Anhultz Holdings Ltd. 1981
left to right:
Anhultz Puck V C
Anhultz Dione VIII B
Keika Kakute 2100S
unusually low-effort this time round
got caught up in IRL stuff and the likes…
For 1981, the Earl Motor Company steps into the future by investing in fuel injection across the engine lineup, as well as creating the ODA-E electronic 4 speed automatic transmission. The biggest news was the venerable Black Smoke Six finally being replaced by an overhead cam straight six, very ‘humbly’ named The Goddess.
The Earl Vista Value - Economy Entry
After the original base model Vista, while successful for downsizers, proved to be a little to luxurious for the hyper-miler, the Vista Value was announced alongside the 1980 front end refresh. Every feasible expense was spared, including the radio, rear middle seat, and back doors. Fuel injection, despite the expense, was included, allowing the same power in a slightly downsized Black Smoke Four, but with excellent fuel economy considering the comparatively large size of the Vista.
The Silverhare Pegasus - Performance Entry
While the Earl Banshee remained a draw to dealerships as a somewhat unsophisticated V8 powered sports car, Silverhare finally got approval to complete it’s sports image with a smaller sports tourer. Originally designed to be mid engined, leadership wanted it to be the first car with the new Goddess Six - including the company’s first turbocharger. So despite appearances, the engine was turned and placed in the front with a four speed trans axle. With massive tires and carefully tuned suspension, the front-heavy handling was nonetheless excellent.
The Hirondelle Lancelot - Full Size Entry
The V12 engine originally exclusive to the Shambala coupe was downsized, fuel injected, and given to the regular Hirondelle sedans. This Lancelot edition, with numerous features above and beyond the standard Merlin, represents the greatest comfort four people (loose cushion seating and a rear center console) can experience from a live-rear-axle machine.
Rocha Motor Company 1981
Rocha Spok 413
The second generation of the Rocha Spok arrived with a modern look, electronic injection and a 3-speed gearbox + overdrive, providing greater fuel economy and lower maintenance cost.
Rocha Spok RGT 418
Rocha Spok RGT is proof that anyone can have a sports car, enjoying great performance but without giving up on the economy.
Rocha Dallas Imperial III 630
The third generation of the Dallas Imperial arrived bringing a lot of security, technology, modern look and comfort.
As a send off for the first generation of the award-winning Fox, RCM produced a model featuring the electronic fuel injection that buyers will be able to expect on the upcoming 1982 models. HiMiler fuel economy while able to comfortably haul the family!
All new for 1981 is the RCM midsize luxury car: the Regal. Perfect for an era of fuel minded consumers who still don’t want to sacrifice comfort, elegance, and leg room while remaining surprisingly affordable.
With the 1981 facelift of the Mongoose, RCM made the sportscar formula more exciting by introducing a turbocharger to the mix. The 0-100 km/h sprint of 8.5s brings the Mongoose Turbo up to par with much more expensive cars.
Submissions for the round are closed.
So I somehow managed to MAJORLY pull a muscle in my shoulder, so doing anything with my right (dominant) side is painful. Results may be delayed.
Speedy recovery brother
Best of Economy Class - 1981
Earl Vista Value
The top dog in Economy cars this year is a low cost contender that puches well above its weight. The Earl Vista Value delivered a knockout blow to all other competitors, leaving even the second place competitor in the dust.
A fuel-injected, 1.8 liter four-cylinder resides under the hood, putting out a mere 60 horsepower, but that is all that is needed to do the job. Anything over that might detract from the Vista’s sky-high fuel economy numbers, which we tested to be well over 30 MPG in real-world driving.
Interior design is the only flaw we found, with hard, uncomfortable vinyl seating, and an instrument panel that lacks full gauges. It is understandable not to have what may be considered frivolous instrumentation such as a tachometer, but we were unimpressed with the lack of critical gauges, such as water temperature and oil pressure, which are replaced merely with warning lights.
On the road, the Earl Vista is capable and easy to handle, if not anything brilliant.
But for many buyers, the bottom line is just that… the bottom line. The Vista comes through in spades, being the second-least expensive model, having a low cost of ownership and maintenance, and so far, an amazing track record of reliability. The overall engineering and value of the Earl Vista Value should earn it significant interest from its target demographics.
