The Best of Britain for Less than $10,000: Window Shop with Car and Driver

For this week’s episode, we challenged the Window Shop crew to find the best British cars out there. If you’re thinking, “Well, that’s easy: McLaren F1,” we also set a budget of $10,000, which, far from getting you an F1, probably wouldn’t cover the ’90s Compaq laptop computer you’d need to service that car. We kept the criteria for this challenge purposely vague, wanting our shoppers to define what makes their Limey the best. As you might expect to hear in a conversation about cars built on Old Blighty, reliability—or the lack thereof—is an important factor.

Among the many things you might learn from this episode—including how to turn on the map light in a Rover P6 and how to pronounce the word “turbine”—is that contributor John Pearley Huffman doesn’t like British cars, but he puts aside his feelings and chooses the iconic MG B roadster. We also find out that only one of the crew has ever owned English car.

The team presents a Jaguar with a spectacular 6.0-liter V-12 as well as a gorgeous Jaguar XJ6 Series III, and deputy testing director K.C. Colwell makes a strong case for the 2006 Land Rover Range Rover. But it’s the last pick that intrigues us most. It’s a real dark horse. Grace Kelly died in a similar model, but it offers British innovation and engineering and is the last car that the Rover brand developed before being swallowed up by British Leyland. It’s not British Racing Green, but it’s a clear winner.

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