You are welcome to submit one to compete in the Utility category. It will be run up against everyone else’s entries, based on the weighted stats for the round. These are different category-to-category, round-for-round. So what is preferred for a Utility now will not be the same in, say, 30 years.
(Prelude lore/RP to follow)
Tuesday, May 6, 1952
Desmond Wainwright stepped to the threshold of Jack Chancellor’s office. The heavy, darkly-stained oak door stood wide open. A majestic mahogany desk seemed to dominate the space between two large windows, both open to provide ventilation on an unusually warm Spring day. Jack was at his desk, though a copy of the Cincinnati Enquirer unfurled in the CEO’s hands served as a curtain to the outside world. Desmond swallowed and took a deep breath before gently rapping his knuckles on the door jamb.
Jack’s index fingers slid down the page, allowing the paper to slump to where he could see the source of the intrusion. His gray hair was slicked back, his reading glasses perched toward the end of his nose, though he dipped his head so he could see above them.The Ardent CEO sat upright in his chair and folded the paper in front of him, placed his glasses on top, then motioned to a chair on the opposite side of his desk. “Desmond, come in.”
Desmond steeled himself, putting a forced smirk on his face. It felt quite false. Worse yet, it felt that Jack’s piercing blue eyes saw through the facade as easily as one would look through a pane of glass. Nonetheless, he placed himself in one of the chairs opposite Jack.
Jack motioned in the air with his right hand just as Desmond was about to speak. “It’s bad news,” Jack said, his tone eerily calm.
“Y… yes, sir,” Desmond stammered. “There was another setback. This time it was…”
Jack grinned and waved his hand again dismissively. “It’s alright, Desmond. Honestly, it’s not going to matter much.”
“Sir?” Desmond didn’t like where Jack was going with this. Just over eighteen months ago, Desmond had an incident with Jack that ended with the CEO firing him for a week before begging Desmond to come back. At that time, he at least had leverage over Jack that helped. But over a year into Project Taurus, Desmond and his engineers didn’t have much more than a few prototype V8 engines. None of which ran for more than a couple weeks. He had nothing to defend himself now.
Jack reached unto one of his desk drawers, retrieving a cigar, which he trimmed quickly before closing the drawer and reaching for the lighter on his desk. “Consider Project Taurus to be…” Jack leaned back and took a big puff. He exhaled, then gave a slight shrug, smoke wafting gently from the lit cigar. “Practice.”
Desmond scratched at his chin. “I’ve got to be honest, Mr. Chancellor, I’m a little confused. We’re well behind schedule. I know that we were supposed to have a V8 ready for the 400-series right away, but I can’t see us getting a production-ready unit until '54 at the earliest.” The truth of the matter hurt the engineer deeply, but it would do him no good to sugarcoat the situation. Not to the great Jack Chancellor.
Again, to Desmond’s surprise, Jack grinned. “And what would you think about being able to put a V8 in the 400’s this year?”
“You’re crazy,” Desmond blurted, unable to stop himself.
“Damn straight I am,” Jack laughed. “So what would you say? Would you like to see it?”
“I would, but it’s impossible.”
“Bet you ten bucks I can do it,” Jack grinned. “Twenty if I do it before you walk back out the door.” Jack thrust his burning cigar toward his open door.
Desmond shook his head. “The Taurus is broken. It’s not going to happen. But I do like the sound of taking my wife out to dinner on Jack Chancellor’s dime.”
Jack merely laughed and held out his hand.
“You’re serious?” Desmond asked. Jack nodded, so Desmond reached for the CEO’s outstretched hand.
“That’s more like it,” Jack chortled as he shook the hand of his Director of Powertrain Division. He then balanced his cigar on his ash tray and reached for the phone. Jack’s thick fingers jabbed at the dial, ripping the rotary face around with glee as he dialed in each number.
He waited. Desmond crossed his arms. Seconds ticked away, yet Jack’s glee didn’t fade at all. After what must have been close to a minute, he leaned back. Desmond could faintly hear that someone was on the other end of the line, giving an introduction, but he couldn’t tell who."
“Hey Jeff. Yeah, it’s Jack Chancellor,” the CEO chirped cheerfully into the handset. “Yeah, it’s been too long.” There was a short pause. “No, Jeff. I’m not going to waste your time like that, you know me. Listen, I’ve got two things for your. First of all, I’m coming up to Toledo this weekend, thought we might have dinner when I’m in town. Yeah. Yeah, Myrtle will be with me, so you better bring Edith to keep her off my back.”
