In a message dated 06/29/2000 10:44:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> When a
> car was imported to the US, and titled to the final buyer, then it
> acquired a model year. But this only meant something to US buyers, not to
> the manufacturers.
Actually, seems to me it would have meant a lot to the manufacturers, or at
least their distributors or dealers, NOT to have been "stuck with last year's
models." Right or wrong, logical or otherwise, it was the way the market
worked in the US.
> Thus as observed, there were 1961 TR-4s, and 1963 TR-3B's.
Unfortunately, your logic doesn't totally follow. For one thing, the last
TR3B was built late in CALENDAR YEAR 1962, perhaps as late as December 1962.
Using your reasoning, then, there could be no 1963 TR3B.
Meanwhile, perhaps up to 2500 TR4's were built in CALENDAR YEAR 1961 and thus
might be labeled as 1961 TR4's for that reason. But to use one "early"
example, CT288L's build date was 9 October 1961 and ship date to the Chicago
area Triumph distributor was 20 October 1961. I can't imagine that the final
selling dealer, who might not have seen that car until November 1961, would
willingly have sold it as a 1961 Triumph when it was undoubtedly surrounded
by 1962-model Oldsmobiles or Plymouths or Fords in a showroom or on the lot!
Ford introduced the Mustang "officially" on April 17, 1964; at that time I
believe they were semi-officially referred to as 1964 1/2 models. I also seem
to recall that, ultimately, all the early Mustangs were "titled" as 1965
I'm sorry to belabor this point, but the US market was the way the US market
was. So long after the fact, there really isn't a logical reason to
'back-date" the cars (i.e., classic registration or insurance purposes). I
have a Herald built 4 April 1960 as a "Personal Export Delivery" car.
Apparently it spent the better part of two years in England before coming to
the US, where it was then "registered" as a 1962 Triumph. To me, that's a
part of the history of the car, and I see no reason to try to "straighten
out" the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.
OK, enough. I'm not trying to start an intense flame war, just trying to add
a bit of "historical perspective" to this. ;-)