The original “7 engine specs” database
Started in 2003, Car Engine Database was my biggest project. initially an experiment with 100 model versions, but during the school vacation of 2004 I decided to expand it to worldwide cars, the first final version launched in January 2005 had 3600 car models produced from mid-1990s to present.
(1 row per body / engine combination, again 11 columns: body style, doors, engine position, drivetrain, cylinders, displacement, power, torque, acceleration, top speed, fuel consumption). Two additional columns were added when started selling in 2012, as suggested by 2 customers: seats (in November 2012) and fuel type (in January 2013). Model name was also split into 3 columns due to customers suggestions.
Car Body Database, a separate Excel file I started in 2004. It was a low-importance project so did not had any final version until 2010 when it had about 500 models, only cars produced in Europe.
(1 row per body style, 11 columns: body style, doors, wheelbase, length, width, height, cube, weight, cargo space, engine range by displacement and power).
I had 6 books to source data from: AutoCatalog 1997, 1999 (from Auto Motor und Sport), AutoSpecial 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (from ADAC).These booiks shows only models in production in the current year, so the production years in my database are generated based by the books each car appears in.
This idea with 2 separate Excel tables was inspired from another book “Catalog Auto ’98 Second Hand” which display two tables (see photo), one listing car body styles, displaying length, width, height, weight, cargo space, and another table listing car engine versions, displaying displacement, horsepower, torque, acceleration, top speed, fuel efficiency, catalytic converter, plus production years.
This idea proved to be a BAD idea when starting selling in 2012, a small number of customers were looking to have all possible data in SAME Excel file, buying both Excel tables was not a solution because they were not designed to be joined.
I connected to the internet in 2005 and this allowed me to go beyond mid-1990s for certain makes, sourcing data from Wikipedia or manufacturer website (if technical specs for historical models were available).
Car models inclusion in database was done aggressively, I have included every car model that was in production in 1997 or later. For example I included Citroen AX (1986-1997) despite that I had full specs from AutoCatalog 1997 only for one engine version which remained in production in 1996-1997, while the rest of engine versions were sourced from Wikipedia, thus having incomplete data (only displacement and power). Many 1990s models were included incompletely in terms of engine versions.
I was very sad to hear that AutoCatalog will be no longer published in Romania and the 2009 issue was the last, the database got stuck at 7800 model versions from 59 brands, coverage mid-1990s to 2009. I have seen on the internet that AutoCatalog was published again in 2011, but I never found it in shops. This was the SAMPLE of 2009 edition (see Statistics sheet for the number of models included per brand, compare with current version).
In 2012 I had a surprise to discover that I can do business by selling car databases on the internet.
Thanks to the money earned from few sales, in November 2012 I bought from eBay.de a collection of german AutoKatalog 1991-2013 at very good price, and started the biggest update in history.
After about 3 weeks of working full-time (~200 hours), I brought the database up-to-date by adding data from 2010-2013 katalogs, raising model count from 7866 to 10754.versions as 15 December 2012. Also added 2 more columns: additional columns: make and model, keeping full car name in 3rd column.
– 934 models, 11003 versions, from 71 brands, 3206 KB file, one more release on 25 December 2012.
– 1104 models, 12031 versions, 78 brands, as 24 January 2013. I completed all 1990s models that were included partially (just the versions that were in still in production in 1997). Coverage extended to 1990 to all brands. New column: Fuel type, originally not included because any reader can realize which is gasoline and which diesel by model name, but one customer complained that cannot FILTER cars by fuel type.
I have bought one more collection of AutoKatalog 1983-1990 too in January 2013, but I have no reason to rush about historical cars. 90% of customers do not need cars older than 20 years.
Started expanding database beyond 1990 in March 2013:
– 1139 models, 12627 versions, from 78 brands, as 20 March 2013. Added additional 1980s cars.
– 1168 models, 12845 versions, from 79 brands, 3357 KB file, as 1 May 2013. Coverage extended to 1986 for most brands.