Desmond could briefly make out the person on the other end of the line laugh before Jack’s own laughter drowned it out. “Yeah, that’s half of if. The other half helps both of us out. Seven hundred and fifty Toledo Eights. I’ll give you wholesale plus ten for each of them, and I’ll pick up the bill for freight. Can you get me that many? Uh huh… no, I understand where you’re at on that. That’s why I’m not asking for a thousand.” Another pause, more muffled speech from the handset. Jack’s smile slowly started to fade. “You know me better than that, Jeff. Uh huh. Now? Hmm. Hold on.” Jack cupped his hand over the handset’s microphone and turned to Desmond. “The ShiftGuard is ready now, right, Desmond?”
Desmond was rendered speechless. The delay must have irritated Jack, because he started snapping his fingers at Desmond. “Uh, they’ll be production ready in about a month. But we don’t have…”
“How long to engineer a bellhousing adapter?” Jack shot back. “Cost isn’t an issue.”
“It would help if I knew what I was…”
“Just ballpark it!” Jack whispered hoarsely.
Jack grinned and unmuffled the phone. “Ok, that’s fair. Seven fifty Toledos by September, fifteen hundred more over the next twelve months. And I’ll send ShiftGuards your way starting next month, two fifty per month. Yes, it’s a deal, Jeff. I’ll call you Saturday morning to work out the details for this weekend. Yeah… you too, Jeff.” Jack slipped the handset back onto its cradle. “I believe you owe me twenty dollars there, Desmond,” he smirked.
“Now wait, Mr. Chancellor, I don’t even know what I’m deal…”
“Toledo Iron Eight, 289 cubic inch V8 engines. Variable displacement platform. The future of Townsend Coachworks.” Jack patted the newspaper next to him. “A future they can’t afford to have exclusively. See, Jeff Moss is in a pinch. Townsend is bleeding cash, and their cars are selling slowly. But that factory of theirs in Toledo can crank out engines like there’s no tomorrow. He sells us engines, he gets cash flow he can show the bank, and we get the V8 we need. Already production ready, no more setbacks. All you need to do is find a way to adapt the ShiftGuard to its bellhousing.”
Desmond nodded. “Practice program indeed. We’ll need blueprints or an engine to work with before we can start,” he added.
“I’ll get them for you when I’m in Toledo this weekend. To be honest, I’m going for more than just a business dinner.” Jack picked up his cigar and took another puff. “I’m going to try to buy the whole damn company.”
Business Section, Friday, November 14, 1952
Ardent Motors Corporation announced today that it has reached terms of acquisition with Toledo, OH based car manufacturer Townsend Coachworks. Ardent will purchase Townsend for 2.1 million dollars, in an all-cash deal.
There had been much speculation recently regarding the fate of Townsend, which has posted losses for the past nine quarters straight. It was believed that Townsend might be forced to file for bankruptcy, but it now appears that at least two companies made a bid to purchase the struggling automaker instead. Townsend CEO Jeffrey Moss signed the agreement with Ardent last month, and it was approved by the Townsend family estate earlier this week.
Another offer by Bogliq Automotive USA was apparently turned down in favor of Ardent’s terms.
Hampton Motor Group - Prologue
Warwick, England - 15 February 1955
Toby Hampton had just received word on the previous year’s sales report. The news was very good indeed: ever since its founding, the Hampton Motor Group had recorded steady, sizable profits thanks to increasingly high annual sales. As such, the company had been able to negotiate a purchase of the rights to the third model line intended for the Warwick Motor Car Company - an off-roader called the Nevis. This vehicle would receive its own bespoke overhead-valve straight-six and was originally intended to be sold exclusively to fleets - until Toby’s trip to the United States in the summer of 1953 made him change his mind.
“It seems like those trucks, as they call them, aren’t just for fleet use anymore. Private buyers want them, too.”
“You’re right”, Marketing Director Gary Wells responded. “If we sell the Nevis to civilian customers, it could well be a smashing success!”
“I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one. We will offer the Nevis to civilians at launch, which is scheduled for 1956. Speaking of which, that’s when the rest of our new model range will be out. Any news on that, Chief Engineer Pete Gardner?”
“Everything in our model plan is proceeding according schedule. Replacements for the Voyager and Wayfarer are expected to go on sale later this year as 1956 models - and in a first for this company, both of them, along with the Nevis, will be sold in the United States, marking our official entry into that market. Given how big it is, it’s too lucrative for us not to ignore.”
“Our design studio is working on the exterior and interior design for both of them as we speak - they will be built on our first all-new car platform, designed to underpin a whole range of models in varying sizes and segments”, Lead Designer Nathan Wilson replied.
