February 12, 2019

Happy birthday to... these classic vehicle manufacturers

From small coachbuilders to global automotive players, 2019 is a year of big birthdays. We delve into the history books to see where these car manufacturers started and look at how they’ll celebrate.

Bentley

On 10 July 2019 Bentley will reach its centenary. Founded by W.O. Bentley to ‘build a fast car, a good car, the best in its class’, the first-ever prototype was created in a London mews and today Bentley still produces phenomenally powerful and lovingly crafted cars. 

Bentley says it has a wide range of centenary activities planned between now and the end of 2019, including a series of Extraordinary Dinners taking place around the world. Click here for the full calendar of events.

Bugatti

Ettore Bugatti founded the company that uses his name in Molsheim, Alsace in 1909. The company will be 110 years old and is keen to celebrate the past and present with a variety of events. Both a rally from Milan via Paris to Molsheim and an official celebration in Molsheim are planned.

Citroën

Citroën was founded by André Citroën 100 years ago. With its first car, the Type A, launched on 4 November 1919, the French car brand has produced more than 300 models since; some of which have forever marked the automotive industry in terms of design and innovation.

A number of club events have been announced for the centenary, alongside officially organised celebrations, including during Rétromobile.

Morgan

Another great British automotive brand has its anniversary this year. It’ll be 110 years since the first car was built in Malvern, and Morgan has an exciting year planned. With a range of special editions already announced, each ‘110 Anniversary’ model will carry unique celebratory badging, signifying its importance as a 110 edition vehicle. Morgan reports that it’ll have more news on its anniversary events soon.

Opel

The oldest in our list, this will be the 120th anniversary of Opel manufacturing cars. The history is interesting. Adam Opel, who founded the company making other things, died in 1895. Four years later, his wife Sophie took advice from her sons Carl, Wilhelm and Friedrich, and moved into car manufacturing.

Showing that it has come a long way since 1899, the company announced that its range was going electric. Like the others in our blog, the brand says that it will have a range of exciting events happening to celebrate the anniversary in 2019. While Opel isn’t a large car manufacturer in the UK, it’s huge around the world and has sold more than 70 million cars since its inception.

Zagato

Founded by Ugo Zagato in 1919, the coachbuilding institution set out to transfer the knowledge of aeronautical technology from the war to the automotive sector. Replacing traditional wood frames that many pre-war cars had (and suffer with today) with lightweight aluminium bodywork and lightweight steel reinforcements, Zagato isn’t just known for its engineering feats but also for its pioneering and daring design, which it carries on today.

If you have a car made by one of the manufacturers on our list, let us know if you’ll be doing anything to celebrate in the comments section below.

This year is also the 30th Anniversary of the Middlebridge Scimitar. We are celebrating the anniversary at the Silverstone Classic.

The Cropper’s , 13/02/2019

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