It’s a new year and there’s new wave of special anniversaries to look forward to. Spanning 50 years of car production, here’s our top 13 car anniversaries to look out for in 2024.
Featuring notable classic cars, performance models, and humble daily drivers of the era, these cherished classics will be honoured throughout the year at classic car shows, on the track and at car club events. Whether you own one of the models featured, or are looking delve into ownership this year, with ClassicLine, you’ll find the right classic car insurance policy to suit your individual needs and usage.
Top 13 car anniversaries to look out for in 2024
Citroën Traction Avant (1934)
The Traction Avant, French for front-wheel drive, could be described as one of the forerunners of the modern family car. With an all-steel monocoque body shell, the Citroën Traction Avant was produced from 1934 initially in Paris, but also in Belgium, Cologne and even in Slough, where manufacturing continued until 1957. The Traction Avant was available in saloon models, as a convertible, fixed head coupe, and even estate hatchbacks and limousine models.
1934 Ford (1934)
A hotrodders favourite, the 1934 Ford Model 40, was an uplift on Fords V8 line and featured slight styling changes to the 1933 model. Starting from $500 new, the 1934 Ford was a popular seller with 563,921 cars produced in a single year. Available in Phaeton, Truck, Coupe, Delivery, Tudor, Fordor, Cabriolet, Victoria, in fact buyers at the time had over 10 different variants to choose from.
Will we see a gathering at this year’s National Street Rod Association Hot Rod Supernationals? Let’s hope so!
Austin Cambridge & Westminster (1954)
The Austin A40 Cambridge and A50 Cambridge were introduced in September 1954 as the replacement to the A40 Somerset. B.M.C. designed, 30,666 models were produced at the Longbridge plant from 1954-57. The Austin A90 Six Westminster was also released the same year and produced at the Longbridge plant from 1954-56 with 25,532 models made. With minimal differences between the two models, the Westminster and Cambridge doors were even interchangeable!
Hillman Husky (1954)
A unique and lovely car based on the mark VIII Hillman Minx, the Hillman Husky was half saloon car and half estate car, carrying up to 4 people when required. The car was only available in blue, grey, green or
sand colours to begin with. The Hillman Husky was considered the forerunner to the modern hatchback car and was produced until 1963.
Jaguar D-type & Jaguar XK140 (1954)
Jaguar had a bumper year in 1954 with the release of both the D Type and the Jaguar XK140.
The Jaguar D-Type was designed to win the Le Mans 24 hour race. As a racing car, it featured an innovate monocoque construction and aerodynamics that integrated aviation technology. Produced from 1954 to 1957, it is thought that only 71 models were made – 18 for factory teams and 53 for private buyers.
As the second car in Jaguars legendary XK lineage, the XK140 sports car was produced as the successor to the XK120 in late 1954 and was sold as the 1955 model. Available in three variations, roadster, drop head coupe convertible, and fixed head coupe, production continued until 1957 with 8937 models produced, eventually to be succeeded by the XK150.
Wolseley 6/90 (1954)
A familiar car of the era, the Wolseley 6/90 arrived in 1954 and was the first recipient of the new 2,639cc ‘C’ Series 6-cylinder engine which continued to be used in the larger BMC cars of the late 1950’s and 60’s. Designed by Gerald Palmer (of Jowett Javelin and MG Magnette fame), production ran in 1959 with a total of 11,842 cars produced across three series’ of the 6/90s production.
Mercedes-Benz 300SL (1954)
The Coupe that turned heads and still does today!
The Gullwing is one of the most recognisable Mercedes models, with its unique top hinged upswinging doors and power. It is also coined as being the world’s first four-stroke production passenger car. Presented to the world on the 6 February 1954, the 300SL went on to achieve great motorsport success. 1957 saw the last of the 1,400 Gullwing’s and the introduction of the 300SL Roadster with hardtop and soft top options, which continued to be produced until 1963.
Ford Mustang (1964)
Unveiled by Henry Ford II in New York on the 17th April 1964, Ford planned to only sell 100,000 Mustangs in its first year of production. But as with the halcyon days of car production, 22,000 were sold on the first day. Ford had (probably intentionally) created one of America’s best known muscle cars. Initially available as a hardtop and convertible model, over the decades, the Mustang has evolved with convertible, notchback, and fastback models introduced. Mustangs have been used as daily drivers to cherished classics, to all out-performance models – thanks, Carroll Shelby!
Our friends at the Surrey Mustang Owners Club will be hosting a celebratory event – keep an eye out for the details!
Porsche 911 (1964)
Initially revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, the Porsche 911 didn’t go on sale until 1964, 60 years ago. With its perfect proportions, flowing curves, and sporty attitude, the Porsche 911 went on to become one of the most recognisable sports cars in the world both on the track and on the road. The first generation 911’s were built up until 1972 with over 80,000 models produced, and subsequent models are still 2+2 seater, rear-engine cars.
Reliant Scimitar GT SE4 (1964)
In 1964 Reliant launched their new Scimitar GT at the Earls Court Motor Show. After spotting a car called the OGLE SX250 at the 1962 show, Reliant approached Ogle Design and asked to buy the rights for the design. With some subtle changes, the OGLE SX250 body shell was modified to fit the existing Reliant Sabre chassis and running gear. But with the addition of the triple SU carbs, the car now produced 120 bhp and propelled the car to a top speed of 117 mph. Between 1964 and 1966, 300 of the first SE4 series Scimitar GTs were built, proving something of a success for Reliant. The car initially cost £1,292, but this did include wire wheels, luxurious interior, and detailed instruments!
Sunbeam Tiger (1964)
When you give a Sunbeam Alpine a V8, it becomes a Tiger! Yes, that’s right, thanks to Ian Garrad, the son of the then Rootes Competitions Manager, and Carroll Shelby, the Sunbeam Alpine was adapted to take Ford’s Windsor small block V8 engine. Rootes did not have the manufacturing capacity to build the new Tiger and engaged Jensen Motors to carry out the series production of the Tiger I and II. Production of the MKI Sunbeam Tiger with a 260cu engine ran from 1964-66 6,550 models produced, with a MKII model following in 1967. Sadly, production was cut short when Rootes Group was taken over by Chrysler in 1967 and the model was discontinued.
Volkswagen Golf (1974)
In March 1974, the first production Giugiaro designed Volkswagen Golf rolled out of the factory. Designed as a successor to the Beetle, the first-generation VW Golf was front-engined, front wheel drive, and water cooled. With the introduction of the VW Golf GTI in 1976, this small car went on to the one of the most desirable hatchbacks of all time. Production of the first generation model went on until 1983, and there have been a further seven generations since.
Toyota MR2 (1984)
This mid-engined and ‘fun to drive’ car went on sale in Japan in June 1984, and joined the sporty Celica and Supra in Toyota’s UK range six months later. Beginning life as a protype in 1976, the global oil crises of the 70s stalled the project until 1980. The prototype was then reworked and tested by none other than Dan Gurney. The final car was lightweight, weighing only 977kg, fuel injected, had a sixteen-valve head, and T-VIS variable intake system – quite exotic for the era! The Toyota MR2 was so popular in fact, and the JDM market voted the Toyota MR2 Car of the Year 1984-85.
If you own one of the classic cars highlighted in this collection and would like to be featured on our news blog, we’d love to hear from you.