Harris Cars Ltd. - Quality Motoring Since 1953

Harris Cars Ltd. - Quality Motoring Since 1953

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The origins of Harris Cars, a renowned British manufacturer, lay in Harris Commercial Vehicles, established by Kurt Harris in 1923. This precursor to today’s company concentrated entirely on building commercial vehicles, but Kurt was forced to take the firm into the military sector almost exclusively at the start of the Second World War. However, in the immediate postwar period, his company fell on hard times and almost went bankrupt. His only way out of this predicament was to reinvent his firm as a sports car manufacturer, and focus on export markets, since domestic market taxes were at an all-time high. So in 1953, he converted his Northamptonshire factory into a car manufacturing plant. Thus began a run of profitability stretching from the company’s establishment in 1953 to the onset of the oil crisis 20 years later.

Harris’ first car, the Provost, was a small two-door alloy-bodied sports car powered by a 2-litre DOHC 24-valve straight-six engine. Despite only having just over 120 bhp on tap, it was a delight to drive due to its well-sorted double wishbone suspension at each corner. In addition, its light weight and low cost made it a perennial best-seller throughout its 10-year lifespan.

The Provost evolved over time, gaining disc brakes a few years after its launch, but its replacement would turn out to be an even better car. In the meantime, as time passed, a trickle of orders, particularly from the United States, grew into a flood…

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1964-69: The Nuthatch Arrives and Harris Begins Its First Motorsport Program

By 1964, the time had come to replace the Provost, and for the first time ever, Harris was about to offer multiple engines and body styles. This new car, the Nuthatch, was named after a small bird, and unlike its predecessor, was made out of fibreglass to save even more weight. Below is the Spider 1.6, the entry-level model in the range.

In addition, a coupe version was also offered. Shown here is the 2.0, powered by a 2-litre straight-six:

Either engine was available with either body style, and due to the car’s low price, the Nuthatch proved to be even more successful globally than the Provost. But there was more to come…

Just a year later, Harris Racing Team (the brand’s motorsport arm) secured a contract with Australian manufacturer Albury Motors to use their engines for their mid-engined, fiberglass-bodied endurance racer, the SVM Classic. That car was powered by a transversely mounted 4.7-litre overhead-valve V8 (actually of American design, but fettled by Albury) developing 276 bhp - a lot in such a light car, and enough to propel the SVM Classic to over 150 mph.

While it was reliable and agile, the SVM was quickly outpaced by more powerful cars with bigger engines a few years after launch. However, it would not be the only car in the Harris range to use an Albury V8…

The first Chieftain was introduced in 1965, also initially using the same Albury V8 as the SVM (although in 1968, a 5.7-litre version replaced the original 4.7-litre). However, the Chieftain was a four-seat, front-engined, luxury grand tourer; an ideal vehicle for well-heeled customers who wanted the pace of an SVM but in a more practical and comfortable package. Sales worldwide were brisk, prompting the company to unleash its most extreme car yet shortly afterwards…


By 1969, Harris decided to enter the World Sportscar Championship, with a view to winning Le Mans outright. Their entry, the SA12, was powered by an in-house V12 developing 400 bhp in road trim, and in fact 50 road cars were produced to satisfy homologation. While it never won Le Mans, it notched up a few victories in other races worldwide. The problem was that rivals were ever so slightly faster and/or more reliable, and this forced the axing of the prototype program after 1971.

Meanwhile, the Nuthatch received fuel-injected versions of both engines in 1968 as an option; throttle response was improved considerably, although outputs were only slightly increased. However, just a half-decade later, the oil crisis would force a massive shift in priorities… and an unexpected spurt of diversification.

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Damn, this is a solid company. I like where this is going.

1974: Oil Crisis Forces Harris’ Hand

When the oil crisis struck in the fall of 1973 (the 20th anniversary of the introduction of its first car, the Provost), Harris Cars was hit hard; rising fuel costs, combined with concerns over emissions and safety, made its entire range much less attractive to its clientele. Fortunately, the profits it had earned over the past two decades made it easier for the company to gear up for mass production. The introduction of regular unleaded fuel across the board in Fruinia, however, forced it to implement catalytic converters across its new range. Realizing that the reduced octane number and catalyzed exhaust system would lead to a loss of power, they turned to their other key strength - dynamics.

