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FAAL - 1991 - The Roundening Pt 2: The Mk4 Mesaia AKA Versatile Boi


#1

So.

clears throat, taps mic

Picture this.
France, 1946.
The country has been ravaged. The economy is crappy. They didn’t win the war. They… didn’t really lose either. But either way, most of the infrastructures were destroyed, and they were going to need to get back to work. As soon as possible.

And that’s where enters that one factory that had been building trucks and tanks in the middle of Alsace… one time for the French. And then for the Germans. And then the French again. and the Germans again… Yeah, Alsace wasn’t really the place to be during the war. It was like being a dwarf in a lane at the post office behind a 6ft4 guy that had Taco Bell at lunch. Not good, I’ll tell you hwhat.

Either way. This factory was now back to the French. And the French were going to make use of the miraculously intact infrastructures.

Introducing FAAL (Fabrique d’Automobiles d’Alsace-Lorraine)


They’re not that big, so far. But they have tools. and dudes. And the will to put France back on wheels.
So they gathered a team of engineers and salesmen, and determined what the country needed at that time.

Well. The country needed to get back to work.
The country didn’t have much money.
But it’s alright, because they didn’t need much. Just the basic idea of transportation.
And most importantly: the faster you can launch it, the better.

And those were the guidelines of their very first project: the Plebia.


ᵀᵃᵏᵉ ᵃ ᶜᶫᵒˢᵉʳ ᶫᵒᵒᵏ ᵃᵗ ᵗʰᵃᵗ ˢᶰᵒᵘᵗ﹗

Erm.
The Plebia. The car that was meant to move the masses. Built on a full steel 2060mm wheelbase ladder chassis with solid axle leaf spring suspension all around, it was first thought of as an utilitarian vehicle, and only then they engineered a people mover out of it.

The first version to be planned was the fourgonnette. Bench seat in the front. Vague springs on it. A wheel. A speedometer. Three pedals. And a fully enclosed 1925L cargo area. There you go.
However, engine development was one of FAAL’s priorities and that’s why the Plebia’s engine has been developed with highly futuristic tech like…

a four speed gearbox
“waaaaaah!”

a 1050cc three cylinder engine with overhead valves!
“ooooohhh”

And a c r o s s f l o w head!
audience chokes on their own tongues

The engine, internally called the 123P (for 1.2 max displacement, 3 cylinders, Pushrod) and the four speed gearbox were the one and only powerplant for every single version of the Plebia, developing 31hp at 4100RPM and keeping the Plebia right there at 4CV.*


(the 1946-spec 123P engine, in all its glory.)

Engine specs: 123P11

*fiscal horsepower. For non French people here, it’s basically the car tax calculation basis, which also plays a role in insurance prices. The lower, the cheaper. Up until 1978 it was calculated by engine displacement only. From 1978 to 1998, they added gearing in the calculations. From 1998 onwards, engine power and emissions, regardless of displacement. But more on that as the topic goes on.

Plebia Fourgonnette:




(Notice the single mirror held in place by whatever piece of metal they could find, and the suicide doors who are only that way because it was way easier to put the hinges on the other side. Classic post-war european engineering.)

And once that was designed, the engineers stayed there, wondering what versions of the car they could build on the cheap after that…

One of them took a shot of Schnapps, and said “LET’S CUT THE ROOF!”

And cut the roof they did.
And fired the guy for alcoholism on the job they did, but that’s another story.

So the second version of the Plebia to be planned was the plateau. A pickup truck. Cut the roof of the fourgonnette. Change two hinges for the tailgate. Boom. You now allow farmers to load stuff without bothering to open doors!

Plebia Plateau:


But then there was the serious, complicated business. Making a people mover.
Able to seat 5. And generally be at least better looking than an utilitarian.

Exit the front bench seat. That one moves in the back. And for the front passengers, two separate seats. Yep. that’ll do.

As for the body, drop the back, add two doors, a trunk, some nice sideways badging and make the whole thing slope beautifully at the back… Yep. That surely will make people forget about the bonkers ride height due to the ladder chassis on leaf springs.

The description doesn’t sound appealing, doesn’t it?
But it worked. The Plebia 4P (for 4 portes, or 4 doors for non-fancy people) was… at least success enough to get the company going and raise awareness of FAAL’s existence.

Plebia 4P:


The Plebia 4P! Now with twice as many hinges on the B pillar!


(Hmmmm what a nice carrosserie. You would almost not notice that it’s basically a light truck underneath, right?)

And that was it. FAAL was launched.
The cars were… well, to be fair, by today’s standards, glorified bicycles. But for post-war France, ooh boy. This was more than enough.

With oddly good planning for French people, the factory was ready to start production by the first half of 1948, where the first cars rolled off the chains.
The rest is history.


Hi guys, hope I caught your attention! The official competition had me really hyped and, after years of binge playing that game, finishing a campaign in the KEE engine, switching to UE4 and everything, I finally discover that forum… and what is that? People putting effort in their companies, adding lore, making as and everything? Sign me in!

Anyway. Hope you enjoyed the read. As you can see I have a very unproffessionnal writing style, and a bit wanky because English ain’t my native language, but eh. That’s the point! :stuck_out_tongue:


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#2

Expanding on the cheap: The FAAL Foreia.

gotta give this topic some meat, eh?
Just like FAAL did with their lineup.

So. The year is 1949. The Plebia has now been released for months and the sales just keep growing and growing. The factory is running full steam, dejecting cars like there’s not tomorrow. And of course, every single company executive is driving a Plebia.

And that’s where the problem is. Every single company executive is driving a car that sits on leaf springs and is motorized by a glorified lawnmower engine.

This had to change. FAAL needed to expand.
So they got their engineers back together. They needed to go up market, but with the same philosophy they had while building the Plebia. Cost cutting. Relying on what they knew worked. And release it fast.

Well, for the “fast” part, they kinda failed. Two and a half years for engineering the car, tooling the factory, mostly due to the fact that they had to expand it in order to both satisfy the huge Plebia demand and finding space for the new tools for what would become the 1951 Foreia.


(oh do I love using teaser images where you can barely see the car.)

So. Let’s talk engineering.
The car, a sedan, has a 2560mm wheelbase and sits on a steel ladder frame.
ᵐᵘᶜʰ ᶫᶦᵏᵉ ᵗʰᵉ ᴾᶫᵉᵇᶦᵃ⋅
with solid axles all around.
ᵐᵘᶜʰ ᶫᶦᵏᵉ ᵗʰᵉ ᴾᶫᵉᵇᶦᵃ⋅
and coil springs.
ᵐᵘᶜʰ ᶫᶦ⋅⋅⋅ ᵒʰ⋅

which translates their will to stay within familiar territory, but still make the car more comfortable. At least a little.

The engine? the 236P. a 2.3L full cast iron pushrod six cylinder with overhead valves and a crossflow head.

which is totally not two 123P blocks welded together and then sprinkled with new internals to make the stroke longer. No. Move along. What do you mean the twin carb base variant has two separates intake manifolds and they fit on your Plebia? YOU’RE FIRED JEAN-MARTIN.

The car had several trims, and those trims required three engine variants: a base engine with two carbs which absolutely weren’t the same carbs as the Plebia, a mid trim engine with three carbs, and a more “sporty” or “refined” engine who cared less about fuel consumption, with a twin two barrel carb setup.

Engine specs: 236P23 (Ce2, Ce3 & C4)

Much like the Plebia, the car was avaiable in several body styles, to appeal to a broader audience with different needs:

  • Sedan
  • Wagon
  • Coupe
  • Convertible

and for the first time, as I said, several trims:

  • a Base trim available in both sedan and wagon, the 232. Standard seats (springs, foam, a step over the Plebia’s seats in term of comfort), no radio. No hubcaps. The twin carb 70hp engine. (hence the name 232: 2.3L, 2 carbs.)

