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The Painful 80's [UE4] [OPEN THREAD]


1979 Ardent Sentinel (Mk.3) Sport DL

1979 brought the 3rd iteration of Ardent’s Sentinel line, with the whole series moving a little upscale. Long gone were any truly “Sporty” options; the Oil Crisis and emissions implementation drove numerous nails in that particular coffin, with the final nail being conversion of the entire platform to front wheel drive with this redesign. Thus the “Sport” moniker referenced the body style, which was a 3-door hatchback. Sentinel was also available as a 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon.

Overall, the Sentinel line was a good one, if not wholely inspiring. Some of the mid-range “DL” offerings were a little less popular than others, however. The Sport DL with the 5-speed manual was one such example.

Unfortunately, Ardent didn’t fit it’s highest-level manual transmissions with the Eridani Type 1 V6 engines, instead opting for the sorely underpowered Cygnus Type 2 1.8 liter four cylinder. Pushrods and a 2-barrel carb didn’t exactly inspire any semblance of performance, especially with the automatic transmission (though, for inexplicable reasons, more DL autos were sold than DL manuals)

Interior options fell far short of the more interesting GL models, and Base trims sold better due to an aggressive price point. Improvements such as a standard in-dash quartz clock, two-tone paint, and full cloth seating just didn’t attract the buyers to this particular trim.

Sentinel DLs could be had with a manual transmission up through the end of 1983. A bit of a shame, as 1984 saw the introduction of the brand new Cygnus 3 “Mite” series engine, displacing 2.3 liters and equipped with overhead camshafts, replacing the aging 1.8. If nothing else, that ended up being a boon for automatic/4-cylinder Sentinels. The 2.3 and the manual could also be configured together starting in '84 but only in bargain budget Base trim.


Gives me some Renault 11 vibes, I dig it


FMU Pampero Mk2 1989

The combination of isolation, protectionism and Junta government resulted in the discouragement of releasing new products. the 1969 cars persisted well into the 70s and 80s with only minor changes. However the pressure from the imports left FMU scrambling to update their aged offerings. so while the company was working maniacally to release 4 new vehicles by 1990, the existing platforms received improvements such as electronic fuel injection and vented disc brakes, the company also had a crash course on unleaded fuels as the government announced the imminent ban of leaded fuel. The car did well enough to to keep the lights on in the last years, by the time the pampero mark 2 reached the end of its production line 1.323.456 cars were made and exported to South and central america, Africa the middle east and Oceania.


Reminiscent of the Boxy 4 Life 80’s Volvos


The Hugi XTP-30 (or How You Too Can Ruin a Road-Going Prototype)

Ah, racing cars for the road. In an era where most “performance” cars came either with just sporty decals or sporty decals and castrated engine, the notion of a supercar with racing ties was an even wetter dream for engineers.

Someone forgot to forward the rule book to one José De Laureano, though. José, a salesman at Hugi’s Lisbon dealership, saw the glamorous prototypes racing in Le Mans, and was immediately smitten by their potential. And after a bankrupt racing team left their sleek body behind, a door opened…

Thing is, José was not a designer. Or an engineer, but we’ll get to that one soon enough. Knowing he would need to make the car road-legal to make any real money from it, he turned to the one person who could help him…

…his wife, an interior designer. That might explain the XTP’s cacophony of racing subtlety and gaudy decals, not to mention the incredibly busy rear end. Hardly an example fitting of a Le Mans-bred car, even if it was incredibly aerodynamic for its time. But as they say in Portugal, one evil doesn’t come alone.

José felt no Hugi engine could suit his baby’s road-racer aspirations. Therefore, he turned to a major American manufacturer for help. However, he had requested the company’s stillborn, all-aluminium turbocharged V6 block (a project intended to power their own IMSA prototype). Rather than laugh and reject his request, they instead accepted it… With the catch that it would be a weaker road-legal version, ready for mass production.

The engine José got was a road-legal V6, yes. But it was a direct overhead cam, 130-horsepower V6! What the XTP got was a leftover slew of castrated carburetor engines, that powered station wagons in the late '70s. Unable to fight back through the courts, José was forced to sell the XTP-30 as-is, a once-sleek body with no power to back its own checks up. Never mind the fact it was extremely uncomfortable (complete with no ABS!) and too low for Portugal’s damaged roads…

But that’s not all, folks. the distraught salesman was selling the car under the Hugi brand, despite the fact that chairman Hugi Aleixo had never seen the car prior to its release! Once he discovered its promotional materials, he immediately ordered the XTP’s cancellation after 30 cars had been made, and fired José on the spot for damaging the brand’s reputation in the process.

Moral of the story? Always read the fine print, kiddies. And do ask your boss for permission first…

Hugi Motors #BridgeTheGap (Update: A change of face)

I’m getting some intense сука блять waves out of this design.




maybe… just maybe the car was a licensed fiat 124 shell with FMU hardware


The sadness of 1980s CAFE restrictions

I was only allowed to submit 1 design for the Hunt for a Star Car challenge, so here a couple of my discarded 1980s designs. They’re still awesome, in a painful 80s sort of way.