The first product of this mass-market venture was the Scout, a competitor to the Ford Escort. The base model had a detuned 80hp version of the long-serving 1.6-liter four, but the trim shown here is the 1.8, powered by a new 1.8-litre DOHC straight-four revving to 6800 rpm and producing 110 bhp - on regular fuel and with a catalytic converter attached! Combined with double wishbones and disc brakes at each corner, it made for an entertaining drive, particularly with a dry weight less than a metric ton. A surprisingly high level of reliability and build quality sweetened the deal even further. Unsurprisingly, the Scout was widely campaigned in circuit and rally racing across the world, which boosted sales to unprecedented levels, especially in Fruinia.



At the other end of the lineup, the SVM-II was launched that same year. The first redesign of the firm’s mid-engined V8-powered sports car used a revised version of its predecessor’s platform but with alloy panels for improved safety. However, after the contract with Albury Motors expired, the SVM-II received an in-house, fuel-injected and catalyzed 4.2-liter DOHC crossplane V8 developing 243 bhp on regular fuel - good for 0-60 in exactly 5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph, and more than enough for performance-starved American buyers. Vented disc brakes became optional in 1975 and standard in 1977, although they could be retrofitted to earlier examples. Most significantly of all, though, the SVM had gone from being a lithe, curvaceous creature to a wild, wedge-shaped beast, festooned with large front and rear spoilers and available in a wide variety of colors, most of them very bright, such as the Tangerine Dream seen here.

It was a smart move to gear up for mass-production, but the Scout would not be the only beneficiary of this new, more profitable philosophy…

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How do you manage to build such good cars so cheap? I actually don’t get it. Good drivability, practicality, reliability and 900kg? WTFWTFWTFWTFWTF

The most powerful engine offered in the Scout, the AA180, had dual overhead cams, but I managed to keep the reliability above 50 by investing a few tech points (but not too many - the Scout is a mass-market car) in the top and bottom ends, as well as the fuel system. And in 1974, double-wishbone suspension at each corner is the only way to maximize drivability and sportiness scores. I explicitly stated it in the description.

For comparison, the contemporary Ford Escort RS1600 had a dual-carb 1.6-liter four which didn’t rev as high and only developed just 10 bhp more; despite being lighter, its strut front and leaf-sprung live-axle rear made it more of a handful in the corners compared to the Scout, which was in fact almost as fast in a straight line.

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Smart fella, you are. I have no idea how these car companies work.

1975-76 - New Models, New Priorities

With the Chieftain long overdue for a redesign, Harris’ skunk works of engineers went back to the drawing board, reimagining their grand tourer as a smaller and lighter coupe powered by a detuned version of their new all-alloy V8. Mass production was now a priority, so the Chieftain II was the first car in their long history with all-steel construction. In addition, it had a fully clad flat floor, and vented discs as standard - both of which would soon be applied to the rest of the range within a few years. As with the SVM-II, its angular styling and wild aero kit made it utterly unmissable on the road, particularly with new four-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels which would also become an option on its mid-engined sibling.

Performance was brisk and dynamics were exemplary, but more importantly the new Chieftain used the same platform as their new mid-size sedan, the Redoubtable, which went on to become a best-seller in its class worldwide, although the platform had to be extended to accommodate an extra pair of doors. The V8-powered version of that car was heavier and slower than the Chieftain due to the extra weight, but still managed excellent performance for the class. Lesser trims got a 2.4-liter straight-six in one of two states of tune. The V8 model is shown here.

In addition, the following year saw the introduction of the Conqueror, the firm’s flagship luxury sedan, built on an extended version of the platform used by the Chieftain and Redoubtable.

In addition, an updated version of the Harris Twelve (as it became commonly known) was offered in the Chieftain and Conqueror, developing 300 and 280 bhp respectively - again, on unleaded fuel and with a catalytic converter. Most significantly, all Chieftains so equipped were two-seaters with a lightweight interior and with the large rear wing fitted as standard.

While not as commercially successful as their lesser brethren due to their increased purchase price and immense thirst, this rarity makes them even more desirable for today’s collectors. However, this expansion could only take the company so far, and in 1980, they decided to prepare for the electronic revolution. This involved developing a multi-point EFI system for all their engines. Other mechanical upgrades, such as a three-way catalytic converter and limited-slip diffs, were also in the planning stages at the time. It would not be long before these were applied to existing models, but their bodies would also have to be redesigned as well. The company was about to enter a renaissance…

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The 80s: Harris Enters the Renaissance

Sorry for the double post, but I feel compelled to do so since there have not been any replies from other users. However, I want to keep this thread alive until it reaches the present day, and will now be updating each new post over time to accommodate subsequent developments until I am absolutely sure that the post is complete.