  • an upscale trim, called the 233L (for Luxe), available in both sedan and wagon. Leather seats, and an AM radio. Painted hubcaps. Optional two-tone paint. Optional reverse lights. The three carb 85hp engine. Hood ornament. Sprinkled in chrome trim.

  • an actual luxury trim, specifically for the Coupe and Convertible, respectively 234C (for Coupé) and 234D (for Décapotable), which adds… nothing, except an engine, the posh body styles being enough to bump it up market. You guessed it, this trim has the twin two barrel 95hp engine.

Here is a perfect example of the base model. No optional paint, the same blue-ish grey from the Plebia:

Foreia 232


(notice the design cues taken from the Plebia: same blinkers, same two smaller grilles on the sides)

(notice the trunk latch. Yep. a Plebia door handle. You cheap out where you can, gott verdammi.)

Here’s your typical loaded L:

Foreia 233L


(Here with the two-tone paint option, Blanc Banquise and Jaune Genêt)

(and the very discreet optional reverse lights, integrated in the bumpers)

Your typical upscale convertible:

Foreia 234D


And now, for the photoshoot, here is the neatest example of Foreia Coupé, in the beautiful Noir de Jais and Brun Cuivre color combination. And it’s got a nice story to it too, since it was the very first production coupe to come out of the chains, and was the personal car of Xavier Gewürztraminer, the company CEO, from 1951 to his death in 1967.

Foreia 234C




(the Foreia Coupe had her upper part entirely reviewed, with different windows, to allow for a sleeker, sportier profile. Which worked as well in bumping FAAL’s general prestige as it did in delaying the car’s release.)



(Neat badging that basically told people “I am superior to you.”)

(Putain, I sure hope this car sells, so we can sink money into research for a better suspension setup and better brakes" - Random Executive #7, 1950)

The Foreia had slow sales. For a good reason, its target audience wasn’t really as broad as they expected, given the state of the country…
But people still got to see high end Foreias on the street, and dream. And then ate potatos for months in order to afford a base model and feel just a tiny bit like they achieved something in life, getting a glimpse of luxury.
The machinery was launched.


#3

Was that a “nobody speak, nobody gets choked” reference?


#4

Uuuhhhh yes. Yes. Absolutely.

<_<

looks it up on Google


#5

The end of the fifties - Renewing the offer

  1. Four years of Foreia and seven years of Plebia had filled FAAL’s pockets with lods of emone :tm: … The Foreia was going well, being only three years old and all, but people started to get tired of the Plebia.
    At least the civilian 4P. The Fourgonnette and the PickUp were still going strong due to their workhorse attitude, but people’s asses grew really tired of riding on glorified carriages on leaf springs.

After all, you don’t make a company grow big while relying on design specifically made to require the least engineering time possible, eh. It was time to think of the future of the Plebia.

Some of them customers wanted something more posh, but couldn’t quite afford the Foreia. Some of them could, even then, barely afford the Plebia.

That called for two cars:
A new Plebia, even more Plebia than the Plebia… but more driveable. More comfortable. Something that would take longer, and more money to engineer, but could be sold for less.
A bigger, mid trim car, that could fill the enormous gap between the Plebia and the Foreia.

So the company put all of its efforts into a new drivetrain layout that would drive the front wheels, rather than the rear, and the cheapest possible way to have independant suspensions. For those two cars, they didn’t care about utilitarian capabilities at all. The retained solution, for both cars, was a longitudinal layout with the engine mounted backwards, with a transaxle gearbox in the front of the engine, driving the front wheels, that were linked to a monocoque chassis via a McPherson suspension while the rear wheels were linked with semi trailing arms.

From a design standpoint, they were aiming at the future. Much like what they were thinking while developing the 123P and 236P engines back in 1946, they were aiming at keeping the design for a while. Keeping it fresh. They needed something different.

The low-tier car, of course, would be the Plebia II.

A very sleek, very harmonious design. The car still could seat four people, five if you get like, idk, three dwarves in the back or something.
With a wheelbase of 2040mm and a length of 3.12m, it was smaller than the original Plebia. And therefore, even lighter (553kg for the base model VS the Plebia 4P’s 703kg). Which means it could have an even smaller engine, and therefore lose a fiscal horse!

Indeed, the base model Plebia 81 used a de-bored and de-stroked version of the 123P engine from the original Plebia. Having only 795cc, but thanks to improved build quality and the small, single barrel carburator being less choked, it was only one horsepower short of the original 1050cc Plebia engine, at 30hp@4500rpm, and still allowed the car to break 100km/h, even if by not much. Better aerodynamics and neat gearing allowed an average fuel economy of 8.9l/100 versus the original Plebia’s 10.1L. Among other ameliorations, some door handles you can actually pull, and Foreia-style steelies.

LET’S SUMMARIZE:
Cheaper to build.
Cheaper to buy.
Cheaper to register.
Cheaper to insure.
Cheaper to own.
All of this while boasting modern tech.

That, my dudes, is the recipe for a successful car which is likely to last decade.
The Plebia II was declined in three trim levels and two engines, which were two new versions of the 123P.

123P8Ce
123P10Ce, which bumped the top speed to 110km/h

  • Plebia 81 - 3CV. Base model. Fitted with the 795cc engine. Seats you can put your ass on. No radio. No seatbelts. A speedo. A thin steering wheel. No door panels, you had to pull a rope to open the door from the inside. You get the idea. It’s not FAAL’s historically cheapest car to build ever for nothing.
Plebia 81


(any resemblance with an existing car is the result of you overthinking stuff. Really.)


  • Plebia 101M - 4CV. Glorified base model. Fitted with the 1000cc engine. A single speaker radio. Seatbelts. Bare metal bumpers and fender flares. Bare metal hubcaps. Bits of chrome around the door handles, headlights and grilles. Some actual paint options.
Plebia 101M



  • Plebia 101L - 4CV. Posh model for refined poor people. 1000cc engine. A more powerful stereo. More foamy seats draped in something that kinda looks like leather. Chrome everywhere. And a neat two-tone paint option. Unlike the Foreia, it’s the roof that’s concerned here.
Plebia 101L. this one gets a photoshoot because of course it gets a photoshoot




(Yep. That original Vert Profond paint job cost a lot of money to make… thankfully, not many have been ordered in that colour.)

(FAAL. Masters in showing off your social class in badging.)


(all that C H R O M E)


(You cheap out where you can. There’s still that original Plebia door handle used as a trunk latch… and the license plate lights are just sticking out of the boot lid, not even concealed.)


As for the second, mid level car, the 1955 Mesaia, the recipe was pretty much the same… Except with a dash of, dare I say, sportivity…

but that’ll be for tomorrow. OP has to sleep.


#6

Quick post today, all the rest of the lore about the car is in yesterday’s post. The next post is gonna take a while because I’m gonna need to make a fake ad for it, and such. shrugs

The 1955 Mesaia


Again, FAAL was aiming to keep this design for a while. even if they didn’t

So you get a car that’s infinitely more square than literally all that was being sold at the end of the fifties.

It kept the same “longitudinal FWD with reversed engine” layout that had been developed for both this car and the Plebia II, as well as the monocoque chassis (that had here a 2490mm wheelbase) and the whole suspension setup. Like I said. Bigger Plebia.

And as a bigger car, of course, it needed a bigger engine. The 123P hasn’t been built to go over 1200cc, and even then, the small single barrel carburator was choked and all you get more was low end power. Also, every single attempt at fitting a double barrel carb resulted in barely decent power and the fuel consumption of an alcoholic.

