[ Last update: 04.25.2003 ] Appendix to Cadillac "Styling" section
Names of various automobile body styles
and earlier horse-drawn carriages
(some of the latter remaining in current usage)
Eighteenth century, 4-seater coach owned by a Mrs. Herrick of Leicestershire, England; this and the
other vignettes, below, are drawn from the prestigious, full-color catalog of Fleetwood body styles for 1930
All-Weather : a four- to six-seater convertible sedan with roll-up windows; usually four-door but occasionally two- or three-door (Gentile).
Barouche: 4-seater, half-coverable, two front passengers faced the rear ones (French vis-ŕ-vis?); in U.S., a calčche for 2-pass.; [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]; also known as a German wagon;
Barrel-sided tourer : A tourer with rounded sides [a friend, Clément Plard, owns such a tourer built on a Rolls-Royce Phantom I chassis in 1928 by I. Wilkinson, of Derby].
Beekman Coach : This type of coach was used in new York in the late eighteenth century
Berline : Used primarily by Italian and Continental coach builders to describe a sedan. Database user, Harry Tresoor, said (in April, 2003) the term is derived from the German "Berliner", a simple 19th century horse-drawn coach used to follow the major coaches in wedding and funaral processions. He believes the itlian "belinetta" (e.g. Ferrari) may have also a connection.
Boat-Tail : Used to describe the pointed rear end used on some sporting, usually open, coachwork.
Britschka: carriage with a barouche seat in front and a rumble in the back (the rumble is on old term for dickey, it took luggage and less-regarded passengers).
Brougham: named after its inventor, Peter Lord Brougham and Vaux; a one-horse closed carriage with 2 or 4 wheels for 2 or 4 people (19th century). In automotive parlance, normally a formal, close-coupled sedanca de ville.
Buckboard: flexible carriage for 2, slung between 2 axles; [1885 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Cabriolet : leading to public cab, was 2-wheeled, one-horse chaise with an open hood. A continental term for virtually any car with a folding top and roll-up windows. Cadillac used the term in the thirties for models with fixed, leather or cloth-covered tops; the continental equivalent would be Faux Cabriolet (or dummy convertible).
Calash : (French calčche)
Chaise or Shay : 2 passenger carriage [1870 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]. The drawing below illustrates a colonial American post chaise
Chariot : a half-coach where driver portion is separate from passenger compartment; this was renamed coupe in 19th century [1797 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Clarence : 4-seater
Close-coupled : Used to describe an automobile body with the rear seat located close to the front seat (and generally positioned over or ahead of the rear axle).
Cloverleaf body: open car with seating for 2 in front and one [or sometimes two] in the rear
Coachee : [French cocher = coach driver] U.S. 18-19th century; also known as a New Jersey wagon [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Concord wagon : These were used as hotel and mail coaches in the U.S. [1865 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Convertible : U.S. term for the English drop-head.
Convertible Coupe : (as above).
Convertible sedan : another U.S. term for All-Weather sedan.
Coupe : A two-door, enclosed body with small or no rear seat; since WWII, the term has come to mean any two-door closed body but, more properly, a large, two-door is termed in England a two-door saloon. In Britain, may be preceded by drop head (convertible) or fixed head (stationary).Database visitor, Harry Tresoor, reminds us quite correctly that "coupé"(French) means "cut-off"; the earliest coupe was a 19th century type of coach with the front seats cut off. Essentially it had but one row of seats.
Coupe de Ville : A Continental term for a town car, from the French couper (to cut) and ville (town or city), i.e. a car cut open at the front for city, chauffeur-driven use. Cadillac began using the term in 1949 to designate a luxuriously appointed, two-door, pillarless 5-6 seater.
Curricle : named after its inventor, Lady Betty Curricle, light two-wheeler, 18th century, parent of the Victorian dog-cart, the earliest of which were drawn by dogs (later so-named because there was room to carry sporting dogs under the driver's seat. Also referred to as a duodecimo phaeton and 2-horse shay [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Cyclecar : A light car, generally with an engine of less than 4 cylinders, often air-cooled, with chain or belt final drive.
Dearborn : [From the name of the inventor] a kind of light four-wheeled wagon used in country districts in parts of the United States [dixit Oxford English Dictionary]; Webster's adds that it had curtained sides.
Dennet : named after its inventor, a light 2-seater.
Dos-ŕ-dos : [literally back-to-back] a 4-passenger car in which the occupants sat back to back.
