1984 Letaran Auto Convention (completed)

8 hours left before the deadline.

If you have any suitable cars for a particular category, please submit them before then.

What time is the close? I just have to export one I was having trouble with and will have to do it after work (around 6pm ast).

You submitted your entries just before the deadline. Speaking of which…

Entries are now closed.

Expect reviews and results to follow shortly.

1984 Letaran Auto Convention Recap

At the end of the 1984 Letaran Auto Convention, the world’s motoring press began compiling reviews of the various cars that had been shown there. Here is what the staff of Highway & Raceway, one of the world’s most respected automotive publications, had to say about them:

Part 1: Standard

Mara Zora 1.3 K3 by @AndiD - “It may be a generic-looking third-world subcompact, but it’s quite easy to drive - and very cheap to buy and run. It’s also very reliable, despite (or because of) its use of an old-school carbureted engine developing just 45 horsepower. However, it does not have any advanced technology, and Mara could do well to incorporate this into its replacement that will be due several years, or even a decade, from now - partly out of necessity, partly out of customer preference.”

Canmo Chickadee Sprint Turbo by @crwpitman1 - “Quite an unconventional sport compact, with its turbo triple (albeit one with a 2v DOHC setup - we would have preferred a 4v one) providing decent performance for something its size. However, it should have been placed in the luxury/performance category - it’s not as much of an everyday car as the Zora. As a budget performance car, though, it does quite well, even without highly advanced technology - but it looks the part.”

Vanzandt Avant by @VanZandt_Breda - “One of the more expensive cars in this category, it’s supposed to be an economical commuter car, but the Chickadee turned out to be better in that regard. Also, our road testers found it to be under-damped, and this is also one of the few cars in this size class to be built on a ladder frame, something usually reserved for larger SUVs and pickup trucks. This makes it heavier, thirstier and less safe than it ought to be, and therefore unconvincing as a mass-market car.”

Kessel Strata by @GassTiresandOil - “A futuristic, aerodynamic design that will stand the test of time, the Strata uses aluminum for its doors, hood and trunk lid to save weight and reduce corrosion. Thanks to standard-fit ABS, it should be safer in a panic stop, and its advanced 4-speed automatic transmission makes it more comfortable in everyday driving. Expect this to be a standout in the mid-sized executive car market - and a popular choice even a decade from now.”

Primus Advance 1.8 GL Auto by @HappyHungryHippo - “If the Mara is too austere, may we recommend the Primus Advance? This is more of a first-world compact commuter car, and is priced accordingly, but it’s still affordable, and a lot safer as well. It’s much more comfortable, especially with its advanced automatic transmission (an optional fitment, but present in our test car), and despite slightly oversized light clusters front and rear, it still looks way better than the bare-bones Mara.”

Planar PG22 Genoace 1000 by @lotto77 - “This and the Chickadee are poised to compete for the sport compact crown, but I think the Planar edges it, thanks to its more advanced multi-point EFI set-up. It may not have an electronically controlled automatic gearbox, but it feels a lot sportier nonetheless, although that may be down to its stiffer springs. If you want a cheap fun car, you could do a lot worse than this, but most potential customers for the Planar Genoace line would be served by a lesser trim level.”

Class Rankings:

  1. Kessel Strata
  2. Primus Advance
  3. Planar Genoace
  4. Canmo Chickadee
  5. Mara Zora
  6. VanZandt Avant

Part 2: Luxury/Performance

Zephorus GGL by @Riley - “A jaw-dropping machine that is, unfortunately, more show queen than proper supercar. It gets kudos for its V10 engine and ability to run on E70 ethanol-based fuel, as well as traction control and ABS, but a flagship supercar should not have an automatic transmission (even an electronically controlled one), hydropneumatic suspension (even a well-set-up one) or undersized front tires (175mm wide, compared to 255mm wide rears), all of which give it rock-bottom sportiness in its class. With some changes, however, this could have been a winner, but as it is, it’s more about show than go.”

Primus Astrona Turbo by @Happyhungryhippo - “This is a sports sedan but not as you know it - it’s a FWD turbocharged four-cylinder lightweight in a world of naturally aspirated and RWD or AWD six- and eight-cylinder beasts. It should be able to worry some of today’s genuine sports cars, but it needs more brake cooling to be competitive. Also, I get why some 4-door performance cars are called street sleepers, but this takes the idea way too far - apart from its rear wing, it looks too much like an ordinary family sedan.”

Vaughn Sirin by @Knugcab - “Almost as striking as the GGL, but a lot more affordable. It may only have a 90-degree pushrod 12v V6 under its rear deck, and the strut rear suspension seems at odds with the dual-wishbone front end, but it works around its limitations very well indeed. It’s also very light, and can therefore make good use of its modest power. Most crucially of all, its pin-sharp handling puts it in a class above the GGL in terms of sporting appeal, much to our surprise.”

Canmo Super Sprint M8TT by @crwpitman1 - “This one looked like a (class) winner at first glance, but didn’t deliver on its promises. There’s too much turbo lag and oversteer, which makes it a deathtrap even at lower speeds. The result is a total waste of immense performance potential, and one whose shortcomings must be fixed (through better suspension tuning and/or more front-to-rear tire stagger, as well as a wider powerband) if even limited production is to ever be considered in the future.”

