Automation Legacy Challenge (LOBBYING PART TWO, AND A BONUS ROUND!)

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REVIEWS 1.2: COMMERCIAL BREAK

Reviews for:
@ChemaTheMexican - Garland L2A
@Edsel - Centara BVH8
@Fayeding_Spray - Walsh Commercial Vehicles Cab-Over Utility Alpha “Stovepipe”
@Prium - Fitz C90
@Restomod - Somboy Mender Ute

@LS_Swapped_Rx-7 - Mercer GPC
@MrdjaNikolen - Sardarji Sepoy 64

@ldub0775 - Centurion Motor Industries 5000 Tow Truck

(Captions read left to right)


(Front: GPC, Sepoy. Middle: Centara, WCV, Garland, Somboy, Fitz. Rear: Centurion)

The decade since the war has seen a veritable explosion of utes and vans - and an explosion of complaints too! Unless you want to spend an extra five grand on a premium, upmarket Centara van (or something truly heavy-duty like a six-wheeled Centurion!), all the major manufacturers provide the same 1100-ish kilograms of cargo capacity… At least, they do from the factory. See, all of these cars only hit these cargo limits because of the suspension being rather low. Jack your car up, swap in some lifted springs, and Bob’s your uncle. A modest 50mm lift kit should get at least another 300 kilos or so. Comparing your local car yard to the car park, you’ll think the stock cars are lowered - that’s how common lifts are!

Speaking of common, the ride quality in some of these cars leaves a lot to be desired. You have to be careful with how hard you brake - just about everything has incredibly closed-off brakes that overheat easily, and we thought the lack of weight over the rear axle made wheelspin inevitable in utes… Then, we got the Somboy Mender. A smaller, lighter, more nimble car. Sure, it has less torque than the other models, but that worked in its favour, as you could actually put the power to the ground. It was cheap too - which really saved it when the Fitz C90 came out, even smaller and similarly drivable without too much wheelspin, but having the torque to rival all the other cars - and using innovative air ducts to help reduce that brake fade. Both of these cars have less wheelspin than the “premium” Centara, too. What’s with that thing, anyway? You pay a lot more, but you get incredibly touchy brakes that’ll fade easily. Maybe they just needed to copy Fitz’s ducts.


(Somboy on the left, Fitz on the right)

Drivability is really important in this market, because of how long your average driver spends in these cars. The Garland L2A and WCV Stovepipe really struggled to compete with the Fitz and the Somboy. The Stovepipe could sell itself on its massive tray, but what’s the point when you still need to mod it to actually, you know, carry more stuff? The Garland? Well, if you bought one in the year between its launch and the Fitz, you were kicking yourself.

Know what else is important? Running costs… And here is where the Somboy really competes again. The Fitz has good fuel economy, but you’ll be enriching your local mechanic keeping it serviced and running - and if you want that wood trim to stay nice, forget about it. Meanwhile, the Garland and Walsh are easy to maintain, but their engines mean you’ll be using more fuel - a lot more fuel in the case of the Walsh. The Centara is the worst of both worlds, with expensive detailing costs due to the premium interior and the worst fuel economy of the lot. The Somboy happily goes along, not needing much money or work.

Also, we need to issue a bit of an apology. When the Garland L2A initially came out, its reliability was decent, and we reviewed that aspect well… Then, over time, the crank started wearing down. What had been “just barely able to handle the torque” became “not really able to handle the torque”, and it started breaking down a lot more.

The one downside of the Fitz and Somboy is the size. Both cars are somewhat small, which is how they manage their drivability. The Garland is larger, but has an oddly designed tray that does not make the most of the car’s space and so it only holds a little more than the others. The WCV? Well, it’s all tray, which is why the wheels spin so much.

We do hope that manufacturers don’t see the success of the Fitz and assume that the wood trim is part of the reason. The wood gets beaten up easily and quickly wears out, and it makes the car look cheap - even though the Somboy and WCV are both cheaper than it. In another market, the absolutely gorgeous space-age Garland would certainly have sold better. It’s a real shame, the best looker being the worst seller and vice versa.