RCM Fox EFI
“…still a good bargain and a wonderful proposition, it should attract buyers not interested in the Earl Vista. Its main downfall is that other competitors are now offering more refinement on the road…”
Pros: Low purchase price, great fuel economy, good reliability
Cons: Poor drivability
Rocha Spok 413
“…holding its course as a steady, reliable, compact car. It’s a bit more costly than the RCM or Earl, and we don’t think that the interior will hold up to buyer scrutiny…”
Pros: Great reliability, low maintenance cost, good practicality
Cons: Poor comfort, mediocre drivability
Hampton Fennec 1.6 3 Door
“…the best road feel and visibility of any car we tested. It’s also one of the more comfortable models we drove, and got good marks for fuel economy as well…”
Pros: Best in class drivability, good comfort, good fuel economy
Cons: Somewhat high maintenance cost, otherwise very mediocre
“…the most versatile of the bunch. Its road manners were very good as well. We think that this model will be one that lasts quite well. Our main gripe was that the seats were too hard, particularly given the car’s high price tag…”
Pros: Highest in class practicality, good reliability, good drivability
Cons: Somewhat high purchase price, poor comfort
Bogliq Button 615B
“…a good contender when longevity and versatility are factored in…”
Pros: Good practicality, good reliability
Cons: Somewhat high purchase price, very mediocre otherwise
Bambi Liberator B-2D
“…the choice when cost is your only consideration. We weren’t pleased with how this drove…”
Pros: Lowest in class purchase price, lowest in class maintenance cost
Cons: Poor drivability, poor fuel economy, poor practicality, terrible engine
Courageux Quinze 1.7
“…sturdy but comfortable seats and a plush ride. It’s just not the value we had hoped it would be…”
Pros: Best in class comfort
Cons: Poor drivability, very mediocre otherwise
Ardent Sentinel DL
“…one of the most comfortable and versatile cars you can buy for the money. But it just doesn’t seem to be able to pass a gas station…”
Pros: Great comfort, great practicality, low purchase cost
Cons: Poor reliability, poor fuel economy, high maintenance cost.
Anhultz Puck V C
“…a pretty good, ergonomic passenger cabin. Real-world fuel mileage was a little north of 30 miles per gallon, so it will be cheap. At least, after it’s on the road…”
Pros: Good comfort, good fuel economy
Cons: High purchase cost, worst in class drivability, poor reliability, poor practicality
Hakumai Crest SX
“…if you have the money to buy one, you might just want to set it on fire right now…”
Pros: Good drivability
Cons: Exorbitant cost, worst in class reliability, worst in class fuel economy, highest in class maintenance cost
Best of Performance Class - 1981
Hampton Harpy 3.5 GTS
Hear that? That’s the sound of a screaming Harpy. Screaming at the track, down the block, and down the boulevard.
Ever since the death knell of the Muscle Car, we’ve been waiting for a worthy performance car. The Hampton Harpy is a happy medium between the ripped, muscular V8s of yore, and small, light sports cars whose popularity has ebbed and flowed.
With a 7.1 second 0-60 time, the Harpy is no slouch in the straight line. And while it may not have the sheer high-G handling of the Bogliq Ungoliant, it also doesn’t have any its competitors bad habits, either.
This is a car that you can own and want to drive to work. And then drive it on the weekend. It fills both roles without filling the owner with regret.
We can only pick on it for fuel economy, but that’s never really been the strong suit of performance cars anyway.
