British

1985 Mini

1987 Mini1987 Mini1987 Mini1987 Mini1987 Mini

Britain’s answer to the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mini was the most popular British car ever, with upwards of 5.3 million sold between 1959 and 2000. I’m only guessing at the year of this one, though I think it’s a Mk V (1984-1989), and since this car wears a British Leyland badge (defunct in 1986), I pegged it at an ’85. They really didn’t change much, honestly.

Paris, France

Photos by The Professor

2012 Aston Martin Cygnet

2012 Aston Martin Cygnet 2012 Aston Martin Cygnet 2012 Aston Martin Cygnet 2012 Aston Martin Cygnet

Stolid and unassuming, this ugly duckling may be one of the rarest cars I’ve ever come across in the wild. Some executive in Warwickshire evidently thought it would be a grand idea to take a £11,000 city car, slap on an Aston Martin badge and a fancy interior, and sell it for £32,000. That’s $51,000. For a Toyota iQ. It’s no wonder this project fell flat on its face, as the quota of 4,000 sales a year was never even approached. And by never approached, I mean it was never even in the realm of possibility. In three years of marketing this car, Aston Martin shifted fewer than 150 units. That’s 50 a year. Take the Bugatti Veyron, for example–the most expensive, most exclusive supercar the world has ever known. Bugatti capped production of this engineering masterpiece at 450 units, to ensure rarity. That’s still three times as many Veyrons on the road as Cygnets. So if any of you happen to live in London and you spot one puttering past, snap a photo–they won’t be around for long.

London, England

Photos by The Professor

1973 Jensen-Healey

1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey 1972 Jensen-Healey

A car that was a mess of different parts from different manufacturers: Lotus engine, Vauxhall suspension, Chrysler transmission…none of it worked very well. Most of these rusted out a long time ago; this one seems to have lived its whole life in Southern California and has fared considerably better.

This car, which marked the end for two fine British marques, was not so fine itself (I suppose that’s why it marked the end, then).

Santa Monica, CA

Photos by The Professor