Extinction-threatened modern classics | Car Talk - Car News Feb 2020

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10:17 Friday 28 Feb 2020

The alarming rate that many once popular models are disappearing from UK roads has been highlighted by Retro Cars magazine.

They collated DVLA data for their latest issue in order to shine a light on the dwindling numbers of formerly ubiquitous motors.

A prime example is the Lada Riva, whose popularity is now easily overlooked but with sales of over 33,000 in 1988 – aided by a ‘hilarious’ TV ad campaign featuring comedy mainstays Cannon & Ball – was once one of the UK’s best-selling cars.  Recession-weary mid-to-late 80s motorists snapped up the Riva in their droves, attracted by the offer of finance from £99 per month at ‘only’ 19.5% APR, however it is now arguably a modern classic of the rarest kind, and with just 49 surviving roadworthy examples it is more exclusive than a Pagani Zonda.

Another modern classic threatened with extinction is the Alfa Romeo 146, as despite being described at the time by Jeremy Clarkson as ‘the only small hatchback I’d be seen dead in’ there are just 89 left on UK roads.

Other former Top Ten sellers facing impending doom are the Rover 800 with just 468 left, the remaining 409 Peugeot 309s, the last 324 Nissan Bluebirds, 286 Citroen BXs and just 218 Fiat Unos.


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