So they invested in yet another declination of their crossflow pushrod OHV layout; the 154P engine.
By designation, you got it, it’s a 4 cylinder, 1500cc max displacement.

In the Mesaia, at launch, it was available in two displacements, each having two single barrel carbsfrom the Plebia, and legally were in the tax brackets just above the Plebia’s engine, to make the choice of which FAAL car you buy a matter of tax horsepower.

154P13Ce2 - 50hp@4500, 91nm@2700, 1307cc (5cv)
154P15Ce2 - 60hp@4500, 107nm@2700, 1537cc (6cv)

The car was available in two trims, and two body types. Sedan, and Wagon (later Coupe but that’s for next post).

Mesais 132. Base model. No options whatsoever, but comes standard with seatbelts and progressive coilovers, because FAAL really wanted to get rid of the reputation they were getting with their first generation of chassis.
The car was equipped with the 50hp engine with a 4 speed manual. It weighed about 780kg, took a painful 20.4sec to get to 100km/h, and had a top speed of 127km/h, with a fuel economy of 10.5L/100km.

Mesaia 132





Mesaia 152L - The upper trim. Chromes everywhere. Hubcaps. Foamy seats. A radio with central speaker. The dashboard was painted in body colour, which gave a nice touch.
Came with the 60hp engine, which didn’t really improve the performance by much since the car got fatter, at 850kg.
But still, 0-100km/h in 17.5sec, top speed 135km/h. Fuel economy, 11.2l/100km.

Mesaia 152L





You might notice that the brand went all the way on the wagon to offer the lowest possible loading line on the trunk. That hatch goes wayyyyy down. Their intent was to try and get workers who didn’t have much to load in to ditch the Plebia Fourgonnette that was still on sale at that time, in favor of this wagon.

So as little of them uncomfortable, god forbidden obsolete workhorses get out of the chains. So they could free the space, and not be seen with the “FAAL - Planks with wheels!” stamp on their forehead.

And it did! For a few model years, the wagon even outsold the sedan. What a twist.

Speaking of that, today’s photoshoot is a 132 Wagon. Because it was the only one of the batch with fixtures that didn’t clip workhorses deserve love too.

Mesaia 132 Wagon - Photoshoot


(Yep. They’re still retaining the “small grilles at both sides of the license plate” design cue.)


(Squarest car you could buy in 1955!)


(That foglight? Factory. Pretty rare option in 1955.)


(Trunks couldn’t get any better than that.)


(Fun fact: on NONE of the FAAL cars with the name of the brand in full letters on the hood, do the letters have the same spacing between them.)


(“We’re done using mk1 Plebia door handles as trunk latches when I say we’re done.”)

Next part: "The Ad that was never meant to be"
ˢᵘᵇᵗᶦᵗᶫᵉ﹕ “ᵇᵘᵗ ʷᵃˢ ᵃᶰʸʷᵃʸ, ᵃᶰᵈ ᵃᶫˢᵒ ᵍᵃᵛᵉ ᶠᴬᴬᴸ ᶦᵗˢ ᶰᵉʷ ᶫᵒᵍᵒ ᵇᵉᶜᵃᵘˢᵉ ᵖᵒᵖ ᶜᵘᶫᵗᵘʳᵉ ᶦˢ ᵃ ᵗʰᶦᶰᵍ” ᵇᵘᵗ ᶦᵗ ᵈᶦᵈᶰ’ᵗ ᶠᶦᵗ


#7

1959, the ad that changed FAAL’s emblem.

Okay.
The Mesaia has been on sale for 4 years now and was doing great. But the wagon had better days to see.
The marketting campaign had comissionned an ad, with a family, doing a picnic in the woods. The car featured was a Mesaia 152L Wagon. The idea was to promote the carrying capacity of the car, with an enormous quantity of food and picnic assets in the trunk, as well as a new option of detachable seats on which the family was sitting for eating.

Everything goes well, the models pose well, the sun was shining. And then, out of the blue, a fallow deer shows up.
The curious little beast was just wandering around when he saw the shoot, and he got curious. He kept wandering around the crew, eating goods from the picnic. Sure, a little annoying for people who got to work.

But the photograph, Jean-Marc Flammenküeche, never stopped taking pictures.

So, back at the studio, Jean-Marc developed all of the photos to show the marketting team, which was going to decide which to use.
While browsing through the photos, the marketting head, Jean-Martin Sechsmötörigewildsaü, stumbled upon one of the pictures the photograph thought he had removed from the set.

A picture of the fallow deer watching the car’s behind.

“What the hell is this?” he asked the photograph, who simply shrugged, awaiting being fired by a kick in the ass.

“This is brillant.” Jean-Marc finally said, before completely ditching the rest of the campaign and comissionning this, out of the single picture the photograph never intended for him to even see:


(ad conveniently in english for general understanding, despite the car being only sold in France at the time)


To put it short, this ad was a 1950s meme. FAAL was now seen as “cars for deers”. The “He’ll fit” catchphrase became a running joke for a good number of people. People custom painted deers on the roof of Plebia IIs. You get the picture.

And it just so happened that FAAL was using, at that time, a run of the mill emblem that was just the same they put on the tanks they built during WWII.

Marketting dude number 78: “Come on boss. People are gonna call us deers for years to come. We can’t use a joke as a reason to make a new logo. This is madness.”
Jean-Martin: “Hold my picon-bière”.


And thus was born the new FAAL logo for every car manufactured in 1960 and onwards.


The legend says someone at the marketting called that logo the FAALow deer.
The legend says they then laughed for literally three hours straight while getting drunk on schapps before passing out.
The legend, of course, is false, because everybody knows literally noone in France knows english.

Oh. Yeah. Speaking of 1960, this was the year the brand decided to renew the Foreia, which was then the first car to be fitted with the new badge.


1960 Foreia II

Not gonna go into details, this car is literally only made out of known tech. Monocoque chassis and suspension setup from the Plebia II and Mesaia. Engines from the Mesaia and the last generation Foreia. This car was needed to top up the lineup of the brand in the same fashion as the rest. Friendly reminder that the last generation Foreia was still on solid axles all around…

It is historically the first FAAL car to be mounted with radial tires from the factory.

Three trims.
152, base model. Equipped with the engine from the top of the line Mesaia.
203M, middle trim. Equipped with a de-stroked, three carb 236P engine (from the last generation Foreia)
233L, high end trim. With a three carb full fat 2300cc 236P.

Details:

  • Monocoque chassis, McPherson front suspension, semi trailing arms rear suspension. Steel everywhere.
  • Rear wheel drive.
  • Three point seatbelts on all trims
  • Progressive suspension on all trims
  • Radial tires on all trims
  • 4 speed manual on all trims
  • Solid disc, 1 piston brakes all around and on all trims
  • Available in sedan and wagon
  • 2680mm wheelbase, 4420mm length for the sedan and 4570 for the wagon

Foreia 152

  • basic seats and single speaker base AM radio
  • Steelies with bare metal hubcaps
  • 154P-15Ce2 engine, 1960 revision. 65hp@4800, 111nm@3200.
  • dry weight 923kg for the sedan and 943kg for the wagon
  • 145km/h top speed, 0-100 in 16.1sec
  • fuel economy 10.5l/100
Foreia 152




Foreia 203M:

  • Hydraulic power steering
  • More powerful two speaker radio
  • Plushier seats
  • Chrome trunk latch, chrome grille outlines
  • 236P-20Ce3 engine, 1999cc 6 cylinder, 80hp@4700, 140nm@2500
  • dry weight 1033kg for the sedan, 1053kg for the wagon
  • 155km/h top speed, 0-100km/h in 14.6sec
  • Fuel economy 11.7l/100
Foreia 203M




Foreia 233L

  • Leather seats, leather door panels
  • central armrests on both the front and the back
  • Four speaker radio
  • Chrome grille, chrome taillight outlines
  • Multispoke specific wheels, because you are a better human being than literally everyone else
  • 236P-23Ce3 engine, 1960 revision. 2306cc, 92hp@2700, 162nm@2800
  • Dry weight 1088kg for the sedan and 1107 for the wagon
  • Top speed 165km/h, 0-100 in 13.6sec
  • Fuel economy 12.5l/100
Foreia 233L + Photoshoot











And that was it for 1960.

