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Automotive Definitions

Common Collector Car Terms A - L

Common Collector Car Terms A - L

Term and Definitions

2-door sedan - A four+ passenger car with only two entry doors.

4-door sedan - A four+ passenger car with four entry doors.

4-speed - A transmission with four forward speeds.

5-speed - A transmission with five forward speeds.

6-speed - A transmission with six forward speeds.

ABS - Anti-lock braking system. An electro-mechanical braking system which is designed to minimize or prevent wheel lock-up during braking.

Acryllic enamel - A polymer-based coating acrylic widely used for automotive topcoats. Its physical properties can be controlled in part by the choice of the alcohol used to make the ester.

Bias ply tire - Tires in which the cords in the body plies of the carcass run from bead to bead at an angle from 26 to 38 degrees instead of 90 degrees as in a radial ply tire.

Cabriolet - A European term for convertible.

Cam or Camshaft - A shaft in the engine on which are the lobes (cams) which operate the valves. The camshaft is driven by the crankshaft, via a belt, chain or gears, at one half the crankshaft speed.

Catalytic Converter - A device installed in the exhaust system, like a muffler, that converts harmful byproducts of combustion into carbon dioxide and water vapor by means of a heat-producing chemical reaction.

Classic - A classic can refer to any car that is 25 years old or older. It can also refer to a range of vehicles built mostly from 1925 to 1948.

Classic car - Any automobile manufactured between and including the years 1925-1948, and designated as a classic car by tha Classic Car Club of America.

Collector car - Any motor vehicle (except recreational) that is at least 20 model years old and manufactured after 1935 or of a defunct make.

Compression Ratio - The ratio of the volume between the piston and cylinder head when the piston is at the bottom of its stroke (bottom dead center) and when the piston is at the top of its stroke (top dead center).

Concours - A car show of the very finest vehicles, or a vehicle that is up to concours standards. Typically, concours shows and levels of restoration center on such outstanding marques as Bugatti, Talbot-Lago, Duesenberg, Delahaye, Isotta Fraschini, etc.

Convertible - An automobile having a retractable or removable roof.

Coupe - A car with a close-coupled passenger compartment.

Custom - Any modernized motor vehicle manufactured in the year 1949 or later, and customized body, engine or both.

CVT transmission - The CVT is an "infinite speed" transmission, which continually selects an optimum overall drive ratio between engine and drive wheels for all operating conditions.

Decked - Trunk trim removed, holes filled.

Deuce - 1932 Ford.

Displacement - A way of expressing engine size. It's a measure of the total volume of all the cylinders and usually is given in cubic centimeters or liters. A 5.0-liter engine is 350 cubic inches.

Dog-dish wheel cover - A small wheel cover, designed with a diameter only large enough to cover the lug nuts.

DOHC - Double Overhead Camshaft. Two camshafts for each cylinder bank.

Enamel paint - A free-flowing clear or pigmented varnish, treated oil, or other form of organic coating that usually dries to a hard, glossy, or semigloss finish.

Flathead - Engine design with the valves in the block rather than in the head(s).

Ford flathead - Introduced in the 1932, this was the first truly affordable V-8, and the beginning of Ford's long association with performance.

Four-door hardtop - A four+ passenger car with four entry doors, and no side B-pillar between the door windows of each side.

Full wheel cover - A wheel cover of large diameter, covering nearly the entire wheel.

Heads-up Display - Indicator images are projected on the windshield in front of the driver.

Hemi - Engine design with machined hemispherical combustion chambers.

Hydroplaning - The accumulation of water in a film under the footprint which causes a tire to lift from the road surface, losing traction. Hydroplaning is affected by vehicle speed, tread pattern, and water depth.

Knock-off wheels - Wheel retained by a single spin on center retainer, generally tightened with a lead a hammer.

Lacquer paint - A type of paint that dries by solvent evaporation that must be rubbed out to produce a gloss.

Lake Pipes - Side exhaust pipes that run under the rocker panels.

Lead Sled - A lowered and highly customized vehicle from the late 40s and early 50s. Emample: the 1949-1951 Mercury.