Toby felt chuffed. “Well, that’s our new model plan set, then. We now feel confident enough to challenge not just our Continental competitors, such as Courageux, but also various American domestic brands, and even those up-and-coming Asian imports. Let’s get to work, boys; I want to make this company deliver on its promises and will never accept anything less.”
And with that, Toby returned to his office and resumed work, confident that his team would deliver all the new product on schedule and on budget. Meanwhile, his colleagues continued the final phase of development for the company’s new model range.
KATSURO HQ, Nagoya, Japan 1954
January 1, Monday 8 am
Tanashi steps into his office holding a cup of green tea. He walks to his desk and puts the cup down, and rests his jacket on the chair. He undoes the blinds and a sudden burst of sunlight hit his face, so hard that he squints his eyes. His secretary walks in to see him looking through the window at the birds flying above. She asks if he’s ok, he says yes.
“I’ve got our final sales results from last year for you”, she said.
“Bring them over”, he responds enthusiastically.
He takes the report and skims through while a grin slowly develops on his face. “Thank you, Nasuki. That will be all.”
The report shows over 2000 Model As being sold in 1953, numbers that were way more than he expected. A board meeting was called that same day, and Tanashi and his board members decided it was time to go public in order to raise funds to expand on the success of the Model A.
With the economy on a steady growth trend, it was the perfect time to introduce a more premium Midsize model and a workhorse.
Introducing the All-New 1956 Hampton Model Range.
Now available in America for the first time, our new model range is designed to cater to many different types of buyers.
Our entry-level offering, the Ferret, is powered by a small and efficient inline-four that provides adequate performance for daily driving. If you want a more upmarket experience, check out the larger Valiant, with a smooth straight-six, AM radio and leather upholstery as standard. And for those who want to go off-road and carry plenty of stuff, try the Nevis pick-up, with permanent 4x4 and a load capacity of over 1.5 tons.
Contact your nearest dealer for pricing and option availability.
How important is realism, versus stats in this challenge? For example, a pickup at this time would have bias ply tires and a front live axle, but those are both bad for stats. How should I balance them?
I will have an eye out for it. While I can’t per se ban anything in particular unless it’s not street legal, I did in the previous competition drop some RR points for people being “too advanced” in their setups.
In other words: play fair, be realistic. For example, all of my cars this round use a solid axle leaf suspension, and pushrod engines.
The thing is the definition of “too advanced”
i definitly understand a DOHC-4 engine not being practical in any of the given categories, but the european definition of “too advanced” is a much different one than the normal american definition of it.
and i don’t see European companies deliberately using inferior tech in USDM cars, especially on the chassis side of things
im getting a bit confused over the JR category… is it full on base spec cars, as in the cheapest and smallest possible with very small engines like a 2CV or just a default, cheap but not too cheap small car which is good for a nromal family?
My cars are definitely on the sporty euro type of level. All the choices are realistic though. American cars definitely went kind of archaic in the 60’s and 70’s
Even Euro companies wouldn’t be using DOHC4v this early on. Some might… MIGHT… use DOHC2v. SOHC2v or DAOHC would be more plausible. But Pushrods were common on imports even through the early 80’s here.
It is “what would your company’s lore entry-level car for the US market be at this time?”
Not necessarily the smallest car your company makes. Lore-wise, Ardent actually had something smaller than the Starlight (the Wren), but only sold it in Europe and South America. Thus, for the US market, the Starlight is the entry model.
I could have gone two ways with Senior. Ardent’s 400-series was the senior Ardent-branded car, but I could have also gone with the larger Townsend T5/Trinidad. I selected the 400-series.
I will go back to the round rules post and clarify this.
You still have to actually PM me the .car files, posting them in the thread doesn’t count as a submission.
Edit: Also, welcome back @nicholasrams774 … fixed his computer. He will rejoin in 1968 with a different company.
10 days remaining in the round’s submission period. I have submissions from 5 of 16 eligible companies.
Don’t rush me!!!
Perfection doesn’t happen overnight you know!
cough cough Lazy cough
I know, I know… recreating “Bogliq Blue” takes time.
Thursday, January 4, 1954
Jack muttered incoherent profanity as he took a drag of his cigarette. The memo in his hand made little sense to him, at least as far as an from an Executive’s viewpoint.
“There’s no way this garbage is legitimate,” he growled at Robert Maxwell, Chief Financial Officer of Ardent Motors.
