Author Topic: Universal body style directory  (Read 11042 times)

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Offline Paul Jaray

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Universal body style directory
« on: March 23, 2012, 07:15:53 AM »
There seems to be a lot of confusion between the various names describing bodystiles.
The same car can be referred to as a Sedan, Saloon, Berlina, Berlinetta and so on.
We all have the general idea of the differences between a Spider and a Convertible (or Cabriolet?) but what about a Spyder? And the Speedster?
Each country has got a different spelling but sometimes each coachbuilder (or even an estabilished maker) can apply his idea.
I think Autopuzzles is the right place to try to compile a directory, given the fact that we have members from all over the world with a quite impressive knowledge.
We can also find out who was the first to use a name for a car and why.


Offline Paul Jaray

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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 07:18:57 AM »
I will start with what I know about the Spider\Spyder.
each one of you can add his material about and at the end we can have our directory.
I will update this post after the material is ready.
I can anticipate that the term "Spider" derives from the 4-wheeled horsedrawn carriages that were similar to spiders when fitted with big wheels.
A Dubliner coachbuilder was the 1st to use the term Spyder.

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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2012, 08:12:05 AM »
Great topic!!!
It would be nice to create a universal collection of name and definition... although it should be a giant work...
I think the first thing to do id to collect all the names we know... and then we can create a classification and a correct definition for each one... and don't forget the country! An Italian "limousine" is a little longer than a German one...
MPC
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2012, 08:24:30 AM »
A few pre-war Fiat bodies...

1 - Berlina (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2012, 08:26:31 AM »
2 - Torpedo (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 08:28:34 AM »
3 - Cabriolet (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 08:29:22 AM »
4 - Coupe de Ville (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 09:07:08 AM »
Lancia Lambda:
Guida interna (I) (it's similar to a Berlina (I)) and Torpedo (I).
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 09:18:36 AM »
More from Lancia...

Berlina (I) or Guida interna (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2012, 09:20:24 AM »
Torpedo (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2012, 09:21:18 AM »
Cabriolet (I) and Traformabile (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 09:22:10 AM »
Coupe de Ville (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 09:30:36 AM »
Fiat Cabriolet Royal (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 09:32:35 AM »
Fiat Landaulet (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 09:35:44 AM »
Fiat Coupe-Spider (I)  ???
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2012, 09:40:59 AM »
Lancia Astura Coupe de Ville (I)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2012, 09:42:44 AM »
Lancia Limousine-Landaulet (I) and Landaulet-Limousine (I)
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Offline Paul Jaray

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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2012, 09:59:45 AM »
Good start!
I'll put here the definitions I found in old Italian encyclopedia:
BERLINA:
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 4 seaters or more, 2 or 4 doors (but also 5 with the back door), 4-windows.
a.k.a. :         Limousine (Germany)
                   Berline (France)
                   Saloon (GB)
                   Sedan (USA)
FAMILIARE - GIARDINETTA:
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 4 seaters or more, back seats may be folded or removed to improve luggage room, 2 or 4 doors (but also 5 with the back door), 4-windows or more.  
a.k.a. :        Familcar/Kombiwagen/Kombi (Germany)
                  Break (France)
                  Estate car/Estate (GB)
                  Station Wagon (USA)
LIMOUSINE
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 4 seaters or more, with the option of 2 or more additional seats (in italian 'strapuntini', something like the dickey seats) between the front and the rear seats, 4 or 6 doors, 4-windows or more.
COUPE'
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 2 seaters or more (with foldable front seats in case of more than 2), 2 doors, 2 or 4 windows.
CABRIOLET
Closed bodywork opened by a foldable capote which can be supported on the body or rolled up, 2 seaters or more, 2 or 4 doors, 2 or more windows. When the seaters are 2 it is often called SPIDER
a.k.a. :         Kabriolett (Germany)
                  Cabriolet/Decapotable (France)
                  Drophead Coupe (GB)
                  Convertible Coupe (USA)
SPIDER
Closed bodywork opened by a capote and hardtop, the foldable capote can be supported on the body or rolled up, 2 seaters or more, 2 doors, 2 windows.
Usually a 2-seater CABRIOLET is called Spider.
a.k.a. : runabout/roadster (USA)
BERLINA DECAPPOTTABILE
Closed and open bodywork, fixed b-pillar, the foldable capote can be supported on the body or rolled up, 4 seaters or more, 2 or 4 doors, 2 or more windows
LANDAULET
Closed and open bodywork with a fixed top over the front seats. the foldable capote over the back seats can be supported on the body or rolled up, 5 seaters or more with the option of 2 or more additional seats (in italian 'strapuntini', something like the dickey seats) between the front and the rear seats, 4 or 6 doors, 4 or more windows. This bodiwork is generally used in exexutive cars
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 10:36:31 AM by Paul Jaray »

Offline Paul Jaray

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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2012, 10:38:45 AM »
The same enciclopedia reports:
dos-a-dos
vis-a-vis
mylord
duc
tonneau
double phaeton
torpedo
coupe de ville

as bodyworks of the past.
I'll edit this post in the future.

