Motor World Review, August 1964
Model Year-In-Review Edition
Best Sedan – 1964
Vermillion Athena 276
Relative Rating: 100.00
We must sometimes sound like a broken record. Once more, we hold up Vermillion’s Athena as our Sedan of the Year, this time for the 1964 model year.
When we last wrote about the Athena, it was powered by a straight six. Now it boasts a 276 cubic inch V8, topped with a pair of 2-barrel carburetors. 206 horses are unleashed when the throttles are opened, passed through a 4-speed manual to the rear.
Fit and finish is typical of the class, though the radio includes programmable resets, which is a nice feature. As well, Vermillion includes power steering on the Athena, which makes parking a breeze.
We’re confident that the Athena will hold up well, and thus it again gains our endorsement.
Best Sport or Touring Car – 1964
PMI Usurper Elegant GT
Relative Rating: 96.96
Speaking of repeats, PMI has scored another victory in our book, this time with the Usurper Elegant GT.
PMI has restrained themselves somewhat this time around, with 248 cubic inch V8 under the hood that outputs a modest 180 horsepower. At least, modest when you consider the competition.
While not the fastest in any given direction, the Usurper holds its own, with a sub-10 second 0-60 time. It is, however, a very comfortable and chic cruiser, if not a bit controversial with regards to its styling.
For all that you get, the purchase price of PMI’s tourer is actually quite reasonable.
It is, in our opinion, the must-have in this class.
Best Utility – 1964
ACA Model 60
Relative Rating: 100.00
ACA’s Model 60 pickup is our Utility of the year for '64.
There is nothing bizarre or fancy about this design. Just a strong 350 cubic inch V8, automatic transmission with locking hubs for four wheel drive, and a bench seat with a basic AM radio for the long road.
ACA’s Model 60 is expected to go long on the road, too, with good reliability.
It’s nothing to write home about as far as its drive. It’s not an exciting or thrilling vehicle. But it is as solid and tough as they come.
Best Engine – 1964
LMC 289cid V8
(+5% relative rating bonus)
Of the engines put before us this year, we are most impressed with the 289 cubic inch V8 from Leviathan. A large, powerful, yet smooth V8, we anticipate that this will be a workhorse for years to come. With 192 horsepower and 262 ft-lbs of torque, it also has the grunt to power a wide range of vehicles. For that, LMC receives our Best Engine award for 1964.
Sedan Class Reviews
Townsend Trinidad Super Six
Relative Rating: 86.56
“…quite a pleasure to drive, once you get past how slow it is compared to the competition. This little car gives a premium experience for entry-level price…”
Pros: Low purchase price, good comfort, good fuel economy
Cons: Poor reliability, very slow
Relative Rating: 85.68
“…utilizing a wonderful engine. But handling woes caused by its massive size and suspension setup may reduce its attractiveness…”
Pros: Very comfortable, engine of the year, good safety
Cons: Poor handling, poor drivability, poor fuel economy, poor reliability
Relative Rating: 97.48
“…big, beefy V8 engine. The Pollux gets up and goes willingly, and our testing shows it will stay going…”
Pros: High reliability, good performance
Cons: Poor rough road handling
Epoch M30 3.3
Relative Rating: 94.96
“…very dated styling, and equally dated handling. Yet despite its shortcomings, this sedan performs admirably on all kinds of roads, in all sorts of conditions…”
Pros: Good rough road handling, good poor weather handling, good safety, good economy
Cons: Comparatively poor normal road handling, somewhat high purchase price
Relative Rating: 93.28
“…good handling car, but the interior is rather stuffy. Also, we don’t have great confidence in the long-term reliability of this vehicle…”
Pros: Best in round drivability, good economy.
Cons: Poor reliability, high purchase price
Dominion Victory V8
Relative Rating: 86.56
“…couldn’t find a comfortable seating position. Also, the doors and hood don’t seem to close as solidly as other cars…”
Pros: Low purchase price, good reliability
Cons: Poor comfort, poor safety, worst in class economy
Deer and Hunt Goonie Rocket
Relative Rating: 70.59
“…very comfortable, with a long list of impressive features. But the car’s presence in life doesn’t live up to its hype on paper…”
Pros: Very comfortable, prestigious model
Cons: Very high purchase price, awkward and poorly matched engine, poor safety
Bogliq Mutineer Entrance
Relative Rating: 91.60
“…the least powerful engine in the class still manages to make a go at it. Overall, the Bogliq is a good entry sedan, and amongst our top picks…”
Pros: Lowest in round purchase price, good fuel economy, good reliability
Cons: Poor comfort, lowest in round prestige, poor handling
Everette Elston Custom
Relative Rating: 94.12
“…is easily the smoothest driving of the bunch, easily capable of handling urban and rural life at the same time…”
Pros: Best in round practicality, high drivability, decent comfort
Cons: Poor reliability, poor safety
Olympus Capricorn Premier
Relative Rating: 96.64
“…our pick for a premium car this year. Its handling is refined and sublime, and the 305 V8 motors powerfully through the band…”
Pros: High drivability, high safety, decent sportiness, good comfort
Cons: Worst in class reliability, high purchase price
Birmingham 5000 Custom Cruiser
Relative Rating: 78.99
“…a car that really can’t decide what it’s trying to be. The engine seems to be part sports car, part economy car…”
Pros: High comfort, reasonable purchase price
Cons: Low reliability, poor economy, poor drivability
Relative Rating: 88.24
“…nice country road cruiser. Other than a throaty 279 V8, there’s not a whole lot that stands out…”
Pros: Fast, good drivability, good comfort
Cons: Poor reliability, high purchase price, very high maintenance costs
Sport/Touring Class Reviews
IP-Kingston Celestia Sprint
Relative Rating: 83.30
“…motor not only hits, but shatters, the one-HP-per-CID formula. It can also handle a sharp turn well. But there are costs associated with…”
Pros: Best in round sportiness, high reliability
Cons: Poor driveability, worst in round fuel economy, worst in round comfort
Erin Lagana GTS
Relative Rating: 91.50
“…miniscule V12 loaded with caruburetors makes for a heart pounding, pulse-racing ride. Compared to its competition, however, steering is not terribly responsive…”
Pros: Fast, high comfort
Cons: Poor reliability, mediocre handling
Caliban Thunder Rev.4
Relative Rating: 90.13
“…throwing around a little car like this is so much fun, more so with the Caliban based on its willingness to deke…”
Pros: Best in round lateral acceleration, high reliability
Cons: Worst in round safety, poor prestige
Sakura Duchess 25x
Relative Rating: 88.76
"…Sakura’s budget sports car just can’t stack up against the Takemi in handling, reliability, or even economy… "
Pros: Low purchase price, mediocre performance
Cons: Poor economy, poor reliability, poor drivability
TSR Kansai GTS
Relative Rating: 79.21
“…another super-premium Kansai that, while it performs well, just doesn’t deliver any semblance of value when compared to others…”
Pros: High top speed, high drivability
Cons: Extremely high purchase price, extremely high maintenance costs, worst in round reliability, poor economy
Takemi Promenance GT
Relative Rating: 88.13 (After -2 point Fixture Violation Penalty)
FIXTURE VIOLATION: Rear side markers are the wrong color
“…a budget sports car that could actually be used for more than just a Sunday drive…”
Pros: High practicality, high reliability, lowest in class purchase price
Cons: Poor comfort, mediocre handling