Robert shook his head. “It appears that it is, Jack. I’ve gone over it with Jeffrey Moss three times already. He claims that, somewhere in all the Townsend archives, there’s a notarized copy of the loan paperwork.”
Jack slid the memo back onto the desk, took his glasses off, and with dramatic flair, tossed them onto the offending paper. “But you haven’t been able to find it. You’ve searched high and low, and all you have is Moss’s word that everything is on the level.”
“That,” Robert squirmed in his chair slightly, “and the regular monthly checks that have been coming in from Anhultz. All of which have cleared.”
“All of which are probably also drawing some rather curious attention from the government, I might add.” Jack took a pull on his cigarette until nothing remained but a long, limp trail of ash. He buried the butt in his crystal ash tray. Turning from Robert, he rose and walked to his dry bar. He grabbed an old fashioned glass, produced two cubes of ice from the silver bucket on top, and poured himself a generous helping of Kentucky bourbon from a crystal decanter. Reflexively, he swirled it twice and brought it to his nose for a sniff, before taking a sip.
“And this is the only irregularity you’ve found with the Townsend accounting?”
Robert shrugged. “The only one we can’t find the entire paper trail for, anyway. Moss has repeatedly claimed that the Townsend brothers weren’t exactly careful with their spending in the final years, and he has had to amend various statements multiple times. This is the only one that I can’t fully explain the reasoning for.”
Jack wandered to the window to the right of his desk. With his sleeve, he rubbed a circle of condensation away so he could overlook his dominion. A light dusting of snow covered Ardent’s original factory, with rows of vehicles in the holding yard beyond appearing as muted, multi-color mounds under a thin veil.
“It’s all idiotic if you ask me,” Jack added. “To be just coming out of the war, needing to convert rapidly back to regular production. And then giving up two hundred thousand dollars? To a foreigner? No, Robert. There’s something wrong with this.”
“Well what would you like me to do about it? As far as I can tell, they’ve never missed a payment.”
Jack turned on his heel, nearly splashing bourbon from his glass. “Wait a minute, what did you mean when you said the Townsend brothers weren’t careful with their money in the later years?”
Robert hesitated a moment. “Well, they often ordered more steel than they needed, or repeated invoices, things like that. They even brought Thomas’s granddaughter to Toledo a few times on the company’s dime.”
Jack nodded. “Not exactly what you should be using company funds for, not when you have your own private worth.” Jack furrowed his brow as he took another sip. “Did Moss say anything about ownership of Anhultz?”
“No. It was just a loan. Nothing more.”
Jack’s lip curled. “Not likely. How much is the principal at this point?”
“About a hundred fifty four thousand, give or take.”
That raised Jack’s eyebrow. “That’s not exactly a small chunk of change. This smells. Embezzlement, laundering, not sure what.”
“Again, Jack, what do you want me to do about it? Without those documents from the archive…”
“The damn documents don’t exist, Robert,” Jack snapped. “That’s why you can’t find them.”
Robert fell silent, cradling his chin in his hand and tapping his foot as his boss worked through it in his head.
Wednesday, March 10, 1954
Anhultz Corporate Headquarters
Willem van der Roest double-checked the address of his delivery. He stood before the corporate offices of Anhultz, a revered Dutch company. He sighed heavily before tucking the parcel under his arm and walking toward the front door. This was the most disdainful part of his job. He knew what was contained within, and it was something that would not be well received.
Such was a courier’s life. Occasionally that would require delivering legal summons. This one pained him particularly, as he and his wife had designs on purchasing an Anhultz Mimas of their own.
Willem entered the building and stepped to the receptionist’s desk. The woman behind the desk smiled and asked if she could help him.
“I have a delivery for Mr. Bastiaan Rynsburger,” he replied. She stood and smiled, ready to receive the package. He stopped her. “Unfortunately, I must deliver it to him in person, with his signature received.”
The receptionist paused, and gave a courteous nod, before sitting down and reaching for her phone. She dialed Mr. Rynsburger’s office and exchanged a brief conversation.
“Mr. Rynsburger is in a meeting, can I have his assistant help you?”
Willem pursed his lips and shook his head. “This must go either to Mr. Rynsburger or Mr. Anhultz.”
“I’m sorry, but Mr. Anhultz is not in today.”
“It is fine, I will wait for Mr. Rynsburger.”
The secretary nodded, and turned her attention back to the papers in front of her. Willem found a chair near the entrance door, and sat down with the package in his lap. He looked at his watch, then at the package. He noticed the secretary occasionally shooting him glances.