Or not.
Sure. People’s cars are cool, and all, but… FAAL wanted to test something out.
Rallying was pretty popular, and it wasn’t rare to see a buffed out Mesaia or even Plebia take part in that game… and FAAL decided they could take a part of the cake.

They took a 154P engine. Gave it an aggressive cam. Reworked the head and the pushrods so they could take more RPM without floating. And fitted it with fancy tubular exhaust headers, as well as a full ramp of beautiful Weber carbs. The result, an output of 85hp for a 1500cc engine running on 92 octane fuel.
The engine had an amazing throttle response compared to every single other FAAL engine fitted with basically Plebia carbs in different numbers. But it also had all of its power in the top RPM, which made ti a bad engine for driving everyday, but an amazing engine for racing with short gears.

And what car to put it in?
Why, a Mesaia, of course. But not just any Mesaia.

The Mesaia 154S.

The base was a base model Mesaia, except in a brand new Coupé body style.
The non chrome handles and grille outlines stayed the same. The car has been lowered and put on stiffer suspension, especially on the rear. A set of wide wheels fitted with 165/70R15 radial tires (unlike the rest of the Mesaia lineup) has been installed. Pretty meaty tires for the era and the size of the car.
And of course, brand new 300mm disc brakes on the front with very grippy pads, even though the car still kept (still grippy) drum brakes on the rear.
The rear bench is replaced by a simpler, lighter one that can only fit two people. But hey. It’s a Coupé. no doors back there.
All of this and the car stood just a shade under 800kg, while boasting 85hp. Which makes 106.25hp per ton, not bad for a 1960 car based on a run of the mill sh*tbox.

Sure, they could do better with the engine, by fitting an overhead cam for example. But the Mesaia S was meant to gauge the market. See if people were ready to actually buy a sports car made by the deer company.

Mesaia 154S:

  • Flashy paintjobs like Jaune Genêt, Vert Mojito
  • A pair of long range Cibié square foglights fitted on the front bumper
  • Lowered suspension
  • Central rear exhaust fitted higher and piercing the rear bumper to make sure the car won’t scrap
  • Sport steering wheel
  • An actual tachometer
  • 154P-15DC2 engine fitted with two Weber carbs, 1537cc, 85hp@5300, 120nm@4600 on a 8.8:1 compression ratio
  • 795kg
  • 151km/h top speed, 0-100km/h in 11.5sec, quarter mile in 18.78sec, takes 1G in corners
  • 1:44.14 Airfield, 2:51.57 Automation
Mesaia 154S






Notice that all cars still use mk1 Plebia door handles as trunk latches. heh.

Next up: Taking sport trims seriously and keeping the brand fresh


#8

Something OOC today.

Sneak Peek into the future: '65 FAAL Foreia mk2 (Restomod 2010)

So it’s 2010. FAAL is a well established brand, though they’re a little going down the drain in the fun department, with the 2008 crisis and all, being a French brand… But anyway. The car modification culture is going strong. '90s mk4 Plebias are the choice of college students who want something simple to work on and slam to the ground with 15° of camber, '80s Mesaia GTIs* are being restored and sold for like 15000€ on auctions, you get the picture. Some builds are horrid. Some are just keeping cars as stock as possible. Classic car owners and Youngtimers are somewhat living together in some kind of harmony. Everything is well.

And guess what?

Some maniac found a random MK2 Foreia Facelift in a barn. Engine seized. Suspension busted. BUT, little to no rust… just a few welds to do here and there, and you get a sane monocoque chassis again.

He took a single overhead cam L6 from a 1978 mk3 Klinos Turbo (spoiler alert), which had port mechanical fuel injection, rebuilt it, changed the turbo, and slapped some electronic injectors after re-drilling the head to be able to fit them in place of the mechanial FI fuel nozzles. Some home made tuning later, 200rwhp.

And of course, SACHS aftermarket coilovers with polyurethane bushings all around, 17*8 straight lace wheels, brand new 4 pistons all around brake kit, aftermarket gauges to wire to the Megasquirt, aftermarket steering wheel, aftermarket transparent glass headlights and taillights with LED bulb replacements. A proper restomod.

Some smoothening of the trunk, with a single FAAL logo taken from the front of another Foreia, every single other logo disappeared.

And, the cherry above the cake, he had it resprayed in beautiful Tetra Blue, FAAL’s signature colour for performance cars since the 90s.

And then he “ruined it” by slamming it on the ground with 3° of camber all around, because 2010 car culture.


Either way, here's a photoshoot sponsorized by vapes, the video going black and white every three seconds for ᵃ ᵉ ˢ ᵗ ʰ ᵉ ᵗ ᶦ ᶜ ˢ, very slow travellings, and LoFi Hip-Hop.


Coming next: “1965: Facelifts and FAAL’s first mistake”, posting when I’m done being so proud of that photoshoot

*ᵀᵒ ᵈᵃᵗᵉ, ᴵ ˢᵗᶦᶫᶫ ʰᵃᵛᵉᶰ’ᵗ ᵇᵘᶦᶫᵈ ᵃ ⁸⁰ˢ ᴹᵉˢᵃᶦᵃ ᴳᵀᴵ⋅⋅⋅ ᶠᶦᶰᵍᵉʳˢ ᶜʳᵒˢˢᵉᵈ


Automation Sunday Cup - Race 4: Laguna Seca
#10

1965: Facelifts all around!

Alright back in the past. FAAL Decided, in 1965, that all of their cars should now run on unleaded fuel.
So they took all of their current engines, and reworked their heads to make it work and ta-da! With the update, some engines even gained some power, while still running on lower octane!

But it wasn’t enough. They could do more. Their Plebia was still relatively up to date design wise, but needed some kind of refreshing. The Foreia? Oh. Could use that too.

Either way, 1965 is the year FAAL released the facelifts of the MK2 Plebia and the MK2 Foreia.

Plebia II Facelift:

WHAT CHANGED:
On all models, wider fenders to accomodate for wider tires, that are now radial all around instead of cross ply. New grilles, more solid, with vertical bars to support the horizontal bars that had a tendency to break easily. Off with the ugly external rear license plate lights, they’re now flush under a chrome bar above the license plate. The new FAAL Deer logo is now used instead of the F A A L writing.

Plebia 81:
All the trim pieces and bumpers are now plastic. New sets of colours available (pictured above: Blanc Banquise)
The 123P8Ce becomes the 123P8CeU and gains only 1hp in the process (31hp@4800 instead of 30hp@4500, torque unchanged, 54nm@2500 instead of 2700), but the car is more efficient (8.1l/100 instead of 8.9).

Plebia 101M:
All the tim pieces go from bare metal AND chrome to only bare metal. The grille centers goes body coloured. The hubcaps are still bare metal.
Three points seatbelts.
The 123P10Ce engine goes 123P10CeU and gains a higher redline (5600rpm instead of 5200) and more efficiency, but the power figures stay the same with 37hp and 69nm. Fuel consumption goes from 9.7l/100 to 9.1l/100. Performance unchanged.