Currently I am adding only car models which I have COMPLETE data. NO more aggressive data adding. For example I included Peugeot 205 (1983), 309 (1986), 405 (1987), 605 (1989) = average year 1986. I did NOT included Peugeot 305 (1977-1989) because I have info only for 1982-1989 versions (unless I buy more AutoKatalogs and the customers demand older cars).
The combined “21-column database” (engine specs + dimensions)
During few months of 2012 I was planning that, if someone buy Car Engine Database, to give as gift the Car Body Database with dimensions. Until November 2012, in order to buy, people had to contact me (no automatic download), by this way I done surveys and realized that most customers are companies, and who is looking for engine data do not need body dimensions (and vice-versa) so I started selling separately.
However, in 2013 a small number of customers (probably webdesigners) asked me if I can make one table with BOTH engine data and body dimensions, or asking which car database have “highest detail level” instead asking for specific data.
If you are webdesigner and wonder why I have not made the car database with more data fields from start:
FIRST, because was started in 2003, long before having internet connection, so I did not imagined that some day I will sell these vehicle tables to companies and web developers, and for my personal purpose I considered 7 columns enough for Car Engine Database, I was inspired by these auto magazines (notice how the dimensions are separated from engine data).
Second, nowadays I had (funny) cases of customers refusing to buy it because contains too many data and they want something simpler. – I expanded the Excel table with 8 additional columns in August 2013, spawning the new product “Car Models Dimensions & Engines Database“, and for newly-added OLD cars, I filled also dimensions and tire data.
– I expanded the Excel table with 8 additional columns in August 2013 and for newly-added OLD cars I filled them with data.
– I worked full-time in October 2013, doing the main yearly update, adding new launched cars.
– I was planning that starting from November, after main yearly update, to fill dimensions and tires for existing cars, in spare time (2 hours per day), and release for sale at end of year, finishing at least 2000-present period. BUT on 12 October 2013 Google penalized my website, traffic felt down 10 times, making me unable to find new customers for the new databases, so I updated only existing databases for past customers.
– Although INCOMPLETE, I still released for sale the new combined car engine + dimensions database in December 2013, dimensions filed for 90% of cars (except few models where engine rows need to be split due to a mid-life facelift) and tires for 18% of cars (some 2000s cars, plus 1980s cars added after August 2013). Once this row split of rows will be done, further updates to the 12-column Car Models & Engine Database will be difficult.
A possible solution would be to abandon the 12-column database in favor of the 20-column database…. but would you be agree? the existing customers of the 12-column database would be agree too to upgrade to bigger database?
– I wasted a lot of time looking for solution to remove Google penalty. Surprisingly, traffic was restored near end of March 2014.
– In the following 3 months, abut 10 people purchased the database in the 12-column version (Engines Database) while only 1 purchased it in the 20-column (Engines & Dimensions Database), reason for which I put this project in LOW priority until I will have more spare time. The rising traffic after penalty removal made me over-solicited in various other projects.
– 2 additional customers purchased the 21-column database in July 2014… it’s time to resume working, now with higher priority!
??? models, ~13400 versions, as August 2013, by extending coverage to 1980 for few brands
1219 models, 13980 versions, from 81 brands, 3764 KB file, as 1 November 2013. Main yearly update done! 2 weeks of almost full-time work (~100 hours). Some additional changes suggested by customers, such as 4-digit production years instead of space-saving 2-digits.
1309 models, 14656 versions from 82 brands, as 20 January 2014. 4077 KB file. Coverage pushed to 1980 for most of brands.
1317 models, 14807 versions, from 82 brands, as 17 July 2014. 4299 KB file (engines & performance), 5200 KB (engines & dimensions & performance).
1336 models, 15081 versions, from 83 brands, as 10 August 2014. 2899 KB file (engine-only BETA) / 4377 KB (engines & performance) / 15201 versions, 5258 KB (engines & dimensions & performance).
1340 models, 14975 versions, from 83 brands, as 1 November 2014. 3924 KB (engine-only) / 4390 KB (engines & performance) / 15268 versions, 5544 KB (engines & dimensions & performance).
The expansion to 40+ columns
In 2014 I was evaluating if there is sufficient demand and if does worth to invest time to add in database additional data from AutoKatalog, even digitalizing entire AutoKatalog books, but this would have taken about 1000 hours, especially due to my small screen, definitely too much effort considering the additional revenue generated by an expanded database.
