Surprisingly, there are quite a few old cars still available and in production around the world today.
The Morgan 4/4 first appeared I 1936 and was Morgan Motor Company’s first car with four wheels. Previous models were only three wheelers. Aside from breaks during the Second World War and March 1951 to September 1955 the Morgan 4/4 has been in continuous production. Engine capacity increased from the 1,122 cc Coventry Climax to the 1.8 litre Ford engine in 2004, although the engine is now back down to 1,595 cc. It is the world’s longest running production vehicle.
The Caterham Seven started off in 1973 when Caterham Cars bought the rights to the Lotus Seven, a lightweight sports car built by Lotus Cars. Today, the Caterham Seven still continues although it is now based on the Series 3 Lotus Seven. It is available in kit and fully assembled form.
The Lada Niva went on sale in the UK in 1979 and this off road vehicle can still be bought today. It’s had other names around the world; Lada Sport in Iceland and the Lada Cossack and later Hussar in Britain. Since 2009 it is known as the Lada 4x4. The Niva inspired Suzuki’s Vitara and has lead the way for all mass produced off road vehicles. Official exports of the Niva to the UK stopped in 1997 because of difficulties in sourcing the GM fuel injection unit which was needed to meet UK emissions regulations. The basic Niva became available again in May 2010 via an independent importer. It only comes with a 1.7 litre petrol engine and is aimed primarily at the agricultural market.
Depending on where you are in the world you may see some very old cars. For example, in the Far East you are likely to come across the Nissan Cedric Y31 and the Toyota Crown Comfort. Both cars are used as taxis in Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. If you are travelling in Iran you might well see the Nissan Junior 140 (1970) where it is known as the Zamyad Z24. You can also buy a Peugeot 405 in Iran; now known as the Samand it is based on the 405. In parts of South America and Africa you will come across the Renault Clio II but sadly it has the MK2 front end styling of the MK4. The original Volvo XC90 is still available in China as the XC Classic and is built at the Volvo factory in Daqing.
Head to Egypt and you’ll see the Hyundai Verna which was launched in 1999 and you can buy the Hyundia Fluidic Verna in India. The Lada Riva was built by Russian car manufacturer AvtoVAZ and launched in 1980. Production in Russia stopped between 2010 and 2012 but the Lada 2107 continues to be produced in Egypt. Competition from Hyundai, Kia and Proton helped push Riva out of business in the UK. The strict EU emission requirements also paved the way to Lada withdrawing from the UK market in 1997.
It’s nice to see some of these amazing cars still being produced. What cars now out of production would you like to see back on the road?