Fifteen minutes passed, and Willem began to fidget. The secretary looked up at him again, and smiled courteously when he caught her looking. She then put her head down and reached for her phone again. There was a quick, hushed exchange of words over the phone.
About five minutes later, Bastiaan Rynsburger emerged from a hallway. “What is going on here?” he asked.
Willem stood, pulling a small ledger from his coat. “Mr. Rynsburger, I have instructions that I am to deliver this personally to you,” he said, his voice shaking slightly. “It is…” he stopped.
“It is what?” he looked around. “Why am I being pulled from a meeting for this?”
“It is a legal summons, Mr. Rynsburger. From the United States of America. I require your signature here that you have personally received this summons.”
@Elizipeazie … ball is in your court
Anhultz Holdings LTD. (formerly Anhultz Automobile Manufacturing)
picks Ball up.
“Here we go then…”
“Okay… nothing we can’t deal with…”
Rynsburger signs the form required to authorize the delivery.
“Have a nice day then…” Willem stated, heading off to deliver the rest of his mail for his run.
Rynsburger headed back to his meeting disussing further plans on the Rotterdam factory currently under construction. Rynsburger opened the door to the meeting room and now had about two dozen faces staring at him, wondering what happened outside.
“End of meeting! For now at least…”, Rynsburger proclaimed loudly, while packing his stuff to head out.
A voice is heard from the back of the room: “What?? We aren’t even close to done with this!”
“I know… but more important stuff got in the way… we may or may not be in deep shit now…”, Rynsburger added to convey the importance without leaking too much info.
The attending employees decided to not further question it and just left the room.
Rynsburger then opens the letter, reads the court summons and is somewhere between confused and furious. He then heads out to the secretary:
“Yes? Mr. Rynsburger?”
“Where is Willem?”
confused “Which one?”
also confused “Wait… there’s another Willem?”
“The courier who has delivered the letter…”
“OOOHHH… Anyway… Mr. Anhultz… Where’s he at?”
“Frankfurt, sir. Presenting the Anhultz Mimas III to the public. Should be on his way here though.”
“Damn… send him to my office as soon as he gets back.”
Rynsburger heads off to his office and immediately starts searching for any documents regarding the Townsend loan. Halfway through searching, Anhultz enters the room.
“I’ve been sent here. Whats going on?”
Rynsburger aborts the search and plops a stack of documents onto his desk. He then takes the letter and hands it over to Anhultz.
“Remember how Ardent bought out Townsend not too long ago?”
while reading the letter “Yes. Go on.”
“They unsurprisingly found the loan we’ve been repaying for almost a decade now. And they claim noney laundering or something… Long story short. They’re sueing.”
Anhultz puts the letter back into the envelope and chucks it towards the bin, missing it by about three feet.
angry “THE FUCK???”
“They’re reclaiming the debt immediately. About 154.000USD.”
“WHAT?? Just pay them and they’ll shut up…”
“About that… we can’t. Pretty much all of our surplus profit is currently going into the Rotterdam plant. I may be able to pluck some funds off the project to fund the lawyers and associated traveling and such, but instant repayment is a no from me…”
Anhultz definitly did not like this, especially since he was aware that Anhulltz always had payed the monthly installment in full and on time and thus had no fault regarding the loan.
Rynsburger continues with his half-finished document-scan.
“There’s some good news to it, though… As far as we should both be aware we did nothing wrong regarding paying back our loan. So we may have a good chance at winning this.”
“Are you sure about that? I mean… is there any proof to it?”
“You bet there is.”
Rynsburger goes back to his desk, adding another, much smaller stach of papers to the irst one.
He rummages in the pile a bit. Then he pulls out an old piece of paper, which doesn’t seem too special to Anhultz.
“…i have had a copy made of the original legal document containing the conditions of the loan. Also…”
Rynsburger divides the menaining stack into two.
“…those are the documentation papers proving date, time and amount of monthly payments going from us to Townsend. Or… Ardent, should i say…”
“Asshats. That’s the wording. We’re gonna fuck them up left, right and center. Here’s the deal. You go pluck some funds of the Rotterdam project. As much as i want to have that Factory finished, Anhultz also has to stay afloat as a company.
Meanwhile, i’ll get the lawyer stuff sorted.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
The two went to work. Adjusting funding on the Rotterdam proect was less of an this is impossible.kind of issue, but rather a this is not what we’d like to do-kind of issue.
Meanwhile, Anhultz sent a letter to McClendon & Co. Law Offices in New York requesting them to represent Anhultz.
And with the stone of legal war rolling…
@VicVictory. there you go