Plebia 101L:

Chrome everything.
Body coloured, new style hubcaps.
Two tone roof has been retained.
New colour choices.
Progressive suspension added.
Power steering added.

1966 Plebia II 101L:


and… Oh. Yeah.
How could I forget.
Remember the Mesaia S? The car they released to gauge the market for a FAAL sports car?
Well, it worked.

Which means every FAAL model gets a sporty version.
Which is actually a good excuse to build new engines! And that’s what they did for the Plebia.

The mk2 Plebia 102S introuced the brand new 133S single direct-acting overhead cam engine. In its first form, it was a 1000cc, single twin barrel carb unit delivering 52hp@5600rpm and 75nm@3900 and called the 133S10C2U Sure, doesn’t sound much, but friendly reminder than we’re talking about a sub-600kg car. How’s that, huh?
It was enough for the mk2 Plebia to reach 100km/h in 14.9sec, and top up at 130km/h.
It also featured front brake discs and a stiffened suspension, which made it lots of fun to throw around in the corners.
The car still retained a 4 speed manual.

Plebia 102S



This car was the first iteration of the company’s new guideline: “Today’s sporty engine is tomorrow’s efficient engine”.


Which brings us to:


MK2 Foreia Facelift

Okay now this is on a whole other level:



WHAT CHANGED:
On all models:
Rectangular headlights. Wider blinkers. Simplified chrome trim on the front. Rounded grilles around the license plate. New, rectangular door handles. Sleeker rear end. The single side mirror is now rectangular instead of round.

The rear of the wagon has been entirely revised to make room for a lower loading line, much like the mk1 Mesaia:

Also, ENTIRELY NEW ENGINE RANGE!
Introducing the 236S inline 6 engine series.
Much like the Plebia 102S’s three cylinder, it was a single direct acting overhead cam six cylinder, ranging from 2.0 to 2.3. The mk2 Foreia saw only two versions, a 2.1 and a 2.3.
And, its little brother, the 184S engine series. A four cylinder with the same cam layout. Ranging from 1.3 to 1.8L, the Foreia was fitted with a 1.6 and a 1.8 unit.

Since the Foreia was FAAL’s flagship model, today’s sporty engine was also today’s efficient engine.

Foreia 162
Bare metal hubcaps.
Plastic trim door handles.
Body coloured trim grilles.
1.6 SOHC engine: The 67hp 184S16Ce2U

Foreia 182M
Chrome contour on the grilles and headlights
Chrome door handles
Chrome hubcaps
1.8 SOHC engine: The 80hp 184S18Ce2U

Foreia 213L
Chrome everywhere.
Body coloured, new style hubcaps.
Foglights.
Four speaker radio.
FAAL’s all new hydropneumatic suspension, in its first version. Pillow like comfort in all circumstances.
Some cladding under the engine, to allow for less wind resistance, and therefore, less noise
2.1 SOHC engine: The 90hp 236S21Ce3U

Now we’re talking flagship comfort.

Foreia 213L



And of course, as I said. Every model gets a sports version. In the Foreia’s case, it was more of a good compromise between comfortable and sporty, rather than an all out rally car like the others.

It featured the highest displacement of the new 236S engine, 2.3L, with twin DC0E carbs, engineered to have a smooth torque curve rather than only peak-RPM power. Smoothest FAAL engine to date.

Foreia 234S
Stiffer, lower, progressive suspension
Plastic spoiler
Plastic lip
185/60R15 wheels, wider than all the other models
184S interior trim with two separate rear seats instead of a bench
213L cladding, this time only for less drag, to allow for a 180km/h top speed.
213L foglights
2.3 Twin DC0E engine: The 121hp 236S23DCU

Foreia 234S


And that was it. Everything went well from that point. I mean, it’s not like they can do anything wrong or crazy at that point, all their models are updated, and the Mesaia had such an avantgarde styling when it was released that there was no point in facelifting it, and even less replacing it! Right?

Oh wait.

They did.


The 1967 MK2 Mesaia

There it is.
There’s a perfect example of FAAL thinking too French.

So here’s the thinking: Since the MK1 Mesaia wagon was such a huge success (probably because of that ad), and since some dank ass marketter in an office noticed that people started going crazy for hatchbacks, well… they decided that the solution was to listen to the market and turn the Mesaia into a hatchback.

Only a hatchback.

No sedan. No wagon. Only that goddamn hatch, that was meant to replace both the sedan AND the wagon.

smdh.
Anyway.


But hey. Despite the styling being… delightfully quirky and arguable, the car beneath was neatly updated.
The car was still front wheel drive, but the engine was now transversally mounted. The rear semi trailing arms were replaced by a brand new torsion beam setup, with springs and shocks separated. All around, the car had a better handling and lower service costs.

So, the car was once again available in several trims, with 4 different engines:
-Mesaia 132, with an updated 1.3 pushrod L4 from the old generation, the 154P13Ce2U, putting out 51hp/91nm, plastic trim everywhere and no options
-Mesaia 152M, with an updated 1.5 pushrod L4 from the old generation, the 154P15Ce2U, with 60hp/107nm. You get chrome hubcaps, body coloured trims, progressive suspension and power steering, as well as better seats.
-Mesaia 162L, with the same 184S16Ce2U engine as the new base model Foreia and 67hp. Here you get chrome trim everywhere, body coloured hubcaps,
-Mesaia 164S. Oh this was the peak rally car of its time, and the engineers really showed the best side of the brand new SOHC layout. The 184S16DCU engine was capable, with its relatively small 1566cc displacement, of 100hp.
Sure, the power was up there at 6000RPM and the peak torque of 128nm at 4500RPM, but the engine had a instant throttle response. Even better, the car weighed 880kg. All of this made for a 0-100km/h time of exactly 10sec and a top speed of 165km/h. For a compact hatchback, in 1965. Yep, not bad.

Extra photos


“Damn, a new FAAL model! Surely they’ll finally stop using those damn mk1 Plebia door handles as trunk latc…

OH MAN!”


And of course, the 100hp Foreia 164S


Overall, though, despite the choice of the engineers to make a brand new car instead of exploiting a chassis that still had great days ahead, the deal wasn’t that bad. They even turned a bigger profit than expected, and for a good reason.

Public services ordered this car. A lot. Especially the postal services and military police. The latter had a car custom built to their needs: A base model, absolutely naked, with the 1.5 pushrod engine, offroad tyres, and external foglights instead of the integrated ones below the bumper on the S models. Plus all the interior amenities a police car needs.

Postal version, which was just a base model with no back seats and a custom colour:

Phew. That was a long post.
Next up: The 70s and becoming way too French.


#11

Wipes dust off topic

1974: Thinking Too French

Okay, so. The facelift on the second gen Foreia lasted quite a bit. Because for once, it was gorgeous, and… also because FAAL has been experimenting a bit too much in the late sixties and early seventies.

Y’know. The whole “let’s get crazy, it’s not like we’re finally gonna notice we’re gonna run out of oil, thus driving the price of petrol through the roof, right? … … Right?”

Hmpf.
So, yeah. FAAL has been experimenting. New body styles, new drivetrains, new engines.
Especially some weird dorito looking thingy that was supposed to make more power in a smaller package with fewer moving parts, and was the future of the combustion engine. Pretty neat… So neat, in fact, that the whole 1975 redesigned Foreia lineup was to run on those. They were even gonna release a car more luxurious than the Foreia: the KLINOS, who was running not two, but THREE doritos in a row.

except, well, 1973 happenned.