Swanson 237STF by @Ludvig - “Second only to the GGL in terms of raw power, the 237STF may not be the best-looking car here, but it is the quickest, thanks to AWD. It needs better brakes, though, and it could do with power steering. Also, as a four-seat grand tourer, it should have at least a premium interior and audio system, but instead, it has a sports interior and standard stereo. This saves weight and improves performance, but severely reduces comfort. All in all, the 237STF is a real beast on the road, but it needs to learn some manners.”

Class Rankings:

  1. Vaughn Sirin
  2. Swanson 237STF
  3. Primus Astrona Turbo
  4. Zephorus GGL
  5. Canmo Super Sprint M8TT

Stay tuned for the rest of the reviews and the overall results!


The Sirin draws heavy inspiration from the Pontiac Fiero engineering wise, that explains some of the odd choices. :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks for the nice review anyway! :slight_smile:

1984 Letaran Auto Convention Recap (continued)

Part 3: Non-Production

Canmo Pegasus V8T by @crwpitman1 - “As an advanced technology showcase intended to preview the company’s next pony car, the Pegasus fulfills its remit more than adequately. This is a real stunner, with the performance to match, although it needs brake cooling to avoid fade. It also has a proper luxury interior and cassette tape player to make long drives more bearable. Also, with traction control and adaptive dampers, it should also be as easy to drive normally as it is to push to its limits, thanks to its AWD system. Overall, a very potent package, and one that will hopefully influence Canmo’s other upcoming production cars.”

VanZandt Avant Solara Concept by @VanZandt_Breda - “Unlike the Pegasus, this is more of an exercise in packaging efficiency, as its vast glasshouse suggests. If anything, it looks and feels even more futuristic from the outside, despite odd proportions that remind us of a wagon which had had a trunk hastily stuck onto its rear end. However, from the inside, the cheap standard interior seems out of place in what is meant to be a premium car of the future. Nevertheless, VanZandt is confident that a toned-down version of this car’s styling could be on our roads in a few years’ time.”

Class Rankings (not eligible for '84 LCOTY):

  1. Canmo Pegasus
  2. VanZandt Avant Solara

Part 4: Letaran Car of the Year

After a brief period of deliberation, the judges released their final rankings for the top 10 cars shown at the '84 LAC. They were as follows:

10th: Mara Zora - A cheap commuter car, nothing more.
9th: Canmo Super Sprint M8TT - Looks awesome, but too unruly to be practical as-is.
8th: Zephorus GGL - The best-looking car here, but doesn’t feel sporty enough to drive.
7th: Primus Astrona Turbo - A quirky sports sedan, but not macho enough on the outside.
6th: Canmo Chickadee - A nippy sport compact that faces tough competition.
5th: Planar Genoace - A better sport compact than the Chickadee, but not by much.
4th: Swanson 237STF - Looks and goes like no other car, but needs some manners.
3rd: Primus Advance - Probably the best economy car of our time.
2nd: Vaughn Sirin - A back-to-basics lightweight sports car you won’t regret driving - or buying.
1st: Kessel Strata - A spaceship among ground-bound boxes, and one that sets the standard not just for the executive car class, but also for all new cars.

Congratulations to @GassTiresAndOil for winning the 1984 Letaran Car of the Year award with the Kessel Strata!

Hosting order (for next LAC):

  1. @GassTiresAndOil
  2. @Knugcab
  3. @Happyhungryhippo
  4. @Ludvig
  5. @lotto77
  6. @crwpitman1
  7. @Riley
  8. @AndiD

Many thanks to everyone who entered the 1984 Letaran Auto Convention! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, and good luck to whoever hosts the next Letaran Auto Convention!


Primus Magazine, 05/84: The Astrona Turbo says AWD in it’s side lettering, but has none, because Primus engineers were not done yet. But since the prototype was driveable even with FWD, we dared to show that.

It’s a wolf in sheep clothes, so the review is on point. We are also pleased to hear that the Advance keeps what the name promises and persuaded the press.

Normally, AWD on a front-engined car with a transversely mounted engine (as long as it doesn’t have torsion beam rear suspension) is available only from 1990 onwards - but you can use it on such a configuration in 1984 if you put +6 techpool into the gearbox/drivetrain tab.

Which I didn’t since I overlooked that, the game gave me no warning and quietly changed to FWD.
In lore, this was a 1985 variant using Default +5 TP.

The GGL is more inclined to luxury than the performance aspect, still being able to do 200mph was the claim to fame for the performance all while doing it comfortably.

A good fun challenge nonetheless and something to pass the time while waiting for LHC

1 Like

Comfort was indeed a major criterion when judging entries in the Luxury/Performance category, but so was sportiness, and your entry suffered badly on that front - when I checked it, its sportiness rating was just 18.7, and that figure is more appropriate for a pure luxury car than it is for an out-and-out supercar, as I had assumed originally for the entire Zephorus GG line. It’s one thing to sacrifice sportiness for comfort and drivability, but much to my disappointment, the GGL trim went too far in that particular direction.

Thank you for the win! Lots of great cars this round. Unfortunately I can’t host next round though.

I am up for hosting - however, I guess we’ll wait for LHC5 to start first.


LHC5 is some way off, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare for that.