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'Vintage' cars - time for a re-evaluation?


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#1 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 15:35

Recent posts in the Books thread have set me thinking. For many years, like many, I was a stickler for the correct usage of the term ‘Vintage’. However, it does now seem to me that it’s perhaps unnecessarily restrictive to say that the word can only be used to describe cars made in a twelve year period which ended more than eighty years ago. The term ‘Post-Vintage Thoroughbred’ for any decent car made since 1930 I find long-winded and clunky. The only other accepted word seems to be ‘Classic’, but this now seems to apply to any piece of motoring junk which just happens to be old. Is it time for a re-evaluation of the term ‘Vintage’ as applied to cars, or am I guilty of heinous blasphemy?

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#2 B Squared

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 15:53

The only other accepted word seems to be ‘Classic’, but this now seems to apply to any piece of motoring junk which just happens to be old.


The Classic Car Club of America defines what is deserving of the name:

http://www.classicca...d_classics.html

#3 arttidesco

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:01

The way it seems to be going is

Veteran = Pre 1919

Vintage = 1919 - 1930

Classic '30s

Classic '40s etc

Not sure what happens when my Golf becomes a classic in 8 years time perhaps a Classic naughty :drunk:

I agree some new words would appear to be in order to build on the Veteran, Vintage and Classic labels which have been in use since ... ?

#4 Sharman

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:03

You missed out PVTs Post Vintage Thoroughbreds

#5 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:10

It's always best to ignore the Americans as they can never get history right as they have so little of their own! LOL

The VSCC definitions of vintage and PVT are perfect I reckon.

The term "classic" can apply to anything after that. Whether you have a rolling cut off date I do not know but while nearly everything pre mid seventies can be described as a classic in terms of individuality, even if dreadful, once we get into the 80s there seems to be less cars worthy of being preserved. The large amount of electronics on modern cars means that many go to the scrappy long before they wear out mechanically. Other than the exotica there are fewer cars worthy of the term classic or of saving.

#6 David Birchall

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:19

It's always best to ignore the Americans as they can never get history right as they have so little of their own! LOL


Not one of your better posts DM...

Allowing one club in the UK to decide what is termed a vintage car is unrealistic. The US and other countries with members involved in racing "Old" cars should not be bound by that one group, in fact, outside of England they seldom are. The times they keep a' changing--get used to it :wave:

#7 arttidesco

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:28

The Classic Car Club of America defines what is deserving of the name:

http://www.classicca...d_classics.html


With all due respect to the CCCA classification of the term "Classic" there are a few problems, one Veteran and Vintage are applied to all vehicles built with in specified periods of time and the CCCA Classic term not all only cuts one of those periods in half it also defines which cars from it's classic period may be counted as in and therefore by definition out.

IMHO we need away of agreeing some time frames, and names for them, in which all vehicles are built.

Time frames I'd suggest are :-

Pre 1919

Pre 1946

Pre Unleaded USA 1975, pre unleaded in Europe 1988

The next group will then be something like pre fuel cell

#8 B Squared

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 16:53

With all due respect to the CCCA classification of the term "Classic" there are a few problems, one Veteran and Vintage are applied to all vehicles built with in specified periods of time and the CCCA Classic term not all only cuts one of those periods in half it also defines which cars from it's classic period may be counted as in and therefore by definition out.


The club began in 1952 - I'm sure they would be happy to hear from you so you can set them straight about their errors for the last 60 years. I believe contact information is included in the link of my first post. Or just ignore it - they are, after all, Americans and it is best that we are ignored according to a prior post.

#9 arttidesco

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:05

The club began in 1952 - I'm sure they would be happy to hear from you so you can set them straight about their errors for the last 60 years. I believe contact information is included in the link of my first post. Or just ignore it - they are, after all, Americans and it is best that we are ignored according to a prior post.


I am not for one moment suggesting the CCCA made any errors Brian the clubs on both sides of the pond will doubtless continue to use the words Veteran, Vintage and Classic as they see fit, what I am suggesting is coming up with completely new names for the periods that I have suggested that removes any confusion for members the public who are not going to know the ins and outs of club lore but who can discern that the 1935 Jankowits fits into the interwar period of cars for example.

