Heritage was on display to show the vast diversity of cars made since 1979.

On Thursday, May 23, the Millbrook Proving Ground was overtaken with by the 40th Society of Motor Manufacturers  and Traders (SMMT) Test Day. A special vehicle display of 40 different automotive models and 22 brands over five decades grouped up to display both automotive heritage, and highlight the leaps and bounds the automotive industry has made in a short amount of time, all things considered. 

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“Innovation continues apace. Over the next decade, the rollout of a new generation of connected and autonomous cars will revolutionize our roads and society. Starting with technology such as Traffic Jam and Highway Pilot, where, in the right conditions, the car can take over the task of driving in slow moving traffic or at higher motorway speeds, and followed by cars that will drop you off and park themselves, the benefits are immense. By 2030, it’s estimated that 47,000 accidents will be prevented and 3,900 lives saved, helping to deliver an annual £62 billion boost to the UK’s bottom line,” said a SMMT Test Day representative. 

40 Years Of Automotive Evolution On Display

The display also showed the huge differences in options, powertrain development, and technology over the years to produce a more driver and environmentally friendly car. 

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Back in 1979, cars featured the ground-breaking technology of the time – ABS, catalytic converters and cassette players. Fast forward to 2019 and we see even more sophisticated tech: autonomous emergency braking and automatic parking; connected in-car services; advanced petrol; diesel, hybrid, plug-in, battery electric, and even hydrogen powertrains. With such a diverse market, coupled with attractive finance options and competitive prices there has never been a better time to buy a new car. The future is even more exciting and, while George Jetson’s flying car might still be some way off, the next 40 years will see a seismic shift in automotive innovation.”

Even if all this isn’t a concern to you as a collector, the display is pretty amazing as you can visually trace the design evolution of the automobile, and it’s hard to think up anything that’s undergone such radial changes in such a short amount of time.