The Cars of Downton Abbey
The popular PBS Masterpiece drama about the lives and loves of English aristocrats and their servants in the post-Edwardian era is best known for its intricate plot lines, period costumes and over-the-top politeness. But there’s one more reason car lovers are down with “Downton”—the series also gives audiences frequent glimpses of some really cool old automobiles. Here’s a shortlist of our five favorites.
1921 Ford Model T
Supposedly set in 1912, the first season of Downton Abbey got off to a bit of a rocky start with some eagle-eyed viewers who were quick to point out a number of glaring period blunders (including the Episode 1 appearance of this 1921 Ford Model T).
1911 Renault Type CB12/16hp Landaulette
The ride of choice when headed to the local Yorkshire train station, Lord Grantham's luxurious Renault has appeared in many Downton Abbey storylines. Totally original and one of the last of its kind, the Landaulette used in the show is reported worth over $500,000 according to the Daily Mail.
1927 AC Six
Driven and (spoiler alert!) eventually crashed by Matthew Crawley in Downton’s season three finale, the AC Six was the product of the AC Car Company—one of Britain’s most beloved builder of sporting cars, and a company best known among American car enthusiasts for a much later relationship with Carol Shelby that produced the AC Shelby Cobra.
1924 Sunbeam 20/60 hp
While the British company was better known in the 1920s for setting land speed records with its racing cars, Sunbeam also produced an impeccable line of luxury limousines. Lord Grantham’s Sunbeam 20/60 hp has made a number of appearances on the show since season two.
1924 Cadillac V-63
In season three, when the mother of Cora Crawley (Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine) sweeps in from New York to shake up stodgy Downton Abbey, this all-American, classic touring car is the perfect compliment to her character’s unflappable and confident charm.