And btw I do not subscribe to the views posted at 16:10.



#10 nicanary

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:23

Not one of your better posts DM...

Allowing one club in the UK to decide what is termed a vintage car is unrealistic. The US and other countries with members involved in racing "Old" cars should not be bound by that one group, in fact, outside of England they seldom are. The times they keep a' changing--get used to it :wave:


Perhaps it's time that FIVA used its power, and laid down some guidelines. We Brits are every bit as insular as the Americans, with our "Edwardian" sub-class, and PVT definition.
We didn't invent the car nor the ICE, and we have no more right than any other country to feel that "our system" is better than theirs.

Maybe a conference of clubs from the most populous of the classic-owning nations could be arranged , to thrash this out once and for all. Perhaps somebody from "Countdown" could be present to explain the actual definition of the word "classic", and then pass this on to owners of Allegros, and the organisers of the snooker tournament held in the ancient bastion of that sport in Dubai.


#11 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:38

Hmm, when I saw that thread heading I thought "oh-oh...here we go!" While the reasons for referring to vehicles produced post WW1 until the end of 1930 were relatively sound in their day and in the context of somewhat snobbish times the terminology is a bit outmoded these days and only really understood by dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts. Nonetheless, it does represent a particular era and purity of development. If the 'Vintage' period remains as historically defined by the VSCC surely that is fine for the cognoscenti and it matters not if it is used 'incorrectly' by the great unwashed? I think PVT is a bit too 'Brooklands Paddock' and there has always been furious debate as to what constitutes a 'Thoroughbred Car' so maybe a modified moniker might be in order which encompasses all 1930s cars. We would then still have delineation which roughly corresponds to vehicle design and development: Veteran>Edwardian>Vintage>Post Vintage. After WW2 I really think the best way is to call all vehicles over ten years old 'Classics' and simply divide them by decade, 40s Classics, 50s Classics, 60s Classics and so on. We really don't want to get too intense about it like poor old Tim Carson explaining to me in the early 60s that I could only be a 'Driving Member' of the VSCC with my 20/25 Rolls-Royce, but a full member if I included my old banger of a 1929 Morris Minor!

ST :wave:

#12 arttidesco

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:44

Perhaps it's time that FIVA used its power, and laid down some guidelines. We Brits are every bit as insular as the Americans, with our "Edwardian" sub-class, and PVT definition.
We didn't invent the car nor the ICE, and we have no more right than any other country to feel that "our system" is better than theirs.

Maybe a conference of clubs from the most populous of the classic-owning nations could be arranged , to thrash this out once and for all. Perhaps somebody from "Countdown" could be present to explain the actual definition of the word "classic", and then pass this on to owners of Allegros, and the organisers of the snooker tournament held in the ancient bastion of that sport in Dubai.


As I suggested above the use of the words Veteran, Vintage and Classic will always be used by various clubs as defined by them but for the layman we need a clearer system of definitions in lieu of misappropriating what may as well be registered trademark words.

#13 Roy C

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:46

MSA Blue Book dates:
Veteran = before 1 Jan 1905
Edwardian = 1 Jan 1905 - 31 Dec 1918
Vintage = 1 Jan 1919 - 31 Dec 1930
PVT = 1 Jan 1931 - 31 Dec 1940

I imagine that they arrived at those particular dates thus: "Veteran" & "Edwardian" dates are those used by the VCC and "Vintage" & "PVT" by the VSCC. So they only really apply to Motorsport in the UK.

I've heard collectors from the USA describe vehicles built as recently as the 1970's as "Vintage", but I suppose the more one tries to define these things, the more people will be upset by the definition.

But I do love the term "Post-Vintage Thoroughbred" - confuses the hell of of most people. :confused: :cool:


#14 arttidesco

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:50

But I do love the term "Post-Vintage Thoroughbred" - confuses the hell of of most people. :confused: :cool:


Sounds like one is talking about a filly down the stables rather than a motor don't you think ?


