70 Years In The Making – Cars From 1952 Vs Cars From 2022

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To celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, we’re going to look at the great cars of 1952 and 2022 to see what made (and for the latter, what makes) them so great for their time.

From off-road specialists to sleek coupes and luxury sports tourers, join us on this journey of automotive innovation!


1952 Land Rover vs 2022 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler 2022 and Land Rover 1952

The go-anywhere nature of the original 1952 Land Rover, its incredible versatility and robustness is what makes it an absolute classic to this day.

In fact, a restored Series 1 Land Rover sold for $240,000 (£190,000) at auction in October 2020.

Until 1951 the Land Rover used a 1.6-litre four cylinder engine, but this was increased to a 2.0-litre unit from 1952, the very same year Queen Elizabeth came to the throne.

There were a lot of improvement tweaks to the original Land Rover in the early days. For example, in 1953 the standard wheelbase was extended by six inches to 86”, while some longer models became available. For the final two years of its production (1957-58), a diesel model was also made available, which used an engine that in various forms continued well into the life cycle of the Defender.

Moving over to the 2022 Jeep Wrangler and here you have another beast of an off-road vehicle, only this time things are a lot more technologically advanced. Hill descent control, electronic stability control, a rear view camera with parking assist guidance, a full 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s a lot more onboard this machine that makes it incredibly comfortable on and off the tarmac.

As is the case with most modern cars, the interior design is heavily focused on a more luxurius design. LED ambient lighting, climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel all demonstrate how far automotive tech has come in 70 years.

Despite the Land Rover Series 1 not having all these fancy gubbins, it still shares a brilliant four-wheel drive system and a similar box-shaped, rugged and practical design that these vehicles are both renowned for.


1952 Austin A40 Somerset Coupe vs 2022 Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe

A40 Somerset Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe

For its time, there wasn’t much as simple yet stylish as the 1952 Austin A40 Somerset Coupe. Sure, it didn’t have the type of handling or performance that would set the world alight for young buyers. However, it won a place in the hearts of the British public because of its dignified design and easy-to-drive setup.

Today, there are around 2,000 A40s left, though its 66mph top speed and leisurely 0-60mph time of 36.6 seconds probably won’t result in people jumping through hoops to part away with money for one. Nevertheless, they can make for a great collector’s item if you’re into classic motors.

Fast forward 70 years and a car in 2022 which draws upon parallels with the Austin is the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe. Now, you may be wondering how on God’s green Earth we could compare these two cars pictured above, but bear with us.

So, the Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is a car which receives plaudits for being a bit of a ‘slick Rick’. It’s essentially a family car for those that don’t want to swap the appearance of a lavish bachelor lifestyle for one of parenthood. That’s why it takes a lot of styling from the very well equipped A-Class, so you’ll get extravagant features such as Mercedes‘ top-spec MBUX infotainment system, flashy air vents, ambient lighting and wirless charging.

Of course, in 1952, none of this tech was even invented, let alone available to drop into a car. But just like having a Mercedes-Benz CLA in 2022 is making a statement that you’re not just any ol’ modern family, likewise owning a 1952 Austin A40 Somerset Coupe 70 years prior would draw just as many awe-inspiring looks from passers-by.


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1952 AC Buckland Sports vs 2022 BMW 8 Series

AC Buckland Sport and BMW 8 Series

AC is a British automotive manufacturing company with incredible pedigree and the Buckland Sports Tourer is one of its prized productions.

A coachbuilt car at heart, the Buckland Sports Tourer came about after the AC factory supplied Buckland Bodyworks with a rolling chassis that enabled a five-seater open touring design to be fitted. It has a lightweight construction, which when coupled with its six-cylinder, two-litre engine, meant that it could be reach impressive top speeds of 80-90mph.

The Buckland Sports Tourer had a level of performance that led it to be the first AC car to race at Goodwood in 1953.

In a more modern setting, the refined sports tourer of choice would be the BMW 8 Series, with incredible levels of refinement. A fantastic suspension setup with adaptive damping means it can waft over a rough road without even batting an eyelid.

Supporting this feeling of effortlessness is the 333bhp 3.0-litre standard petrol engine, which can take this chunky vehicle from 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds. There are even lots of plush features inside that make it super relaxing on long journeys, including adjustable heated sports seats with memory function, a futuristic head-up display and BMW’s famously reliable and intuitive iDrive infotainment system.


1952 AC 2-Litre Saloon vs 2022 Jaguar XE

AC 2-Liter and Jaguar XE

A high quality and low volume car. The AC 2-Litre was primarily a two-door saloon, but was also available in touring form. However, it was the former that, powered by its gently sporting 2.0-litre six-cylinder engine, formed the heart of the range. A four-door version was added to the range in 1953, by which time the ageing triple-carb AC engine’s output had risen from 74bhp to 85bhp.

Only 1,284 AC 2-Litres were produced between 1947-56, all made in Surrey. In 1951, the engine of this car had its power boosted from 74bhp to 85bhp. Another bonus is the design, which is offered in a beautiful mid-blue paint with blue leather upholstery and polished walnut dash.

Another prestigious British car maker is Jaguar, which began producing cars as early as 1935. But we’re not looking at classic Jaguars here, instead we’re shining our lights on the latest Jaguar XE. It’s a luxury executive car that does things differently to the more mainstream, popular German competition.

From its crisp, modern style and air of heritage, things are similarly encouraging under the skin, where you find a lightweight aluminium chassis designed to improve the car’s handling. Unlike its AC counterpart, the Jaguar XE has a much more fruity 201bhp unit that has mild hybrid technology that delivers even more eco-friendly CO2 emissions and saves on costs at the pumps.

It’s also remarkably sporty for an exec saloon. Handling is particularly good, with the XE eagerly darting into corners, whichever direction you point it in.


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