The British motor industry took its first tentative steps way back in the 1895 when engineer Frederick Simms befriended Gottlieb Daimler and acquired the rights to build Daimler’s engine in Britain.

While the exact date of the first all-British automobile remains a source of contention, Richard Stephens is generally credited as building the first cars with solely local componentry in 1897. From there the British motor industry went from strength to strength, peaking in the 1960s as the world’s second largest automobile manufacturer.

The face of the motor industry may have changed drastically since those heady days but we are blessed with a number of timeless classics that emerged over the past 120 years.

As a tribute to our inspired designers and manufacturers we take a look at some of the very best cars from the early days right up to the turn of the 21st century.

With so many worthy classics out there we couldn’t possibly list them all so let us know your favourites too. Start slideshow