Anyway, by 1982, Harris Cars Ltd. was at a crossroads. The advent of multi-point electronic fuel injection and mechanical limited-slip differentials was a godsend to the company; their products now had more power and could make better use of it than ever, while also using less fuel in the process. In addition, over the next few years, their whole range would be redesigned with completely new bodies.

The Redoubtable was the first model to benefit from this strategy; it was available as a coupe, estate or saloon, with either a 2.4-litre straigh-six or a 4.2-litre V8. Shown here is a 4.2 Coupe in Onyx Black.

The SVM now had a more obviously wedge-shaped front end and a notchback rear. In addition, a version with a twin-turbo V6, the RMA, was offered alongside the SVM and produced in limited quantities to satisfy Group B homologation for rally and circuit racing. The RMA went out of production in 1986 after Group B was axed, but the SVM III continued to be made until 1993, such was its reputation for dynamic excellence.

A 30th Anniversary package, in which the body, interior and wheels were all painted Onyx Black, was offered across the entire range in 1983 - the 30th anniversary of the firm’s founding.

Just a few years later, the Chieftain was totally redesigned, and made available with V12 power for the first time. By now a high-flow catalytic converter was added to the desirable Performance Pack option for both the V8 and V12, which included a high-flow intake and exhaust as well as individual throttle bodies for each cylinder, among other tweaks. The V12 version also had a luxury interior and four adult-sized seats - a first for the Chieftain. Both trims are shown here.

In the same year, the Conqueror was also redesigned, and repositioned as a sports-luxury executive car. Again, the Performance Pack was optional for both engines.

However, during the 1984 model year (although it first went on sale in the third quarter of 1983), yet another performance model had been introduced: the ST36 Turbo. Powered by a twin-turbo 3.6-litre flat-crank V8, this mid-engined masterpiece rode on an extended version of the platform which underpinned the RMA and SVM. Distinctive styling and staggering performance (for the era) meant that it proved popular among wealthy enthusiasts over its five-year lifespan.

In short, the redesigns brought back the boom times for the Harris brand, and the timing could not have been better: with prestige cars in high demand throughout most markets during this era, Harris Cars Ltd. enjoyed a spell of unprecedented profitability. Even so, the best was yet to come…

The 90s: A Second Golden Age

Sorry for the triple consecutive post, but I just want to carry on finishing this thread as soon as possible so that I can move on to other things within this forum.

The 40th anniversary of Harris Cars Ltd. was marked by a total redesign for what they now called the Sports Series, a range of high-performance cars designed to take on the best that other manufacturers had to offer. Central to this plan was a new range of engines which incorporated VVL (variable valve lift) for extra flexibility. Although these cars were launched as 1994 models, they all went on sale late in the second quarter of 1993.

Before this round of revamps, however, some models which had been introduced a few years earlier had also been updated. Most significantly of all, though, the more affordable models benefited most from these revamps, all the more so because Kurt Harris passed away in 1988 of natural causes. However, by then he had signed off on a redesigned Scout, as well as a spiritual successor to the Provost and Nuthatch, although it would be some time before these new cars reached their full potential…

Originally, the Scout II (still rear-drive to save weight) had a relatively nondescript appearance, which only gained real presence in the flagship 2.4T (a Group A homologation special for the World Touring Car Championship - Harris was no longer interested in rallying), whose wider rear arches and distinctive aero kit set it apart from lesser models.

However, the facelifted version introduced in 1992 introduced variable valve timing and traction control as standard equipment, as well as 17-inch forged magnesium wheels. More significantly, it had a more modern front end and a wilder aero kit, making it even more distinguishable.

Lesser engines were available throughout the 10-year lifespan of this, the second - and last - generation of the Scout, but the 2.4T, particularly in later Plus trim, grabbed most of the headlines for its performance and how it was delivered (less lag, flatter torque curve).

The CMC, on the other hand, finally replaced the Nuthatch after a 13-year absence, and was exclusively available with a straight-six engine displacing either 2.0 or 2.4 litres. As the entry-level performance car in the range it served its purpose well initially.

The 2.4 had a different wheel design and had an aero kit as standard (on the 2.0 it was optional, although said option was commonly specified).

