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Morris Ital close to extinction


RESEARCH by leading classic car insurer, ClassicLine, has revealed that a number of once-popular British classic cars are facing an extinction crisis.

The list of top ten most endangered cars in Britain has been published by the insurance specialists as part of its new ‘Save our Classics’ campaign.

Taking the top spot on the endangered list is the British Leyland built, Morris Ital. The new figures reveal that there are only 35 registered examples left.

Built at Cowley and then later Longbridge between 1980-1984, the Ital was the last production car to wear the Morris badge. In the past decade, 150 Itals have disappeared from Britain’s roads, and today, the youngest car in the Morris family is on the brink of extinction.

“Once-common 1970s and 80s cars are disappearing at an alarming rate and this new list is evidence that a serious extinction crisis is mounting,” said Ian Fray, managing director at ClassicLine. “Tens of thousands of Itals were built during the 1980s. They are a proud part of our British manufacturing heritage so it is very sad to hear that so few now remain.”

The new data also highlights the decimation of the iconic Ford Sierra. With over 64,000

being lost in the last decade, less than one per cent of the total built now remain.

Other cars high on the Save our Classics endangered list include the 1980s best seller, the Austin Metro, the Ford Cortina, the Austin Allegro, the Vauxhall Victor and the Hillman Avenger.

Fray added: “It is a tragedy that such huge numbers of these cars have been lost in the last decade. Through our new campaign we aim to raise awareness and support for the plight of these once-common and much-loved British classics that are being recklessly driven to extinction.”

The new Save our Classics campaign encourages the preservation of British classic cars and has called for a number of incentives such as reducing the current UK road tax exemption from 40 years to 30 years to help enthusiasts maintain the dwindling stock.

Drivers and enthusiasts can pledge their support to the campaign through the ClassicLine webpage and join the growing community of ‘spotters’ who are being encouraged to share sightings of the endangered cars when they see them out on the road.

For more information about the campaign and to pledge your support visit classiclineinsurance.co.uk/save-our-classics or facebook.com/saveourclassics

Top 10 endangered cars in the UK

2015 2005 Amount built % lost
Morris Ital (1980 – 1984) 35 185 175,276 99.98004
Austin Maxi (1969 – 1981) 140 318 472,098 99.97035
Austin Allegro (1973-1982) 170 543 642,340 99.97354
Vauxhall Chevette (1975 – 1984) 202 765 416,058 99.95145
Hillman Avenger (1970-1981) 215 291 638,631 99.96634
Morris Marina (1971 – 1980) 273 550 809,612 99.96629
Austin Metro (1980 – 1991) 464 8395 1,518,932 99.96946
Vauxhall Victor (1961 – 1978) 828 1050 827,159 99.8999
Ford Sierra (1982 – 1993) 3350 67817 3,470,524 99.90348
Ford Cortina 3580 4967 4,154,902 99.91384


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