It’s unusual nowadays for any car to stay on the market for much more than a decade before being replaced by one which has been designed from a clean sheet of paper (or, more likely, a blank computer screen).

There are, of course, exceptions. Some cars have kept going for 20 years or more. Others have hung around for upwards of half a century.

Claims about long production runs can sometimes be easy to dismiss. Ford has been building Fiestas for 42 years, but nobody would claim that today’s Fiesta has anything to do with the one launched in 1976, so we’re not going to count that.

In other cases, the situation is trickier to get your head round. Does it count if the manufacturer stopped building a car for several years and then restarted? Is it fair to ignore interruptions due to war when nobody was building cars at all?

We’ll be taking these things into account while listing 26 of the longest-lived cars in automotive history.

Ford Start slideshow