En­dan­gered fam­ily favourites to save now

Nick Larkin’s top ten picks

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

Imag­ine you had a cou­ple of gi­ant pan­das – of the cute black and white an­i­mal va­ri­ety, not the min­i­mal­ist Fiat – as pets. You would see pan­das ev­ery day and end up li­ais­ing with zoos and other panda own­ers. Your life would be panda-filled. They wouldn’t be a nov­elty.

How­ever, the lat­est of­fi­cial panda cen­sus (we sus­pect the world’s pan­das got sick of peo­ple with clip­boards knock­ing on their doors all the time) sug­gests that there are just 1864 in the world and 300 in cap­tiv­ity.

It’s the same in the clas­sic car world – some cars that were once com­mon street fur­ni­ture are now des­per­ately near ex­tinc­tion. The Vaux­hall Cav­a­lier An­tibes is be­lieved to have gone com­pletely.

Fre­quent ap­pear­ances at shows – in­clud­ing the Grampian Trans­port Mu­seum’s ex­cel­lent How Many Left show, which takes place at the Aberdeen­shire at­trac­tion on 21 May – cre­ate the il­lu­sion that there are far more sur­vivors than there re­ally are. The re­al­ity is that our col­lec­tive minds haven’t re­ally ad­justed to the fact that cars we used to see ev­ery day of the week have all-but dis­ap­peared. Now, surely, is the time to save them.

The ten clas­sics con­sid­ered here are very much on the en­dan­gered list, de­spite once be­ing the sort of car you wouldn’t give a sec­ond glance to, but there are many more oth­ers in jeop­ardy too.

Isn’t it about time more of us gave a home to these in­creas­ingly rare beasts?

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