Doctor coupe, Doctor's coupe : A two-seater Drop head (convertible), often with dickey (rumble) seat (U.K.). Cadillac used the term for its first fully enclosed cars (1906-1910).
Dog cart or Shooting pig : popular in U.K.; high wheels, dogs carried below in special box [1890 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Double enclosed-drive limousine : A term used in the '20s to designate what is now called a limousine, i.e. a sedan with a division.
Drop head, Drop head Coupe : A two-door body with fully folding top and roll-up windows (U.K.)
Droshky : Russian carriage.
Duodecimo phaeton : the Latin duodecimo means twelfth but I am not sure how this term applies to this carriage. See Curricle, above.
Enclosed-drive limousine : A term used in the '20s to describe a limousine body.
Faux-cabriolet : A Continental term for a two-door, fixed head or stationary coupe resembling a Drop head or convertible.
Fixed head (or stationary) coupe : (see Coupe, above).
Flush-side tourer : A tourer with relatively flat sides (U.K.)
Four-light : (U.K.) Used in conjunction with sedan, limousine or town car, describes a body without windows aft of the rear doors. In the U.S. : formal.
Fly [or Rat] : a quick-travelling carriage, especially a light vehicle introduced in Brighton in 1816 and originally drawn by men [oriental Rick Shaw]; later, any one-horse covered carriage (as cab or hansom) let out for hire.
Four-wheeler : larger brother to the hansom, slow and dowdy, commonly called the growler.
Gig : a light 2-seater.
Hansom : named after its inventor, known as the gondola of London, a low-hung, single-seater, 2-wheeled cabriolet with driver mounted high, in the rear, on a dickey behind and the reins going over the top [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94].
High-wheeler : motorized buggy that enjoyed some popularity in the early part of the century [1907-1912].
Landau : from Landau in Germany, from the House of Hanover, a 4-seater of that name. Gentile considers it a coach term that is confusing when applied to car bodies. A car with a transformable roof that opened either over the front or the rear of the driver and passenger area. Cadillac used the term to describe any car with folding quarters over the rear seat, or even fixed rear quarters externally decorated with false landau bars. The more appropriate denomination is Landaulet or Landaulette. The landau coach of England's Queen Victoria is shown below
Landaulet (or Landaulette) : (see entry above)
Limousine : A four-door sedan with glass division. In modern terms, used to describe a large sedan with division; compact versions are termed touring limousines.
Mail coach : These were popular in England in the early nineteenth century; illustrated below is the coach that operated the Royal Mail route between London and Liverpool in 1810
Monocar : Ultra-light motorized vehicle for one person as built in the period from 1912 to 1915.
Motor buggy : [see high-wheeler, above]
Omnibus (private) : U.S. 18-19th century; carriage for 6-7 passengers [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Open-drive limousine : Normally a limousine with no side windows to the driver's compartment.
Owner-driver saloon : (U.K.) A compact saloon (sedan) frequently with a division, suitable for use with or without a chauffeur.
Park Drag - a closed coach style with outside seating above [1893 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Phaeton (formerly used with a carriage-horse), this is named after the sun God's son and charioteer Phaethon. Database visitor, Harry Tresoor, added that said Phaethon was known to ride around recklessly in his chariot! The first "phaeton" appeared London in 1742; it was a four-wheeled, open pleasure-carriage, usually fitted with seats that faced forward. According to Gentile, another term for a "touring car"; he suggests that sometimes Phaeton is used to describe a deluxe or fancy touring car. Frequently seen as double phaeton, it became a triple-phaeton when it was fitted with three rows of seats [see also Roi des Belges]; this coach style is known as a 4-wheel chaise in U.S. [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Pillarless : This adjective is used to describe a saloon (sedan) or coupe body with no roof pillars aft of the front doors.
Pleasure wagon : open, horse-dawn New England coach with «tulip»-like seat like the 1907 Cadillac Model K [1820 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Pullman : According to Gentile, an especially large and roomy limousine.
Rear-entrance Tonneau : An early form of tourer (1900-1910) featuring a door in the center of the car at the rear.
Roadster : A two-door, two-seater, open car without roll-up windows and frequently fitted with a dickey (rumble) seat.
Roi-des-Belges [literally King of the Belgians] : or Tulip phaeton. According to Gentile, an early style of tourer [1900-1910]. Also a luxurious open car style named after King Leopold II of Belgium, the name having been given [or so the story goes] by the king's mistress, Cléo de Mérode.
Runabout : General term for a light-weight, 2-passenger, light, fast carriage [example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]; used to describe light, open car of the early century.
