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Epoch Industries - lore and model lineup thread (1867 onwards)


#21

- - - - - - - - - - - 1961 - - - - - - - - - - -

The following year after the M30 refresh, Epoch released a redesign of the M20 series, this time simultaneously world-wide. This model featured a completely new design, with a much more modern and sharp look. The base model, known as the Epoch M20 A2200, however, was released with a updated variant of the old M20 engine in order to try to keep costs down. This decision ultimately backfired on Epoch, as the old straight-six was based upon previous generation technology and returned terrible fuel economy (just shy of 20L/100kms), leaving the M20 range tainted for years to come with the reputation of being cheap to buy but costly to own. Although the engine was marketed as being modern and revamped, the general characteristics were disappointing and it didn’t excel in any particular way. Power was almost identical to the 1954 model, albeit produced with about 100cc less capacity, and the engine had improved in no real measurable way apart from reliability and quietness. All that being said, whilst the engine and fuel economy was definitely not it’s strong suit, the car performed reasonably well on the road. The new suspension layout, combined with the superior weight distribution, allowed the vehicle to surpass the cornering characteristics of the model it replaced in all aspects. The new M20 managed to deliver a more sporting and drivable package overall, that was light-years ahead in comfort and practicality.

Released alongside the A2200 was the car that defined what the M20 series was supposed to be about, the Epoch M20 S2600. This vehicle featured Epoch’s first attempt at designing and building a V8 engine, and was much more of a complete sports package. Whilst the S2600 was nowhere near as comfortable and as refined as the A2200, it was still exponentially improved from the old 1954 Model 20/B. Inheriting all the positives that came along with the newly designed platform and suspension, the S2600’s engine and chassis worked harmoniously to deliver a fun, cheap, and reliable car that could hold its own on the world stage. The heart of the car, the 2598cc (159cui) 60 degree V8 was conservatively rated at 99.5kW (133HP) and 188Nm (139 ft lbs), and could spin out to 6000 rpm. Seeing as it was Epoch’s initial offering of this sort of engine, the reliability suffered somewhat, however it was still within acceptable bounds for the era. Whilst only producing around 10% more power than the A2200, the S2600 managed to drop the 0-100 time from 11.5 seconds down to 9.5 seconds, as well as return an improved economy rating of 17.2L/100kms. This V8 model was only subtly differentiated from the A2200 model in trim through small V8 badging on the C-Pillar, and a similar but more refined front grill arrangement.


#22

- - - - - - - - - - - 1962 - - - - - - - - - - -

The Model 10 was refreshed for 1962, with the engine stroked up from 1289cc (79cui) to 1399cc (85 cui). Apart from this capacity increase, along with some minor engine tweaks, the general underpinnings remained the same. Although the engine had increased in size, the output remained at an identical 32.2kW (43HP), although the torque figure had been bumped up from 84.7Nm @ 2500rpm to 93.8Nm @2100rpm, making it a much nicer car to drive. The new Epoch M10 A1400 shaved over 2 seconds off its 0-100 time, down to 19.7 seconds, as well as dropped its fuel economy from 9.9 to 9.7 L/100kms. Some minor fixture changes were also performed, but overall the external look was extremely similar to the previous model. On the interior, however, the trimmings and fabrics used were completely overhauled, leading to a much nicer, albeit still basic, fit-out and feel.

Released at the same time as the M10 A1400 was the Epoch M10 B1400 Trayback. Following the same strategy as the previous model, this car was based upon the regular A1400, but with a utility tray where the rear seats would usually fit. This model was slightly more refined that the last whilst increasing the load capacity by about 150kg (300lbs), but was definitely still a utilitarian and basic offering.

Lastly, released near the end of 1962, was the Epoch M10 A1600s to replace the A1500 offering. Building upon the credentials of the previous model, the A1600s featured a 1600cc (98cui) four-cylinder with 54.4kW (73 HP) on offer. Whilst this was only a small jump from the A1500 (with peak torque was also increased slightly, but more importantly delivered 500 rpm lower), it now meant that the car snuck under a 1:10 power to weight ratio. This dropped the 0-100 time from 13 seconds down to 11.9 seconds, and (along with improved suspension settings) improved the car’s competitiveness on the track not insubstantially.


#23

Can’t get over how good yet simple that design is. And so different from the Mini.


#24

Using the wagon shaped body definitely helps!


