Download SAMPLE (BMW only)
Buy full database (all makes)
Last release: 6 March 2017, including 591 versions launched 2016 and 111 versions launched 2017. Full change log.
If you are interested in specific data fields and DON’T want to pay a huge price for all 45 fields, you can buy other packages (having SAME number of rows) such as Car Models, Engines (7 columns, 60% discount), Car Models, Engines, Dimensions, Performance (23 columns, 40% discount), or tell me what fields do you need, I will sell part of data at negotiable price lower than the price of complete database.
Description & history
I started this automobile database in 2003, from personal interest. In late 2003 I standardized the table at 11 columns of technical specs and from December 2003 to April 2004 I added about 2800 model versions.
I sourced data from AutoCatalog 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (from Auto Motor & Sport magazine), and AutoSpecial 2000, 2001, 2002 (from Burda magazine), in October 2004 I also bought AutoCatalog 2005 so I started to update my database. So the database included initially most cars produced since mid-1990s to present. I launched my first FINAL edition in January 2005, it had 3600 model versions, of which 3000 from Europe.
AutoKatalog provide 40+ columns of data, but personally I was not interested in so much data, and 1024×768 screen limited my abilities. The 11-column format was inspired from these auto magazines displaying 7 columns (cylinders, displacement, power, torque, 0-100 kmph, top speed, fuel consumption) and separate table for car dimensions. Additional 4 columns (body, doors, engine placement, drivetrain) were added from my research interest.
I was updating my database constantly, after buying each year AutoCatalog 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. The 2008 edition had 6000 model versions of which 4800 are from Europe. Sadly, AutoCatalog is no longer published in Romania since 2009, leaving database in hiatus. I done a small update in 2010 and also added few pre-1990 cars with data sourced from Wikipedia and other websites, for BMW, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Porsche I was able to find sufficient data to expand my database to WW2, reaching 7800 models from 57 brands.
In 2011 I published previews my car databases on my personal website and in 2012 realized that I can do a business by selling it to various companies and web developers.
In November 2012 I found on eBay a collection of german AutoKatalog for 1991-2013 and revived the car database from hiatus. Had to update 4 years, and the car database was enlarged to over 10700 models. Adding more early 1990s models and improving the models sourced initially from Wikipedia, raised the database to 12000 models (as January 2013) from 78 brands, covering 1990-present.
After people starting contacting me, I had to do few changes to make the automobile database suitable for the unexpected audience, for example: added 2 new columns Make and Model before the full model name (necessary for web developers making drop-down lists), added fuel type (suggested by a customer who wanted to filter cars by fuel), added number of seats, etc.
In February 2013 I bought from eBay more german AutoKatalog for 1983-1990 too, planning to include in my database all cars launched after 1983 or produced until at least 1990. I kept buying AutoKatalogs until 2014, completing collection for 1970-2014 (45 books). In 2014 the database had over 14000 models from 80+ brands, starting year varying between 1970 and 1986, depending by car make.
The vehicle database proved insufficient for certain customers who were demanding more data per car, especially car tire dimensions were demanded by numerous customers (tire shops), while several customers wanted to combine Car Models & Engines Database with Car Models Database (having dimensions). I expanded the vehicle database from 14 to 22 columns, I quickly added car dimensions and started a slow process of adding car tire size. But new customers demanded additional data such as transmission, so I had to re-do every car.
In May 2014 I bought a 24″ 1920×1200 monitor to replace the 17″ crap, this encouraged me to engage in bigger databases. However, I was questioning if will worth my time spending 500+ hours to include 40+ columns of data from AutoKatalog books. I posted a message on site inviting people to contact me and make a price offer if they are interested in expanding database to 45+ columns. By end–2014, a single person showed interest.
In 2014 I halted adding classic cars and stated expanding the automobile database to 45+ columns in my spare time. When launched for sale the enlarged database in October 2015 with 99% completion for 1990-present, I had surprise to see that number of people willing to pay almost $500 for such great database, is higher than expected. But most people purchase the 7-column database (60% cheaper) and 1990-present package, due to this reason, expanding 1970-1990 cars to 45-columns is not a priority.
