Saturday, July 25, 2009

Antique Cars

The general definition of antique cars in the United States refers to cars that are over twenty five years old and those driven before the world war two but in the United Kingdom they refer to cars that are almost one hundred years old and also known as veteran cars. Antique cars are also known as classic cars and date way back to when the motorized system included the manufacture of auto mobiles. According to the American Classic Car Club, antique cars refer to distinctive automobiles. The club rates the classic cars to full classic and CCCA classic. The antique and classic term meant that the cars were very expensive and very few people were able to afford them, this made their production be in small numbers.

Some of the factors that accord cars the antique status include the general and distinctive luxurious accessory and custom coachwork features such as the power clutch, the power brakes and an automatic or one shot lubrication system and the engine displacement. The twenty five year or more time frames of the antique cars is quite astonishing since the modern cars can have a half of that life span. This rare and long survival makes the antique cars not be used for regular transportation as it is very expensive to maintain. However, due to the prestige that comes with this type of cars, most people many antique cars are kept restore, collect and own antique cars as a hobby or as an art collection or for commercial purposes.

Initially antique cars were propelled with steam and they were horseless carriages which could move at a speed of 12mph when going up hill and on level roads. The steam engine saw a major but gradual development over the years and by 1860 the antique cars had an internal combustion engine. The four stroke engine became characteristic with the next set of antique cars but was quickly overtaken by Benz which had a tabular chassis which was framed and had three wheels. The styles used on antique cars may vary but most of them have removable headlights, trunks fenders and headlights. In addition they have a grill treatment which is vertical in nature. Some examples of antique cars include Kaiser-Frazer, pierce arrow, 1910 Ford Toure and Duisenberg.

Antique cars do not normally have safety related features such as roll over protection, seat belts and crumple zones. In addition most of these cars still use the ancient and outdated standards of vehicle handling. This is mainly in the performance of the brakes, suspension and steering of the car and this therefore demands that one is highly alert and aware when driving to avoid any accidents. In some countries the use of antique cars for daily transportation is either prohibited or discouraged. Most antique cars qualify for the motor shows due to their originality and traditional designs. Some owners refuse to fit in seatbelts or redesign their antique cars so as not to make them lose their originality.

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