Every single engine experimentation grew obsolete. There was no point. As for the Foreia III, well… They had to release it with engines derived from the 1965 Mesaia GTI’s 184S block, which also powered the outgoing Foreia… At least it still fit the “Today’s performance engine is tomorrow’s efficient engine” theme, I guess?

1974 Foreia

Yo wtf is that bodytype?

Issa l i f t b a c c.
Some weird study determined that people loved hatchbacks for their practicality… But also sedans for their prestance. So, by combining the two, FAAL hoped to attract twice the buyers.

And wtf is that nose?


Issa a e r o d y n a m i c b o y e:tm:

Efforts have been made to make the car as aerodynamic as possible with that profiled nose, fewer openings than in the previous generation Foreia (which was pretty much a brick compared to this one), and more efficient, smaller engines.
As a result, with a slightly bigger (4.49m VS 4.42m) and infinitely more spacious (3469L vs 2265L of passenger area) car, not only the weight was roughly the same, but the power figures were slightly better (though not matching the competition anymore) and fuel consumption too.

Okay, okay… But WTF is that plastic trim that goes all around the windshield and meets with the back window?

French quirks. Don’t ask, idfk.

Apart from that, the car had a longitudinal FWD layont and kept the semi trailing arms rear / McPherson front suspension setup of the outgoing model. The chassis was galvanized, though.

Down with FAAL’s model designation, instead of Foreia 162, 182M, etc… you get engine displacement and trim in clear view at the back of the car.

At launch, two trims available, with two engines:

Foreia 1.6 BL
Basic seats, basic AM radio with two speakers in the dash, three point seat belts, power steering, a big clock instead of a tach.
15" steelies with 165/80R15 tires
Plastic trim galore
1.6L 184S16Ce2UE engine which is an evolution of the 1.6 184S from the previous generation Foreia, running unleaded fuel, with hypereutectic cast pistons. At 71hp, it’s four hp stronger than its predecessor… Aaah Rotary, why hast thou faileth me.
Oh yeah, fuel consumption: 12.9L/100 instead of 13L for the outgoing 162


(here in Blanc Banquise)

Foreia 1.8 GL
Standard seats, standard 8 track, still only two speakers.
Extra cladding.
Alloy wheels with optional body colour wheel paint.
Half chrome door handles, and chrome grille.
16" alloy wheels with 185/65R16 tires
1.8L 184S18Ce2UE engine, evolution of the outgoing unit with the same changes as the 1.6 on the BL. 85hp, and a fuel consumption almost 1L/100 less than the outgoing model.


(Here in Bleu de Game Crashed and for some reason I need to reinstall it to see my database again and I can’t remember my colour names by heart so bear with me)

And that’s it.

Yep. No L trim equivalent with 6 cylinder engine and hydropneumatic suspension.

Unless…

>tobecontinued.jpg


#12

Is that part of the “Bill Gates” option pack?


#13

Quite a futuristic design - its bottom-breather nose was a decade or two ahead of its time. Few other 70s cars had that kind of exterior design feature. And it looks great in French blue, even though it’s not a performance car.


#14

@stm316 Nah, that would be the brand new BSOD Blue.

@abg7 Thanks! But, not really, the DS/ID had one x) And yeah that’s the kind of quirky Citroën-like design I was looking for in this car.


#15

1974 bis: The FAAL Foreia Klinos

Yep. Brand new model. Totally not a Foreia with cosmetic changes which has been given a different name to try and reset the market. Move along. You’re fired, Jean-Martin. It’s the second time in this topic, maybe you should watch your mouth.

Joke aside, as explained before, FAAL had planned a brand new model, more luxurious than the Foreia, which was going to be called KLINOS. Alas, the fuel crisis happenned. But the trademark on the name has been put, and the marketting department was expecting something.

So FAAL took a gamble and rebranded their own brand new car, the mk3 Foreia.

The treatment was subtle but efficient: New grilles, new foglights, and the badge moved on the hood for the front…


And a straight exhaust pipe, taillight bar and license plate moved under the bumper for the rear.

Also, the whole plastic trim package turned chrome, and the car was fitted with 16" BUCHS :tm: wheels with 205/55R16 tires all around. Of course, they could be body coloured if you ticked that in the option sheet.

… Oh, and how could I forget to mention? It’s rear wheel drive.
On open diff, but still a nice, old fashioned RWD. And for a simple reason: The 236S engine that was fitted in the car simply didn’t fit with the FWD transaxle… So, yeah. RWD it is, so we can push the engine a little bit further towards the driver.

At lauch, the Klinos had only one trim level: GLS, with only one engine. A 236S that had to be de-stroked to 2.2L to keep a reasonably high redline with hypereutectic cast pistons. Emission control is no joke, I’ll tell you hwhat.

That single trim obviously included the latest revision of the cloud-like, self levelling hydropneumatic suspension, as well as the latest top-notch safety options, bolstered leather seats with adjustable headrests and a high quality 8 track car stereo. For the first time, power windows were also an option, front and rear.

Engine specs: 236S22

With all of this, the Klinos weighed 1270kg for 101hp, killed (gently) the 0 to 100km/h in 12.7s and topped out at 174km/h. Not much, but… we’re getting there. FAAL had things in development that could make up for that lack of perfs in the near future.

Sure, it did all that while downing 14.7L/100km of fuel but… Klinos buyers didn’t really care about that, did they.

Next up: Making the best of the scraps: The FAAL Ochlosia.

Oh wait no, Mk3 Mesaia first.


#16

Gotta love that Foreia, it has every quirky design cues from the period - rhe trimming to make a sedan hatchback is soooo Renault, as are the taillights, while the front screams Citroën - and the profile screams Austin Maestro

(On a side note it is funny how in the 70’s Citroen made sedans that looked like hatchbacks while in rhe early 80s renault invented the hatchs that looked like sedans with the infamous bulle from the fuego/r25/r11)


#17


I had one of those as my first car. I have to say that the Mesaia reminds me a lot of it in some way. :stuck_out_tongue:


#18

Oh :b:oi, I never meant this XD I completely forgot about this generation of Kadett XD

Thankfully, this is the post where it’s gonna change. Or not.

1975: Square bois and Survivors - Mk3 Mesaia and Mk2 Plebia second facelift

In 1965, the Mesaia II took over the Mesaia I that was launched ten years prior.
1965 was ten years ago.

Yup, it is time.


This pretty square body is issued from the numerous bodystyle studies FAAL did during the great 1965-1974 era where literally no new or updated car came out. Well… Great, as in long. Even though the start of the era was promising, both the economy and the possibilities were going down the drain as years went on…

I mean…

Y’know what?

Emission Crisis Interlude:

So as I said, the economy and possibilities were both going down the drain, but it wasn’t as bad as what was happening in the USA, though… USA that they tried to conquer, by sending their most buffed out, yet still efficient Foreia, fitted with a 236S23Ce3-US engine with hypereutectic cast pistons that prevented it to run faster than 5700rpm… not like americans cared, heh.

The 1972 Foreia 233L US spec:


Same facelifted Foreia as you know, with white headlights, no license plate support… And thus, the trademark “two grilles wrapping around the license plate” FAAL design cue had to go, too, replaced by a continuation of the upper grille.


Permanently lit blinker repeaters found their way on both side, front and rear. The taillights ditched the amber light and grew larger, covering the entire surface between the license plate and the sides.


And of course, the one and only thing you need to make sales in the USA

With a three speed Prendell™ The car had a top speed of 94mph, did 0 to 62 in 15.4sec… But a pretty poor fuel rating of 16.1MPG (the fact that decimals matter says it all) thanks to the same slushbox that allowed it to sell. It wasn’t an economy car, after all.

