• Special display of once unexceptional – and now scarce – everyday models
• Showcase in association with The Telegraph and MotorEasy
• Now rarely seen Allegros, Ambassadors, Itals, Laurels and Royales
• Wide range of tickets on sale – kids under 16 go free!
It turns out that Britain’s rarest cars may not be limited production supercars, but once popular mainstream models that have not survived the test of time.
Over the years, the numbers of Mini Metros, Vauxhall Vivas and Renault 5s have dwindled at alarming rates, meaning that few of those old favourites live on today. Many have fallen prey to various scrappage schemes, rust or merely neglect.
Their enduring place in many family histories, though, always stirs memories and their lasting appeal is regularly showcased in the motoring pages of The Telegraph as well as in the metal at next month’s Silverstone Festival (25-27 August).
It all began in 2018, when Paul Hudson, the Motoring Editor of The Telegraph, discussed various types of cars that had seemingly vanished from our roads with his contributor Andrew Roberts. The result was a series of articles under ‘The UK’s Rarest Cars’ banner followed by a special display at Silverstone in 2021 where a bright green Hillman Hunter GLS and a Signal Amber Ford Cortina Mk. IV distracted the visitors' attention from many a classic Formula One icon.
Such was the interest that the display returned in 2022, now with enthusiastic support from MotorEasy, the one stop shop for improving the ownership lifecycle of motorists.
"We were delighted to be invited back in 2022. This was possibly the only time a Vauxhall Cresta PC 'Standard', a Citroën Ami Super Estate and a police Wolseley 6/99 have ever graced the Silverstone track!” said Roberts.
Fuelling further nostalgia, The Telegraph's display is now returning for a third showcase at this summer’s Silverstone Festival, again with backing from MotorEasy.
This time Roberts has assembled a captivating collection of 25 models dating from the 1970s to the 1990s – all have appeared, or are about to appear, in The Telegraph’s ‘Rarest Cars’ feature.
“This year's line-up will feature a cross-section of machinery,” explained Roberts. “The velour-upholstered decadence of the Toyota Crown saloon and the Vauxhall Royale will appeal to those with a taste for the early 1980s 'executive' life, a time when ownership of a Sony C7 video recorder was a hallmark of success in outer suburbia. On the other hand, the Morris Ital and Ford Sierra somewhat less managerial and were once virtually street furniture, as commonly sighted as Wimpy Bars.”
Some of the exhibits, such as an early Peugeot 205 and a Fiat Uno, helped redefine an entire market sector, while others never caught the motorist's imagination in this country.
“Each of these cars is now a more unusual sight than many of the expensive marques at Silverstone Festival – and each exhibit conveys priceless memories stirring instant flashbacks to a lost time of Adam & The Ants and Crossroads on ATV,” continued Roberts.
“Above all, the 25 cars all tell a story – of their manufacturer, of their commercial success (or not) and of their owners' reasons for buying them. Some wished to own the sort of vehicle their parents once drove; some could not resist buying an incredibly rare machine, while others fell prey to the lure of beige paintwork.
“To quote the owner of an extremely unusual Lancia: ‘Anyone can have a Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini; all one needs is money. But nobody else can have a UK-registered, right-hand-drive Trevi automatic because there's only one. And it's mine!"
Continuing its support for the display for a second summer, MotorEasy is excited to be fuelling further nostalgia at the home of British motor racing.
"The MotorEasy team is proud to be back again at Silverstone Festival, sponsoring the Telegraph’s carefully curated exhibit of the UK’s 25 rarest cars,” confirmed Duncan McClure Fisher, CEO of MotorEasy. “We are all huge car fans and are excited to review the vehicles selected this year, but we are equally thrilled to be amongst the many enthusiasts attending the event to showcase our Digital Garage.
“The free to use MotorEasy Digital Garage enables car owners to manage all their vehicle needs in one place, including storing documents, building vehicle service history, receiving reminders on important dates like MOT and Tax renewals, as well as access a fantastic range of savings on motoring products and services. Since its launch in 2016, some 850,000 motorists have added their cars to the garage, including a fair share of exotic vehicle owners."
All 25 cars will be on show over the weekend, with a special track parade among the car club anniversary cavalcades on Saturday.
A wide-range of tickets for the Festival are available, including camping and VIP hospitality options.