5 Most Popular British Sports Cars

January 27, 2012

When thinking of sports cars American muscle cars come to mind quickly as do Porsches and Italian super cars, but there are a number of classic British sports cars out there, too.  Some are even household names, like Jaguar, but others are perhaps lower profile than some of the offerings from other nations. That doesn’t mean they aren’t great cars, though.


Although Jaguar originated before World War II, they were known then under the name Swallow Sidecar and manufactured sidecars for motorcycles. The new name was adopted after World War II mostly because they didn’t want the initials of the company to be “SS” Although Jaguar is known for producing luxury cars they also have built a lot of great sports cars. In fact, at the time of its introduction in the early 1990’s, the XJ220 was the world’s fastest production car.

Jensen Motor Cars

With its origins set before the start of World War II, Jensen Motor Cars is best known for two vehicles that could be considered sports cars. The first was the CV8, which debuted in 1962. The other was 1972’s Jensen Healey. Beyond those two iconic vehicles the company was best known for producing luxury vehicles.

Lotus Motor Cars

Founded in the 1950’s, Lotus started by building cars for Formula One racing. Many of their cars were unique creations, but they have built several production vehicles. Even then, though, the numbers are usually quite limited. The Lotus Esprit, as an example was produced for 2 years, but in that entire time they built less than eleven thousand of them.  


Although MG has manufactured other types of cars, the company is best known for two-seater sports cars. The MGB’s and MG Midgets both had times of popularity in the United States. Started in the years before World War II and has been consistently producing cars ever since (with the exception of the war years).


Another British manufacturer, Triumph actually has its origins in the 1800’s when the company was founded to produce and sell bicycles. They became the Triumph Motor Company in 1930. Over the years the company produced a number of great sports cars, most notably the TR-3 and TR-7’s. 

Even though British car makers might not immediately come to mind when you think of sports cars, they really have produced their share. Who can forget Jaguar, Lotus, MG or Triumph. Although Jensen might not be as high profile a British manufacturer, they have earned their place in automotive history, too.

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