#15 Allan Lupton

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 17:55

The answer is simply that there is no answer - at least if the question is what to call them world-wide.
In the UK we use the VSCC and/or VCC and/or HSCC definitions depending on whose company we find ourselves in. The internet means we share all sorts of things with English-speaking nations but we can't possibly share everything so even on here, in the same way that we accept that our US friends have a different nomenclature for parts of the car, we can accept they have different terms for the out of date cars that some of us play with.
What we haven't got in the UK is a non-pejoritive term for the cars of the 1930s that the VSCC has not included in their PVT List.
Or, come to that, for the post-war humdrum - can we really call an Austin Eight, a Ford E93A Anglia or a E type Morris Eight a "Classic"?

ETA yes, Roy, the MSA list is based on the VCC and VSCC definitions and as the RAC MSA only controls motor sport in the UK that's reasonable, isn't it?

Edited by Allan Lupton, 13 November 2012 - 17:58.


#16 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 18:11

What we haven't got in the UK is a non-pejoritive term for the cars of the 1930s that the VSCC has not included in their PVT List.


Could be the TNF Christmas Quiz

Or, come to that, for the post-war humdrum - can we really call an Austin Eight, a Ford E93A Anglia or a E type Morris Eight a "Classic"?


Yes. Don't upset Upset!

ST :wave:


#17 Garagiste

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 20:02

As said in the other thread I got over "Vintage" abuse some time ago, it's not going to go away.
I've seen a lot of old Triumphs and such since moving to Florida wearing special blue number plates bearing the word "Antique" which I find rather quaint.
Suggestion for the likes of the Allegro and Ital - how about "old"?  ;)

#18 arttidesco

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 20:06

Suggestion for the likes of the Allegro and Ital - how about "old"? ;)


Will that make everything thing pre Allegro 'ancient' ?


#19 Allen Brown

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 20:09

how about "old"? ;)


Absolutely. I've always thought that "old racing cars" is really the best term.

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#20 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 20:36

I like "Old" also, however, in order to define how old.....how about simply:-

Pre 1920

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s .......and so on? Or is that TOO simple?

#21 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 20:48

When I started this thread I was hoping that it might be possible to free up the term 'Vintage' so that it could be used to describe a car from any era that stands out from its more humdrum brethren as a quality vehicle, across all time periods. Thus terms such as Veteran, Edwardian, 1920s, 1950s etc don't fit this bill. Perhaps another word can be found for this purpose, as we all seem agreed that the term 'Classic' has been ccompletely devalued.

#22 D-Type

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:00

Let's move outside the world of motoring for a minute and look at what these words and others mean to a layman:

"Antique" means "over 100 years old" so it's a moving feast. It also implies some semblance of quality.
"Byegones" aren't old enough or of good enough quality to be considered "antiques"
"Vintage" is a wine from a good year and by implication matured by a few years.
"Veteran" normally means an old soldier or a piece of equipment "of certain age" that has seen better days
"Classic" is a "perfect example of a particular style". IN fashion terms it generally means either "no longer in fashion but of good quality so you can still wear it" or "current but not particularly following ashion as being a quality garment it won't go out of date so you can continue to wear it"
"Victorian" means strictly from the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837 to 1901. But is normally interpreted as simply 19th Century
"Edwardian" means the reign of Edward VII, 1901 to 1910. But is often taken to be "Early 20th Century up to 1914 or 1919."

In a motoring context, a layman understands "veteran car" or "antique car" as what runs in the London-Brighton every year, a "vintage Bentley" probably is, a "vintage Rolls Royce" is inter-war or maybe coachbuilt, a "classic Jaguar" is an XK or Mk2 and maybe an E-Type but not an XJ6 or XJS while a "classic MG", is anything from a T-series Midget to an MGB.