First, is the Orion Serval, which I submitted. However, in researching the part, I was disappointed to see how truly meager 1980s muscle cars’ power number were. I set the cam profile the lowest I was comfortable doing, and ran it as lean as possible, and even choked the exhaust. This discarded version put out 175 hp (20 more than its real life inspiration) and 272 lb ft of torque (45+/- more than real life); gas mileage was about accurate, but the 0-60 time was about 1.5 seconds (+/-) slower than real life.

Orion - Serval.car (28.6 KB) if you want to meddle with it.
I also made this truck, and then throttled it to within an inch of its life to the CAFE gods. Many of you may have already seen it. To me, it just reminds me of the people who listen to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ without actually listening to the lyrics; or maybe that’s just me.Star - Tradesman 4X4.car (61.9 KB)


How you did you manage to get a Stars & Stripes flag on the hood? Is it a mod, or was it painstakingly made manually?
That aside, the pick is certainly 'Murican, all it needs is an eagle on top of the flag and you’ll bring home the bacon. But it’s more of a villain’s car than a hero’s… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I did it manually, but it wasn’t exactly painstaking; it really took about 10 minutes. I had an older design that had eagles on it, but you couldn’t see them unless you were really close up. I just thought if the ‘Dukes of Hazard’ met ‘The Fall Guy’ (Lee Majors), this would probably be what they’d drive.


1982 Matilde SM41

While strictly not an P-M-I production, the Matilde is the in our collection. The odd result of what could have been an 80s romcom at the beginning, was developed by an electronics engineer from P-M-I USA. The engineer in question couldn’t believe his luck when he won the lottery and could realize his dream to go live with his then girlfriend, Matilde, in Germany where they married. His other love was of course cars, and in particular muscle cars. So, he started his own car company, with idea of producing the ultimate European muscle car.

The Matilde SM41 was not a bad car as such (we have competent engineers) but old-fashioned and fuel-thirsty with its big carburated six cylinder engine, despite some more modern design choices, such as 3 valves per cylinder. The car was relatively fast, but the rear end was light and became very lively under high speed turning, leading to more than one of the sold cars being crashed. On top of that the design was not something that the Europeans immediately fell for. Like every oddity, it had its share of fans; the underdog supporters, but those were generally not in the capacity to actually buy the car. It was quite expensive, certainly because the Matilde had to be sold high over production price to keep the new company solvent.

The sadly obvious result was the dissolvement of the engineer and Matilde; the money being gone, she was as well. The company went bankrupt as well.

Only 80 Matildes were ever sold. 400 were produced. The remaining 320 were sold to P-M-I to be recycled. The one below was kept for the in-house museum.


Engine Specs Matilde Inline Six
Description Straight-6, cast iron block and heads, forged crankshaft, conrods and pistons
Valvetrain SOHC – 3 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke 101.0 mm x 85.5 mm
Displacement 4110 cc
Aspiration 3 double-barrel performance carburetors
Compression Ratio 8.8:1
Output 200 HP @ 5200 rpm, 318 Nm @ 3200 rpm
Redline 5800 rpm

Chassis Specs: Matilde SM41
Layout Front-engined, RWD
Interior 4 standard seats and basis 8-track radio
Chassis/Body Corrosion resistant steel monocoque / Corrosion resistant steel panels
Suspension Double-wishbone F / R
Driveline 4-speed MT, open differential
Brakes Solid discs F / R
Curb Weight 1336 kg
Weight Distribution F:61% - R:39%
0-100 km/h 7,5 s
Top Speed 215 km/h
100-0 Braking Distance 39,0 m
List Price, New $ 24636
Production Run 1982-1983
Examples Produced 400

-P-M-I- Cars and Museum

Now that I looked at it closer, I can see what you mean. It’s mostly tailights and badges for the stars, right? That’s a very creative way to form a flag decal, even if the eagles had to be sacrificed…!

And @Private_Miros, that car is rather similar to Brazil’s Santa Matilde coupe. It could just be an incredible coincidence, but the displacement and overall concept are so alike…


Correct :slight_smile: I occasionally go find random cars to get inspired by. I don’t always follow strict, but in this case, it was heavily inspired. Good catch!


Hehe, the Santa Matilde is one of my favorite underdog Brazilian cars. Your use of the Matilde name caught my car sense, the rest triggered it!

Also, I have to say, my XTP was also a reference to an '80s car, although a more subduded one. Underpowered V6 and supercar ambitions? I guess you could say it’d never make it past 88mph… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Also a Brazilian one?

Hofstetter Turbo looked very supercar / Countach-esk. But those were (under)powered by the VW Brasil engines, not V6s.

I don’t know much about Brazilian cars anyway, I am Belgian. I just looked into the brands when stumbling onto the Santa Matilde.


And that photoshop? :rofl:


Haha, not quite. Thought the “88” bit would’ve served as an obvious clue; it’s the (overblown racy version of the) DeLorean DMC-12, the world’s most famous time machine!

Only my “DeLorean” has an even sleeker body properly ruined by bad corporate decisions and rotten timing…


Ah, yes! the asthmatic V6 that killed the car. The body and supercar made me completely miss the 88 reference. Also because I don’t really think in miles per hour.


There you go! I know the body is tad bit more radical than the DMC’s, but the same idea-technology deficit is still there.
I feel the DeLorean encapsules the '80s performance scene really well; great innovative designs, but man did those engines not cash their checks…