Silverhare Pegasus XS
“…the quickest off the line of the bunch, and no slouch in corners. All that fun doesn’t come at a huge cost at the pump. It may cost you a little sanity, however, as it’s a bit of a banshee…”
Pros: Best in class 0-60, great sportiness, great fuel economy
Cons: Worst in class drivability, high maintenance cost
Courageux M4 S
“…one of the cheapest ways to get into a potent performer. It’s reasonably balanced…”
Pros: Low purchase cost, high sportiness, good fuel economy
Cons: Mediocre otherwise
Deer and Hunt SuperCoupe 81 SuperRoad
“…everything you’d expect from a personal luxury coupe, including the less than satisfying performance driving dynamics…”
Pros: Best in class drivability, best in class comfort
Cons: Highest in class purchase price, lowest in class sportiness
Bogliq Ungoliant 438S
“…brain-splattering fun that will push you deep into its plush, bolstered bucket seats. You may be using those as lounge chairs while you save up money to keep it on the road…”
Pros: Best in class sportiness, good 0-60, good comfort
Cons: Poor drivability, high purchase cost, highest in class maintenance cost
Rocha Spok RGT
“…a hopped-up version of their Spok economy car. It’s nowhere near as fast as its other competitors, but is still fun to throw around a track or cones…”
Pros: Lowest in class purchase cost, lowest in class maintenance cost, great drivabilityu
Cons: Slowest in class 0-60, poor comfort
RCM Mongoose Turbo*
“…If we had to define a perfect compromise, the Mongoose Turbo would be it…”
Pros: Very well balanced…
Cons: …in the most mediocre way possible
Keika Kakute 2100S
“…it’s kind of like your Dad putting on running shoes and trying out for the Olympics…”
Pros: Best in class fuel economy, decent sportiness
Cons: Very slow 0-60, poor comfort, high maintenance cost
Ardent Marathon GT V6
“…as has been the case with many Ardents lately, it’s inexpensive but sloppy…”
Pros: Low purchase cost, low maintenance cost
Cons: Poor in all other aspects
“…no part of this car could make up for all the pain it inflicted on our staff…”
Pros: Low maintenance cost, decent drivability
Cons: Worst in round comfort, poor sportiness, slow 0-60
Best of Full Size Class - 1981
The calendar may have rolled over to a new decade, but Hirondelle is proving that a little touch of old can bring a huge touch of class. Their Lancelot luxury car is the living embodiment of that.
It helps that there is an uncannily smooth V12 engine under the hood mated to one of the best automatic transmissions we’ve seen. This allows the Lancelot to transcend from the road.
Yet unlike many luxury cars that feel like you’re riding a soft pillow in the middle of the ocean, the Hirondelle Lancelot doesn’t give the driver numbing isolation. It’s nimble for a large car, yet refined and precise.
The interior is full of touches and appointments that are beyond the expectations of even the most discerning drivers. Of course, high quality, padded leather seats are standard, along with power driver and passenger seat adjustments. Cruise control, power steering, windows, mirrors, and even locks are standard, yes. Add to that both a landau roof and power sunroof, and you’re getting closer. Hirondelle has even added seat heaters for the driver and front passenger for cold days, ingenious cupholders that fold away under the dashboard, and air conditioning with separate vents for the rear passengers.
It’s the package that luxury buyers dream of. But if you have to ask how much it costs, just know you can’t afford it.
“…a very close second to the Hirondelle in our opinion. The slightly higher price tag buys you better fuel economy and reputation for quality, but at the substantial cost of features…”
Pros: Highest in class reliability, best in class fuel economy, good comfort, good drivability
Cons: Highest in class purchase cost, poor prestige
Bogliq Baller 254GT
“…recently featured in several high profile movies and TV series, making it a bit of a chic item. What Hollywood left out is how badly the Baller handles…”
Pros: Good prestige, good fuel economy, good reliability
Cons: Worst in class drivability, highest in class maintenance cost
Hampton Vanguard Mk.3 3.5i Elite
“…fashionable British luxury cruiser with, unfortunately, British reliability…”
Pros: Great prestige, great comfort, great drivability
Cons: Worst in round reliability, poor fuel economy
RCM Regal Luxe
“…solid contender for the sub-luxury market. It’s not the most refined ride, however…”
Pros: Low purchase price, great reliability, low maintenance cost
Cons: Poor drivability, subpar comfort
Courageux Courchevel 2.6
“…supremely well mannered at a bargain price. Still, not without a host of French quirks…”
Pros: Best in class drivability, low purchase cost, low maintenance cost
Cons: Poor comfort, poor reliability, poor prestige
Rocha Dallas Imperial III 630
“…becomes increasingly clear that the motor is not a good match either for the car or the segment…”
Pros: Good comfort
Cons: High purchase cost, poor drivability, poor prestige
