Glossary of Terms


A-pillar: The vertical roof support between the windscreen and the front edge of the front side window.

Anti-Roll Bar: A steel tube that connects the left and right suspension members to resist roll of the vehicle. The inclusion of this improves road handling. Provided in special pick-ups, race and sports cars.

Ape-hangers: Handlebars that are tall and rise above the rider's shoulder like the ones installed on cruisers and chopper bikes.


B-pillar: The vertical metal roof support between the front and rear side windows on the side of the vehicle.

Bagger: A motorcycle that is equipped with saddlebags and other touring items.

Bakkie (Afrikaans): A South African term for a pick-up truck.

Bar-hopper: A customized bike that is comfortable only for short rides.

Barchetta (Italian): see Roadster

Batsman's Crease: A tangent break feature line running along the centre line of a car as in cricket bat.

Berlina (Italian): see Sedan / Saloon

Berline (French): see Sedan / Saloon

Berlinetta (Italian): see Coupé.

Bobber: A custom made bike, that has been cut-down or stripped. For example, a fender being removed or shortened.

Bonnet: The hood of the vehicle.

Boot: The trunk or lift-gate of the vehicle.

Break (French): see Station Wagon

Bubble Car: A small car with a transparent domed canopy and typically 3 wheels.


C-pillar: The vertical metal roof support between the side edge of the rear windscreen and the rear edge of the rear window.

Cabriolet / Convertible / Droptop: A 2-door small car with a retractable roof that has a cloth top or a hard top.

Café Racer: A motorbike modified to resemble racing motorcycles from the 50's and 60's that raced from cafe to cafe in the city of London.

Cager: In the eyes of a motorcyclist a person driving a car, truck, van or a pick-up is a cager.

Camioneta (Brazilian Portuguese): see Station Wagon.

Camper: A recreational vehicle that has a bed, kitchenette, water tank, etc. Can be separate or built on a mini-truck.

Carrinha (Portuguese): see Station Wagon.

Chopper / Chopper Bike: A bike modified or 'chopped' from the original design with extended forks and front-end, Ape-hangers (handlebars), frames without rear suspension, etc.

Chop Top: A car whose roof height has been lowered.

Coupé: A 2-door car with a closed passenger compartment.

Coupé de Ville: A coupé with an enclosed rear passenger section and a separate open driver's section.

Crossover (CUV): A vehicle that has mixed elements of an SUV and a hatchback car.

Crotch Rocket: Sports bikes are also known by this name.


D-Pillar: The rear-most roof support structure on an SUV, minivan or wagon.

Dog Leg: The area behind the rear door of a 4-door car.

Dirt Bike: Motorcycles intended for off-road use that is not legal to ride on public roads.

Dragster: A nitro gas boosted racing car where the engine is half exposed and the rear wheels are larger than the front wheels.

Drophead Coupé: A 2-door, 4 seat car with retractable canvas and having roll-up windows.

Dual Sport: These are street legal motorcycles that are designed for both on and off-road use.


Espada (Portuguese): see Limousine

Estate: see Station Wagon


Fascia: The body skin panel at the front of any vehicle.

Fastback: A design where the roof slopes at a smooth angle to the tail of the car, but the rear window does not open separately.

Fathead: Any dual cam V-Twin motorcycle.

Flathead: Any V-Twin engine motorcycle that was made from the 30's until early 70's.

Fender: Term for cowl covering the wheels of the vehicles.

Franken Bike: A bike created out of 'junk'. Parts of various brands and models are modified & assembled to create a motorcycle.

Furgonetta: Spanish for Van

Furgão: Portuguese for Van


Gill: A decorative vent on the side of the fender that can be used as a hot air outlet.

GT / Gran Turismo / Grand Tourer: A 2-door with 2 or 4 seats high performance, high luxury coupé that can travel long distances.


Hardtail: This is a bike with a rigid frame having no rear suspension but a pair of springs for support.

Hardtop: A car designed to resemble a convertible in looks but without a removable top.

