Motor World Review, August 1957
Model Year-In-Review Edition
Best Sedan – 1957
Relative Rating: 96.97
Our pick for Entry Sedan of the Year, 1957, is the diminutive Birmingham Renton. Why would we choose a tiny 5-door? Birmingham made a very compelling case for why small is actually big.
Under the hood is an 84 cubic inch four pumping out 65 horses. We’re starting to get used to seeing European-style overhead cam setups, which works particularly well in such a small motor. We’ve also seen a few more front-wheel drive cars, such as this Birmingham. This makes the Renton an easy to drive car, particularly in bad weather.
While the seats in the Renton are supportive, it does suffer somewhat in legroom, both front and rear. Still, it was surprisingly nice to ride in on longer trips.
On the road, the Birmingham handles very crisply. While not fast, it turns tighter than many sports cars we have tested. Straight line performance to 60 takes a reasonable 12.1 seconds, and absolutely sips gas.
All this, in the least expensive package in the class.
We know many people will think we’re nuts for recommending this, but we suggest you give it a fair shake.
Best Sport or Touring Car – 1957
Olympus Libra Luxe
Relative Rating: 92.42
The depth within the Sport/Touring car category this year is quite astounding. That, at the same time, makes the pool rather diluted. The best option we found this year came from Olympus, in the form of the Libra Luxe.
Powered by a 130 horsepower 183 cubic inch straight six, the motor design includes two overhead cams and 12 valves. Power is sent to the rear by a 4-speed manual, getting the touring coupe up to 60 in 10.3 seconds. Top speed was clocked at just over 100 miles per hour, and it managed to get 0.86g in our slalom tests. Not the best in class in any performance category, but well balanced overall.
Where it shines is on the road. The ride is absolutely sublime, eating up curves like candy, and wrapping its occupants in superb comfort.
Interior trim is above average for this class, with leather seating for four, a multi-speaker AM radio, and Swiss-action in-dash clock.
Predicted reliability is a little better than average.
Overall, the Olympus is rather on the expensive side, but well worth every penny in our opinion.
Best Utility – 1957
PMI Roamer Spirit Vogue
Relative Rating: 100.00
Rough and tough, utility vehicles have grown in number and popularity in recent years. No longer solely relegated to the docks or farm work, they have become more adaptable and thus more mainstream. This year, we name PMI’s Roamer the Utility of the Year.
A sturdy 305 cubic inch, 168 horsepower V8 hides underneath the hood, hooked up to an equally sturdy 3-speed manual. The rear differential has a mechanical lock lever, allowing the Roamer to handle rough roads and mud better
While the Roamer is only a 1/2 ton light truck, it is far and away the most comfortable vehicle of the group. It also handles quite well on the road, second only to the Ardent in this aspect.
“Roam” and “Impress” are what PMI would like you to do, and we think this truck may just be able to do that.
Best Engine – 1957
Ardent 286ci “Vela” Straight-6
(Host gets no bonus)
Of the engines put before us this year, we are most impressed with the 286 cubic inch straight-6 from Ardent. Used in their trucks for over a decade now, it puts out a healthy 143 horsepower and 229 ft-lbs of torque. This is a tried-and-true model, continually receiving above average marks for reliability. For that, Ardent Motors receives our Best Engine award for 1957.
Sedan Class Reviews
IP Royalist 2800 VIP
Relative Rating: 80.30
“…beyond sluggish thanks to the automatic transmission. Passengers will at least be able to take this slow ride in comfort…”
Pros: Best in class comfort, good handling
Cons: Very slow, poor reliability
Epoch Model 30
Relative Rating: 80.30
“…the car we’ve been waiting for from Epoch, sadly overshadowed by better competitors…”
Pros: Good relilability, reasonable starting price
Cons: Worst in class economy, poor drivability
Relative Rating: 83.33
“… settled on classifying this as a sedan because it seats 5 and keeps the price down. And while it may seem like an absolute bargain basement V12, the motor is flat out anemic…”
Pros: Low purchase price, good reliability
Cons: Slow, poor safety, below average comfort
Bogliq Maverick Empower
Relative Rating: 84.85
“…have no idea how a Bogliq costs this much. Or why it puts so many others to shame in comfort and finish. We honestly had no idea that a V12 was something they’d be interested in pursuing…”
Pros: Very high comfort, prestigious model
Cons: Worst in class drivability, poor handling, somewhat complex engine
Fenton Everette Standard
Relative Rating: 95.45
“…good entry-level sedan with a well-matched engine. The seats aren’t particularly comfortable, which may be why we favor the Birmingham instead…”
Pros: Low purchase price, high drivability, good fuel economy
Cons: Worst in class comfort, somewhat slow
Utility Class Reviews
Ardent A1 1.5 Ton
Relative Rating: 95.45
