Cars dominated Theodore N. Charagionis interests from his childhood, with these of his family to give vent to his raw driving and subsequent collectible concerns. His collection of cars and car related items, began to take shape in 1977, incorporating with the passage of time rare pieces of the global automotive industry. His professional activity enabled him to design the House for his collection. A unique complex of 30,000 m2 in the heart of Athens, which hosts in 4,000 m2 the Hellenic Motor Museum. The collection is exposed in three levels, and in rotational basis continuously, showing more exhibits. Includes models of houses that no longer exist as Avion Voisin, Adler, Allard, Packard, Facel Vega, Delage, Delahaye, Iso, Dino, Lagonda, Stanguelini, Siata, OSCA, JENSEN, HEALEY, Frazer Nash, Offenhauser etc, as well as models of famous houses that persist, some dominating the contemporary reality and some relaunch production line recently as Bugatti, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin, Lotus, Bristol, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Mercedes , Porsche, BMW, Alpine, Borgward, etc. the entire collection, categorized as follows:
Antique, Veteran, Vintage, Post Vintage, Classic, Post Classic, Modern & Contemporary.
The category “Antique” refers to the first cars built and looked like carriages without horses, before completion of the first five years of the 20th century. More specifically, as “Antique” are considered cars made up to 1904, as “Veteran” these manufactured from 1905 to 1919 and “Vintage” these from 1920 to 1930.
Some collectors consider vehicles built until 1904 as “Veteran”. This is because of an old British law (“Red Flag Act for locomotives on highway”) where was stated that all vehicles travelling required a man carrying a red flag to walk in front of them, the law was repealed in 1896. Still in Great Britain, a relevant rally is organized under the name “London to Brighton Veteran Car Rally” with the participation of cars manufactured up to 1904.
With the above said, a “Vintage” vehicle intended construction date from 1905 to 1930 and a “Post-Vintage” is manufactured from 1931-1945.
The term “Classic cars” refers to those manufactured from 1946 to 1964 and “Post Classic” the ones from 1965 to 1974; while as “Modern” count these from 1975 to 1999. Finally, cars manufactured from 2000, categorized as “Contemporary” or “Youngtimers” a pretty popular name as well.
In each case, the exact classification of vehicles has slight variations from country to country.
In our days, the most widespread classification, which also the Hellenic Motor Museum follows is:
- Antique up to 1904
- Veteran 1905 to 1919
- Vintage 1920 to 1930
- Post Vintage 1931 to 1945
- Classic 1946 to 1964
- Post Classic 1965 to 1974
- Modern 1975 to 1999
- Contemporary (youngtimers) from 2000