Famous UK brands lie in the vaults of today’s car makers. We've dusted them off and rated their comeback chances

There have been plenty of attempts to revive dead brands in the past, most of them failing.

Revival is a difficult business, which is why plenty of other marques haven’t attracted any attempts at all, despite their one-time successes.

So which are some of the more intriguing brands to have disappeared, who owns the rights to their names and is there any chance that, one day, they could be revived? Have a look through our gallery above to find out.

Our Verdict

Mini Cooper S

Now in its third generation, we find out if the bigger, cleverer and more mature Mini can still entertain like it predecessors did

Join the debate


24 June 2017
You know, to some of us still known for its Bond Bug. Could be the introduction of all introductions - "the name is Bond".

24 June 2017
I can't believe JLR won't dig out the Daimler brand at some point to take on Rolls Royce and Bentley. The only reason they haven't done it yet is probably because they are too busy with Jaguar and Land Rover.

I also struggle to believe BMW won't be tempted into doing something with Triumph. It's too good a brand name not to do something with.

25 June 2017
I say this as a former owner of a Morris, 2 Triumphs and a Hillman, all of which were significant cars in their day. But the automotive industry today is a far cry from what it was in those days. Even in the 60's and 70's when my cars were made, the British car industry was already suffering a slow death due to the gradual merger process whereby all these brands were bought out and merged into larger and fewer corporate structures. Unfortunately for the UK, the inertia created by strong unions, high wages and rapidly ageing technology and processes, meant that even a large corporation like British Leyland could not survive the onslaught of better, cheaper Japanese cars, even though those cars lacked character or durability. Anyway, in order to sell cars in the modern world they have to be cheap, high tech, economical and marketed to the younger generation. A revived Austin Morris or Triumph would have to be not only better and cheaper than the competition in a crowded marketplace, it would have to overcome the modern generation's impression of the old British brands as being old-fashioned, unreliable and basically "Grandma's old car". Hence the reason that certain British brands such as Jaguar and Bentley have survived, because they appeal to the moneyed class, who are generally from a previous generation. Twenty somethings looking for a practical vehicle today at a reasonable price buy Hyundais not Jaguars.

25 June 2017
It could make you weep watching what happened to brands like Rover and Triumph in the 60s and 70s through the combination of poor management and angry trade unions .Sad to say I think it's too late to bring these marques back from the dead. They mean nothing to most people in their 20s and 30s. That's not to say as a former spitfire owner that I wouldn't be interested in a modern range of "michelotti inspired" saloons and sports cars....still think they were the bees knees even though the old man was a rover loyalist with multiple p6 and SD1s.

25 June 2017
Jensen & Triumph might come back from the Dead one day. I hope Rover as well. But it hard to revive them all.

25 June 2017
I always thought it daft that BMW didn't keep ROVER, it would have been the VW to their Audi in market positioning and possibly MG their SEAT, shame really.

25 June 2017
Triumph could possibly have some kudos because of its mistaken association with the thriving motorcycle brand; Daimler likewise with the Mercedes brand. In both cases these other companies have kept the names in the public eye and therefore more acceptable and relevant to younger drivers. I think the rest, along with once-common brands such as Humber, Singer and Sunbeam, will remain where they belong - in the memories of misty-eyed nostalgists like myself. To my kids, for instance, they mean nothing.

Wide cars in a world of narrow.

25 June 2017
As i approach 50 i look back at some of the cars of my youth, including vaious Triumphs, Dolomites, inc Sprints, TR7, and a Rover SD1 with great affection. They were all old as i didnt have much money back then, so they broke down, and needed fixing a fair bit. I would probably look at new cars with these brands today, providing they offered something appealing, but in truth i would look at any brand if it offered me what i want. Its the car that matters, not the badge on it.

25 June 2017
I'm sure Daimler could be used by JLR in the way Mercedes use Maybach. I still think the idea of a modern day Jensen Interceptor or FF would be amazing - maybe McLaren could branch out and get themselves a very very cool Aston rival?? And I'm not surprised BMW clings on to Triumph - that's one marque that actually would make sense today without it just being wishful thinking. I agree that association with the bike company gives that name a massive head start in returning - maybe as a lightweight Elise type sports car first, like a four wheeled bike, then broadening out from there. Mind you, if Borgward can be resurrected by the Chinese, then there's no limit to what could return...Rover? I'd love to think so but maybe Range Rover (especially with the Velar) is actually the modern day Rover.

25 June 2017
will revive them all when he re-nationalises the industry.


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