Now it is certainly not MotorMartin’s intention to shock and/horrify but I feel that this latest news item to arrive at a shocked MotorMartin Towers has the potential to create feelings of unease, panic and dismay. In which order only you will know but please, take a moment to prepare yourself before continuing.

ClassicLine, a leading classic car insurer, have informed MotorMartin that their own recent research has revealed that a number of once popular British classic cars are facing an extinction crisis. So much so that the list of the top ten most endangered cars in Britain has been published by the insurance specialists as part of it’s new ‘Save our Classics’ campaign.

Shockingly, taking the top spot on the endangered list is the British Leyland built, Morris Ital. The new figures revealing that with only 35 registered examples left they are now rarer than a Javan Rhino. Crumbs.

MotorMartin has been reliably informed that these beauties, an example of which can be seen above, were built at Cowley and then later Longbridge between 1980 – 1984 and, rather incredibly, the Ital was the last production car to wear the Morris badge. In the past decade, a shocking 150 Itals have disappeared from Britain’s roads, and today, the youngest car in the Morris family is on the very brink of extinction.

“Once common 1970’s and 80’s cars are disappearing at an alarming rate and this new list is evidence that a serious extinction crisis is mounting”, explained Ian Fray, managing director at ClassicLine to MotorMartin, “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”.

Unbelievably, The new data also highlights the decimation of the iconic Ford Sierra. Often seen roaming across the British landscape in vast numbers through the Eighties and Nineties they are now in a worrying state of decline. 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 1980’s best seller, the Austin Metro, the once popular 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.”

All of this overly distressing news means that the new Save our Classics campaign, is becoming more and more important. Launched earlier this month by ClassicLine the 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, MotorMartin urges you to visit or you know it makes sense.

Top 10 endangered cars in the UK according to ClassicLine

                                                                  2015        2005         Amount built

Morris Ital (1980 – 1984)                         35           185              175,276

Austin Maxi (1969 – 1981)                     140          318              472,098

Austin Allegro (1973-1982)                  170          543              642,340

Vauxhall Chevette (1975 – 1984)        202         765              416,058

Hillman Avenger (1970-1981)             215          291              638,631

Morris Marina (1971 – 1980)                273          550              809,612

Austin Metro (1980 – 1991)                  464         8395            1,518,932

Vauxhall Victor (1961 – 1978)             828          1050            827,159

Ford Sierra (1982 – 1993)                     3350         67817          3,470,524

Ford Cortina (1                                       3580          4967           4,154,902

MotorMartin recommends that you checkout the information source: and see how many of your own favourite 80s classic are left, but don’t blame me if you’re left with tears in your eyes.

Where will you go?

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