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Old 4th January 2011, 16:05   #1
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Default Classification of cars by period of manufacture

During my visit to Dharmastala, Karnataka, I had been to the Vintage Car Museum there. The Museum houses cars owned/used by Britishers in India, the Mysore royals and others.

What captivated me more than the cars was this article on how cars are classified according to their period of manufacture.

It explained how and when a car could be labelled a vintage, when a classic and so on. Unfortunately cameras are not allowed in the museum so I couldn't take a pic nor did I have anything to write it down.

I just recalled so thought I'd search for it. Found an article on Wikipedia,
(The whole article is : History of the automobile - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Here goes :

Vintage era : The vintage era lasted from the end of World War I (1919), through the Wall Street Crash at the end of 1929. During this period, the front-engined car came to dominate, with closed bodies and standardised controls becoming the norm. Also in 1919, hydraulic brakes were invented by Malcolm Loughead (co-founder of Lockheed).

Classic era : The pre-war part of the classic era began with the Great Depression in 1930, and ended with the recovery after World War II, 1948. It was in this period that integrated fenders and fully-closed bodies began to dominate sales, with the new saloon/sedan body style even incorporating a trunk or boot at the rear for storage.

Post WW2 era : Automobile design finally emerged from the shadow of World War II in 1949, the year that in the United States saw the introduction of high-compression V8 engines and modern bodies.

Throughout the 1950s, engine power and vehicle speeds rose, designs became more integrated and artful, and cars spread across the world.

On the technology front, the biggest developments of the era were the widespread use of independent suspensions, wider application of fuel injection, and an increasing focus on safety in the design of automobiles. The hottest technologies of the 1960s were NSU's "Wankel engine", the gas turbine, and the turbocharger. Of these, only the last, pioneered by General Motors but popularised by BMW and Saab, was to see widespread use. Mazda had much success with its "Rotary" engine which, however, acquired a reputation as a polluting gas-guzzler. Other Wankel licensees, including Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, never put their designs into production after the 1973 oil crisis. Rover and Chrysler both produced experimental gas turbine cars to no effect.

Modern era : The modern era is normally defined as the 25 years preceding the current year. Some particularly notable advances in modern times are the widespread of front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, the adoption of the diesel engine, and the ubiquity of fuel injection. Nearly all modern passenger cars are front-wheel drive monocoque/unibody designs, with transversely-mounted engines, but this design was considered radical as late as the 1960s.

Body styles have changed as well in the modern era. Three types, the hatchback, sedan, and sport utility vehicle, dominate today's market,yet are relatively recent concepts. All originally emphasised practicality, but have mutated into today's high-powered luxury crossover SUV and sports wagon.

The modern era has also seen rapidly rising fuel efficiency and engine output. Once the automobile emissions concerns of the 1970s were conquered with computerised engine management systems, power began to rise rapidly. In the 1980s, a powerful sports car might have produced 200 horsepower (150 kW) just 20 years later, average passenger cars have engines that powerful, and some performance models offer three times as much power.

We casually call an old car a vintage but this is how a car get a particular label.

MODS : I didn't find any such article so posted this. Please move it if necessary.
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