So how about:
"Veteran" or "Edwardian" for pre-1919. The American "Brass era" is a nice term but sounds a bit affected for everyday use
"Vintage" for the inter-war pariod say 1919-1945
"Classic" for post WW2 but subdivided into decades - 50s, 60s
"Old" for 1980 to 1999, some may qualify as "Classic"
"Modern" or "21st Century" for post 2000

Or
"Antique" for primitive cars (approximately British "Veteran" or US "Brass era")
"Early 20th Century" or "Pre-WW1" (approximately British "Edwardian"
and then just go by decades
Twenties (approximately British "Vintage" or early American "Classic")
Thirties (late American "Classic")
Wartime and Forties
Fifties
Sixties
Seventies

And let the popular press have "Veteran", "Vintage", "Classic" and "Old banger"

#23 D-Type

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:02

Absolutely. I've always thought that "old racing cars" is really the best term.

Well you would, wouldn't you!  ;)

#24 GMACKIE

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:17

Hmm, when I saw that thread heading I thought "oh-oh...here we go!"

ST :wave:

Quite rightly, too.

GM :wave:


#25 Allen Brown

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:30

Well you would, wouldn't you! ;)


Indeed. :)

I think a division by decade makes little sense as changes in the sport don't follow such divisions. From a racing car point of view, a period of about 1965 to about 1985 makes sense as it spans the main period of varied small 'kit car' racing car constructors. Before this date cars were generally hand crafted by artisans and after this period the sport was increasingly dominated by spec formulae. So for me, the post-war divisions would be 45-65, 65-85 and 85 onwards.

#26 Nick Savage

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:31

It's the passage of time, is it not ?

When I started to get interested in such things in 1960, read Motor Sport and absorbed the VSCC definition, the oldest Vintage car was 41 years old and the yougest vintage was 29 yrs old. You used to see them everywhere.

Today a 29 year old car could be a BMW 3-series, the oldest Vintage car is 93 years old and you practically only ever see them at a Vintage meet.

I am no fan of rolling datelines and eligibility, but we are going to be wasting our time trying to stick to pure definition ..... not that that has ever deterred a TNF thread going grumpily meteoric and finally disappearing up its own ....
Screens, nurse !
Nick


#27 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:35

The terms are only a guide, and very flexible at that and as everything [and their owners] get older it is semi irrelevant anyway. And no country holds the 'power'. Especially Britain, as far better and far more volume of cars came out of most markets than Britain!!
As for motorsport with elderly cars sometimes unfortunatly cut off periods preclude cars racing together that did in the day though often classes get amalgamated to make a decent field anyway.
As for 'historic' motoring that too seems flexible. The Bay to Birdwood run is pre 50, the Birdwood Classic currently it seems is 48-78. Previously it was 30y/o. Confusing, dumb U betcha. Some people turn there nose up at 30 y/o cars,, but if you are in your 30s or 40s they are the cars you grew up with, so disenfranchising a whole fresh group of enthusiasts.
And as for the other end why? a few cars get to run every year.Dumb and dumber. Though most of those cars are classics to be fair.But so is any post war car! And a lot of prewar too, especially American stuff.

#28 James Page

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 21:41

This one gets debated in the office at regular intervals...

Tim - I think the difference is that, outside of motoring circles, vintage and classic have slightly different meanings (as someone has already pointed out). They tend to be used to define quality rather than a particular era.

There is already a movement that concerns itself with 'Youngtimers'. It isn't a very pleasing word, but it's increasingly being used to describe cars made from 1980-ish onwards.

Over time, it might well be the case that 'classic' is therefore restricted to the years between 1940 and 1980.

Now, whether all cars that fall into the vintage or classic categories are genuinely worthy of those labels (as the wider public would recognise them) is another matter. But one man's 'heap of junk' will be another man's classic pride and joy, and that will probably always be the case.

#29 Stephen W

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:15

MSA Blue Book dates:
Veteran = before 1 Jan 1905
Edwardian = 1 Jan 1905 - 31 Dec 1918
Vintage = 1 Jan 1919 - 31 Dec 1930
PVT = 1 Jan 1931 - 31 Dec 1940


Taking the MSA splits as the standard then as suggested by Allen Brown anything Postwar to 1965 could be one era whilst 1965 to 1985 could be the next. So why not use terms that are kicking around now?