#25

- - - - - - - - - - - 1963 - - - - - - - - - - -
In 1963, Epoch attempted to address some of the shortcomings of the 1960 M30 through a refresh of the model. Releasing only a single trim as the M30 3.3, which featured a much smaller block than the outgoing car, whilst retaining the same effective displacement. In general, this engine was much more responsive and produced higher torque figures, whilst shaving off a total of 50kg of weight over the front axle. Improved design of both the intake and exhaust layouts allowed fuel economy gains, as well as reducing the cost to manufacture. The vehicle itself was much more solidly engineered and built, and was fitted with a refined and sumptuous interior unlike any other Epoch before. The downside of all this engineering effort and refinement was that the weight of the car crept up over the 1410kg (3108lbs) mark and the cost now exceeded $1,500 ($12,289 adjusted), over 50% more than the previous model. This price increase, combined with the conservative yet awkward styling, meant that the new M30 was much less competitive than before, and caused concern for the company with much lower sales figures than expected.


Also released in 1963 was the refreshed M40 A2200 and M40 Special. The general formula remained the same as the prior model, with some minor adjustments only. On the M40 A2200, the engine was increased in capacity from 1980cc (121cui) to 2199cc (134cui), along with the corresponding increase in power and torque, which allowed for an improved load capacity (now up to 1250kg / 2755lbs) and general usability as a utility vehicle. Unladen, the M40 A2200 could accelerate from 0-100 in 14 seconds, making it positively sporty for a commercial offering, whilst still maintaining an average fuel economy under 12L/100kms. Cost had remained effectively the same at $855 ($7,005 adjusted), again making it extremely popular with commercial entities.

The revised M40 Special again followed as a more premium variant of the M40 line, however for the 1963 model, the level of luxury was reduced down to sane and reasonable levels. The 2+2 seating arrangement was retained, however load capacity was up to an acceptable 875kg (1929lbs). Due to the reduction in interior quality, cost was managed down to a more competitive $918 ($7,517 adjusted). This model was much more successful than previous, finding many private buyers who wanted a utility offering without sacrificing a car-like driving ability and having to deal with maintaining a full sized truck.


#26

- - - - - - - - - - - 1964 - - - - - - - - - - -

Due to cost overruns within the engineering department, brought about by constant engine development and changes, along with the disappointing sales of the 1963 M30, Epoch performed only a mild refresh in 1964 of the M20 series, culminating in the Epoch M20 A2300. Some small changes were made to the exterior chrome trimming and grille sections, but overall the exterior of the car was deemed handsome enough and remained the same. The interior featured some revised seats and a newer, more modern steering wheel design, but again it was overall very similar to the previous model. Whilst the M20 A2300 remained powered by the same inline 6 that was used in the older M20 A2200, the engineers within Epoch couldn’t help but tinker with the specifications, even though they were under strict orders to minimise costs for this refresh. It was fortunate that they did, however, as the revised variant was praised by consumers and addressed the main fuel-economy concern of the previous model. Epoch entered the brave new world of marketing by implying (although never outright saying) that the engine had increased in capacity through the change in name (from A2200 to A2300), whereas the truth of the matter was that the capacity was identical. This was compounded by the fact that power delivery was tweaked so that the engine produced max torque at a whole 2000rpm lower. Combined with some other changes, these modifications allowed the M20 A2300 to improve its fuel usage down from 20L/100kms to a more reasonable 14L/100kms, a welcome relief for buyers.

Similarly to the A2300, a revision of the S2600 was performed. With this model, Epoch actually did increased the engine capacity, leading to the release of the Epoch M20 S2800, now featuring a 2797cc (171cui) V8 engine. Again, as per the A2300, only minor changes were made to both internal and external trimming, and even the engine remained at an almost identical power figure. Increased torque and reliability made the car nicer to drive, and slightly more efficient, however it was essentially the same vehicle as before.


#27

So many lovely cars in this thread


#28

Thank you :slight_smile:
Happy for any comments or criticisms. Some choices are deliberate, some are trying to retrospectively fill in gaps due to entering comps randomly!


#29

- - - - - - - - - - - 1965 - - - - - - - - - - -

1965 followed on with minor refreshes similarly to the year before, as whilst the M20 was a success, Epoch had not recuperated the profits estimated again due to engineering overruns. This year, the car to be revised was the M10 series, with the Epoch M10 A1500. This replaced the A1400, and focused on increased drivability and reliability. With an increased displacement, this engine was a lot more willing and helped exceed all performance measures compared to the A1400. Power was up 17% to 37.7kW (50.5HP) and torque increased 10% to 103Nm (76ft lbs), leading to a large reduction in the 0-100 figure to 16.3 seconds, all whilst matching the old model’s fuel economy figure.

