Where are all the British cars in the U.S.?
Recently, we looked at French cars, which are some of the least appreciated and rarely imported cars found in the United States. British cars, however, are very popular in America, especially when it comes to classics. Dozens of British carmakers both big and small have found enthusiastic buyers in the U.S. over the years, and we made three maps to see which brands are the most popular in each state. Each state is assigned a British car make on a relative basis, so while there may be more Jaguars in Michigan overall, its largest percentage share of any one make is Lotus.
Starting with the Big Six of Austin-Healey, Jaguar, Lotus, MG, Rolls-Royce and Triumph, we see some interesting concentrations around the country. Austin-Healey does well right in the middle, capturing Missouri and Kansas, but also on the coasts with Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Jags are popular for the glamorous coastal highway of California and Hawaii, but also Mississippi, Rhode Island, Indiana and West Virginia. Lotus adds pockets of lightness to the southeast, the upper midwest, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Vermont. Unsurprisingly, MG is the most popular British marque among Hagerty customers, but on a relative basis it best represents only Arizona, Iowa and Virginia. People in both Washingtons (state and District of Columbia), North Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland and New Jersey seem to be a little fancier, since Rolls-Royces are most popular there. Triumph is a bit behind MG in popularity, but some of the mountain-west states, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio and Maine all like the defunct sports car maker.
Outside of the Big Six, there are 11 brands reflecting the variety of cars the British have exported to America. They range from big manufacturers of small cars like Austin and Morris to more specialized sports car makers like AC, McLaren, Morgan, Sunbeam and TVR, to luxury brands like Aston Martin, Bentley and Jensen, to the off-road-friendly Land Rover. There are some patterns. For example, Land Rover appears more often in rural states like Oregon, New Mexico, Virginia and North Dakota, while McLaren often appears in sunny states like Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, the Carolinas and Maryland. Other makes seem to be scattered all over the map. AC is popular in both California and Maine. Jensen is popular in Florida and Washington State, while TVR is popular in Texas and Wisconsin. Morgan has fans in New York, but also in Mississippi and Louisiana, while Sunbeam owners are found in New Jersey and Alaska.
Finally, Britain has a long tradition of even smaller manufacturers. Many of these car makers are no longer around, but their owners are no less enthusiastic about them today. Sports car makers such as Allard, Ariel, Caterham, Elva, Jowett, Healey, and Singer are found in a variety of states. Riley, Rover and Vauxhall have their fans in Idaho, Kansas, Maine and Virginia. Luxury car makers such as Alvis, Bristol, Daimler, and Lagonda can be found in a variety of states too, which respectively range from Utah and South Carolina, Illinois and Tennessee, Connecticut and Texas and Arizona, Michigan and New Hampshire.
Let the invasion continue—we love these British beauties!