Monday, May 17, 2010
Monaco - Brass Era Cars
Prashant from Pune contributed these five beauties to my blog. A vintage car is commonly defined as a car built between the start of 1919 and the end of 1930. There is little debate about the start date of the vintage period—the end of World War I is a nicely defined marker there—but the end date is a matter of a little more debate. The British definition is strict about 1930 being the cut-off, while some American sources prefer 1925 since it is the pre-classic car period as defined by the Classic Car Club of America. Others see the classic period as overlapping the vintage period, especially since the vintage designation covers all vehicles produced in the period while the official classic definition does not, only including high-end vehicles of the period. Some consider the start of World War II to be the end date of the vintage period. But the cars that I am displaying are undoubtedly senior(sic) to the cars that fall in the Vintage category. So what do we categorise them under? A small period called the Brass Era for cars comes handy. Brass Era car.
Named for the widespread use of brass in the United States, the Brass (or Edwardian) Era lasted from roughly 1905 through to the beginning of World War I in 1914. 1905 was a signal year in the development of the automobile, marking the point when the majority of sales shifted from the hobbyist and enthusiast to the average user. Within the 15 years that make up this era, the various experimental designs and alternate power systems would be marginalised. Although the modern touring car had been invented earlier, it was not until Panhard et Levassor's Système Panhard was widely licensed and adopted that recognisable and standardised automobiles were created. This system specified front-engined, rear-wheel drive internal combustion engined cars with a sliding gear transmission like the 1910 Buick and the 1912 Chevrolet shown above. Traditional coach-style vehicles like the 1901 Fiat and Mercedes, and the 1903 Rolls-Royce in the picture. These were rapidly abandoned, and buckboard runabouts lost favour with the introduction of tonneaus and other less-expensive touring bodies.