There is also a possible PROBLEM: Car Engine Database was originally intended to have NO duplicates in the 8 columns engine / performance data together (columns L-S in the following screenshot).
To add dimensions, I cannot simply copy-paste the from the body database, because some cars had a external facelift, requiring rows to be split for the changed dimensions.
Moreover, for some cars, certain data especially weight and tires, appear to be different between yearly issues of AutoKatalog. For example: a car model is launched in 2011, in 2012 weight changed, in 2013 engine torque is improved while power remained the same, in 2014 an external facelift changed dimensions, in 2015 gearbox change affected top speed and fuel efficiency, etc… what I should do in this case?
Split it into 5 rows: 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-present for each unique combination of data? This would be a PROBLEM for the customers who are looking for ENGINE-ONLY database, when you will delete unnecessary columns you will get duplicate records, when you actually want only 2 records for 2011-2013 and 2013-present due to torque change in 2013, or even a single record 2011-present if you do not need torque!
Original text added in late 2014: Who is interested in the most detailed car database ever existed on internet, please make a price offer, leave a comment a bottom of page or contact me in other ways… Depending by number of offers, I will decide to invest my life expanding the existing database, or will be a waste of time, so I will rather abandon the idea and go to do something else requiring less effort and generating more profit.
As 2014 the biggest database (Car Models, Engines, Dimensions, Performance had 21 columns of technical specs, 19 of them with 99% completion, it hardly got sales, most sales being done by Car Models, Engines, this proved how FEW people are interested in detailed technical data per car vs people looking for a simple list of cars detailed to engine level. I estimated that an potential expansion to 45 columns would generate one sale per month, too few for project that require about 500 hours of work!
In May 2014 I bought a 24″ 1920×1200 monitor to replace the 17″ crap, this encouraged me to engage in bigger databases.
In June 2014 I came with a SOLUTION for the above problem: to split every car into a separate row for every year the car appear in AutoKatalog, raising number of rows from 15000 to about 40000.
Also expanded database to 40+ columns, so in the future I can digitalize entire AutoKatalog books. However the initial idea (to save time) was to fill up only the columns of data requested by customers (weight and tires, in addition of existing engine specs, performance, dimensions), total 21 columns. I posted a big message in red text if anyone is interested in buying a database with all 40 columns. Nobody was interested, BUT… someone else requested gearboxes too.
Two months later, August 2014 I decided that would not be a big additional effort to fill up ALL the 40+ columns from AutoKatalog, this will avoid taking time again checking every AutoKatalog book if a future customer want another addition. I will be no longer able to complete tire database by end-2014, but when I will add ALL the data, I will get a lot more customers than just tire shops!
By end-2014 just 1 person informed me that will like to purchase such BIG database. Few additional people requested to add specific data such as car tires or transmission, so I launched separately Car Tire Database, for other requirements please ask and I will sell them separately too. However, estimated sales potential not generate at least 10 euro per hour invested, so this will be a LOW priority project, only if I have nothing else to do.
Note: I will NOT sell the database with one row for every year, similar with American system which nobody is using in Europe. Instead, I use two Year columns to filter the database in 2 formats: engine-only and full specs.
Having one row for every AutoKatalog book allow me to fill up all the data from each book then compare data and select the best one, avoiding to waste time comparing books to choose the best data to add and when to split up the rows if I find major data differences between yearly books (in the first stage I fill up the row of the first year the car appeared in books, ignoring the data differences in the following years). If I eventually I enter ALL the data from every AutoKatalog years, I can view all years and mark the rows to sell in the FINAL database, adjoin or split up the rows until the database have exactly one row for each engine / body combination. The engine-only database will have also removed the duplicate rows caused by variations car dimensions, in top speed and fuel efficiency. This will cause about 5-10% more versions in the “full specs database” than in the “engine-only database” despite of same amount of models. See the below screenshot for details!
In May 2014 I bought a 24″ 1920×1200 monitor to replace the 17″ crap, this encouraged me to engage in bigger databases.