Historic = 1 Jan 1945 to 31 Dec 1965
Classic = 1 Jan 1966 to 31 Dec 1985

Then anything after 31 Dec 1985 could be Post Classical (or PC).

:wave:






#30 David McKinney

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:33

Sounds good to me, Steve, except that a 1908 Mercedes is certainly "historic", and a 40/50 Rolls-Royce or an Auburn Speedster undoubtedly a "classic"

#31 Sharman

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 13:06

As said in the other thread I got over "Vintage" abuse some time ago, it's not going to go away.
I've seen a lot of old Triumphs and such since moving to Florida wearing special blue number plates bearing the word "Antique" which I find rather quaint.
Suggestion for the likes of the Allegro and Ital - how about "old"? ;)

How about Appalling

#32 RogerFrench

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 14:10

Under Federal Law a VETERAN is any person, who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States. The application to cars, old golfers, or anything else, though there may be dictionary definition to the contrary, just isn't recognised.

I think we have to agree to differ!


#33 BritishV8

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 17:15

As long as various cut-off dates are being tossed around... Curiously, 1972 is the critical cut-off year for most vintage racing clubs in the Americas. You can enter just about any old car you like, so long as it's prepared to the 1972 edition of SCCA's General Competition Rules. Typically, the owner of a 1980 MGB would be expected to remove rubber bumpers (or lightweight facsimiles), air dams, and any other conspicuously late-model styling features.

Groups such as SVRA have a catch-all class for "Pre-War" racecars. I think that term covers cars up to ~1945 pretty well. FWIW, I have a real hard time getting "nostalgic" about cars that were obsolete before my father was born (in 1932), so I couldn't care less how pre-war cars are sub-classified. I'm not saying they're not interesting cars to look at occasionally, but surely very few people under 50-years-old care how they're lumped together.


#34 David McKinney

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 17:39

Suggestion for the likes of the Allegro and Ital - how about "old"? ;)

I remember an item on Top Gear, when it was still a motoring programme, featuring the Allegro Owners Club. One of the members was most offended at any suggestion that they weren't an acceptable candidate for preservation. "They're great cars!" he enthused. The interviewer didn't ask the obvious follow-up question - "Have you ever driven anything else?"


#35 Allan Lupton

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 17:43

Part of the problem is that whatever we decide here is a suitable way to do it is not applicable in the outside world. However well we define a set of terms the "lay public" including non specialist journos will use our familiar terms as they like.
One only has to consider the many cases where normally accepted grammar is misused or ignored - and I presume that to some extent it is still taught whereas our terminology is not.

Put simply, let's just use the terms in the way that the VSCC and/or VCC and/or HSCC do, depending on whose company we find ourselves in and not let fine distinctions and the putside world worry us.

#36 ensign14

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 17:52

It's basically the difference between vintage and Vintage...after all, one could argue that, technically, the quintessential vintage car would be Cordon Rouge.

#37 arttidesco

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 18:16

Part of the problem is that whatever we decide here is a suitable way to do it is not applicable in the outside world. However well we define a set of terms the "lay public" including non specialist journos will use our familiar terms as they like.
One only has to consider the many cases where normally accepted grammar is misused or ignored - and I presume that to some extent it is still taught whereas our terminology is not.

Put simply, let's just use the terms in the way that the VSCC and/or VCC and/or HSCC do, depending on whose company we find ourselves in and not let fine distinctions and the putside world worry us.


Is it not better to try to introduce change and fail, than go along with a flawed status quo ? :confused:

#38 Allan Lupton

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 18:55

Is it not better to try to introduce change and fail, than go along with a flawed status quo ? :confused:

Not for the first time I cannot see what you are getting at with that question.
As I thought I made clear, we cannot speak (or legislate) for the lay public.

#39 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 23:35

Not for the first time I cannot see what you are getting at with that question.
As I thought I made clear, we cannot speak (or legislate) for the lay public.


+1 :up:

ST :wave:


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#40 Stephen W

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:12

As I thought I made clear, we cannot speak (or legislate) for the lay public.