Hatchback / Compact: A passenger car with a full height rear door that includes a rear window.

Hearse: A converted station wagon or a mini-van to transport the dead.

Horsepower: hp (horse power) or bhp (brake horse power) engine is used to designate power produced by an engine.

Hood Ornament: Any chrome plated metal figurine that sits atop the bonnet.

Husky: Husqvarna a Swedish brand of motorcycle.


Jugs: A 'slang' word for the cylinders of any motorcycle.


Kamm / K-tail: A type of design where the car body has smooth contours but is abruptly cut at the tail.

Kombi (German): see Station Wagon


Landaulet / Landau Top: A roof style with a small part of the rear section covered by cloth cover (vinyl).

Limousine: Any stretched car that is driven by a chauffeur (driver) sometimes with partition.


MPV / MUV: Multi-purpose Vehicle (MPV) and Multi-utility Vehicle (MUV) are ones designed for carrying large loads be it cargo or passengers.

Marque: Make or brand of car, motorcycle or truck.

Microcar: A car with less than a 1000cc engine.

Muscle Car: A 2-door car with a V8 engine used for racing.


Perua: (Brazilian) Portuguese for Van

Phaeton: They are 4-door convertible cars.

Pick-up: It is a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate for loading/unloading goods.


Rat Bike: A new bike that has been deliberately 'weathered' to give a beaten-up look.

Roadster: An open car having a single seat for 2 passengers and having a small luggage compartment.

Rag Top/Soft Top: A convertible with a soft top, usually made from canvas or a polymer.

Roll Cage: A protective steel cage to prevent driver injury when a car rolls over. More common in rally cars and 4WD special pick-ups.


SUV: Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV are 4-wheel drive (4WD) automobiles that have both on/off-road driving capability.

Sedan / Saloon: Any car with 4 doors having fixed roof and a minimum of 33 cubic feet of rear interior volume.

Sedanette: A 2 door sedan having a slanted back with the rear window and trunk along one unbroken curve.

Softtop: A convertible top which is made out of flexible materials like PVC or textile.

Spats / Fender Skirt: The side cover for wheel arches that hide the wheel at the rear.

Spyder / Spider: Same as a Roadster but with no hood.

Station Wagon: Any North American 2/4 door passenger car having a cargo area that extends to the rear bumper.

Strake: Creases on sheet metal doors used as a styling feature.

Suicide Doors: This is a door hinged at its rear rather than the front (as in Dukker FIAT).

Supermoto: Any street bike having an off-road look.


T-Top / Targa Top: A semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full-width roll bar behind the seats.

Thumper: A single cylinder, 4-stroke engine of a motorbike.

Top Fuel Dragster: The fastest of drag racing vehicles, these have a characteristically long body and use top fuel for high-speed action.

Turismo (Spanish): see Sedan / Saloon


UJM / Universal Japanese Motorcycle: This is the term used for any Japanese bike that was produced in the 70's as they were cheaper and had more or less same performance features.


V6: A vehicle with 6 cylinders, forming V-shape. Typically, this angle is 60 degrees on V-6 engines.

V8: A vehicle with 8 cylinders, forming V-shape. Typically, this angle is 90 degrees on V-8 engines.

V12: A vehicle with 12 cylinders. Typically this angle is 30 degrees on most V-12 engines. Sometimes, two V6 engines are combined to act as a V12.

V-Twin: Any motorcycle with 2 cylinders positioned in a V form. The angle placed can differ.


Wheel Drive (WD): There are several types,

- 2WD / 4 x 2: Distribution of power to one axle having 2 wheels.

- 4WD / 4 X 4 / AWD: Distribution of power to both axles having 4 wheels. In few countries, they are also called as All Wheel Drive (AWD).

- 6WD / 6 x 6: Distribution of power to 3 axles having 6 wheels.

- 8WD / 8 x 8: Distribution of power to 4 axles having 8 wheels.

Woody: A car or truck whose side body panels are made of wood.


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