And while they were building that, the same year, discreetly, the Plebia 102S, Mesaia 162S and Foreia 234S all got discontinued, because they didn’t meet the emission standards and every attempt at replacing them with the same kind of punch ended up a failure.

RiP S trims, 1960-1972. Press F to pay respects.

… Thankfully, better days were to come when the technology advances.

So anyway, back to the

1975 Mk3 Mesaia, fo real this time.

So yeah, the square boi you saw earlier was set to replace the quirky boi hatchback-wagon looking thing that sold like chocolatines.

“Pains au chocolat”, said someone, threatening me with a knife. He would be right.


No surprises in the styling, except probably those big plastic bumpers, that were meant to lessen body damage. Apart from that, the headlights and grille evoked the outgoing model, the “license plate wrapped in grilles” was still here, and so was that plastic bar between the taillights.

The car was 3.82m long, could weigh as low as 791kg, and was made of untreated steel. It retained the same chassis elements as the outgoing model: McPherson suspension on the front, torsion beam on the rear, transversal FWD engine.
It was available in both 3 and 5 doors variants, though all the press cars shown below were 5 doors. A 3.99m sedan version was also available, even though it had borderline anecdotic sales and wasn’t really marketted.


Let’s talk trims and engines.

The Mk3 Mesaia was available in three trims, that were… not really equivalent to those of the outgoing model. Especially the lower ones.

The base model was the 1.1BL, badged 1.1 only. It came with fully unpainted bumpers, no rear foglights, no radio, no power steering, nothing. As for the engine, that 1.1L unit was a 133S derivative: The 133S11CeUE, developing 46hp and mated to a 4 speed gearbox. To put it short, it’s a stroked version of the engine from the Plebia 102S, tuned for economy. A Plebia engine in a Mesaia… hmpf.
At least it worked, and the car sipped on 8.9l/100 of fuel, while topping up at 134km/h and reaching 100km/h in an agonizing 19.5sec.


Pictured here in the very rare sedan configuration:

The mid-trim model was the CL. It was basically a BL, with factory options that… actually made the car liveable, like power steering, and a radio. Other changes were mostly cosmetic, with half painted bumpers and rear foglights. With no options, the car weighed 871kg.
The base engine was a new 1.3L derivative of the 184S family, the 184S13Ce2UE, mated to a 4 speed gearbox. It developed 60hp, propelled the car to 100km/h in 15.8sec, topped up at 147km/h with a fuel consumption of 9.7l/100. But you could option it up to the engine from the base model Foreia, the 184S16Ce2UE 1.6 unit developing 71hp. Just like you could option up a 5 speed gearbox, nicer seats, a better stereo and more safety options.


OR, you could also have every option box ticked AND add alloy wheels and progressive suspension and get the upper trim: The Mesaia GL.
The only options you could add were front foglights and fancy paints, like the Bleu Lagon Métallisé showed below, because… you already had everything else.
The car was only available with the 1.6L, 71hp engine mentioned earlier, mated to a 5 speed manual. With this, the car weighed 979kg, 0-100km/h in 13.9sec, and had a top speed of 157km/h. Fuel consumption was 10.4l/100, though.

No S model… as I said, every single attempt ended up in something not worth selling… And the car itself relied on heavy marketting, a modern design, and a generous option list to sell, because, well… People were starting to see fuel like they see caviar, at that time.

GUESS WHO DIDN’T GIVE A SH*T THO


PLEBIA OWNERS. THAT’S RIGHT.

1975 Mk2 Plebia - second facelift

A little quickie for this one, because, well… It’s the third time you see that car now.
So, the ole’ 1955 Plebia was still here, and still selling 20 years later (especially during the fuel crisis, OBVIOUSLY) and… Yeah, in fact it was selling so much that FAAL found it deserved a second facelift.
The cosmetic changes were mostly in the front fascia with:

  • A new, wider grille with a… somewhat familiar design, I can’t put my finger on it…
  • The updated “plate surrounded by grilles” cue, with rounded edges
  • Square blinkers and repeaters
  • The replacement of the trunk latch by a simple lock-push button… And if you looked closely the pictures of the three last posts, that means that THE 29YO MK1 PLEBIA DOOR HANDLE CAN FINALLY BE DISCONTINUED.
    dllhost_2018-05-02_01-57-33
    #GoneButNot4gotten 1946-1975

As for the technical changes:
The Plebia 81 is replaced by the Plebia 900BL (simply badged Plebia) with the very last revision of the now ancient pushrod 123P engine, the 123P9CeUE. 35hp, 606kg, 8.7l/100km/h, 112km/h top speed and I won’t even publish the 0-100 time.
The Plebia 101L is replaced by the Plebia GL, with… The 1.1 engine from the base Mesaia, just to rub the fact that the base Mesaia ACTUALLY has a Plebia engine. 46hp, 690kg, 9.9l/100 (yeah, worse than the Mesaia. Boom.), 121km/h, 18.2s to 100.

Neither the 101M nor the 102S had following this year.

But if you look closely at the badging on the 1978 model year that is shown, due to fixture errors on the 1975 cars… more is to come in later years for FAAL’s sport car legacy.


UH OH, S🅱OILER ALERT.


#19

Two posts in one day, cuz I really wanna catch up with my lore.

1976: Releasing the research, pt.1: The FAAL Ochlosia

Okay. The idea behind the Ochlosia is that ever since the Mk1 Plebia Fourgonnette went out of production in the mid sixties (Yep, mid sixties. That plank on wheels.), FAAL had simply no true utilitarian options.
Sure, there was the Mesaia and Foreia wagons… But a wagon can only haul so much and be so practical at the end of the day. Professionnals and people who really needed to carry heavy stuff were reaching out to other brands, Anhultz and their everlasting Transportwagen to only cite one… It was time to try and get them back. With squares. And modern tech.


The van was rear wheel drive, front engined, with the engine in between the two front seats and a deported gearing command that sat way high on the big central console/engine cover. No bench seat like in most vans… Sure, you could get three passengers in the front provided one of them had a full Adidas tracksuit, a bottle of Vodka and was called Boris, and get him to squat on the engine cover, but… It wasn’t really legal. And good luck getting a russian dude in France with Germany still being half communist and blocking stuff at the time.

… I think I’m getting lost in thoughts.

SO. The van. Galvanized half-monocoque half-ladder body, to allow for a low loading line and still support enough weight. Regular steel panels. Two sliding doors. Front McPherson suspension and rear solid axle leaf spring. 300mm disc brakes all around, ventilated in the front, solid in the back. Given the shape of the rear, no dual doors, just a big old hatch, with very heavy gas springs, that went way down until the loading line.


The entire black bar and license plate ensemble lifts up with the hatch, as well as the upper part of the taillights.

The Ochlosia had two versions: A fully utilitarian version, with a separation between the cabin and the cargo area, and a people mover, called the Ochlosia Camper


… Or… the Camper Ochlosia, as the badging suggests, idk. People just called it the camper.

For some reason, the van variant was offered with a fully glassed version… and for some reason² that’s the configuration the press car is in. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Van was motorized by a single engine to make it as cheap to buy and to maintain as possible: The 1.8 184S18Ce2UE that had been in the top trim mk3 Foreia for two years now. At 85hp it didn’t look like much BUT, a newly designed 5 speed gearbox with very wide gears and a very, VERY short first gear made up for that, and allowed the van a carrying capacity of 1700kg and a towing capacity of 1400kg. For a van with a dry weight of around 1250kg.
The price to pay was an engine that was absolutely screaming at 4100rpm at 120km/h… And get that, the engine is right NEXT to you when you’re driving. Needless to say the Ochlosia wasn’t a highway van.

