Car History 4U

Definition of the Motor Car / Automobile (UK and USA)

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1.1 The Motor Car

    • A motorised vehicle whose prime purpose is the seated transportation of a small number of people, typically 1 to 7, which consists of not less than 3, typically 4, wheels that are in direct contact with a road type surface being travelled on. Note: The definition is, however, not precise and readers comments are invited.
    • Also called: car, automobile, auto, hot rod, jalopy, buggy and, initially, the horseless carriage.

1.2 Brass Era (USA)

    • This is the first period of automotive manufacturing and named for the prominent brass fittings used.
    • Covers the period from when the first commercial automobiles were marketed in the 1890s to about 1918 (end of World War 1).
    • Cars of this era are still sometimes called  "horseless carriages."
    • In the United Kingdom this era is split into two periods:
    • Veteran & Edwardian

1.3 Veteran Cars (UK)

    • Cars made before 1905

1.4 Vintage Cars

    • Cars made between 1 January 1905 and 31 December 1930 (UK) or pre World War 2 (USA).   

1.5 Edwardian Cars (UK)

    • Cars built between 1 January 1905 and 31 December 1918.
    • A sub-section of Vintage cars.

1.6 Post Vintage Cars (UK)

    • Cars made from 1 January 1931 to the start of World War 2 (September 1939)

1.7 Antique Cars (UK)

    • All cars made up to the start of World War 2 (September 1939).

1.8 Post-War Cars

    • Cars made after the end World War 2 (1945) and 31 December 1959.

1.9 Modern Cars

    • Cars made after 31 December 1959.

1.10 Classic Cars

    • Can apply to a car whenever it was built.

1.11 Horseless Carriages

    • Now considered to apply to any pioneer gas, steam or electric powered motor vehicle built or manufactured prior to 1 January 1916.

1.12 The Internal Combustion Engine

    • An internal combustion engine is one which burns fuel in a confined space called a combustion chamber. This results in high pressure/ temperature which causes gases to expand.
    • This expansion is directly used to cause mechanical movement within the chamber.

1.13 The External Combustion Engine

    • An external combustion engine, such as a steam engine, only uses the combustion process to heat a fluid, typically water, to create steam.
    • The pressure created by the steam is used to cause mechanical movement which takes place outside of the combustion chamber.

1.14 Combustion

    • In the internal combustion engines fitted to motor cars, combustion is classified as “intermittent”.
    • In the jet engine, and many rocket and gas turbine internal combustion engines, the combustion is “continuous”.

1.15 Carburettor

    • A device that blends air and fuel for an internal combustion engine.

1.16 Battery

    • A battery is an energy storage device, which converts chemical energy directly to electrical energy.
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