What is the meaning of an adjective "touring"?

There is a description of a fire department automobile in a fiction book. In that description the author names it “a touring-car”. I found in the internet some explanations what the word touring can mean, but not in the combination with “car”. I cant get what the author meant. I would appreciate your help.

Moving from place to place to do a job

Thank you for your response! But can you please look at the sentence where this word is
“A big, powerful, red touring-car, with a shining brass bell on the front of it, was standing at the curb before our apartment late one afternoon as I entered.” Are there other adjectives to replace that word “touring” but still to have the same meaning?

Illena, can you post a few more sentences? A “touring car” as I know it is a race car…it’s shape and outside usually resemble a typical car you or I might buy, but the guts and the outside are made for racing…aerodynamics and a powerful motor. That doesn’t seem to be what is being talked about here unless they are equating it to a fancy fast machine.

I did look up the term and found something in different context that might fit better:

Touring car - Wikipedia

It’s an old style of car, but many people restore these cars and make them all nice and shiny for car shows or just for their own personal interest and hobby.

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Yes, i can post. Here it is "A big, powerful, red touring-car, with a shining brass bell on the front of it, was standing at the curb before our apartment late one afternoon as I entered. "
I dont know how it would be right to translate it in my language. Early today it was written in the post that it meant that this car is moving from place to place to do a job, so i translated it using an adjective which refers to such kind of transport, like “official transport” such as “ambulance”, “police car”

How old is the book? If it’s referring to the traditional old cars from the early 1900s with detachable roofs (touring-cars) then the closest thing I can think of is “convertible car”. But touring-car would only be used for those old cars. “open top” for touring would make more sense for older cars.


The book was written in 1912 . maybe the second sentence will clear up that word

“A big, powerful, red touring-car, with a shining brass bell on the front of it, was standing at the curb before our apartment late one afternoon as I entered. It was such a machine as one frequently sees threading its reckless course in and out among the trucks and street-cars, breaking all rules and regulations, stopping at nothing, the bell clanging with excitement, policemen holding back traffic instead of trying to arrest the driver - in other words, a Fire Department automobile.”

I looked up the quote and found the story itself and read a bit more…plus I checked when it was written. It was written by Arthur Reeves in 1912…“The Firebug”. So that also gives some context as to what one might expect vehicle-wise in that day and age. I think it goes back to the definition provided in the link earlier. Essentially a car, without a roof.

For example, look at these pictures of fire trucks from 1912. They have no roof–thus making them a “touring-car”.


Note…This usage would only be applied to vehicles from that era. In other words I wouldn’t call a convertible in today’s day and age a “touring-car”. Touring-car as it relates to cars in modern times refers to the race cars I mentioned in my first post.

Hope that helps! This even taught me something I didn’t know.

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Apologies Ash, I wrote my reply above and basically said the same thing you said and you already covered it here. I’ll leave my reply anyway, because I have a link to some pictures of old fire engines at that time.

p.s. you may not have a direct translation in your language. It’s really a style of car back in that era. Maybe you have a different phrase for cars that have open top back in that era (again, note, a convertible from today would not be called a touring car).

Thank you for directing me to a right understanding!

Thank you, ericb! i typed a word “touring” with the letters of my language and found an article in Wikipedia about such cars in rissian, but i never heard this word in my language (know nothing at all about cars) and no information found in dictionaries, so i would translate it “a car with an open roof” , something like that. Thank you a lot!

There is no completely well-known meaning, but when many automobiles were primitive, a “touring car” (Or auto) was generally a heavier and more luxious car (for touring on long road trips) with perhaps better suspension (springs, shocks, etc.)

Today most autos “tour” just fine.

Think perhaps of the diffrenence between a LARGE HEAVY motorcycle and a small motor scooter for around town.

Today, the term is mostly just a marketing term. Largely fluff.

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Thank you for your help!

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