The 20 Year Challenge: How some of the UK’s most popular cars have changed

When you think of a classic car, you’re probably more likely to think of a Jaguar E-Type or a Ferrari Daytona than a Vauxhall Vectra. But according to insurance companies, a classic car is aged 20 years or older, meaning that any car released during 1999 or earlier technically is a ‘new’ classic in 2019.

Here at Euro Car Parts, our recent research discovered that there are nearly 400,000 classic cars on the roads in Britain and we thought it would be interesting to see how much some of the UK’s most popular classics have changed over the past 20 years.

We spoke with motoring expert and journalist Tim Barnes-Clay to find out what he thinks defines a true classic car.

“Some cars are pretty much guaranteed true classic status as soon as they roll off their production lines. I’d happily put my chips down on the likes of the Ferrari F12 Tdf or the Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge becoming future classics that will command a substantial sum. The reasons for this are clear; they’re rare cars from important, illustrious brands.

“Whilst factors like design and brand are crucial, for me innovation could be the most important. Innovation drives progress, and when we see a car that furthers the entire market with a new feature, it instantly becomes significant. With current innovation heavily focused on developing eco-friendly cars, I wouldn’t be surprised to see examples like the Mk 1 Toyota Prius becoming classics.

“Cars like the I-Pace are popular because they combine every aspect. It looks fabulous, drives well and is one of the first of a new breed of luxury electric SUVs that will soon become more common on our roads.

“Whatever the future holds, it’s going to be fun seeing who correctly predicted the true classics of tomorrow. If like me, you love cars, the continually changing scene is an exciting thing to witness, no matter how close you happen to be to it.”