Anhultz Dione VIII B (TIE - 8th)
“…a good large family car for those looking for no frills and a heaping dose of anonymity…”
Pros: Lowest in class purchase cost, lowest in class maintenance cost, good fuel economy
Cons: Poor in all other categories
Ardent Smoke GT Competition (TIE - 8th)
“…probably the most fun to drive of the segment. This true GT coupe is good at what it does, but falls short of the competition against whom it is stacked…”
Pros: Good reliability, relatively low purchase cost, decent prestige
Cons: Worst in class comfort, poor fuel economy, high maintenance cost
Deer and Hunt Tines Convertible
“…seeming the last gasp of a dying breed. It’s a worthy salute to large convertibles of old, but sadly we don’t think the public will be as interested…”
Pros: Great prestige
Cons: Poor drivability, poor reliability, poor economy, high maintenance cost, relatively high purchase cost
Best Engine - 1981
Hirondelle Opus Twelve 6.0i
No Bonus; Manufacturer already at 100 RR points for the round
Our favorite engine this year is, hands down, a dream machine. Not only in the way it runs, but in the fact that most people could only dream of owning a car equipped with it. It is, of course, the Hirondelle Opus Twelve 6-liter V12 fuel-injected engine.
It is a marvel of engineering that drives the Lancelot to its top position. While it doesn’t have the absolute highest power (that honor goes to the Ardent MechJect 333), it is more than ample to push around the luxury car. Owners may even think that the motor is off while idling at lights, given how smooth and quiet it is.
For your money, there is no better engine. Even if it costs a lot of money to begin with.
GENERAL ENGINE ADVISORY
Bambi 1 Liter Engine
In an era of downsized engines, we understand that downsized power will be a side effect. But there’s a point at which a lack of power makes a car a danger to itself.
Such is the case with Bambi vehicles powered by their 1 liter, 3-cylinder carbureted engine. In this day of fast freeways and short on-ramps, 41 horsepower just doesn’t really cut it anymore. And while we might be able to grudgingly overlook this if it were in a good package, the Bambi just isn’t. It is a very coarse engine, and sounds like it is going to rattle itself to death at any moment. From our early reliability projections, that scenario may well happen, too.
We’ve been hearing a steadily increasing buzz over the last few years, coming from readers and staff alike. It seems that an unexpected side effect has come of manufacturers’ efforts to make their cars more reliable and go longer between major services. It so far is appearing mostly in Midwest and New England states, but occasionally also in the Rockies, and even areas right on the Gulf Coast.
Cars are rusting out before they die. It would have been unthinkable even, say, five years ago. But now with engines able to last over a hundred thousand miles before they’re ready for the scrap pile, it seems that some parts of the country are experiencing cars that need to be retired before they actually give up the ghost.
Now, the engineering-minded folks among our staff are speculating that this has something to do with salt. It seems to be the only common denominator between, say, Duluth and Tampa Bay. You can bet that we’re going to be keeping an eye on this and how manufacturers respond to this curious turn of events.
(Meta: Environmental Resistance is now going to factor at least somewhat into ALL categories.)
Visual Design Honorable Mentions
The entire Deer and Hunt lineup
1981 Reliability Rankings
Katsuro - 66.67
Rocha - 65.67
Earl - 65.20
Bogliq - 65.00
RCM - 64.63
Courageux - 63.90
Ardent - 62.83
Anhultz - 61.73
Hampton - 61.70
Deer and Hunt - 59.87
Hakumai - 59.60 (LIMITED DATA AVAILABLE)
1981 Relative Ratings
Earl/Silverhare/Hirondelle - 100.00
Hampton - 87.94
Dominion/RCM - 83.96
Rocha - 80.78
Katsuro - 80.54
Bogliq - 74.49
Courageux - 73.94
Deer and Hunt - 67.89
Anhultz - 65.09
Ardent - 64.02
Hakumai - 17.11
Charge - (Eliminated due to missing 3 consecutive rounds)
From riches to rags (One off-challenge)
Round 7 - 1987
It has certainly been a decade of challenges, with economic recession dominating much of the decade. AT&T is broken up into multiple regional Bell systems due to them being ruled a monopoly. Our neighbors to the north have finally gained full autonomy from the Crown and become their own sovereign nation. The IBM PC and Apple // (and later Macintosh) computers vie for dominance in a growing home computing market, while other early contenders fail. The Mother Road, Route 66, is officially removed from the US Highway System in '85. Nintendo releases the original NES console. Gorbachev becomes the leader of the Soviet Union. Chernobyl melts down in '86, stoking further fears about not just nuclear war, but accidents as well. And the States are utterly shocked to the core when the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates just over a minute into launch in January '86.