The interior remained almost identical, however the exterior was tweaked enough to distinguish it on-road. This uplift and engine refinement meant that the vehicle ended up increasing slightly in cost by $48 to $698 ($5552 adjusted), which was very reasonable all things considered. This car was cheap transport for many people who couldn’t afford even mainstream offerings, however it continued to attract quite a following amongst young drivers for its fun styling and basic but enjoyable driving experience.

One thing that Epoch was criticised for at release was the naming convention used that led to some confusement between the identically named 1964 M10 A1500 and the 1958 M10 A1500. Where the former was focused on drivability, reliability, and low cost motoring, the latter was a sports-focused offering that was definitely not for those who wanted practicality. This criticism led to Epoch rethinking their model designators for the second time, although it would take a while before any change was made.

As before, Epoch released a Trayback variant of the M10 A1500, which was now featured a load rating of over 1000kg (2204lbs), making it very popular. The Trayback followed the same stylistic changes as the base model A1500, and retained its fairly basic characteristics. Now that Epoch had been manufacturing this model properly for a while, they had also managed to reduce the cost down to a bargain price of $685 ($$5453 adjusted).

The Epoch M10 A1600s was also refreshed, although it kept the same displacement as previous, as the engine division couldn’t spare the expense in upgrading to allow for increased bores and uprated valve-train components. Whilst the car improved on all the performance measures of the prior model slightly, most of it was hardly noticeable, with the sole exception of the handling and predictability. Epoch had finally managed to figure out the best way to set up a rear-wheel drive car with such a small wheelbase, and now had the expertise and understanding of double-wishbone layouts. With a cost totalling $790 ($6282 adjusted), the M10 A1600s was one of the best bang-for-your-buck cars on the road.


An iconic vehicle that featured in 1965 was the Epoch M30 3.3 Trek. This was a specially build vehicle, based upon the 1963 M30 3.3, modified for competitive use in the 1966 Great Archanian Trek. This section will be updated in the future, depending on how it eventually goes! :stuck_out_tongue:


#30

- - - - - - - - - - - 1966 - - - - - - - - - - -

In 1966, Epoch went through a phase of consolidation, cost cutting, retooling, and R&D. Sales of previous models had been mixed, with some surpassing expectations (M10, M40), some meeting targets (M20), and some being commercial failures (M30). Unfortunately, the models that were highly successful were also the ones with the least profit margins, meaning that they only just equalled out the unsuccessful models.

With Epoch’s 100th anniversary coming up the following year, all effort was focused on delivering something special to the market.


#31

This is becoming my favourite designs, can’t wait how you will progress them through the years


#32

- - - - - - - - - - - 1967 - - - - - - - - - - -

The first half of 1967 passed with not even a hint of what was about to be released by Epoch. They had dropped hints in the years leading up to this that they would release something exciting, but no matter how hard journalists and industry pried, there was absolute silence from the company this year. Then, in October, at the British International Motor Show at Earls Court, London, the Epoch stand featured nothing but a sleek and sporty shape hidden by a black sheet. The contours of the car underneath was like no other Epoch ever released before, and hinted at something truly special. When the time was ripe, the CEO of Epoch held a small presentation (although the audience was anything but small) and went through the history of the brand. Each of the models that they had produced was discussed before coming to a conclusion about where the company stood that day. Announced as a birthday present to itself, the CEO stepped forward and pulled the sheet off the car and announced the Epoch Artemus 3000, limited to only 200 produced and, much to everyone’s surprise, to be sold for cost-price at $1,487 ($11,153 adjusted)







Whilst there was no shortage of praise to be heaped upon the Artemus for its looks and road presence, it was also a very capable sports car underneath as well. With a mid-mounted 2996cc (183cui) 60-degree OHC V8 (tweaked version of the M20 V8), fed by a single 4-barrel carb and featuring a tubular exhaust manifold, the focus of the car was unquestionable. Peak power was quoted as 129kW (178HP) at 6400rpm, which was not amazing on paper compared to many other sports car offerings (especially those from the US), but achieved this with Epoch’s signature guarantee on quality and reliability foremost. The car was also designed and built to be light and nimble, with this being both Epoch’s first recorded use of a monocoque chassis on a production car and first recorded use of double-wishbone suspension front and rear, meaning that its conservative power output was utilised to its full potential when driving this sub-1100kg (2425lbs) machine. All of this combined to give the Artemus 3000 a 0-100 time of just under 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 200km/h (124mi/h). Most people saw the car and the performance figures and assumed that it would be an uncomfortable track-focused vehicle, or an uncompromising and challenging car to drive, but this was not true at all. Epoch had not sacrificed everything in the pursuit of performance, but rather had attempted to deliver a complete package that could be used as a pure sports car, but also to cruise about in a reasonably relaxed manner. The interior of the Artemus was trimmed in quality materials and contained features and comforts that would not be out of place in a premium sedan, as well as offering a radio as standard.



