Engineering. It remains unknown even in many places in the UK. Some might argue that by making some of the weirdest cars ever, this company would set itself apart from the competition. All that this did was set them up for failure.

8/9 Morris Marina

1974 Morris Marina DL 1.8 Front View
Vauxford Via Wikimedia Commons

Top Gear dropped so many pianos on the Morris Marina that it is now infamous as a bad car. Not only did this car have a horrid design, but it also adopted the outdated platform of the 1948 Morris Minor.

1976 Morris Marina Front Quarter View
Arpingstone Via Wikimedia Commons

The poorly-ran company had many incidents of unsatisfied factory workers going on endless strikes that resulted in rushed production and cars with many underlying problems. Using a substandard chassis and suspension to save on costs only cost Marina heavily.

7/9 TVR Cerbera

TVR Cerbera - Front Quarter
via Classic Car Auctions

Unlike the first two mentioned vehicles, the TVR Cerbera was an undeniably stunning grand touring sports car. This car was TVR’s third in their lineup after the Griffith and the Chimaera. It was TVR’s first with a hardtop and a 2+2 sitting.

Blue TVR Cerbera
Via: Daily Advent

Thanks to a 4.2-liter V8 engine capable of a massive 350 horsepower, this classic car was not all looks but was also fast. However, this engine was also the car’s worst problem. Cerbera owners spent countless hours in the repair shops because this engine had many recurring issues. Besides, Cerberas had electrical faults and poor build quality, ultimately leading to the TVR’s downfall.

Related: TVR Cerbera: Why It’s Now Legal To Import The British Sports Car

6/9 Triumph TR7

triumph_tr7_1974_rear
Via: Favcars

This horrible car was a letdown to the designers since a few years earlier, they made the iconic TR6, but they couldn’t deliver this time. Its wedged shape made the car hideous and nothing more than a look-alike to a slab of cheese.

Related: 10 Things Only True Gearheads Know About Triumph And Their Cars

1979 Triumph TR7 Convertible Sports Car In Gold
Via: Mecum

Besides the poor styling, the TR7 was a disappointment coming in to replace its predecessor, the TR6. Where the TR6 used a splendid six-cylinder engine, triumph opted for a less-powerful four-cylinder to propel the TR7.

5/9 Jensen Interceptor Mk 3

Jensen Interceptor Mk 3 on the road
Via dragtimes.com

When the world first saw the Interceptor in 1966, untold excitement filled the air for this classic car with a cool name. The Jensen Interceptor was hand-built, featured a sleek design, and had a comfortable interior. But its most intriguing feature came from underneath the hood in the form of a 7.2-liter Chrysler V8 rated at 305 horsepower.

Mustard 1974 Jensen Interceptor MK3 in parking lot
eBay

But it was not all romantic for the Interceptor, as it got poor gas mileage during a fuel crisis. Issues of rust also plagued the 1971 Mark III variant.

4/9 Aston Martin Lagonda

Black Aston Martin Lagonda
Bringatrailer

Aston Martin cars are synonymous with luxury and exquisite style, except for the Lagonda. The disastrous design introduced for the Lagonda in the 70s had extremely sharp edges that they must have cut themselves making those panels.

Related: Ranking The 10 Best Aston Martin DB Models

aston_martin_lagonda_1976_side
Via: Favcars

This car was so thin that it looked like it starved itself on a diet of hot water and dinner mints. This car came with what Aston Martin dubbed the latest technology and computer-driven electronics, but these had many recurring faults.

3/9 Austin Allegro

Austin Allegro
Via HistoricsAuctioneers

If you want to see how classic British cars fell into a dark age, the Austin Allegro is a perfect example of this poor era. Austin designed these cars to be advanced family sedans and equipped them with front-wheel drive and Hydro-gas suspension.

Austin Allegro parked outside
Via honestjohn.co.uk

However, the company used outdated tools and machines from WWII era in its production. The result was a car with significant issues, such as wheels that would fall off randomly, rear windscreens that would pop out, and the fact that it was more aerodynamic going in reverse.

2/9 Lotus Elan M100

Red Lotus Elan M100 on the driveway
Via Bring A Trailer

The first generation Lotus Elan was a masterpiece that set the standards too high for its successors. It came out in 1962 when Lotus engineering was a decade old to become one of the most popular Lotus cars of the time, selling more than 10,000 units.

Related: The Time Kia Built A Lotus Elan For Koreans Who Didn’t Know Any Better

1991 Lotus Elan M100 (Yellow) - Front Right
Via BringAtrailer

Sadly, Lotus couldn’t reproduce similar success with the second-generation Elan. Also known as the M100, the 1990 Lotus Elan should have been a competitor to the popular and beloved Mazda Miata, but that order was too tall. It rode on a front-wheel-drive system and made a measly 160 hp making it hard to choose among fierce competition.

1/9 Hillman Avenger

avenger tiger front
source:flickr

Chrysler’s Rootes Division developed the Hillman Avenger and equipped the small car with a rear-wheel-drive system. During this time, there was a growing family car market, and this brand-new car intended to appeal to it. The Avenger went up against competition such as the Ford Escort, the Vauxhall Viva, and the Morris Minor.

avenger tiger
source:flickr

While this classic car was generally good, many problems plagued it prematurely. For instance, terrible rust in the front wings, front floor pans, and rear wheel arches were regular sightings in early Avengers. Electronics were awful, and the cars had dangerous braking problems. It’s no surprise that natural selection wiped out most of these cars, and less than 0.5% survive today.

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