A Brief History of Vintage Cars

This era of automobile history started at the end of World War 1. This was a time of significant expansion in the mechanical industry across North America and Europe. Various factories that had supported their nations during the conflict needed a new line of product, and so did millions of workers.

Until this time, fledgeling inventors produced these machines in stables, backyards, and barns. So, most would-be customers had zero guarantees on maintenance and spare parts. Forget about the warranty! But, something brought a massive shift in the production of vehicles.

Enter Ford

Until now, vehicle assembly was a tediously long process. Then came Henry Ford and his novel use of the assembly line. Well, he didn’t come up with the concept, but his company perfected this process down to an exact art and science.

The Ford Model T truck was the first car to roll out of the assembly line in 1917. Ford Motors stood the test of time and is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. This lead to an industrial revolution across the globe. Other huge names like Chrysler, Hudson, Daimler, and Dodge were emerging as titans from this era.

A Reckless Era

These automobile manufacturers operated from repurposed military-industrial plants. Such environments provided unsafe working conditions due to a lack of government foresight and regulation. Accidents were frequent, and compensation was never a guarantee.

The cars just kept rolling out the assembly line. The safety regulations and testing that we take for granted didn’t exist back then. Cars didn’t have to come with airbags, windshields, seat belts, and they didn’t even have turn signals. The only redeeming quality is these cars were a sturdy build.

What Makes Vintage Cars so Rare?

The antique era saw over 500 fledgeling manufacturers fight it out for market dominance in 1910. However, the great depression of 1929 wiped out most of these companies. Only 60 manufactures made it into the vintage era.

Industrial plants faced a hard time paying their employees. Even keeping the lights on was hard. Only 20 vintage cars remained active a decade down the line. The general population and even governments across the world couldn’t afford to buy these vintage models.

So, they became a status symbol for those who could afford to acquire them. Governments also purchased some for essential services. Cars from the vintage era are so rare because there were fewer cars produced in this era. They were built to last and impress, not as a necessity as the cars we use in this current age.

Classy and Sophisticated

Vintage cars evoke images of the roaring twenties and Gatsby-like characters. They also remind us of a decadent and lush period of gentlemen in top hats and ladies in flattering dresses. It’s a period in time when society let loose of the shackles of Victorian conformity.