Out now: the Autocade Yearbook 2024
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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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Autocade began as a wiki, running the same Mediawiki software as Wikipedia, before we realized that the general public just wanted something they could sink their teeth into, rather than contribute themselves. We were also hammered by bots making fake registrations and entering in spam. By 2011, the bot activity was so overwhelming we locked down new registrations. There had only ever been three active users in the first three years.

The text below was originally written when Autocade was a wiki in 2008. It’s been edited since, and reflects how the pages were put together.

Basic entries

Each car should be presented with a photograph (preferably contemporary, showing the car in an as-new condition, but not copyrighted material excepting those permitted for reproduction by the media, e.g. publicity shots). An accurate description should follow.

One important note is that Autocade is an international site, so the summaries need to be biased to the country of origin of the model. As a result of this, cities and towns should be spelt the way they are at the country of origin (e.g. Milano rather than Milan).

Terms such as saloon and sedan depend on geography. Here, saloon has been adopted for the UK and Europe, sedan for Asia and the Americas.

SUV has been adopted as a generic term that includes crossovers, except in some cases when the vehicle is more akin to a hatchback sedan or estate car. If there isn’t much sportiness to it, e.g. the Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler, UV has been used instead.

We have used petrol–electric hybrid to denote cars with a petrol engine supported by an electric battery, and electric–petrol hybrid for those that are powered primarily by the battery with a petrol engine as a generator or support (e.g. a plug-in hybrid).

For electric cars, the location of the motor that drives the wheels is given, rather than the location of the battery pack (some earlier errors are being corrected).

Capacity in kWh is cited in net terms but (g) is used to denote gross figures. This was only introduced in late 2023, and there are older entries needing corrections.

Non-Latin scripts for, say, Russian and Chinese cars may be included but the main entry should be in English as this is an Anglophone site.

In addition, there are entry pages (with the specific generation of car) and model pages (which indexes all the generations, where there are more than one). This terminology may be useful below.

International aspects

The English Wikipedia, as many users know, is generally biased toward the US and UK when it comes to automotive pages. It also contains numerous factual errors. Autocade seeks to be less geocentric, though we accept that there are bound to be more entries from larger English-speaking countries simply due to population. We hope we can also be more accurate.

A British car should be written with a British viewpoint, with other markets treated as export ones; similarly, a Japanese car should be written with a Japanese viewpoint. Hence, there is an entry for the ‘Nissan Sunny (B14)’, but no entry for a ‘Nissan Sentra (B14)’—Sunny was the home-market name; Sentra was merely used on exports. A good rule of thumb is: write from the car’s country of origin’s point of view.

Here are other situations that may help with describing site policy.

Hyundai Avante v. Hyundai Elantra
When faced with nameplates that differ due to market-place, the home market name should be used. In this case, Hyundai Avante is the correct name of the model sold between 1996 and the present day. Hyundai Elantra should only apply to the 1991–6 model. This is different from the Wikipedia convention which biases the entry in favour of American readers.

There should be entries for each of the 1996, 2000 and 2006 generations, with a link back to a coordinating Hyundai Avante model page.

Daewoo Lacetti v. Suzuki Reno, Suzuki Forenza, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Lacetti, Holden Viva and Buick Excelle
The same convention would apply: the primary entry for this vehicle should be Daewoo Lacetti as it is known in its home market. Subsidiary pages for the other nameplates are not necessary unless there is a good reason, usually relating to how one might search for the information or the “lineage” of the vehicle. For example, when there are sheetmetal changes that apply only to one version, then there may be an entry specifically for that car. The Buick Excelle, for example, received a different front and rear end for 2007 in the Republic of China, and could be recorded separately.

Joint manufacture
In cases of joint manufacture, there are two home countries. Both may be noted, but there should be a cross-reference to the other vehicle. For example, the Australian-built Morris Mini Clubman and Leyland Mini have their own entries separate from the British Mini Clubman article. However, there is a single entry for the 1976–9 Ford Taunus, because by this point the car being built in Dagenham was designed fully in Köln, Germany; similarly, there is only a single entry for the Talbot 1510 as Chrysler Europe fell under French ownership. The UK names for both cars are noted on the entry pages, however. Sometimes, the “rule” will change depending on the model line and lineage.

