British GTs: Market Watch

There are those who will delight in pointing out that the GT in GT cars is actually short for 'Gran Turismo', and that such a nomenclature would seem to indicate an Italian connection. This may be true but, damn it all, surely everyone knows that the finest and most proper recent GT cars have hailed from Britain?

See, there's a GT for nearly every budget
See, there's a GT for nearly every budget
Such machines are, we romantically suppose, imbued with the sweat, toil and passion of the designers who drew them, as well as the specialists who built them and the enthusiasts who yearned after them. After all, was it not the British who invented the Grand Tour? No, wait - not that Grand Tour. I mean the original Grand Tour. You know, the one on which rather well off young men fresh from Oxbridge would trot off to discover the charms and art and culture of Europe and beyond, before settling down to the inevitability of married life and a career spent in a bank/operating theatre/law court/the House of Lords.

Yes, it was, and for that reason the British grand touring car, distinct from the common sports car or irrelevant supercar or loutish hot hatchback, is surely to be considered the very pinnacle of motoring sophistication. You could argue that the initials 'GT' have been debased over the years by various over-commercialised motor racing activities and the plastering of them over far too many lacklustre family cars, and I would not disagree with you. But to be behind the wheel of a proper GT, with a flexible, powerful and - above all - refined engine, and a layout that provides effortless performance and a decent range, seated in a luxurious interior that wants for nothing, with enough room for a small gathering of loved ones and luggage, is to enjoy one of the very finest motoring pleasures that man can achieve.

Here we've given some of the finest British GT cars the Market Watch treatment. We've taken prices from our PH classifieds section, and we've found some very reasonable second-hand examples starting from as little as £12,000, the price of a new Vauxhall Adam...

Aston Martin DB9
Bentley Continental GT
Jaguar XK
Rolls-Royce Wraith




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Comments (11) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Murphy16 11 Sep 2017

    Quite similar to an article in this months 'Modern Classics'. Inspiration maybe? biggrin

  • Big GT 11 Sep 2017

    The article in Modern Classics rates the XKR as the stand out car and I would agree, Jag made a world beater GT/Sports coupe at the time and I don't think many came close while it was in production.
    Strong engine and great chassis, probably the only negative is the interior on some - very 'golf club Jag' and only Auto Box but a beautiful capable car.

  • Robert-nszl1 11 Sep 2017

    Owned a Bentley Conti, and was nice but didn't get the heart rate up. Drove an XKR and liked it, but again not special enough. Surely the DB9 or Vanquish win the crown of the British GTs? V12 always more special, great looks, bespoke interior etc

  • Hammerhead 11 Sep 2017

    Loved my 5.0 XK Portfolio. I'd have another tomorrow (if Mrs Hammerhead had the 'sensible' car instead of me!)

    It was a great GT car but also quite happy blatting through the twistie stuff. Totally reliable, too.

  • Futse 11 Sep 2017

    Beautiful car, great pic. Very nice!!

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