Hundreds of classic cars set for UK extinction

More than 600 models in the UK are on the verge of extinction, including the first-generation Aston Martin, according to data from the Department for Transport.

The statistics – updated to the end of 2014 – reveal that 638 types of car are down to 10 or fewer examples in the UK, and 222 of those have just one model licensed. Included in that list is the Aston DB1 – the first sports car to be built by the brand under David Brown’s ownership in 1948. And there are only five examples of 1965’s Citroen Pallas – the luxury version of the DS, which gives its name to the new posh brand.

There are also only five examples of Land Rover’s 127 – one of the original iterations of the Defender, adapted for ambulance and military use. And the UK has just one version of another big off-roader: the Hummer H1.

More popular classics facing extinction include the Lotus Cortina and Vauxhall Magnum – predecessor to the big-selling Cavalier. There are still 5,458 Cavaliers on the road, but that’s a drastic fall from 20 years ago when 1.5 million were in circulation.

A similarly big faller is the Ford Sierra. Back in 1994, there were more than one million Sierras on UK roads, but now there are only 3,765 examples.

The figures highlight the rarity of some newer models in Britain, too. Just one Lexus LFA had been registered at the end of 2014, as had nine Porsche 918 hypercars and 20 of KTM’s outlandish X-Bows.

Breakdown firm RecoverMe analysed the data on 30 million vehicles, and also found some old classics were being brought back to life. There was just one Daimler XJ6 in early 2014, but another had been restored by the end of the year. The Bristol 404 was extinct in 1994, but seven are now around.

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