Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sofiero Classic 2011 - Part 2 - Old is Gold


I am not a car maniac, the kind of person that would give a kidney to drive a Ferrari or any other special model. I don't even have a driving license. I like to see a beautiful car, no meter if it is old or new, classic or sport. And I like to take photos. Cars make really nice picture, so a car show is the right place for an enthusiast photographer. An antique car brings your mind to the romantic period of car industry, before or right after the WWII, when there were no safety rules; the seat belt was introduced only later, in the sixties. Some people call it classic period, other call it vintage. It was a period that forced many countries to build national road networks, a period with amazing economic development. The industry was dominated by the Big Three in US (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) and Austin , Morris or Vauxhall in UK.

The Austin 7 , or "Baby Austin" how it was nicknamed is a representative automobile for that period, an inspirational model for other car makers around the world. It was one of the most popular model ever produced in UK; the first BMW model, Dixi was licensed as Austin 7. Nissan inspired themself for their own models, although they didn't use Austin license. Until 7, Austin was specialized on bigger cars, however Sir Herbert Austin felt that a smaller car would be really popular; and he was right. 290,000 Austin 7 cars and vans were manufactured in total between 1923 and 1939.

Henry Ford's Motor Company produced Ford T, the most influential car of the 20th century, between 1908-1927. The people were calling it Tin Lizzie or Flivver ; it was the first automobile affordable to the middle class American that always dreamt to travel around the country. The first car was release from Detroit factory in September 1908. 19 years later, 15 millions Ford T were produced. A really impressive figure for that age. The succesor for model T was Model A, another great success of Ford. It was again an affordable car, with price varying from 500$ to 1200$. In only 5 years of manufacturing this model, almost 5 millions cars were produced in different variants ( Coupe, Roadster, Convertible Cabriolet, Convertible Sedan, taxi cab, truck or commercial). The remake of King Kong used these cars as cabs and police cars.

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