In the course of automotive history, no single decade has witnessed the introduction of so many outstanding vehicles than the Nineteen Sixties.
During the Sixties a number of the smaller, independent manufacturers had managed to survive and even flourish. Despite their emergance, the mass market was now dominated by Britain’s version of the Big Three, Ford UK, Vauxhall, a subsidiary of US General Motors and the massive British Motor Corporation (BMC).
Chasing hard on their tails during the Sixties were the Rootes Group through their component companies, Hillman, Humber and Sunbeam.
Another UK company who succeeded in consolidating if not increasing their market were Triumph, offering a wide choice of vehicles from saloons to roadsters- all well designed, solidly constructed and competitively priced.
To many, the stars of the UK car industry were Jaguar producing a beautifully designed and well produced sports cars and luxury saloons, with the undoubted star being the E-Type either in open topped roadster format or as an exquisite 2+2.
In Europe Italian car makers were back in full production, and enjoying export sales, particularly at top end of the market, with Lamborghini and Maserati joining Ferrari to dominate the luxury sports tourer niche in mainland Europe as well as across the US.
It was business as usual throughout the rest of Europe, with Citroen and Peugeot in France. Fiat of Italy continued to enjoy similar success with their own version of the " people's car -the 500, while at the same time increasing their market coverage and expanding their global export markets.
All through the Sixties, cars produced in West Germany continued to be in demand, with Volkswagen leading the way. The Freiburg based giants were less dependent on the Beetle for sales, bringing in some new mid range models. Other German car makers began to appear and re-appear on the scene, in particular Audi and NSU.
In Sweden, both of the country's car manufacturers, Saab and Volvo, went from strength during the Sixties, firmly consolidating and growing their market position while increasing their range of models.
Now more than half a century after the last Fifties or Sixties Classic car rolled off the production line of Great Britain and Europe's car factories and Europe, the hunger to save the remaining survivors of these momentous years continues.
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