THE ANTIQUE ERA (1890s – 1915)
Innovation and experimentation were at the heart of this era and provided the catalyst for the automobiles’ development. By the late-19th century, “horseless carriages” were being built by small groups of artisans, craftsmen and engineers on a small scale, with many taking characteristics from the wagons they were replacing.
THE VINTAGE ERA (1916 – 1924)
A class of cars that came to be known today as “vintage,” fits in between the expensive coach built brands that became classics and the inexpensive models represented by Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge. These cars sold for between $500 and $2,000. They had basic engineering features but had better cosmetic appointments such as visors, cigar lighters and wool broadcloth interiors.
THE CLASSIC ERA (1925 – 1948)
This era elevated the common automobile to a status symbol, as evidenced by their cost. When common vehicles sold for $400 to about $1,200, the classic car had a price tag of $2,000 to $20,000.
THE POST-WAR ERA (1945 – 1970s)
Throughout the 1950s, engine power and vehicle speeds rose, designs became better integrated and more stylized, and cars grew more popular across the world. The auto market slightly shifted in the 1960s, causing Detroit to worry about foreign competition. European makers adopted even greater technology and Japan appeared as a serious car-producing nation.