#33

I like everything on this but the front. It looks so off. It makes it look much older than 1967, too. Like some odd concept car from the late 50s, early 60s


#34

It’s their first time designing a real proper sports car, and most of Epoch’s designs are a bit dated anyway, so it fits the lore.

Completely nothing to do with me not being able to wrangle the front of this body into looking how I wanted it to… :shushing_face:


#35

- - - - - - - - - - - 1968 - - - - - - - - - - -

1968 was another year of consolidation for Epoch, this time unfortunately unplanned. Whilst the company had managed to get their finances back in order, and had completed an efficiency assessment of their production facilities, the time and effort spent getting the Artemus 3000 out the door meant that the focus had been taken off the R&D efforts that were going to deliver revised models.


#36

- - - - - - - - - - - 1969 - - - - - - - - - - -

Epoch was still lagging behind in the development stakes for 1969, with the M30 being discontinued due to a decline in already underperforming sales. Something that did get released, however, was a vehicle out of left field that nobody was expecting. Epoch executives had noticed that sales of the M10 were still peaking in the UK and Europe, however over in the USA they had dropped considerably. Upon closer analysis, it was determined that the car was viewed as being too small, even for a budget entry model, and thus the Epoch M10 Maxi was born. This car replaced the M10 in the US market, whilst being sold alongside the ‘regular’ M10 in UK and European markets, and was sold in three trims: The A1500 Sedan for $1,157 ($7,902 adjusted), A1500s Sports Sedan for $1,195 ($8,156 adjusted), and B1500 Wagon for $1,173 ($8,005 adjusted).

The A1500 and B1500 were both powered by a reworked version of the standard M10 A1500 engine, but with less of a focus on economy due to the cheaper fuel costs, resulting in an output of 44.2kW (59HP) and 108.3Nm (80ft lbs) compared to the standard M10 A1500 results of 37.7kW (50.5HP) and 103Nm (76ft lbs). This was offset, however, by an increase in weight, leaving the 0-100 performance figures worse off by about 1 second.

The A1500s was sold as the Maxi variant of the M10 A1600s, featuring a version of the base engine that was pushed harder to deliver a surprising 60kW (80HP) and 110Nm (81ft lbs). This allowed the heavier Maxi to post a respectable 0-100 figure of 13.7 seconds, whilst not sacrificing a large amount of comfort or economy. All three vehicles found a reasonable measure of success, and still maintain a cult following amongst automotive enthusiasts.


#37

- - - - - - - - - - - 1970 - - - - - - - - - - -

It had been 12 years since the M40 was first released, and whilst the model had undergone two facelifts (in 1961 and 1963), it was getting very old-in-the-tooth. For 1970, Epoch uncovered a new replacement, based upon the previous year’s M10 Maxi chassis, released as the Epoch M40 Atlas 2300. Utilising an upgraded and oversized variant of the previous M40 engine, the M40 Atlas now boasted a 2290cc (140cui) inline 4 that output 63.5kW (85HP) and 158.5Nm (117ft lbs), allowing a 0-100 time of only 11.8 seconds. Developments in suspension design and manufacturing, along with increased chassis stiffness and durability, meant that the 1970 M40 Atlas could carry a load of over 2250kg (4860lbs), an amazing achievement for a car that weighed less than 1000kg (2200lbs). All that being said, this M40 was definitely more utilitarian and basic than any of the previous variants, and whilst it was an amazing commercial success it never the less alienated those who had previously used the M40 as a dual use every-day car / utility vehicle with its price of $1,334 ($8648 adjusted).


