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Top 10: Classics you no longer see

A classic doesn’t have to be an expensive piece of exotica in order to be rare. Some of the models that were a fairly common sight 20 or 30 years ago are now seldom seen on the roads of Britain – or even at classic car events. Indeed, in some cases they’re bordering on extinction.

Despite such rarity, some of the cars featured here are still in the doldrums value-wise. So if you should happen to spot one locally and can persuade its owner to sell, you might just end up with a bargain. Check out our ten top examples of classics that you scarcely see in the 21st century.

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Chrysler 180 & 2-Litre

With looks that resembled an overgrown Avenger, the new 1812cc Chrysler 180 was unlikely to set the executive saloon market alight when it arrived here from France in 1970. Even the launch of a 1981cc version – sold, logically enough, as the Chrysler 2-Litre – three years later did little to improve the car’s fortunes, with both the 180 and 2-Litre spending the next seven years as two of the worst-selling executive saloons of the ’70s. Just one 180 and a pair of 2-Litres are thought to still be in the UK. Well, when did you last see one?


buspasser    on 8 May 2017

I had a Santana. Unlike the Passat it had an Audi 2 litre 5 pot

PhilJohn    on 8 May 2017

Thank God that we do not see these 10 on the road, how you can call these classics, isn't it obvious why we do not see them, wouldn't advise anybody to look out for and buy one of theses.

David Chapman    on 12 May 2017

You've clearly owned all 10 to be able to pass such judgements. Some of them were actually very good cars (the Samba, Y10, Fuego and Santana for instance - all of which I've owned or driven). A car not selling well isn't a reason to discount it, conversely just because something is rare, doesn't make it a classic! Perhaps the author needs to rename the article. A lot of poor car sales in the 80s were down to stereotyped consumer perception (e.g. all Italian cars rust, all French cars will break down), shoddy marketing and a less than enticing dealership nextwork.

Kev Sprack    on 8 May 2017

The local Polski-Fiat dealer was previously a Wartburg dealer., only changing when Wartburg imports ceased. It says a lot that he considered them vastly inferior to the Wartburg (A fine little car! 60k miles in 4 years without a hiccup!), and refused to sell me one!

I also had a Citroen LNA. My first ever new car. One night, during a torrential rainstorm, on a country lane, it showed me what understeer meant! Straight into a stone wall on a bend. Other than that, it was quite a nice little car.

Edited by Kev Sprack on 08/05/2017 at 15:50

bobber    on 8 May 2017

The photo of the FSO - on Polish plates - shows a rare example of a car in old communist Poland with it's windscreen wipers fitted. Usual practice was to remove them when parking up, otherwise they would get nicked while you were away!

Johnfrog    on 10 May 2017

I bought a Vauxhall Cavalier 2000cc GL Mk1 in 1978. Wonderful car in it's day but never appears in Honest John's Classic lists. The ones built in Luton fell to pieces but mine was made in Belgium in the Opel factory.....which is why I still own it !

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