Amongst other specs, you get a 150km/h top speed (dry, of course), a 14sec 0-100km/h and 14.5L/100km.

The Ochlosia Camper now, that’s another story.
This van was open cab all the way to the trunk, only available in fully glassed version. It had hubcaps, chrome bumpers, a chrome grille, chrome door handles and optional foglights. Not to mention extra paint options. You could even get a quirky looking spare wheel holder on the tailgate… which of course, meant heavier gas springs.

The five speed option was retained, but tuned towards drivability rather than towing capacity… And more, it was mated to the 2.2 sixer 236S22Ce3UE from the Klinos.

The goal with that van / people mover thingy is that it was made to do whatever you wanted on the inside. But it came with two three-seats benches, fully removable, that would leave a flat floor when removed, and a 8 seater registration. What you did with those benches, and the space on the inside, was entirely up to you. … Yeah you can see where the “camper” name comes from.

Best part? Thanks to the car-like gearing, the 6 cylinder had only a barely worse fuel consumption than the van variant, at 14.7l/100 and the Camper could TECHNICALLY reach 164km/h and had a 0-100 of 14.5sec.

Okay, that’s it for the Ochlosia.

Seeing what was left in their bank of research, the marketting team saw only one body variant that was interesting and could bring in new markets: A coupe. They wanted it for next year.
The engineering department, though, was deep into developing the future of the carburator… and managed to make the marketting team chill a bit, saying that they could introduce the new coupe with a very fancy fuel feeding technology that could improve both efficiency AND performance at the same time.

Coming next: The return of sports cars and Fuel Injection


CSR 73 - The Fight For Freedom
#20

1978 - Releasing the research Pt. 2 - The Coupé & Fuel Injection pt. 1

Okay, so it’s 1978 and FAAL just got done with the future of carburators.
Two versions:
-an o2 sensor boi with a single injector meant to replace a carburator on the cheap… paradoxally with a very fancy 70s spec ECU
-a more expensive mechanical fuel injection with a multiport layout and weird tray thingy.
The two managed to get released together, while a fancier multiport EFI setup was awaiting better technology to get released… So, the complicated mechaboi will have to do or most engines, while the single point carb-replacement EFI setup was meant for three cylinder engines only.

But first of all, FAAL needed to raise awareness of the possibilities of fuel injection, both in efficiency and performance. And that’s where their latest study shows up: The FAAL Coupé

Under the body, it’s… basically a RWD Mesaia. In which any 236S engine fits. With semi trailing arms instead of a torsion beam on the rear. … Which has gone through an anti-corrosion treatment. But… yeah, let’s just say there were SOME Mesaia design elements taken. Including the basics of the front fascia.

The rear, though, was entirely different, with a weird striped plastic bar going from one rear quarter window to the other while wrapping around the trunk, because French Quirks and Renault Fuego or something.


The car was available in two engines: Two variants of the 236S23.
One was a 115hp naturally aspirated unit that was… still kinda slow revving, thanks to the hypereutectic cast pistons, but had the best throttle response of any 236S23 engine, and… of all FAAL’s engine lineup: the 236S23ME
The other was FAAL’s very first TURBO engine, that was also their most powerful yet, the 236S23MTE. It made 155hp and 231nm, which is… quite frankly ridiculous by today’s standards for a 2.3L turbo engine, but was still a good punch in a car that weighed barely more than one ton. Both models were tuned with a generous mix of hardness and comfort, making it a car that was both fun to throw around and still drivable on a daily basis.

(Damn it, whose idea was it to have the press car be RED just like the turbo badge?!)

N/A Coupés had a single trim: CS, that came with four standard seats, an AM radio and steel wheels with hubcaps. A pretty basic equipment that allowed the car to stay at exactly 1000kg. The green one is one of them.

Turbo Coupés had, too, a single trim, that was just badged Turbo. On top of all that is cited, they had an aero package composed of a lip and a small spoiler. That would be the red one.

N/A Performance: 188km/h top speed, a 0-100km/h in 10.1 sec, quarter mile of 17.7sec.
Turbo performance: 200km/h top speed, 0-100km/h in 8.1sec, quarter mile of 16.15sec.

The performances of the Turbo model put the car in only a slightly higher spot as West Germany’s BMW 323i… which had a naturally aspirated 2.3 engine. There was still progress to be made.

Which is good, because those engine were made to comply with drastic emission standards they didn’t necessarily need to. So with this, plus the EFI development, plus FAAL’s still developing new drivetrain options… That car could only improve.

1978 was one helluva year for FAAL, and I’m gonna need to cover it in three posts.

Coming next: Fuel Injection galore, the return of sport trims, and reconquering the USA


#21

Releasing the research Pt. 3 - Fuel Injection, pt. 2: Spreading it / reconquering the US

We’re still in 1978, and we’re far from done.
Because fuel injection going production ready meant the whole FAAL lineup will take advantage of it. Engine updates. New versions of cars. Everything.

The Foreia 1.8 saw a fuel injected version, which increased the power by 12hp: The 184S18ME


The Klinos inherited of the two 2.3 L6s of the FAAL Coupe with respectively 115hp for the N/A and 155 for the turbo.

The turbo version, though, found its way in a new trim.
The almightly

1978 Klinos Excellence


beautiful mesh style wheels. Chrome everywhere. Power everything. Cushioned and heated red leather interior. Sunroof. It had it all.

And quite frankly, the 236S23MTE was more meant for that car than the turbo coupe, as it was much more linear than it was sporty. Especially with the 4 speed automatic with overdrive that came with the Excellence.

0-100 in 11 seconds, 197km/h top speed. That seems like laughable performance, but the Klinos Excellence was all about that comfort, which was on par with premium brands. … That being said, it had a premium price tag to go with that…

The Klinos Excellence was also the flagship of the fleet of cars and variants FAAL sent overseas to try and reconquer the US, now that they had decent engine choices.

1978 Klinos Excellence - USDM


The beauty of FAAL’s engines is that with their hypereutectic cast pistons and general design, they were compliant of US emission regulations. No change was made to the 155hp turbo engine.
The car, though, had a “federal law friendy” makeover, including 5mph bumpers and round uncovered headlights…

Front and rear sidemarkers…

And taillights that got rid of the ember blinkers.
okay that was it for the halo car, but the US also saw cars people could actually buy:

1978 Olympia


Yeah, issa USDM FAAL Coupe. The exact same car, safe for the automatic seatbelts and imperial gauges.
There’s of course those big 5mph bumpers, sidemarkers and USDM taillights.

This is a turbo, but both it and the N/A were available.

And to bottom up the list:

1978 USDM Mesaia

This car was very different from the european model, though, both in conception and in target audience. It was cheaper, yet “sportier”. Think “slow car fast”. See, the problem is that the european Mesaia was fully, one hundred percent built to european standards. Their engines were unfit for the US market, and so were their performance. Miss me with that “unsafe for highway use” sh*t.
So the USDM Mesaia was sold in two trims:


A base model, called simply the 1.3, featuring a 3 cylinder single point EFI 133S13Spi-US engine developing 65hp at 6000rpm that was found on no european FAAL except the Plebia S with like 7 more hp but that’s for another post. The car was sitting on nimbler, lower suspension, but had the same 13" steelies as the EUDM Mesaia. This version was only available with a short geared 4 speed manual. As I said, sportier, but cheaper.


And a more upscale 1.6 CLI, with a 184S16ME-US engine developing 80hp. This was both available with a 5 speed manual or a 3 speed auto because American buyers demographic. Apart from that the recipe was the same, plus alloy wheels and a better stereo and better materials inside.


Tfw I have one more post to go to cover 1978
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