Car encyclopædia Autocade hits 3,000,000 page views since launch
Wellington, May 6 (JY&A Media) Autocade (http://autocade.net), the car cyclopædia, has clocked up three million page views since its inception, according to its publishers.
The website, which had started as a hobby, was inspired by the work of the late Michael Sedgwick, who had compiled an A–Z of cars sold in Great Britain between 1945 and 1970 for Classic and Sportscar in 1982–3. Originally devised as a wiki by its publisher Jack Yan, who had founded the fashion magazine Lucire, Autocade soon focused on models sold worldwide after 1970.
Mr Yan was dissatisfied with the inaccuracies he found in Wikipedia, and the experiences he had had with the way that site was run. ‘The main problem with the English Wikipedia was that it was becoming increasingly US-centric, so everything was adjusted to the American viewpoint. That’s fine if it was set up as an American website—netizens happily browse to Edmunds or Consumer Guide—but the fact is the US does not always get certain car models earlier than other markets and I discovered more and more discrepancies.’
Examples Mr Yan gives include Wikipedia’s insistence that the CE14 code applied to the 1983 Ford Tempo, when Ford had not even adopted its alphanumeric coding scheme at the time. (CE14 actually referred to the 1990 Ford Escort, with C denoting the car size and E denoting Europe—neither of which applied to the Tempo.) That error, he says, has now propagated all over the web.
While he admits that Autocade is not perfect—their statistics show that each page is subject to 2·6 revisions—he believes that between him and Keith Adams, editor at Honest John in the UK—they have managed to avoid obvious errors.
The website’s start in New Zealand, which no longer has a major domestic car production industry, helped the site maintain its fairness between nations.
He and Mr Adams have been filling the gaps steadily over the last five years, starting with a handful of models in March 2008, getting to 500 in July of that year.
The website is not meant to be exhaustive. As with Sedgwick, the duo provide a one-paragraph summary of each model, including body variants and engine sizes, and, given the web’s nature, links to its predecessor and successor where applicable.
The global aspect arises when referring to international models. Rather than list the current Chevrolet Cruze under the name it bears in Europe, the original entry, made in 2008, is under Daewoo Lacetti (J300), following its name in its home market of Korea. Chevrolet Cruze is still listed as a nameplate, with a link back to the Lacetti’s model page, to aid European and other readers.
Mr Yan says that this system makes Autocade more geographically neutral, and no country is favoured ahead of another.
However, he and Mr Adams admit that they have put in their fair share of oddities out of a desire to catalogue rare models, including the Korean Camina of the 1970s (a facelifted Holden Torana), the Jaguar-based Rapport Forté of the early 1980s, all of the Citroën ZX-based Shanghai Maple models from China, and two current Renaults and a Škoda unique to India. Despite its largely post-1970 focus, a few older models have crept in for similar reasons, such as the Chrysler Esplanada, Regente and GTX of the late 1960s, which were based on the last French Fords and what became known as the Simca Vedette.
So far, Autocade remains largely New Zealand and British in its team. Gateshead-based Peter Jobes had worked on Autocade’s back end, and, more recently, Melbourne-based New Zealand expat Nigel Dunn upgraded the site and moved it on to the cloud.
Images can also be downloaded at http://jyanet.com/press/photo.htm.
About JY&A Media
JY&A Media, part of Jack Yan & Associates, publishes and licenses magazines, in print and on the web, and produces other interactive content. Best known among its titles is Lucire, the fashion magazine which launched online in 1997 and spawned international print editions in 2004. An internet pioneer, it has been publishing and creating online titles since the early 1990s. More on the company can be found at http://jyanet.com/media.
Notes to editors
Autocade is a registered trade mark of Jack Yan & Associates and subject to protection in certain jurisdictions. All other trade marks are the properties of their respective owners and are only used in a descriptive fashion without any intention to infringe.
Jack Yan, Publisher
T 64 4 387-3213, F 64 4 387-3213