In June 2014 I added new 20 columns so in the future I can add all possible data from AutoKatalog, filled data for about 100 cars as marketing experiment, inviting people to make an offer.
By end 2014 just 1 person informed me that will like to purchase such BIG database. Few additional people requested to add specific data such as car tires or transmission, so I launched separately Car Tire Database, for other requirements please ask and I will sell them separately too.
However, estimated sales potential not generate at least 10 euro per hour invested, so this will be a LOW priority project, only if I have nothing else to do.
Initially I was adding additional data only for tires and transmission fields, as the customers requested, but in October 2014 I decided that would not take much more time to fill up all 26 additional fields, in defavor of customers waiting for me to complete car tires ASAP, this decision was to avoid needing to do again entire job if a new customer wants an additional data field, by November about 2500 cars (2000-present) had all 45 columns filled up, then I ran out of time due to personal/family problems.
Additional 4500 cars got 45 columns filled in March-May 2015 (1995-present).
I released for sale “The BIG database” in September 2015, 45 columns filled 11000 cars (92% for 1990/1995 package). Finalized 1995-present, the missing 8% is mostly in 1990-1995 period.
– 1340 models, 14975 / 15265 model versions, from 83 brands, as November 2014.
Tire info completed for about 5000 versions. The rest of 45-column “The BIG car database”, completed for about 2500 versions.
A BAD event in my family in November 2014 reduced my time available for business, together with the uncertainty of my future life, I had to stop the project of expanding to 45 columns.
Work resumed in March 2015.
– ? makes, 1349 models, 15140 / 15534 versions, as 25 April 2015.
– 85 makes, 1358 models, 15119 / 15560 versions, as 12 May 2015.
Tires completed for 8700 versions. The rest of 45-column “The BIG car database”, completed for 7200 versions.
Had to take a break to do the other projects accumulated meantime, one of them being Singapore HDB Database which turned to be my second source of income after Car Database.
Work resumed in July 2015. Rate: 200 cars per day.
– 88 makes, 1371 models, 15166 / 15674 versions, as 15 August 2015.
First release for sale of “The BIG database” at insistence of one customer, 45 columns filled for 9800 cars (82% for 1990/1995 package). Tires completed for 11200 versions. Data expansion continue at rate of 100 cars per day.
– 88 makes, 1371 models, ~ 15150 / 15730 versions. as 10 September 2015.
45-columns completed for 11000 versions (92% for 1990/1995-present package).
– 88 makes, 1371 models, ~ 14930 / 15640 versions, as 20 September 2015
Split about 100 rows that needed to be split due to dimension change, merged about 200 rows that were unnecessarily split due to different performance data.
This was official launch for sale of “The BIG database”, 45 columns filled 11000 cars (92% for 1990/1995 package), finalized 1995-present, the missing 8% is mostly in 1990-1995 period.
17 October 2015
96 makes, 1411 models, 15106 / 15827 versions.
Update with old cars, added Caterham, Panther, Tofas, ZAZ, ZIL.
45 columns filled for 12000 cars (96% for 1990/1995 package)
4 sales so far, a lot more than initial estimation, wrong estimation due to lazy people who don’t even bother contacting me to show interest for a product, if it is “under construction”. All sales were for 1990/1995-present package, so I think that I can leave the expansion to 45 columns for 1970-1990 cars for later time.
20 December 2015
96 makes, 1445 models, 16506 versions.
80 makes, 1125 models, 12736 versions, for 1990/1995-present.
61 makes, 706 models, 8507 versions, for 2005-present.
Update with new cars.
28 March 2016
103 makes, 1558 models, 16715 / 17538 versions.
An update with 600 new launched cars, plus another 400 cars by adding new manufacturers: Polski-Fiat, Tofas-Fiat, Renault Turkey, also BMW Alpina, a manufacturer ignored for many years, despite that is a stand-alone company producing own models in collaboration with BMW rather than modifying mainstream models as does Brabus for Mercedes, and full data for BMW Alpina is available in AutoKatalog magazine and ADAC website.
12 August 2016
103 makes, 1576 models, 17088 / 17941 versions, 13532 KB file.