However, on the post-facelift CMC (distinguished by its more expressive front fascia), the 2.4-litre engine was standard, and now developed nearly 200 bhp thanks to variable valve timing.

The 40th anniversary of the brand’s founding was marked by a total revamp of the Sports Series, now classified into four categories (GT, Sports, Super and Hyper). After being positioned in the GT class, the Chieftain was now powered exclusively by a 5.0-liter V8 incorporating VVT and VVL.

A more highly tuned version of this engine was used in the redesigned SVM, which had moved up into the Sports class and was now available as either a coupe or convertible for the first time (the former is shown here)

Meanwhile, in the Super class, the CS60 had become a standalone model. Originally, it was to retain the CS50 moniker, which was indeed applied to the prototype shown at the 1992 Paris Motor Show:

However, the production car which emerged soon after used a new six-litre V12 with VVT and VVL which did not rev as high, but had superior economy:

Finally, the Harris SP12 replaced the ST36 in the Hyper class and utilized a more powerful version of the CS60’s V12:

The new range was lauded by critics and buyers across the world, and combined with the upcoming revamp of the rest of its range, gave the whole brand a new lease on life. However, by 1995, every car in the lineup had a close-ratio six-speed manual as an option, and after 1997 it became standard throughout the entire Sports Series. And yet, for their golden age to continue, Harris was forced to redesign the Redoubtable and Conqueror as well, yet it did not take long for them to be declared world-beaters after launch…

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I think multiple posts are ok in company threads (when you are the creator of the thread), as these allow to have a more cleaner look for the thread :slight_smile:

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The 90s, Part 2: Harris Does Business Down Under

After the overwhelming success of the Sports Series and heavy updates to lesser models, Harris turned its attention to the Redoubtable and Conqueror, the four-door cars that once helped it survive the dark days of the oil crisis. By then, the company was wholly independent - a group of American investors purchased the brand in 1979, guaranteeing it financial stability over the next decade, only to sell it off to Ian Harris (the founder’s son) in 1992, although under their stewardship, the company was much more profitable than ever before. To continue this run of success, however, he had to improve the reliability of the engines his company was making (particularly those with VVL, which was in its infancy at the time), and the only way to do that was to resurrect their relationship with the long-running Australian volume manufacturer, Albury Motors. Also, in addition to developing what his firm called Scalable Vehicle Architecture (SVA), he undertook a redesign of the CMC and replaced the aging Scout II with a front-drive hatch, the Sparrow. These were interesting times indeed…

The CMC II, introduced in 1998, was now underpinned by an AHS steel chassis for greater rigidity. Also, a totally new body, now available as a coupe or convertible, gave the car a much fresher appearance, in keeping with upcoming car design trends. The biggest changes were under the bonnet; the entry-level model had a 1.5-liter straight-four shared with the Sparrow, while in 1999, a 2.0-liter straight-six became available. The latter engine had actually been developed for the Super Touring category of circuit racing, but when the British Touring Car Championship (and eventually, the formula itself) began to implode, any unused engines were developed into roadgoing versions, and they found a home in the CMC II.

I actually entered this variant in the first round of @CamKerman’s Realism Challenge, in which the objective was to build an affordable sub-150bhp, normally aspirated, entry-level first car with at most 6 cylinders. It only finished midpack overall, but in the small roadster class it was second only to @koolkei’s Komodo 5-XM, an MX-5 ripoff (and the winner of that round). It was an exhilarating drive, even with the modest output it had, but its stratospheric redline of 8500 RPM was eye-watering in the day, and much more unusual now - most mass-market cars rely mainly on 2-liter turbo fours that not only tend to sound and feel alike, but also reach the redline much sooner.

The 2.0 version, introduced in 1999, turned out to be a different beast entirely…

Its detuned Super Touring engine developed well over 220 bhp and revved to an insane 9000 RPM - more than anything else the company had made so far.

The engine wasn’t the only notable difference; a lighter sports interior, combined with 18-inch forged magnesium wheels, negated the larger engine’s extra weight somewhat. The 2.0 coupe was actually lighter than the 1.5 convertible - and stiffer to boot!

Performance was also considerably improved over the base model as well. In fact, it managed a lap time of 1:25.79 around the Airfield Track - and with so little weight, rapid acceleration (0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds plus a quarter-mile time of 14.1 seconds) and razor-sharp cornering (1 g on a 250-m skidpad) were guaranteed. In fact, the basic design of the new CMC was so inherently right that the only mechanical changes were the introduction of direct-injected versions of the existing engines a few years after launch; unsurprisingly, the CMC was sorely missed when it was axed without replacement in 2008.