Totally agree. it is too late trying to educate the lay public after all they appear to think X Factor, I'm a Celebrity Get me out of Here etc are entertainment! What is needed is a simple set of regulations that everyone within the sport can buy into.



#41 Peter Morley

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:01

Totally agree. it is too late trying to educate the lay public after all they appear to think X Factor, I'm a Celebrity Get me out of Here etc are entertainment! What is needed is a simple set of regulations that everyone within the sport can buy into.


A simple set of regulations would be great, which makes me think no one has mentioned the dating system used by our self imposed regulatory body

Period C = pre-1930
Period D = 1930 - 1947
Period E = 1947 - 1961
Period F = 1962 - 1965
Period G = 1966 onwards

That's a nice simple system isn't it and might keep computer programmers and the like happy, but possibly not the public.

As for changing dating systems I don't think you can change terms that have been in place for many years:
e.g. (not sure of the exact dates but roughly)
Veteran = pre-1904
Edwardian = 1905-1918
Vintage = 1919-1930
Post Vintage = 1930-1945

So I assume what we are really considering are post-war cars (post-war in European terms, not US where pre-war can mean pre-Vietnam)

The Historic Sports car club are rather well established and cover post war upto the 60s.
So we already use the term Historic for 1945-1969 (or thereabouts)

Cars from the 70s have been covered by the term Classic cars for some time (e.g. at least since 1982 when C&SC started) and as time goes on that has tended to include cars from the 80s (which at the grand old age of 48 I still tend to refer to as modern cars!).

With road cars anything after the 80s is basically an obsolete car that has yet to be defined as anything other than an old car - and since the realisation by the Japanese that updating your model regularly increased sales it might make sense to simply refer to cars by their year (or decade if you want to be vague) of manufacture. In Germany these cars seem to be known as Youngtimers, but that is a definition that must move with time.

With race cars given how often regulations change or series come and go you have to be pretty specific about what years you are talking about - e.g. Le-mans switches between an event for road cars, to sports prototypes, to sports prototypes disguised as road cars etc; F3000 switches from DFV power, to bespoke engines to single make formula; Formula Ford goes from Kent engines to something else, etc. - so you will need to be pretty specific about what period you are talking about = no place for catchall names.



#42 ensign14

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:12

Why not Thirties for cars from 1930-39?

#43 Peter Morley

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 15:27

Why not Thirties for cars from 1930-39?


and 40s for those from 1940-49
50s
etc
etc

works for me, for road cars especially!

When I tell a 'casual observer' that I play with old racing cars I tend to add from the 50s & 60s and then have to add but at the moment I've also got some 80s cars etc.

Talking to the 'more informed observer' I would talk about 2.5 litre, 3 litre, turbo etc. F1 cars
500cc, 1,000cc etc F3 cars
50s or 60s sports racers
etc

Of course in a few decades time talking about 20s & 30s cars could get confusing!

#44 Charlieman

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 19:33

The basics of the VSCC classification of Vintage seem pretty straightforward to me. The car has to be a sports model rather than a family saloon and has to have been made before a particular date. The date was picked because it defined vehicles that were made in a particular way. The rule was less about "when" and mostly about "how", which has led to exclusions and inclusions of particular cars or bits of them.

How cars were made was socially significant because it determined who could afford to buy one. VSCC Vintage cars were originally toys for the rich which briefly were affordable to less wealthy hobbyists when the cars were no longer fashionable. Now that the cars are fashionable, only a few racers at the Austin 7 end of the spectrum could be considered affordable by most enthusiasts.

The engineering step changes that transformed sports car manufacture c. 1930 have been repeated many times since that time. Step changes rarely align themselves with a decade, major historical events or even racing rule changes. Ignoring the Auto Unions, rear engined single seaters with a big engine arrived in numbers before the end of of the 2.5 litre F1 rules. Front engined cars were built after the 1.5 litre F1 rules were introduced.

I think that event organisers do a good job at trying to create categories that are "representative" but which give owners a good run for their cars. It is not an enviable job.

