Are you sure that car in your novel is a ‘late model’ ?
In the last few days, I’ve seen this mistake three times, though I’m at a loss to understand how this happened. Anyway, in two books and a blog post I’ve seen old cars referred to as “late model.”
That’s backward. An old car would be an “early model,” though generally writers use other terms.
I can understand that not many people know a lot about cars these days, so let me explain how this works. For example, you’re talking about two cars on a lot. One is a 1999 Chevy Corvette, the other is a 2015 Chevy Corvette. The 2015 is the newer car, and it was produced later than the 1999 model. So you would refer to the 2015 as a “late model Corvette.”