The Scout’s replacement, the front-drive Sparrow, also used the same 1.5-liter straight-four shared with the entry-level CMC II, although in the Sparrow, it was available in three different states of tune, including the hot 150bhp version found in the CMC II. It was, however, still a five-seater, just like its predecessor. This vehicle was now the entry-level car in the entire Harris lineup, although it would be upsized to the C-segment after it was replaced. As for the original Sparrow, it had a strut front and multilink rear - a configuration used in every subsequent Sparrow since, and one which gave the Sparrow a dynamic advantage over its contemporary rivals.

With class-leading dynamics and a decent amount of kit for its low cost, the Sparrow helped entice a new breed of younger buyers (with tighter budgets) into the brand. Ian Harris had certainly not forgotten about the upmarket premium segments, though…

The Redoubtable III was launched in 1995 on a new platform and with a curvier look in keeping with the style of the era. Shown here is a 5.0 model, distinguished by its 18-inch staggered-fitment wheels (other trims had 17-inch wheels of equal diameter) and aero kit. A six-speed manual was standard across the range, although any model other than the 5.0 had a five-speed automatic transmission as an option.

As Harris’ latest entry in the premium segment, the Redoubtable was revitalized by this redesign and was a strong seller worldwide. However, the Conqueror, now a full-size luxury car, would also receive the same treatment, and unlike the Redoubtable, was available with a V12, while the V8 served as the base engine. Transmission choices were identical to those for the Redoubtable (except for the 5-speed automatic gearbox being optional with both engines), but the Conqueror was distinguished further by an even longer wheelbase (atop which sat a larger body) and more standard equipment. The basic design for both cars was so inherently right, in fact, that mid-life updates were now less of a necessity, although stability control was made standard on each model in 1997, as was the case with the rest of the lineup.

The 5.0 was great, but the 6.0 was mind-blowing, with extra standard equipment to go with its bigger engine. The latter was outwardly similar to the base model except for wider wheel arches, thus enhancing its stealth factor.

In fact, the redesigned saloons would become so commercially and critically successful that Ian Harris’ plan to be the world leader among volume premium brands in terms of dynamics, build quality and reliability would pay off much sooner than anticipated. But with VVT/L (a standard mechanism on all new Harris engines since 1994) in its infancy, he sought to refine the technology, and established a technical partnership with Albury Motors in October 1997. Two years later, he bought a 50% stake in the company, and announced that while he would send some of his engineers to improve the fuel economy and performance of Albury’s lineup, he would also hire some of Albury’s top staff to increase the reliability and build quality of his own vehicles. The move was controversial, but one thing was certain: both companies were now about to push each other to greater heights…

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hey hey hey. no pointing fingers :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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You said it your self (miata is always the answer (well a miata knock off anyway))

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The 2000s: Harris-Albury Embraces the Future

After Harris Cars Ltd. bought a 50% stake in Albury Motors, creating Harris-Albury Motor Manufacturing International, things were looking up for both companies, but both of them would rather develop and build better cars compared to resting on their laurels. For Harris, this meant updating its existing engines with direct injection and, later on, using aluminum/silicon alloys in their block and heads (although a new 5-liter V8 engine with different dimensions and a magnesium block would be introduced much later), as well as reintroducing the famed RMA and redesigning its existing cars, especially the Sports Series. The improvements in reliability and build quality stemming from the partnership would soon bear fruit…

The V12 models in the Sports Series were the first cars in the range to be redesigned or at least revised. The CS60 Series II, introduced for the 2001 model year, now had all-alloy construction and active aero, as well as an electronically-controlled LSD and a direct-injected engine. Combined with extra standard equipment (including satnav from 2006 onwards) this torpedo-shaped road rocket was one of the best grand tourers of the decade, and a high-tech counterpoint to the Albury Crusader.

The SP12 was also updated for 2001, incorporating most of the mechanicals of the CS60 but with a more aggressive cam profile for the engine, which now had CNC-milled bottom-end components for reduced weight and increased durability. Its more aggressive appearance made it the dream of young would-be enthusiasts everywhere around the world.