(Fitz, Somboy, Garland, WCV)

Ultimately, if you needed to haul? You are picking between the torque of the Fitz, and the economy of the Somboy. If you really need tray space, you got the WCV and modded it, it wasn’t that expensive to do so thanks to the low base cost. If you wanted a premium experience, you considered the Centara - then decided on a cheaper car for work and a nicer car for life. And the Garland? It mixed the worst of all worlds, and got a reputation for crank failures.

Of course, “work car” doesn’t always mean “car for hauling stuff”. Sometimes it means “car for getting to work where there’s no roads”. Sure, the Garland L2A and Fitz C90 both performed fairly well, but the other utes - and many of the more consumer-oriented cars - weren’t as good. There’s plenty of roads those two have issues with, though. There is, of course, another option: a surplus Jeep from the war. Two companies ended up competing here. There’s the Sardaji Sepoy 64, and the Mercer GPC… You want the GPC, but the Sepoy isn’t half bad. They cost the same, they look similar due to being based on the same car, they both go the same places. The GPC has nicer seats, less wheelspin, and is easier to drive, but that’s about all the differentiation. The price difference for those nicer seats is tiny. The GPC looks a bit nicer, but it’s a work car first.


(Sepoy, GPC)

There’s one more car we want to discuss, in the conversation for Araga’s most iconic car. Remember how we mentioned springing extra for a 6x6 Centurion? Well, most small businesses didn’t, because lift kits are cheaper… But if you had the money to spend, or needed to haul, it was worth it. That’s why the CMI 5000 is THE tow truck of Araga. When your expensive sports car breaks down, or the wheelspin from your massive engine gets you stuck or makes you crash? “Get help” means “get someone with a Centurion”. Doesn’t matter what your car is, we have seen a Centurion carrying the entire weight of… a Centurion. Doesn’t matter where, either. The market for tow trucks may be limited, but CMI owns just about all of it. The 5000 Tow Truck is one of Araga’s best exports, without a doubt. It’s just too expensive to be used elsewhere.


(Centurion. Oh lawd he commin’)


OOC comments and effects on the market for commercial vehicles, utes, vans and offroaders.

  • All the utes and vans were running the bare minimum ride height - which, in this era, means equal cargo capacity. This really hampered the larger cars. Sure, it’s a bigger car with a larger tray… But you can’t actually carry more, so where’s the benefit?
  • The Garland makes 276.4 Nm of torque, with a crank rated to 280. If it starts to wear down and the quality drops by just one point? Crank stress time. That’s why it got dinged a little for reliability. Cars like this are going to be driven hard for their entire lifespan, and at least some wear can be expected. Running so close to the max is dangerous. Everything else was fine at -2 quality at least, some being fine down to -5.
  • The Sepoy and GPC both went after a relatively inflexible market, and nailed the formula - simple cars for a simple request. They don’t do anything out of the ordinary for that sector, they’re just solid cars.
  • The CMI 5000 would be niche, even if I had judged the pickup and not the tow truck. The high cost - both the highest base pre-penalty price in this and the cost of that extra axle - definitely sinks it. The tow truck was absolutely the best one to send though, because there’s a small market that simply cannot avoid that price. Tow trucks are expensive but neccessary. It doesn’t move the dial much on the market though.

Key impacts:

  • People in the commercial sector are more open to modifying vehicles to meet their needs, because they had to this era. Wanna carry a lot? Gotta lift your truck.
  • People in the commercial sector expect drivability and controlled wheelspin, more than grunty high-torque engines - after all, the Fitz had plenty of torque and the Somboy, thanks to being cheap both now and later, got by fine with its limited torque. There wasn’t that compelling a value proposition unless your business is small enough to mod your car, and you can mod a Fitz or Somboy too.

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My sincere apologies as i thought i was on the correct version. This will be completed for next round

I will continue to appologise for this mouthful of a name lmao

This writeup is epic, keep doing it this great for all categories and eras, and this will be one of the best challenges of this type ever.

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Loved it! Thanks for all the feedback!