Short-term economic forecast: Divisive
Fuel: Regular Unleaded (universal), Premium Unleaded (universal)
Bumpers: 5MPH bumpers required.
Front lights and fixtures: At least one pair of headlights required. At least one pair of turn indicators required. Turn signals may NOT be placed in bumpers. Exactly one pair of parking lights are required. Parking lights MAY be placed in bumpers. Parking lights and turn signals may not be part of the same lens/fixture. There has to be some form of visual separation. Sealed beam headlights are no longer required.
Front light colors: No red may face forward.
Rear lights: At least one pair of brake lights. At least one pair of turn signals. At least one pair of reverse lights. NO lights may be placed bumpers (however, optional red reflectors may be). If turn and brake lights are in the same fixture AND of the same color, there must be a minimum of TWO bulbs in the fixture. Passenger cars must also have exactly one Center High Mount Stop Lamp (a single brake light fixture at or above the level of the top of the trunk, in the center). Vans, trucks, and SUVs are currently exempt from this.
Rear light colors: Brakes must be red. Reverse must be white. Turn signals cannot be white.
Side marker/signal lights: Front side markers required. Rear markers required, may be placed either on the side or the rear.
Side light colors: front side may be amber only, rear side may be red only.
Mirrors: Driver and passenger side mirrors required on passenger cars. Vans, trucks, and SUVs will require this in 1991.
Aerials: Long mast or retractable antenna required if car has a radio.
Fuel fillers: Must be placed on the side of the vehicle. ALL vehicles must now have the filler somewhere on the rear quarter, regardless of engine location.
Emissions: Catalytic converter required.
Safety: All passenger vehicles must have a minimum of 33 safety. All trucks, vans, and utes must have a minimum of 28 safety.
File Naming Convention:
Model: G2R7-(category)-(username) Trim: (MFR Model Trim)
Engine: G2R7-(category)-(username) Variant: (Whatever you want)
Export and PM me the .car file, make a post about your car in your lore thread (if not already there), and post an ad in this thread BEFORE the round deadline.
Vehicle categories this round (THERE ARE FOUR THIS ROUND):
Economy car (File naming convention: EC) - Subcompact or compact car with good fuel economy. Typically 4 cylinder, but may also be 3 cylinder or (rarely) 6. For the US market, these are typically NOT turbocharged. ABS IS BANNED FOR THIS CATEGORY FOR THIS ROUND.
Mid-size car (File naming convention: MS) - Larger than entries/subcompacts, smaller than full-size/luxury cars. These can be run-of-the-mill family cars, or smaller premium cars. Typically 4- to 6- cylinder engines. ABS IS EXTREMELY UNCOMMON IN THIS ROUND AND WILL INCUR PENALTIES IF USED.
People Mover (File naming convention: PM) - Anything that has 7 or more seats. Can be a wagon, van, whatever. VANS MAY NOT USE JUMP SEATS IN THE 3RD ROW (+ seats), they MUST be full seats. Other bodies may use jump seats. ABS IS BANNED FOR THIS CATEGORY FOR THIS ROUND.
Utility (File naming convention: UT) - In this era, while pickup trucks still dominate, the public is beginning to recognize that a different body style may be more useful for them… ABS IS BANNED FOR THIS CATEGORY FOR THIS ROUND.
Round 7 deadline: Saturday October 17, 4:00 PM PDT (UTC-8)
NO FURTHER COMPANY REGISTRATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED.