“…excellent for hauling heavy loads. While ride over broken roads has been improved, thick mud may still be a problem…”
Pros: Best in class payload, best in class drivability, low cost of ownership
Cons: Worst in class offroad, poor comfort
Dominion Labrador 4x4
Relative Rating: 90.91
“…a tough one-ton truck that can truly go anywhere. A truck made for Canada that will surely dominate the Rockies as well…”
Pros: Excellent offroad, low purchase price, best in class reliability
Cons: Poor comfort, worst in round drivability
Deer and Hunt Hawg
Relative Rating: 88.64
“… first purpose-built non-military off-roader we have seen. Indeed, it’s far too plush for the military to even look at, and older hunters may appreciate that kind of thought…”
Pros: Good comfort, best in round offroad, best in class fuel economy
Cons: Poor drivability, high cost of ownership
Sport/Touring Class Reviews
LMC Halcyon GT
Relative Rating: 83.33
“…brutish grand tourer that throws down 260 horsepower. But the straight-line fun can’t hide the otherwise mediocre performance…”
Pros: Best in class acceleration, good practicality
Cons: Poor handling and drivability, expensive maintenance
Vermillion Vendetta Special
Relative Rating: 87.88
“…cheapest of the bunch, which gives its value factor a big boost, even if it doesn’t have the huge WOW of other competitors…”
Pros: Low purchase price, good practicality, best in class reliability
Cons: Poor comfort, lackluster handling, poor drivability
Caliban Thunder Rev.3
Relative Rating: 87.88
“…the Thunder’s tiny exterior gives no hint of the slavering beast within. At first glance, it won’t give any hint that it will plaster your brains to the windows in turns. Unfortunately it will also wreck your back…”
Pros: Best in round handling and sportiness, low purchase price, good fuel economy
Cons: Worst in round comfort, worst in round safety, tops out under 100mph
ACA Apache GT
Relative Rating: 72.73
“…big, floaty, and rather vague. We were not impressed at all with how this car handled the road, but rather how it handled its passengers…”
Pros: Best in class comfort
Cons: Worst in class handling, poor practicality, poor reliability
Fixture violation: Rear turn signals not compliant. Next violation will result in penalties.
TSR Kansai SL Fallwing
Relative Rating: 64.77
“…absolutely ridiculous on all fronts. This is a playtoy of those who have more money than God, and less brains than a drunk goldfish…”
Pros: Ludicrously powerful, prestigious model, best in round safety
Cons: Ludicrously expensive, ludicrously difficult to build and service, poor stats-vs-cost ratio
Round 3 - 1961
The Cold War continues in a new environment: space. The US has created NASA, and introduced their first batch of astronauts, known as the “Mercury Seven”. The two rival superpowers trade off launching satellites and unmanned spacecraft. In November 1960, the States gain a new president, as John F. Kennedy is elected. But a new “Red Menace” has popped up, in the form of Communist Cuba under Fidel Castro. As well, over the past few years, the home economy has fluctuated into recession territory a couple times, and unemployment has risen to over 6%.
Economy: Mild recession
Short-term economic forecast: Stagnant
Notable Social and Political Happenings
NASA formed. Space race with Soviet Union begins. Suburban sprawl continues, but the rate is slowed. Early phases of Interstate highway system construction. Cuba becomes a Communist dictatorship. Tensions in Vietnam increase. Economy has had 2 minor recessions in the past few years. John F. Kennedy elected as US President. Summer Olympics held in Rome in '60.
Fuel: Leaded (universal), Super Leaded (universal)
Bumpers: Required, but no regulation as to size or strength. (Strength requirements will not occur until 1973)
Front lights and fixtures: At least one pair of headlights required. At least one pair of turn indicators required. Turn signals may be placed in bumpers.
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. Turn signals and reverse lights may be placed in bumpers. 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.
Rear light colors: Brakes must be red. Reverse must be white. Turn signals cannot be white.
Side marker/signal lights: front side markers required in 1963. rear side markers not required.
Side light colors: front side may be amber only, rear side may be red only.
Mirrors: Driver’s side required.
Aerials: Long mast antenna required if car has a radio.
Fuel fillers: Fillers on the rear panel and hidden behind fixtures are legally allowed.
File Naming Convention:
Model: Gen4-(username) Trim: (MFR Model Trim)
Engine: Gen4-(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.
If your company hasn’t registered for the competition yet and you want to participate in this round, please PM the required company information as well as your submission prior to the round deadline.
Round 4 deadline: Thursday May 17, 9:00 AM PDT (UTC-8)
Registrations for new companies are still being accepted.
Companies now eligible in this competition:
Takemi Motor Company
Sakura Automobiles of Japan (-10% penalty if entering this round)