86 makes, 1216 models, 13155 / 13923 versions, for 1990/1995-present.
68 makes, 751 models, 8916 / 9552 versions, for 2005-present.
57 makes, 354 models, 4198 / 4375 versions, for new cars only.
An update with new cars only, about 400 versions.
6 March 2017
106 makes, 1612 models, 17652 / 18559 versions, 15313 KB file.
88 makes, 1249 models, 13717 / 14539 versions, for 1990/1995-present.
69 makes, 782 models, 9748 / 10168 versions, for 2005-present.
58 makes, 372 models, 4318 / 4472 versions, for new cars only.
Main yearly update with new cars, about 600 versions.
20 August 2017
111 makes, 1773 models, 18879 / 19791 versions.
88 makes, 1243 models, 13711 / 14539 versions, for 1990/1995-present.
69 makes, 782 models, 9474 / 10164 versions, for 2005-present.
58 makes, 372 models, 4322 / 4476 versions, for new cars only.
Added about 1200 versions produced between 1975 and 1986, making database almost complete 1975-present. Added British Leyland (pre-1984 models), Chrysler Europe / Hillman / Sunbeam / Simca / Talbot, Autobianchi, Felber, Monteverdi.
30 August 2017
113 makes, 1813 models, 19362 / 20331 model versions.
90 makes, 1284 models, 14192 / 15072 model versions, for 1990/1995-present.
71 makes, 824 models, 9957 / 10704 model versions, for 2005-present.
59 makes, 359 models, 4181 / 4359 model versions, for new cars only.
Update with new cars, about 500 versions.
1 January 2018
113 makes, 1835 models, 19577 / 20554 model versions.
90 makes, 1305 models, 14414 / 15302 model versions, for 1990/1995-present.
71 makes, 845 models, 10179 / 10934 model versions, for 2005-present.
59 makes, 380 models, 4328 / 4534 model versions, for new cars only.
Update with new cars, about 200 versions.
1 August 2018
113 makes, 1912 models, 21265 / 22246 model versions.
86 makes, 1383 models, 16102 / 16994 model versions, for 1990/1995-present.
71 makes, 901 models, 11449 / 12208 model versions, for 2005-present
59 makes, 357 models, 4051 / 4204 model versions, for new cars only.
Update with new cars, about 300 models, plus light commercial vehicles added in an unannounced update in March 2018.
1 May 2019
Whole database: 113 makes, 1952 models, 21861 / 22845 model versions
1990s-present: 90 makes, 1423 models, 16698 / 17593 model versions
2000s-present: 71 makes, 941 models, 12045 / 12807 model versions
New cars only: 59 makes, 379 models, 4413 / 4561 model versions
Update with new cars, about 300 models, plus light commercial vehicles added in an unannounced update in March 2018.
History & change log – the original “7-specs” database
PART OF TEXT DELETED… integrated in this page instead https://www.teoalida.com/cardatabase/car-models-engines/
During 2013 few customers asked if I can make a database with both engine and body data. Updates put on hold until I get at least 5 answers regarding if I should continue in this format or should combine with Body Specs and eventually add more data columns.
Updates resumed in August 2013 when I decided to add 8 additional columns, spawning Car Models Dimensions & Engines Database, reached ~13400 model versions by extending coverage to 1980 for few brands.
1 November 2013: 2014 update done after 2 weeks of almost full-time work (~100 hours), 1219 models, 13980 model versions, from 81 brands, 3764 KB file. Some additional changes suggested by customers, such as 4-digit production years instead of space-saving 2-digits.
20 January 2014: new version with 1309 models, 14656 versions from 82 brands, coverage pushed to 1980 for most of brands, 4077 KB file.
17 July 2014: new version with 1317 models, 14807 versions from 82 brands, 4299 KB file / 5200 KB the bigger version.
10 August 2014: new version with 1336 models, 15081 versions from 83 brands, 4377 KB file / 15201 versions, 5251 KB the bigger version.
History – the expanded “20-column database”
Data available currently
Body style, doors – available in both Body Specs and Engine Specs.
Seats – available in Car Body Specs, added in Car Engine Specs in Aug-Sep 2013 for all cars.
