The passion for old vehicles

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Vehicle Classification

Old vehicles are strictly classified in terms of year of production. An enthusiast will normally decide where he wants play and mainly stick to that field (year, model, make etc). There are exceptions however, depending on the size of the wallet. And it is not only cars; it is also motorcycles, trucks, busses and tractors that form part of the movement. The very basic differentiation is; vehicles produced before and after World War II. Thus we find a split of Pre-1945 and post-1945. However, not all cars will ‘qualify’ as a “collectable”. Aspects such as rarity, numbers, collectability etc will play a definite part, especially in the later year models in Classes E and F. The focus of Pretoria Old Motor Club is however to bring together people who own one or more of the above and share our enthusiasm with each other, irrespective of how collectable or expensive a vehicle might be.

VEHICLE CLASSIFICATION:
CLASS A:
This is for Antiques built prior to December 31st 1904

CLASS B: Veteran built between January 1905 & December 31st 1918

CLASS C: Vintage built between January 1919 & December 31st 1930

CLASS D: Post Vintage Built between January 1931 & December 31st 1945

CLASS E: Post 1945 built between January 1946 & December 31st 1960

CLASS F: Post 1960 built between January 1961 & December 31st 1980

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The motor car is most probably one of the greatest inventions that saw the light of day. Very primitive in the technological context of today, but leaps and bounds forward the first day the various permutations hit the road.

“When one realises that the motor car has been with us for more than 90 years (now more than a hundred years), and that the accepted “Vintage’ car era occupies a mere 12 of them, it becomes truly remarkable that it can have so much apparent significance and arouse so much interest” Cyril Posthumus - 1970.

The advancement in engine and design technology was and still is a driving force behind motoring, while is also matched the sophistication of those that could afford them. Vehicles became more of a household discussion point after the World War I. A higher availability, more familiarity and a passion for the capability was setting the scene for the future. Some of the more familiar names that come to mind include Mercedes Benz, Daimler, Bugatti, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Maserati, Volvo, Vulcan, Humber, Citroen, Renault, Clyno, Talbot, Scania-Vabis, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Stutz, Packard, Lorraine-Dietrich, Delage, Alfa Romeo, Lancia. And there are many more. Motor vehicles became the show piece for power, wealth, and prosperity being mucho and they opened the world to those that could afford it at that stage.Henry Ford and the Model T made cars a more affordable commodity leading to mass production and rivals hitting the market.

“Save ten steps a day for each of twelve thousand employees, and you will have saved fifty miles of wasted motion and misspent energy” Henry Ford. Many car makers that entered the market, some with one or two actual cars, a short model range or those that became house hold names, even today. Of course these big ticket makers, both in Europe and the USA were up and running and producing general and interesting models that again mapped the affordability utilisation needs of the buyers’ market.

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Many of these are the collector items of today. Some have survived the melting pots of the recyclers, some were tucked away in a save place, same came down the family as an inheritance, many are found in an appalling state of decay.

Neither here nor there, motor vehicles can be great investments and have a very high value in the monetary sense or be just a nice, well restored old vehicle with fair value. It is in the presence of these oldies that one will find the enthusiast like the members of the Pretoria Old Motor Club. We hunt the vehicles down, find them in bushes, as heaps of rust or in a reasonable condition and lovingly over many moons rebuild them piece by piece. Once they are back to life, they are shown with pride and joy to those who whisper “when I was young” or “I remember so-and-so had one just like that when I was a kid”. And many stand in awe at the skills and craftsmanship to bring it all to life again. Preservation, passion and fool hardiness are the underpinning reasons for getting involved in old vehicle collection and restoration.