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REVIEWS 1.3: MOTOR AND SPORT

Reviews for @abg7 @BannedByAndroid @cake_ape @carpotato7 @ErenWithPizza @Lanson @mart1n2005 @SheikhMansour @Texaslav @voiddoesnotknow

The big appeal of a car is the ability to go faster than you can as a human. It’s inevitable that someone would want to go even faster than a car. The emergence of high-performance sports cars is inevitable - and we have ten here, ready to analyse this exclusive club. (Out of universe - there were no cars with more than 5 sportiness but less than 10, making it look like a clear cutoff… Except for the fact that there’s a car that clearly fits but has lower sportiness. So, executive decision, it goes here, 10 cars)

Let’s start by taking our cars to the track, shall we? Gotta say, it’s more than a little surprising. When we had our trained test driver, the Smeg, to drive all these cars, we were certain that the sleek, expensive Schiavonne Razzo would be the fastest. After all, it’s an Italian race car, it has almost double the power and 50% more displacement than any car! But no, money can’t buy performance. The OMC Panamerica was only marginally slower, and the Buchi F226 was even faster! Only by a few tenths, but still. The issue with the Razzo is that you just can’t put any of that power down, and it’ll spin at the slightest provocation - not to mention the fact that it’ll make your ass hurt like nothing else, and that you can’t trust the brakes (although that last one hits the Buchi too). These three all have a bit of a dark side too, as pushing such massive performance means they all suffer from their share of breakdowns. The OMC is particularly prone to crank failures if not maintained right, and it absolutely chews through its tyres.


(Buchi, OMC, Razzo)

Ok, so, those three are out, what if we go for something more sensible? Well, you’ll run into some potential issues there too. Remember how we said the OMC runs into crank failures? The same can be said about the Winsley Hobart 2000 Super and the Somervell Super Six, and the Courage Conquest runs into those issues with the pistons and conrods. Man, what a weird car the Courage is - solid axles in the front, but independent suspension in the rear? Wild. Even worse, it’s meant to be a sporty car, but it uses hard, economy-focussed tyres. The Winsley is a massive case of false economy - it looks cheap due to its low sticker price, but it destroys its tyres. You know, the tyres which use different specifications for the front and rear. The Winsley, Somervell and Courage all show why it’s worth getting long-term reviews - the Winsley and Somervell were all on a respectable high level of performance without sacrificing initial reliability, and the Courage was no slouch either, for a car with 4 seats.


(Somervell, Courage, Winsley)

The Courage may have done well with 4 seats, but the FMC Sparrow does just as well… With five. Five full-sized seats, not the small ones they use in the rear. Indeed, this convertible is one of the most comfortable in the market - and it’s on the cheaper end. It hits the same drivability as the higher end of the market, although it’s a little less fun to drive in anger. We highly recommend it if you don’t care about lap times. The BSC America is almost in the same window - more drivable, sportier, still affordable (for a sports car)… It just hits three issues. First of all, on bumpy roads, we found the suspension bottoming out rather uncomfortably - or, when taking turns, it can bottom out, because of how much the body rolls. Second, even at with its upmarket price, it lacks any sort of radio. Everything else but the Razzo has a radio! Third, the small engine really holds it back - with just 53 kilowatts, it has a hard time getting decent speeds.


(BSC, FMC)

Now, if the Winsley Hobart was a false economy, the Wolfram Wanderer is real economy. It’s the cheapest car you can get, and it’s the slowest of our cars by a decent stretch. I actually wouldn’t try and drive this fast at all. So why is it here? Well, it’s here because the Wanderer is a fun car to drive. No, it won’t get you there the fastest. No, it doesn’t have the most power - the BSC is the only car with less, despite the respectable 2.5L engine. The Wanderer is a comfortable car you can actually buy, then maybe invest some money in improving it - but even if you don’t, you’ll still enjoy cruising in it. It’s a cruiser.

Finally, we get to our best in class - the Collis Celer mk1. The two marks against it are the way the body loves to roll, and it’s more expensive than the more midrange options. That’s about it, that’s all. The car is among the best to drive, the seats are nice and comfortable, the car just exudes quality. It doesn’t have major reliability issues, and it’s really fast too. Besides the unreliable triad, it’s the fastest you can get.


(Collis, Wolfram)

Of course, people don’t just buy sports cars for performance. No, looks are important too. And here, we run into a major issue.