Of course certain customers demand new specialty data that is not available in AutoKatalog and sometimes nowhere. I cannot satisfy everyone.
AutoKatalog magazine was surprisingly discontinued in 2014, so starting from 2015 I am sourcing new car data from ADAC Datenbank. ADAC do have separate row for each transmission, trim and equipment level, thus having too many rows for each engine. Every few months I am scraping ADAC website then use my mind to select one row per unique engine and copy-paste the data into my database, to match the format of the former AutoKatalog. This keeps my car database an original product and not a copy of any existing website, thus you can use it for your website without worrying about a copyright claim from another website.
In 2016 I resumed adding classic cars and reached 99% completion for 1986-present. 1970-1986 cars remained with fewer columns of data as they were added in 2013-2014, waiting to be expanded to 45+ columns with data from AutoKatalog in my spare time.
The ultimate database will have 99% completion for 1970-present. That is almost 50 years of history of automobile!
Source of data
Primarily AutoKatalog, the german car magazine published since 1957 every year in September, one of most reputable car publications in the world, and ADAC. AutoKatalog shows each year cars currently in production, with no years of production indicated. The years in my database are generated by the books the car appears in, for example if a car appears in AK 2000, 2001, 2002 I indicated year 1999-2002.
The original database (2003-2014): initially it included only data that I was personally interested, engine and performance data. In a period of 2005-2006 I was deciding when to make a new row by checking performance data, which have sometimes variations from year to year despite that engine is the same, thus causing some duplicates in engine data.
The current database (2014-present): I made separate rows for each yearly issue of AutoKatalog, but for time economy, in the first stage I filled up only the rows of the first year the car appears in AutoKatalog (or second year, if the first year looks pre-launch data). There are 2 columns of production years, which I filled for just one of the rows for each year of AutoKatalog, then filter up database by deleting rows with empty production years, producing final database having only one row per each engine-body-drivetrain combination, with no duplicates, ignoring the variations in performance data.
Year accuracy notes
The years for main model is the correct production years according Wikipedia, but correct production years for each engine version cannot be found anywhere, so they are generated based by years a car appear in AutoKatalog. The AutoKatalog is published each year in September, it sometimes shows the car models that will be launched 1-2 months in advance, but not always. For example: Audi A4 was launched in November 1994, after the release of AutoKatalog 1995, so it is first displayed in AutoKatalog 1996, so I wrote in my database shows 1994-2001 for main model and 1995-XXXX for engine versions. Correcting this info for Audi A4 while for most models no correct data is available on Wikipedia, will result in a messy database. To keep the database clean, the years for engine versions are generated based by the years a car appear in AutoKatalog, while the years for main model is from Wikipedia. I hope that this will be not an issue for you.
Data accuracy notes
AutoKatalog itself does have errors, but having myself high experience in cars and data analysis, I have spotted numerous errors and input correct data. However some data remains possibly wrong because I do not know what would be correct values.
The most important data, such as engine and dimensions, are 99.99% accurate. Less accurate data are the following: performance data, where are often variations such as +/- 0.1 litres in fuel consumption between yearly issues of AutoKatalog, suspension type: sometimes it indicate double wishbone on one year and multilink in another year, can’t know which is correct, and tire size (especially the speed indicator is different from yearly issues of AutoKatalog.
Do note that nobody is perfect, 100% accuracy is impossible, but I believe that my manually hand-made car database is the most accurate vehicle database ever existed on internet, given by the comments from my customers who previously bought car databases from other sources which appears to be crawled using automatic software, including junk data, and no human is ever checked for errors.
if you want to counter-check my accuracy, I advise you to check against German websites. Expect small differences for certain cars when checking against websites from other countries, due of the bad sources of data that most websites uses.