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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2012, 01:44:47 PM »
Since I'm the troublemaker who pestered Paul about this, I'll add a couple of comments to his already great start:

BERLINA:
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 4 seaters or more, 2 or 4 doors (but also 5 with the back door), 4-windows.
a.k.a. :         Limousine (Germany)
                   Berline (France)
                   Saloon (GB)
                   Sedan (USA) Also 4-door hardtop (originally hardtop convertible, same as GB pillarless saloon.)  1950s/60s usage: "post."  Post=pillar. 
FAMILIARE - GIARDINETTA:
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 4 seaters or more, back seats may be folded or removed to improve luggage room, 2 or 4 doors (but also 5 with the back door), 4-windows or more.  
a.k.a. :        Familcar/Kombiwagen/Kombi (Germany)
                  Break (France)
                  Estate car/Estate (GB)
                  Station Wagon (USA)
LIMOUSINE
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 4 seaters or more, with the option of 2 or more additional seats (in italian 'strapuntini', something like the dickey seats) between the front and the rear seats, 4 or 6 doors, 4-windows or more.  USA: seats dickey seats are sometimes called "jump seats", a reference to paratroopers' seats in aircraft.
COUPE'
Closed bodywork with fixed top (sometimes with a removable part), 2 seaters or more (with foldable front seats in case of more than 2), 2 doors, 2 or 4 windows.
USA: 1930s usage: the number of windows (not counting the windshield) described the style: 3-window (no rear quarter window) or 5-window (small quarter window) most common.  Generally 2-seaters.
1940s/50s usage:
          Business coupe: no rear seat (space for salesmen's products/catalogs.)
          Club coupe: This definition varies with manufacturer and model.  Some close-coupled coupes with a small rear seat were called club coupes (equivalent to a 2+2 arrangement), other manufacturers used the term to describe a larger rear seating area than a 2-seater coupe (equivalent to a 2-door sedan.)
          Sport Coupe:  30s usage, particularly Model A Ford: 2-seater with faux cabriolet top.  Other usage at the whim of the manufacturer.

CABRIOLET
Closed bodywork opened by a foldable capote which can be supported on the body or rolled up, 2 seaters or more, 2 or 4 doors, 2 or more windows. When the seaters are 2 it is often called SPIDER
a.k.a. :         Kabriolett (Germany)
                  Cabriolet/Decapotable (France)
                  Drophead Coupe (GB)
                  Convertible Coupe (USA) (defined by roll-up windows.)  2 doors.  30s/40s usage: Convertible Sedan: 4 doors.
SPIDER
Closed bodywork opened by a capote and hardtop, the foldable capote can be supported on the body or rolled up, 2 seaters or more, 2 doors, 2 windows.
Usually a 2-seater CABRIOLET is called Spider.
a.k.a. : runabout/roadster (USA)  (side curtains instead of glass windows.)
BERLINA DECAPPOTTABILE
Closed and open bodywork, fixed b-pillar, the foldable capote can be supported on the body or rolled up, 4 seaters or more, 2 or 4 doors, 2 or more windows
          GB: 3-position drophead coupe.
LANDAULET
Closed and open bodywork with a fixed top over the front seats. The foldable capote over the back seats can be supported on the body or rolled up, 5 seaters or more with the option of 2 or more additional seats (in italian 'strapuntini', something like the dickey seats) between the front and the rear seats, 4 or 6 doors, 4 or more windows. This bodywork is generally used in executive cars

Some additions that might be incorporated into the main definitions

TOURER (touring car)
          USA: open 4 to 7 seater, sometimes called "phaeton" .  May be the same as Berlina decappotabile.

RUMBLE SEAT ROADSTER
          USA: roadster with a 2nd, smaller seat located where a trunk or boot would normally be.  Sometimes known as "mother-in-law" seat.

I gotta run, I'll add more when I can.

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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2012, 02:16:55 PM »
I think it's important to classified the names by age too...
For sure we have to divide bodies before and after the Second World War... and maybe also before and after the First W.W...
And the problem is that every coachbuilders has a little different way to call his creations... and makes too...
...
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2012, 02:21:47 PM »
COUPE DE VILLE - Italy (Lancia, Fiat) - prewar - Luxury body with the passenger seats covered by a fixed top and the driver place open... chaffeur's life wasn't easy... ;)
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2012, 02:29:34 PM »
Fiat Cabriolet Royal (I)
Another one...
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2012, 02:33:44 PM »
Jaguar XK bodies: OTS (Open Two Seater) no roof at all = roadster, DHC (Drop Head Coupé) roof = spyder, FHC (Fixed Head Coupé) closed = coupé...
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Re: Universal body style directory
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2012, 04:09:10 PM »
Although Estate Car is the modern British term for a saloon with an elongated roof and interior space where the boot normally is, these cars were originally called a Shooting Brake, which was a conversion (usually wooden) of a saloon with the rear adapted to give the Gentleman space for all his hunting and shooting gear.  I assume Estate Car is just a more modern term for a vehicle used for a similar purpose on the Gentleman's Estate, although of course the very word 'estate' has also come to mean something rather different these days and has little to do with gentlemen..

Note the spelling of 'Brake' - not 'Break' as in France.  I believe a brake was some kind of horse-drawn trap, but I'd have to check exactly what.
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