(Courage, Buchi, OMC)

Three different cars, on very similar bodies. Similar body creases, similar shapes… For the Courage and the OMC, even similar light layouts. Indeed, this shape is just the shape, it’s what everyone makes - unless you go for a convertible, or the incredibly expensive Razzo. That’s not to say you can’t innovate within the shape, of course. Unconventional light patterns, two-tone cars, intricate side detailing… There’s lots of ways to stand out.

(Collis, BSC, FMC)

(Wolfram, Somervell, Razzo)

About the Winsley, I have no special comment. It’s not so similar as the first image, it’s not doing anything super unusual.


Honestly not a lot of comments beyond what I have written. Performance was judged on ATT, “Driving in anger” is sportiness. Seeing so many cars on the same body is just part of the territory, I guess. The Razzo really didn’t help its case by having such a high cost, and using the money to generate wheelspin - and being undrivable in the process. 4 drivability. I was on the fence about the Wolfram, but it ultimately felt like it belonged here more than elsewhere. The market effects, though? Those are fun.

  • The sort of customers who are buying sporty cars want something more unique. It’s not showing off when your car looks like someone else’s, from another manufacturer. Whether that is crazy paint, wild designs, whatever - they want to stand out, especially with how underserved this market was.
  • There was no strong link between displacement and performance. The fastest car around the track only had a 2L engine, and there’s no strong link between lap times and displacement, or sportiness and displacement… Really anything besides power numbers and displacement, and even that isn’t iron-clad. What does this mean? It means that people won’t associate displacement with performance, into the next era.

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Honest question: What are you referring to when you say the OMC chews its tyres?

honestly, i was expecting this. the razzo is more of a “little penis compensation” car to show off, as opposed to a serious competitor

Soo the Sparrow was good, not good, issues anywhere? Is it too average to be noticed? I tried to make the Ford Taurus of the 50’s.

Exactly what I was aiming for. It would be a great car for driving down to the Riviera or the Pacific Coast with a passenger and some luggage for company - this would also have been true of the facelifted 1956 model, with its bigger, more powerful engine.

Due to a high camber setting, the tyre wear factor is higher than ideal.

As for the Sparrow… It’s there in the post. A little less fun to drive in anger, we highly recommend it if you don’t care about lap times. The side detailing and the two-tone all help it stand out, as does the double headlight design.

Yesssss, this is exactly what I wanted going forward for Collis. The future is looking bright for the Celer model line :slight_smile:

I didn’t catch the bottoming out, wish I had fixed that, and had a bit less roll. Otherwise the car is how I wanted it, just a small point to point car for lower racing clssses

Perfect. Hey great, finally a car that reviewed well.

This is what I was going for- a hassle free, cheap, utilitarian truck with decent drivability and a lot of configuarability.

Um, I don’t mean to be rude, but was there anything to say about the Somervell itself? It’s never mentioned alone in a sentence O_O

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Performance-wise, the Somervell was good. It benefited hugely from being a convertible rather than a coupe, in terms of looks - and the wheel covers were a nice distinguishing touch. Being so close to the limit of reliability didn’t help, though.

Good to know that my suspension set up is weird. I dont know a lot about that stuff, but i should have guessed that 2 different supensions might not blend well

If it helps, I could explain why it was weird;

Your suspension setup is that you had a solid axle in the front; the problem with that is that the engine is usually also at the front. So to accommodate both, the car’s ride height has to be super tall so the axle can go under the engine. The only reason you would ever want to do that is if either your car was meant to be super tall anyway (like an offroader), or if you were trying to build as cheap a car as possible; your car, being a sports car, fits neither.

So in real life, it’s pretty rare for a car to have solid axle in the front, and almost unheard of to have one in only the front. Having solid axles in the rear doesn’t come with the same drawbacks, though, and is still popular even today in work vehicles and offroaders (the 2005-2009 Mustang also had a solid rear, I believe).

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Up until the mid 30s, almost all cars (exceptions have always existed I guess) had solid front axles, but after that, individual suspension was starting to take over. The only reason why one should find a solid axle up front in a 50s sports car is if the model was a carryover from the pre-war era, more or less.

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