#38

- - - - - - - - - - - 1971 - - - - - - - - - - -

Epoch had been researching the market for quite a while now, with the intent of avoiding a repeat of the 1963 economic failure that was the M30 3.3. Realising that their prior offering was behind the times to begin with, and then failing to execute the idea with any consideration of market demand, both the designers and engineers had been wracking their collective brains for many years. Eventually there emerged two camps who’s opinions divided the organisation, with one group arguing for a downsize in engine capacity and a reduction in ‘luxury’, whilst the other argued for keeping the larger engine and better equipped interior but sacrificing quality and reliability.

Eventually the second camp won out, and the 1971 Epoch M30 Regalis was born; a move that would later be described “as if the executive of the company, looking at the failure of the previous model, turned to the market and said ‘you think that was something? Just wait and hold my beer…’ before committing probably the worst decision the company had ever followed through with.

The M30 Regalis was a monstrosity of American proportions, featuring slightly ungainly styling, awkward chrome trim, and an overbearing presence. Under the hood was a gargantuan 5491cc (335cui) inline 6 that somehow only produced 126kW (169HP) at 4400rpm, although did manage an impressive 378Nm (279ft lbs) of torque. The engine was surprisingly quiet and smooth, however, which allowed passengers to fully appreciate the luxurious interior and beautifully designed radio system. Once up to speed on a highway, the M30 Regalis came into its own, where the combination of pillowy suspension, torquey engine, solid construction, and hydraulic steering meant that the car felt like it could cruise for days.

Whilst the comfort, safety, and practicality were exponentially better than previous offerings, the driving dynamics were woeful due to its massive 1714kg (3779lbs) kerb weight, solid rear axle, and soft suspension. With a purchase cost of $2,673 ($16,604 adjusted), sales were minimal in the UK and disastrous in Europe, with only the American market posting anything close to a profit.

In case the M30 Regalis wasn’t enough of a money pit for Epoch, the US branch of the company managed to convince the head office that Epoch needed its own Muscle Car in the M30 Regalix Rex. As there was no existing engine in the Epoch stable that was deemed suitable, Epoch US received approval to develop the first US designed and built engine to go with it. Unfortunately for Epoch Head Office, but fortunately for the few buyers who managed to get their hands on one, the approval paperwork contained mistakes that were not picked up until work was almost complete in developing the new engine. In a comedy of errors, a transcription mistake in the capacity meant that whilst Epoch Head Office had thought they were approving development of a reasonable powerplant of up to 4200cc (256cui) capacity, they had actually specified a capacity of 526cui (8619cc). To make matters worse, the approval was written in a way that this capacity was to be exact (rather than a maximum), and instead of mandating a maximum fuel usage figure in US MPG they had specified an exact figure in UK MPG. Investigations into this matter after-the-fact did alleviate some of the blame from the US arm of the company, as they did go back to Epoch Head Office to question these mistakes, however again there had been a breakdown of communication and the mistaken directions were confirmed as correct rather than be checked properly.

Development of the engine was fraught with challenges, as it was almost twice as large as any previous Epoch engine, and the US engineers and technicians were not experienced in engine design from scratch. Eventually, Epoch USA bought a handful of other V8 powered cars to pull apart and try to reverse engineer, such as the Pontiac GTO, PMI Usurper Scud Sabre, Dodge Dart, Everette Bellevue, and Ford Thunderbird, and even a Bogliq Maverick Enthuse! In addition to this, several leading engineers were brought in as consultants and experts to assist in specific areas where Epoch needed help, such as engine cooling and forge works, as the company did not want to lose Epoch’s reputation for reliability. All of this combined to make the development of this a very expensive endeavour, although the finished product was a very competent engine. The production engine eventually came in at 8619cc (526cui), with performance figures of 270kW (362HP) at 4500rpm, and 634.5Nm (468ft lbs) at 2400rpm, all whilst being unleaded-fuel compatible.

The finished package was a mixed bag, as whilst the engine was a gem (albeit rough around the edges), the base chassis and suspension was obviously rushed and corners had been cut to lower costs after the budget blowout on the powerplant. Where the standard M30 Regalis was disappointing and wallowed badly on the road, the M30 Regalis Rex was downright unpredictable and dangerous, and whilst the engineers had tweaked the 3-speed automatic gearbox to achieve the fuel economy target, when combined with the monstrous engine, allowed the M30 Regalis Rex to reach a theoretical top speed of 233 km/h (145 mi/h) and dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.1 seconds.

Whilst the development and sale of the vehicle has been used in university and business courses as a textbook case of commercial failure and project mismanagement, the car itself sold in more numbers than people would otherwise think, partially helped by its eventual cost price of $2,710 ($16,832 adjusted).