Autocade (http://autocade.net), the New Zealand-based car cyclopædia, has reached its five millionth page view, and now has data on 2,777 model lines.
The website has become an useful resource for car buffs online, and its creator Jack Yan believes it will become even more important as long-running annuals such as the German Auto Katalog come to an end.
‘I was shocked to find that Auto Katalog was finishing up after 57 years, and the publishers claimed that information about new cars could be better found online,’ he says. ‘I don’t agree, as there are few sites that catalogue all models for a year—but I’d like to think that we come close to providing the data that car enthusiasts seek.’
Autocade actually prides itself on not being comprehensive about specifications, but to give a brief summary and limited technical data about each model line. ‘It’s all people generally need at a glance,’ says Mr Yan, ‘and the annuals like Auto Katalog or the French Toutes les voitures du monde have adopted such an approach in their main pages.’
Despite having 2,777 models, Mr Yan admits there are gaps that he and his fellow contributors in the UK have not plugged, as Autocade is a work in progress. However, many landmark models made since 1970 are included.
Among those contributors is Classic Car Weekly editor-in-chief Keith Adams, who had helped Mr Yan add some important models.
Autocade is one of the few sites to provide English-language information on certain historical models, and keeps an eye on the latest offerings from China, the world’s most competitive car market.
For a website that started off as a hobby, he’s happy to know that others are finding it a valuable resource.
‘I now come across people on car groups who don’t know me, but know Autocade, which isn’t bad for something that has not been promoted widely.’ He says Wikipedia also links to some of its pages—a fact he’s particularly proud of, since factual errors on the famous , user-driven online encyclopædia were one of the reasons Autocade was started.
Mr Yan says Autocade has also become popular because of its geographic neutrality. While Wikipedia car entries tend to be written from a US point of view, Autocade adopts the perspective of each model’s country of origin.
‘We’re not a sales’ guide, and those are the sites that should rightly have a geographical bias. We’re also not a technical guide, and there are some excellent websites such as Carfolio that have that covered. We’re simply a quick, accurate reference which netizens know they can trust,’ he says.
He plans to include more US models, which have taken more time to add given the American preference for citing an engine’s capacity in cubic inches or litres, but not in cubic centimetres.
Founded in 2008, Autocade only reached its first million views after three years. It has taken another three years to quintuple its page views. The website has had over 19,000 edits, and has approximately 3,251 content pages.
Its most popular model page changes over time. Currently, it’s a page about the latest Ford Fiesta, with the Nissan Sunny (B14), Nissan Bluebird (910), Toyota Corolla (E100) and Toyota Corolla (E120) next.