Pick any era in the automobile age and you'll find a British car at the vanguard of technological innovation and exceptional quality. From Bentleys to Jaguars, Land Rovers to Mini Coopers, some of the most beautiful things ever on four wheels have been born and made in Britain.
To celebrate so many decades of great British cars, we've assembled an almost-definitive list of the Top 10 Coolest British Classic Cars Ever Made. If you find yourself holding the keys to any of the following, consider yourself lucky...
1) Bentley Blue Train, 1930
A car that defines British pre-war cool, the Blue Train - driven by Woolf Barnato, no less - was quick enough to outpace a train between the Côte d’Azur and Calais - and in a 2015 re-race featuring a Continental GT3-R, the Continental barely beat the Blue Train's 1930 average speed. A stunning car.
2 ) Jaguar XKSS - 1957
Any car owned by Steve McQueen - his was in British Racing Green - is guaranteed to be cool. All sleek lines and race-ready curves, the XKSS has been called 'the world's first supercar'. In 2016, nine were built from scratch with a price tag of £1 million - and each was worth every penny.
3 ) Jaguar XK120 - 1947
Arguably the car that made Jaguar famous, the XK120 was a racing-winning track car that became a head-turning road car too. The definition of mid-century cool, the beautiful interior is matched only by the low-slung curves of the chassis. A true movie star's car and a favourite of Clark Gable, no less.
4) Jaguar E Type Semi
Never mind being the most beautiful British car ever made, the E Type is quite simply the most beautiful car ever made anywhere. Beyond description, quick as lightning, a work of no little engineering genius, and a design classic that's stood the test of time. Incredibly cool.
5) Aston Martin DB3
Built for speed and made to last in more ways than one, the DB3 proved it's enduring quality early, winning the prestigious Le Mans race in 1959. Decades later, what survives is it's gorgeous design and showstopping power.
6) AC Ace
Made by the oldest car manufacturer in the UK and the predecessor to the equally-mighty AC Cobra, this sleek 2-door roadster is an under-appreciated classic - as quick, nimble and powerful it is beautiful. Rarer than others in this list, but every inch as cool.
7) Mini Cooper S
An utterly unique, mound-breaking design classic. More than just an iconic car, it's an iconic piece of British pop culture. The slowest car on the list, yes - but among the most special. Just ask any Mini owner.
8) Lotus Elan
Emma Peel's car of choice in The Avengers and every bit as striking as Diana Rigg herself. When it was made in the 60s, it looked like something from the future and in many ways, it still does. The epitome of angular, eye-catching 60s cool. Jim Clark, arguably the world's finest-ever racer, owned one personally too.
9) Range Rover
Like the Mini, a car that has become an unshakeable part of the fabric of the country. Not just built-to-last but almost indestructible, its muscular, utilitarian appeal has never gone out of style. Chances are it never will.
10) McLaren F1
Designed by Gordon Murray (another Lotus Elan owner, by the way), the F1 is one of the world's greatest-ever production cars, the fastest naturally aspirated car ever made for the road and a true landmark in car engineering. A true one-off, and not just because of those unforgettable wing doors.
11) Ford Escort Mexico
How could any list of coolest classic British cars omit the Escort? If nothing else, it proves that that most-lamented of decades, the 1970s, did produce works of design excellence...