Common Collector Car Terms M - Z

Common Collector Car Terms M - Z

Terms and Definitions

Marque - Make or manufacturer of automobile.

Mopar - Chrysler vehicles, including Dodge, Plymouth, Imperial and Desoto.

Muscle Car - A muscle car, is an intermediate sized, performance oriented American vehicle, powered by a large V8 engine, offered at an affordable price. Usually from 1964 through 1972 models.

Navigation System - In-vehicle navigation system which provides directions to a destination. Instructions can be delivered by voice, graphic icons such as arrows, a scrolling video map or a combination.

NOS - New Old Stock. Parts built by the original manufacturer that have never been used.

Nosed - Hood trim removed, holes filled.

Panel truck - An enclosed light truck or van having no windows in the cargo area.

PCV - Positive Crankcase Vent - a system priving a means for an engine to burn the crankcase fumes. Prior to this system (early 1960's) the fumes were released into the air.

Pearl paint - A color paint with fine mica particles blended into the pigment.

Phaeton - A four or five passenger, two- or four-door, open-body style that was most popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Radial ply tire - A tire having the ply cords placed at right angles tot he beads, plus belts under the tread section providing the least tread distortion while moving, thereby minimizing tread wear and rolling friction.

Rat Motor - A nickname for any engine from the Chevy V8 (Big-Block) family. Originally released in 1965 as a 396 cid and available today with displacements as high as 572 cid with 720 BHP.

Rat rod - Normally, a pre 1949 automobile in the syle of a fifties rod or custom and painted in primer.

Roadster - A two-passenger, open car.

Rotary Engine - A four-cycle engine having a revolving triangular-shaped rotor to transfer power thrust via eccentric(s) to the output shaft.

RPM - Engine speed in revolutions per minute. Measured with a tachometer.

Rumble seat - A folding seat in the rear deck of some older two-door coupes, convertibles, and roadsters.

Sedan Delivery - Like panel truck, with lower top and single rear door configuration.

Shaved - Door handles removed, holes filled.

Shoebox cars - Term for automobile design of 1949 to 1958 when fenders were first integrated into the body design and very little other streamlining was involved.

Slicks (tires) - Wide tread-less tires used in drag racing.

SOHC - Single Overhead Camshaft. One camshaft for each cylinder bank.

Spinner wheel cover - A Full wheel cover with a spinner in the center.

Street machine - A custom-built vehicle or hot rod of any year, built for street use.

Street rod - Any modernized motor vehicle manufactured prior to the year 1949 or any motor vehicle designed and manufactured to resemble a motor vehicle manufactured prior to 1949.

Sub-framed - A vehicle in which the front suspension has been removed and replaced with a later model or after-market assembly, by cutting the old frame off and replacing it with the new section.

Suicide Doors - Doors that are hinged at the rear.

Supercharger - A Supercharger is an air pump or compressor that forces pressurized air into the cylinders during the intake stroke of the engine. increased density intake air, along with additional fuel, increases power.

Three-in-a-tree - Steering column shifting mechanism for three speed transmissions.

Tricked-out - Loaded with after-market products and customizing.

Tri-Power - Engine with three 2 barrel carburetors.

Tubbed - A standard car or truck body with cut-out rear wheel wells to accommodate oversize rear wheels.

Turbocharger - A Turbocharger is a type of Supercharger that is powered by engine exhaust gas. It increases engine power by pressurizing intake air into the cylinders.

Two-door hardtop - A four+ passenger car with only two entry doors and no side B-pillar between the door glass and the 1/4 window.

Victoria - A close-coupled, two-door sedan first offered by Ford in the early 1930s.

VIN - The 17 digit and letter vehicle identification number. It has been in use since 1981. Replaced a more somple serial number.

Vintage - Vehicles built from 1915 to 1942.

Wheelbase - The distance between the center of the front axle and the center of the rear axle. It's usually expressed in inches.

Wheelie bars - A pair of long bars with wheels extending from the rear of the vehicle to prevent wheelstanding.

Woody - Vehicle with wood as a part of its body panels.


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