Data fields included
Naming: Make, Model, Version, Years, Sold in, Class 100%
Model data: Body type 100.00%, No. of doors 100.00%, No. of seats 99.7%, Engine place 100%, Drivetrain 100%
Engine data: Cylinders 100%, Displacement (cm³) 100%, Power (PS) 100%, Power (kW) 99.0%, Power (rpm) 98.9%, Torque (Nm) 99.8%, Torque (rpm) 98.9%, Bore × Stroke (mm) 86.5%, Compression ratio 86.5%, Valves per cylinder 98.5%, Crankshaft 86.5%, Fuel injection 98.5%, Supercharger 98.4%, Catalytic 2.7%, Manual 98.5%, Automatic 98.5%
Drivetrain data: Suspension front 98.3%, Suspension rear 98.3%, Assisted steering 98.3%, Brakes front 98.3%, Brakes rear 98.3%, ABS 86.7%, ESP 62.2%, Tire size 98.6%, Tire size rear (if different than front) 7.3%
Body data: Wheelbase (mm) 99.2%, Track front (mm) 86.4%, Track rear (mm) 86.4%, Length (mm) 99.2%, Width (mm) 99.2%, Height (mm) 99.2%, Curb weight (kg) 98.4%, Gross weight (kg) 98.2%, Cargo space (litres) 98.9%, Tow weight (kg) 98.2%
Gas tank (litres) 99.1%
Performance data: 0-100 kmph (sec) 99.3%, Max speed (km/h) 99.5%, Fuel efficiency (l/100km) 98.9%, Engine type 99.7%, Fuel type 97.9%, co2 (g/km) 46.6%
Completion percentages are calculated as March 2016 for 1990-present package with 13552 model versions.
The database had until 2014 only 19 fields, I have hardworked in 2014-2015 to fill up additional 25 fields for 96% of cars of 1990/1995-present by October 2015, and 98% by March 2016. Expect these fields to be empty for cars before 1990 because will take few more months to finalize them too (old cars = not a priority). Cars produced after 2013 sourced from ADAC instead of AutoKatalog do not have bore × stroke, compression ratio, crankshaft, etc, this is why percentage is 86%.
Worldwide passenger automobiles sold in Europe market starting from 1970-1990 to present, depending by brand (average 1980-present). See list of manufacturers with their exact coverage, Source of data: AutoKatalog, german car magazine.
Non-European customers can check list of car models included in Excel file and report missing models (sold in your country but not in Europe) and I may add them for you, completed with technical data.
As early 2013 all brands were 1986-present. During 2013-2014 I expanded most European and Japanese brands to 1980 and some even to 1970. American and Russian cars remain 1990-present. I could expanded all brands to 1970, but 90% of customers do not need cars older than 20-30 years old, thus in 2014 I decided to halt historical expansion and focus instead on adding more details for 1990-present cars, making The BIG Car Database, after finishing adding all details for 1990-present in October 2015 I started adding more details for pre-1990 cars and in the same time I am adding missing pre-1990 cars, hoping to have 1970s-present coverage for all brands by 2016. See full change log.
BONUS: 1945-1990 models for BMW, ISO Rivolta, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Porsche. Source of data: Wikipedia and various websites (less data available per car).
Poll – abbreviations
The reason for which I use abbreviations is because I sourced data from books which also use abbreviated due of limited amount of paper space, and because when I started this European database in 2003 I had an 1024×768 screen, that’s why I made it in 12 columns only. Now I have a 24″ 1920×1200 screen and this allowed me to expand database to 45 columns, my screen is still not big enough as the database would require a 27″ 2560×1440 screen to display completely, so I choose to hide columns when adding new data. However, after I enter all data from AutoKatalog books going back to 1970, there will be no more reason to have a database that fit in screen width, as the updates with new cars are done via copy-pasting and not manual typing. The databases I made for other continents, America and India, source data from websites which do not have limitations of a printed book, so they use full words, and I wonder if should do the same for European database.
Poll – tires
Poll – hierarchy