Classes of Vehicles

Below is a a brief description of the classes of historic vehicles represented by Australian Historic Motoring Federation Inc (AHMF).

AHMF determined a naming convention for vehicles of different ages that make up the old vehicle movement. There are 4 vehicle classes, while the historic class is sub-divided into each decade, up to 25 years old.


These are vehicles manufactured up to 31st December 1918.

These vehicles generally had:

  • Open body work
  • Simple 1 - 4 cylinder engine
  • Magneto ignition
  • Crank start
  • Gas headlights, or no headlights

Typical vehicles from the Veteran era are pictured here.

1908 Renault XB
1918 Ford Model T


These are vehicles manufactured from January 1st 1919 up to and including December 31st 1930.

These vehicles generally had:

  • "Soft top" - fold-down hoods
  • Electric or crank start
  • Four wheel brakes
  • Often still spoked wooden wheels - though steel or wire spokes were being introduced
  • Electric lights
  • Klaxon horns
  • Hand operated windscreen wipers
  • Coil and distributor ignition becoming standard
  • 4, 6 or straight 8 cylinder configuration
  • Side valve engines
  • Nickel and chrome plating
  • Most had a separate chassis (a few manufacturers had begun unitary construction)

Typical vehicles from the Vintage era are pictured here.

1929 Buick Roadster
1930 Chrysler 70 Roadster


These are vehicles manufactured from January 1st 1931 up to and including December 31st 1949.

These vehicles generally had:

  • All steel bodies, often on a chassis
  • Wind up windows with rubber seals
  • Chrome bright-ware
  • Pressed steel wheels
  • Overhead valve engine
  • Independent front suspension
  • Luggage boot with a locking lid
  • Spare wheel and tyre, usually stored in the boot

Typical vehicles from the Post-Vintage era are pictured here.

1935 Plymouth PjD Coupe Utility
1949 Riley Roadster

Historic 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's

Any vehicle manufactured in the decades of the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's. etc up to 25 years old.

Australian-made Holden were available in the 1950's, although British and American vehicles were still prevalent. By the 1960's most of the vehicles sold were Australian-made; Holden & Ford Falcons were the most popular. BMC was building vehicles in Sydney while some British cars were assembled in Victoria and South Australia. American vehicles were being imported with some still assembled in Australia. Japanese vehicles were starting to arrive in larger numbers.

By the 1970's, Japanese companies had started building vehicles in Australia, British vehicles were fading from the market and European vehicles were imported in larger numbers.

Historic Fifties

1954 Plymouth Belvedere
1955 Bentley

Historic Sixties

1962 Valiant R Series
1963 Ford Zephyr

Historic Seventies

1970 Cortina Mk II
1972 Mercedes Benz W108280 SE 3.5L Sedan

Historic Eighties

1980 Fiat 124
1986 Mercedes 560 SL

Historic Nineties

1990 Jaguar XKS
1994 Porsche