Opel Astra v. Chevrolet Astra, Holden Astra, Chevrolet Viva, Vauxhall Astra
A cross-reference back to the original company that engineered the vehicle should be sufficient: in this case, the Opel Astra page. The bold type on the entry page should have the names based on manufacture, e.g. Opel Astra/Vauxhall Astra/Vauxhall Astravan/Chevrolet Vectra GT for the Astra H, respecting where the cars are built. We note that Holden Astra and Vauxhall Astra have different “lineages” to the Opel Astra, so this should be noted on a model page. On a Vauxhall Astra model page, the links should point to Opel Kadett D, Opel Astra G, etc.

Confusing names
The Leyland 18-22 series had numerous names. Entries should be present for every variation in the home market. In some export markets, such as New Zealand, where the car was officially badged the Austin Princess, the Princess 2 page should contain a note about this but a separate page for Austin Princess 2 is not needed.

When in doubt, look at the car
Autocade is based more on the marketing and lineage of the car than its actual engineering. Hence, there should be separate pages on each of the GM J-cars of 1981 on: Chevrolet Cavalier, Opel Ascona, Pontiac J2000, Cadillac Cimarron, Holden Camira, Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Firenza, Isuzu Florian Aska, Chevrolet Monza and others.

Model years
The years for any one model should follow the production period in the home market. However, if there is a factory outside the home market, then their production should be taken into account. It should not, though there may be exceptions, cover export markets where there might be unsold stock—e.g. where a car has stopped production in its home market in 2005, the fact that some were still being sold in an export market in 2007 is irrelevant to Autocade. (Some exceptions may apply if the 2007 models are significant or distinctive in some way, e.g. a local assembler after 2005 has mixed different models’ bodyshells.) For American cars, it is acceptable to record model years as that is the convention in the US.

Model codes
These are often harder to research. Usually the rule of thumb is that for a model with multiple codes, the lowest (alphabetically) or the default body style’s (e.g. the saloon’s) is used in the title, with the remaining codes in the body text.

Technical information

Where possible, cite cubic capacities as accurately as possible. Car companies will often be liberal with the capacities, sometimes for marketing reasons. Where information derived from the bore and stroke rather than the marketing literature is available, use it.

The usage of Imperial, American and metric measures should depend on the page and context. Units of measure are usually in metric, but some exceptions have been made for Australian and American models. Australian cars are listed with the cubic inch capacity for their engines with an arbitrary changeover to metric for models made after 1975. (This roughly reflects when some car price lists moved to the metric system; Redbook uses the same year.) The 1980 model year has been chosen for US models, based on when cubic centimetres became more mainstream in publications there. Autocade tends to prefer PS over kW for power output but there are inconsistencies, especially for markets that tend to favour kW (e.g. Australia).

Language convention

Autocade follows the Oxford University Press’s Hart’s Rules. This means Oxford English spellings. However, it is totally acceptable on pages specific to certain countries for national terms to appear: saloon and sedan, estate and wagon are obvious ones. Non-English terms, where required, may be used: berline, break, Limousine, Kombi, Scrägheck, berlina, barchetta, etc., but only in the text.

The Rules also state that there should be a space before units of measure: 74 bhp, 1299 cm³. Please note that when one is referring to the German measure of Pferdestärken, PS should be used, not bhp. One PS is not the same as one brake horsepower.

An exception to Hart’s Rules here is that there is no comma in the cubic centimetre displacement figure.

Model names should be capitalized despite the fancy styles insisted upon by marketing departments, hence Austin Mini Metro, Audi Quattro, not Austin mini METRO, Audi quattro. However, if you feel it is necessary, you may add in how the car was referred to in press materials.

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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024