14. The Jaguar Mark 1 1955
October 19th 1955 at the Earls Court Motor Show was where it all started, Jaguar had started production of the Mark 1 and this was a huge step for the British car-maker. This was the first Jaguar model to enter the lucrative small car luxury market. In the fifties, there was money in saloon vehicles, this style of model outsold roadsters meaning making the Mark 1 was a no-brainer. Scribes of the day called the Mk1 a great driver’s car and it was no slouch either as you could opt for a 2.5-litre engine or even more powerful 3.4-litre power plant. From the off, two models were offered on the Jaguar Mark 2 range, a Standard car and a Special Equipment trim priced from £1,269 and £1,298 respectively. The extra £29 did not put many buyers off, in fact the flagship Special Equipment was the best-selling car. The larger 3.4-litre engine was a great success in the export market, particularly in the USA where powerful engines were all the rage. Producing 210bhp, this meant the 3.4-litre unit was quick in a straight line, perfect for the North American market.