SOME SIGNIFICANT REGULATION CHANGES HAVE OCCURRED AGAIN, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CAREFULLY READ. ALSO, THIS IS A 4-CAR ROUND, SO YOU HAVE ALMOST A FULL MONTH. BUT PLEASE DON’T ALL WAIT TILL THE LAST SECOND, GODDAMN IT.
With regards to the CHMSL - Please try your best to do something visual. PM an explanation if it doesn’t work.
What year did sealed beams no longer become required? Was it 1987 or was it earlier?
I’d like to know so that I can meta-plan my facelifts to stay within the rulez, hahaha!!!
I want to say… 85?
Also, when was this required? Thanks for the quick reply on the headlights, BTW, hahaha!!!
Oh no!!! How does a mid or rear engined car get fuel from the back of the car to a front mounted tank!!!
Turns out, Mid-engine cars had tanks in the rear too. Lol.
I know it isn’t a category in this round but don’t all Porsche 911’s have the fuel filler on top of one od the front wheel arches
Hampton Motor Group - Round 6 Aftermath/Round 7 Prologue
The 1980s in general had been much kinder to the Hampton Motor Group than the 1970s. The company was now riding the crest of a wave, having scored considerable critical acclaim for their revised model range. In fact, their entry-level subcompact, the Fennec, beat out the equivalent car from arch-rivals Katsuro, the City, in Motor Review World’s economy car rankings. It was a more lopsided story in the performance category, where the Harpy dominated its class, while the Katsuro GT-100 got the wooden spoon. Only in the full-sized class were the roles reversed: the Katsuro Emerald was much more reliable than the Hampton Vanguard, but not quite as prestigious or comfortable. All in all, Hampton had fully recovered from the turbulent 1970s - and much more quickly than expected to boot.
With the 1990s approaching fast, Chairman Toby realized that a raft of new models was necessary if his company was to carry its momentum into the next decade and beyond. To that end, he green-lit the Valiant MkIV, Vanguard MkIV, Ferret MkIV and Fennec II in November 1981. In addition to this, he also approved the development of the Peregrine II (which would replace the Harpy), a people mover and a compact economy car sitting above the subcompact Fennec but below the enlarged (and now mid-sized) Ferret, as well as a new utility vehicle - one that would either be an SUV or pickup truck, or perhaps even both. This was a lot of work for his company to do, especially since he had survived an emergency heart surgery the year before and was now rapidly approaching his 70th birthday, but he was confident that all those new models he had planned would come to market on time and on budget.
Last but not least, Toby decreed that every Hampton passenger car sold in the United States would come with a Center High Mount Stop Lamp as standard from 1986 onwards, in accordance with new Federal legislation requiring their fitment on all passenger cars.
Delayed results my tookus, you have the fastest turnaround for the most comprehensive challenge on the entire site! Best of luck in your recovery.
1981 Earl Response
The Earl Motor Company entered the modern age of fuel injection and computer control in the 1980s, to a rousing success. Lee Harvey Earl II retired as CEO to the board of directors in 1979 and his gung-ho what-I-say-goes leadership that led to comfortable, but generally too large and expensive cars, was replacement by a new design methodology, based in… clears throat
M A R K E T
R E S E A R C H
The new entries rocketed to at least the top three rated in their respective segments and even old models benefited from new drivetrains. Sales (and stock prices) followed suit… however, many remained nervous. How long could this corporate renaissance last?
- The first car sold in America with non-sealed lamps (since the 1940s, anyway) was the 1984 Lincoln Mark VII, but that was the only car that year, 1985 is when more started to switch.
- The gas tank thing is tough. Most midengine sports cars had rear tanks, but rear engined porsches and VWs had front tanks… the only thing that might have relevance to this round, the midengined Toyota Van of the 80s had a mid-mounted gas tank (fuel filler between the front and rear doors).
Prologue 1987: Hakumai cars from 1981-1983 deteriorate in the midwest further than their competitors. They develop their first ever V8 Car, along with their first utility car, and cars that may not suck anymore, The Hakumai CEO decided to quit, he was arrested for domestic abuse. The new CEO Came in, and decided to change up the brand’s image. Gone was the dated Stallion and Katana range and came in some new cars. The current Crest has high in class maintenance costs. like a certain real-world Italian car brand.