Salamanca : (U.K.) A town car or sedanca de ville on which the roof is fully collapsible, converting the car into a fully open tourer (Salamanca is the capital of a province of western Spain where the French were defeated in battle by the Duke of Wellington in 1812).
Saloon : The U.K. term for sedan. A four-door, enclosed, four- or six-seater car generally without a division.
Sedan : The U.S. term for the British saloon. A closed car with 2 or 4 doors for 4 or more passengers. Database visitor, Harry Tresoor, mentioned correctly the town of Sedan, in France, where the carrying-chair was invented, circa 1650. The relation with car terminology is not certain ...unless you add 4 wheels and an engine to a so-called sedan chair!
Sedanca coupe A two-door style with fully opening front, but fixed or stationary rear quarters (viz. U.S. town car).: (U.K.)
Sedanca de Ville : (U.K.) A limousine with fully opening front, with or without roll-up windows in the driver's compartment, and fixed or stationary rear quarters. Four windows were generally fitted in the rear compartment as against two in the American town car. The removable top over the chauffeur's compartment is termed the tendelet (from the French tendre, meaning to draw or pull out) or the De Ville extension. A town car.
Shay : [see chaise, above]
Shooting brake : (U.K.) A station wagon, generally with wood-paneled sides (in French : le break).
Shooting pig : [see Dog cart, above]
Six-light : (U.K.) Used in conjunction with sedan, limousine or town car, describes a body with windows aft of the rear doors (in the U.S.: six-window).
Skiff : A very light roadster or tourer frequently of boat-like design (Gentile).
Sociable : vehicle used by Queen Victoria for her drives around Balmoral; John Brown sat in the rumble.
Sports saloon : (U.K.) The equivalent of the U.S. close-coupled sedan.
Stage wagon : also known as stage coach [1900 example seen Ford Museum, Dearborn, 9/94]
Stanhope : regency period, one-seater, invented by the Hon. and Rev. Fitzroy Stanhope.
State chariot : The eighteenth century, 2-seater closed carriage used by George III of England was so named
Surrey : An open car for 4 passengers from the early part of the century; it was characterized by a fringed top.
Three-position... : Adjective applied to cars with a convertible top that could be opened partly (over the chauffeur's compartment only) or fully, converting the car to an open tourer.
Tilbury : named after its inventor, a light 2-seater.
Tonneau : An early style of touring car for 4 passengers in which access to the rear compartment was by a rear door. Later, when wheel bases became lengthened, doors were fitted at the sides of the tonneau; such cars became known as side entrance tonneaus. The tonneau refers to that portion of the body located aft of the front seat.
Torpedo or torpedo tourer : A sporty touring car; the French equivalent of the Phaeton. It was characterized by an unbroken body line from radiator to windshield and back to the rear of the car. Seats were flush with the body belt line.
Tourer or Touring car : A four- or six-seater open car without roll-up windows and usually with four doors (but sometimes only two or three doors when mounted on a sporting chassis). Early touring cars had no lateral bad-weather protection; later ones had detachable screens and curtains.
Touring limousine : A close-coupled limousine, frequently without auxiliary seating and (after 1930) with a built-in trunk (boot).
Town car : The U.S. equivalent of the British Sedanca de ville. A car in which the driver area was open and the passenger compartment closed.
Toy tonneau : A smaller version of the tonneau.
Traveling coach : Sixteenth century appellation for a semi-enclosed, horse-drawn carriage; illustrated below is such a coach, as used by Queen Elizabeth I of England
Traveling posting carriage : Seventeenth century mail coach
Victoria : (1870) genteel variant on Phaeton, 4-wheels, collapsible hood, two main seats facing horse and one «pull-out» stool facing these seats. In automobile parlance, according to Gentile, most commonly a two-door, four-seater Drop head or coupe. Since Packard and other U.S. makers (including Cadillac, and mainly for its 2-door, 5-passenger convertibles in the Twenties and Thirties) used the term to describe a very specific Drop head style, Victoria is now frequently reserved for that style.
Vis-ŕ-vis : Literally opposite or facing. A 4-passenger car in which two passengers sat facing the driver.
Wagonette : A large car, for 6 or more occupants in which two rear seats faced each other [as in today's stretched limousines]. Car was entered from the rear and the vehicle was usually open.
"Chosen Words" (Penguin), p. 195 on Phaeton, etc.
"Glossary of General Body Names"
from "The Rolls Royce, Phantom II, Continental" by Raymond Gentile