Engine placement, wheel drive – available in Car Engine Specs.
Engine cylinders, displacement, horsepower, torque – available in Car Engine Specs.
0-100 kmph, top speed, fuel efficiency, fuel type – available in Car Engine Specs.
Length, width, height, wheelbase – available in Car Body Specs, under adding in Car Engine Specs since Aug 2013.
Cargo space – available in Car Body Specs, under adding in Car Engine Specs since Aug 2013 (not available before 1988).
Curb weight and gross weight – available in Car Body Specs as APPROXIMATE RANGE, I started adding these in Car Engine Specs too, but later I decided to stop and remove it from the final version, due to unnecessary complexity created.
I don’t know in which year, the European Union promoted a law to measure vehicle “empty weight” with gas tank 90% full and a hypothetical driver of 75 kg. The PROBLEM is that not all manufacturers adopted the law at once, I see in AutoKatalog lots of car models weights jumping +/- 75 kg from one year to another. There is impossible to tell if a particular “empty weight” is really empty or include driver. Making a database including weight accurate is HARD… expect such errors at any database available on internet.
Data that I am adding… or I can add in if you want
Tires – started adding in August 2013, after I lost 4 customers who asked me if I have a CAR TIRE DATABASE ready for sale. Tires are most headache, since many models changed their tires in mid-life, may take over 200 hours to add tires for all 14700+ models.
Gas tank size – started adding in December 2013 after request from 1 people. Can be added relatively fast with copy-paste, as it is the same for all engines of each model.
co2 emissions (2007-present only) – started adding in December 2013 despite that nobody requested, just in case someone need it.
Transmission / gearbox – I can dd this data as M-6 / A-5 (meaning that the car offer standard 6-speed manual and option for 5-speed automatic gearbox). I regret that I cannot add whetever is automatic or semi-automatic gearbox, or make separate row for each gearbox type, because AutoKatalog do not provide these details. I don’t know if this would be OK for you so I decided to NOT spend additional time adding gearbox info. I may add later depending by customer feedback.
Bore x stroke, valves per cylinder, compression ratio, RPM of power and torque, – these additional engine specs will take lots of effort and so far NOBODY asked me for them.
Track width – I don’t know if anyone will be interested in this. It’s also complex as it vary from engine to engine, so impossible to add track width in Car Body Specs & Dimensions database, like how I added wheelbase.
Suspension & brakes type – I don’t know if anyone will be interested in this.
Production as Year-Month instead of just year: 2 people suggested this. The PROBLEM is that this info is provided for initial model launch and is not available for individual engine versions. Also there’s easy to mistake as a car can be launched to buyers in one month and enter in production in another month, then first sales in Europe in a third month. Additionally German Wikipedia display the year-month of domestic cars only. Why I would add in my database something available for less than 20% of cars?
Car prices – I can add the prices in Germany market as provided by AutoKatalog german car magazine, but considering that my website gets just 2% traffic from Germany… 98% of customers will blame me for providing wrong prices! Thus, I WON’T add prices in database.
The database expansion is currently 90% complete in terms of adding dimensions (except few models where engine rows need to be split due to a mid-life facelift) while additional data (tires) is added for 2797 of the total 14700+ models, mostly new ones, plus 1980s vehicles that were added since Aug 2013. Once this row split of rows will be done, further updates to the 12-column Car Models & Engine Database will be difficult.
A possible solution would be to abandon the 12-column database in favor of the 20-column database…. but would you be agree? the existing customers of the 12-column database would be agree too to upgrade to bigger database? In June 2014 I found a SOLUTION: duplicate Year columns, in second column delete years of cars with duplicate engine, that column will act also as filter, allowing me to quickly provide both FULL database and Engine-only database!
Note that keeping existing databases up-to-date require no more than 2 hours per week… WHILE re-checking all 14000+ models to fill additional data (weight, tires, co2, etc), require at least 100 hours of work in defavor of other higher-paid projects.
Some people may suggest to add as much data is possible about each car, but this will take a lot more than my available time, I will need to increase price significantly and I may never finish… what is the best thing to do in this case?