Landmark Year For Iconic Classic Cars< Back to blog
But with all the exciting new toys, its easy to forget those that have come before them. This year marks a landmark one for many of the renowned classics among the automobile industry. We take a look at eight of the best classic cars celebrating milestone birthdays in 2021.
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1. Alpine A110 – (1961)
The Alpine A110 started out as a 51bhp race car back in 1961. Which pales in comparison to the 375bhp that Toyota‘s 2020 championship winning car produced. The A110 however, stormed the 1971 Monte Carlo rally – with five of the top nine drivers competing in an Alpine A110, including 1st and 2nd placed drivers.
After which Renault, that worked closely with Alpine previously, decided to buy the brand and use the cars to compete all over the world. The jewel in the A110’s crown came after winning the inaugural World Rally Championship in 1973.
Technology began to catch up though, and in 1977 the last Alpine A110 was built, before Renault decided to ditch the brand altogether in 1995.
Celebrating it’s 60th birthday in 2021, fans were finally treated to a relaunch of the classic car in 2018 when Alpine released its first A110 in over 40 years.
2. Jaguar E-Type – (1961)
Described by Enzo Ferrari as the ‘most beautiful car in the world’ – the Jaguar E-Type turns 60 this year and its legacy still lives on six decades later.
It’s 265bhp 3.8-litre engine could reach up to 150mph even in 1961. That lead to a string of impressive race performances that initially Jaguar had no intention of producing. The E-Type’s impressive torque made it perfect for the winding roads of British tracks such as Silverstone, where it was driven by the winning driver twice throughout the 60’s.
Because of its early racing success, Jaguar decided to tweak its design slightly to make the car lighter and more aerodynamic. However, it didn’t take long before the British manufacturers decided to step back and produce the E-Type as an intended GT.
Classic E-Types are still raced today however, and its legacy is continued by its successor, the Jaguar F-Type.
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3. DeLorean DMC-12 (1981)
The story of the DeLorean DMC-12 is like something out of a film (no, not that one).
Government funding followed by years of corruption, oil crises, and recessions meant selling the eye-catching DMC-12 was proving much more difficult. Eventually, after its government funding ended, DeLorean could no longer afford to produce its flagship model.
The gull-winged sports car was made famous again in 1985 by heavily featuring in the Back To The Future franchise, but by that time it was too late.
The DeLorean was consigned to the history books of classic cars, until a return to the model was rumoured in 2017 – with some sources claiming a 2022 launch.
4. Bugatti EB110 (1991)
The Bugatti EB110 was unveiled exactly 110 years after the birth of founder Ettore Bugatti – hence the name EB110.
Celebrating its own birthday in 2021, the super car was adequately categorised. Sending 555bhp to a 4-wheel drive system made the Bugatti scarily quick. So quick in fact that the EB110 had a brief stint racing, featuring in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994. The first Bugatti to do so in over half a decade.
Despite being able to do 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds, the French manufacturers only produced 139 of the EB110’s, the last of which came in 1995. To say they are well sought after would be an understatement.
5. Fiat 127 (1971)
1971 was the year the world was introduced to email. Yet, that wasn’t the most convenient thing to come out of that year, the Fiat 127 takes that prize.
Timed to perfection, the oil crisis of the early 70s meant that economical cars sold better than ever. And Fiat managed to elongate the 127’s success by constantly updating the hatchback as well as producing different models like the 127 station wagon.
Running until 1983, the Fiat 127 was one of Europe’s best selling cars and was awarded the European Car of the Year in 1972. It is no surprise then that despite its 70hp output, the 127 is still widely celebrated 50 years later.
Fiat maintained its place as one of the world’s leading manufacturers in to the present day. Lease one today from one of the UK’s top leasing providers at Moneyshake.
6. Rolls Royce Corniche (1971)
The name Rolls Royce comes with a certain prestige. And it owes a lot of that reputation to the 1971 Corniche.
As you might expect the Corniche came with crafted from expensive wood and high-quality leather that attracted the rich and famous from all walks of life. None more so than the music industry. Paul McCartney, David Bowie, and Elton John among a list of A-list names to have owned a Rolls Royce Corniche.
Much like the Fiat 127, regular updates to the car kept it fresh and in demand – remaining in production until 1982 before it was replaced by the Corniche II.
7. Jaguar C-Type (1951)
The Jaguar C-Type gained instant fame after it won the 24 Hour Le Mans race in its debut year, 1971. The first of Jaguar’s seven competition wins.
The C-Type catapulted itself into legendary status in 1953 for two reasons. It became the first Le Mans winning car to average over 100mph. Made more impressive by Jaguar’s innovative use of disk brake technology at the competition.
But what is better remembered is the tale of the C-Type’s driver winning the competition while being hungover. Of course, we strongly condemn any driving under the influence, and doing so in todays society would rightly land you in a lot of trouble. But back in 1951, it said a lot about the C-Type and its revolutionary disk brake system.
8. Renault 4 (1961)
Not the grandest looking car on our list, the Renault 4 was branded the first ever ‘car for living’.
Few disagreed as Renault sold more than eight million models in 100 different countries. A spacious interior that could be increased even further when folding the rear seats contributed to those numbers. The 4’s practicality made it one of the most popular cars to come out of its era.
Renault weren’t satisfied with just a practical car though, and decided to race the 4 model in a series of long distance rallies. Most famously, the Marreau brothers, Claude and Bernard, finished in third place at the 1980 Paris-Dakar Rally driving a Renault 4.
After a 33 year stint, the Renault 4 officially ceased production in 1994. Variations of the model are still raced in rallies across the world today.
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