I suppose I just like the VSCC Vintage or some of the HSCC classifications because they help me to understand engineering, social and economic change. When you look at some 1950s or 1960s sports cars it might seem ridiculous that they were homologated as series production vehicles, but they were recognised as such in the day. That should make you think, "ah, so how many sports cars were sold in those days?"

In more recent times, there was a step change in car design in the 1980s. The layout of cars was pretty much the same; more cars used FWD but the concepts were already established. The difference was that more cars were assembled properly and that they were rust proofed/painted rather than glazed. Materials science took a leap forward and there was all of this electronic stuff.

I reckon that if you looked at ten random mass produced cars made in 1980 and another ten a decade younger, your jaw would drop. "Were 1980s cars really so crude?"

#45 Marticelli

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:10

The crucial issue for me about early vehicle classification not yet covered in this thread is that true veterans (pre-1905) are essentially first generation designs, Edwardians second generation, vintage (ie up to 1930) third generation, and after that there is little real original design but merely development of an already sophisticated idea.

My main interest lies in second and third generation vehicles when there was still a large element of invention going on and many different things were tried out experimentally, which created variety and occasionally steps forward in accepted wisdom, but often didn't and were abandoned like Neanderthal man. The terms used to describe fourth generation and later stuff are understanably vague as there is so much of it around. The term vintage however does encompass the concept of 'good and rare quality', which in part explains why the VSCC does not accept everything post vintage as eligible as there was a lot of very mundane stuff produced which is not considered eligible.

I have every respect for those interested in later periods, but my own interest is very focused on earlier stuff which is usually more fun and a challenge to run, the cyclecar being showcased elsewhere on TNF being a case in point.

Marticelli

#46 Peter Morley

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:36

The basics of the VSCC classification of Vintage seem pretty straightforward to me. The car has to be a sports model rather than a family saloon and has to have been made before a particular date. The date was picked because it defined vehicles that were made in a particular way. The rule was less about "when" and mostly about "how", which has led to exclusions and inclusions of particular cars or bits of them.


Surely the VSCC define Vintage as anything made before the particular date, but being the Vintage Sports Car Club they only accept Sports cars from that period?

#47 Terry Walker

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:05

Originally, yes. They felt that sports cars post 1931 were inferior to the pre-1931 sports cars, and founded a club on that basis. Later they expanded their club to encompass non-sports cars of the same period.

Since those simple days, the old-car movement has grown and grown. Not so long ago a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom 2 Henley Roadster sold for over 700,000 US dollars (or was it pounds??). and that's not a vintage car. There was always a problem with the cutoff--many manufacturers continued making the same cars well into the 1930s (Hi there Ettore)--but eliigibility after all was the Club's business. For us non-VSCC members, it's not terribly important. Over the years I've owned and enjoyed such diverse vehicles as an Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV (styled by Signor Bert One), VW beetle (1964 version), Morgan 4/4, Rover 200TC, R-R Silver Shadow, Cortina Series 2 GT 1600, and many others--all great cars, and I didn't then, and don't now, care what a club in an another country classifies them as. It seems to me the broad expression "classic and thoroughbred" covers them all. Mind you, this idea wobbles a bit when I hear an Austin A30 described as classic...

Today I privately classify my aforesaid Silver Shadow as my "weekend car".

That does me.




#48 Stephen W

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 09:31

The basics of the VSCC classification of Vintage seem pretty straightforward to me. The car has to be a sports model rather than a family saloon and has to have been made before a particular date. The date was picked because it defined vehicles that were made in a particular way. The rule was less about "when" and mostly about "how", which has led to exclusions and inclusions of particular cars or bits of them.


Surely the VSCC define Vintage as anything made before the particular date, but being the Vintage Sports Car Club they only accept Sports cars from that period?


Seeing as the VSCC accept reworked saloon cars as both sports and racing cars I suspect that what was meant was that they don't accept saloon cars in their racing and speed events although I am not sure why not!

:confused:

#49 D-Type

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 17:37

I rather like this definition of a Classic Car by Michael Bowler, the editor of Classic Car magazine and author of Classic Cars From 1945 to the present

A post-1945 car with some feature which sets it apart from its peers, and not just the mere fact of its survival