As for the regular passenger cars in its range, Harris-Albury decided to make use of a common scalable platform for most of their models. By mid-decade, the Harris range was about to be transformed…

The impetus for this makeover was the redesign of the V8 Sports Series models in 2006. The SVM now had a more curvaceous, dynamic appearance and made over 500 bhp. With an electronic diff as standard, the cash cow of the Sports Series became more relevant once again.

A detuned version of the SVM’s engine (which now had an aluminum-silicon block and heads) was used in the 2006 Chieftain MkV, which had grown in size and weight to comply with new safety regulations, but drove like a much lighter car. Ironically, despite finishing joint last overall in stage 2 of the BFMCC, it was still the highest-placed premium muscle car in the first part of the challenge. Nevertheless, it was a strong seller in its class, but shortly after launch, Ian Harris quickly recognized the car’s key failing - a lack of power for its price (not helped by having the same active aero and electronic LSD as the rest of the sports series) - and commenced development of a V12 variant, to be introduced in 2010. That vehicle would not feel as frenetic as the CS60, though.

Also in 2006, the Conqueror was redesigned with a more dynamic shape. Initially, this flagship luxury sedan was only available with a 5-litre V8, but a 6-litre V12 would be added to the options list in 2010. The new flagship was hailed by critics as “a textbook example of how to blend sports and luxury”. Its six-speed manual transmission was shared with the Sports Series, although on this vehicle and the Redoubtable, automatic transmission was optional.

The Redoubtable would also be redesigned in 2006, on a platform shared with the contemporary Albury Centurion. However, it needed to be differentiated sufficiently from the Centurion to justify itself in the marketplace… and on top of that, the more affordable cars in the range were approaching the end of their lifespan, prompting a redesign of the Sparrow. In addition, Ian Harris resurrected the RMA in 2000, with a normally aspirated V6, but would it succeed in the marketplace even though it was positioned between the CMC and Chieftain? And would the proposed high-performance flagship version of the Sparrow also come to fruition? These questions did not take long to be answered.

The V6 version of the original Sparrow, introduced in 2000, took the hot hatch to new heights. Wider tires, an exhaust pipe on each side and wider fenders (to accommodate larger wheels and tires) let everyone know that this was no ordinary hatchback. Even with its AWD system, the 2.4 RS AWD was still quite light, and this lack of weight, combined with its incredibly well-sorted drivetrain and suspension tune, made it a legitimate giant-killer against cars from the class above.

However, without the RMA II in the Harris lineup, this ultimate Sparrow variant would not have been built; the two shared the same engine. The reborn RMA was, however, much lighter and purely rear-wheel drive.

A more powerful Plus version of the RMA was also available, powered by a more highly tuned version of the 2.4-litre V6. This variant required 95RON premium unleaded, whereas the base V6 required 91RON regular unleaded, but it was worth the extra cost since the increased output made an already quick car even faster still. Yet Ian Harris continued to look beyond his firm’s production cars for new ideas. One of them resulted in the SCR4 Turbo, a radically redesigned SVM fitted with a 4-litre flat-crank twin-turbo V8 from a customer sports-racing program and an experimental torque-vectoring AWD system.

Despite composite panels it was heavier and thirstier than the donor car, but on the other hand, it was much quicker and had even more grip. Yet the increased cost meant that only 30 examples were built, of which 25 were converted from existing SVM examples. The other 5 were built from the ground up to this specification. Ian Harris was in fact right to continue to retain the NA/RWD combination for the current SVM, which remained a best-seller in its class.

The redesigned Redoubtable also used the more powerful updated cross-plane Harris V8, but broke tradition by being a four-door coupe. As the platform-mate of the Albury Centurion, it was a real corner-carver, even though it was even heavier. A long list of standard equipment also helped its cause in the high-performance executive sector.

As part of the redesign of most of its range, Ian Harris also greenlit a new-generation Sparrow and a redesigned RMA; the former would still be front-drive but would retain the all-independent configuration of its predecessor. But would either of these live up to his expectations? The public would soon find out… and they weren’t disappointed by what they saw, not by a long shot.

The new Sparrow, introduced for the 2007 model year, was upsized into a C-segment hatchback, and was now exclusively offered as a four-cylinder front-drive vehicle, but advances in suspension technology negated the need for an AWD system - for the time being at least. Although other, less powerful engines were available, the flagship 2.0T was the star of the lineup, with 240 bhp and surprisingly good economy for a car of this kind.

Striking design and a high level of standard equipment, combined with great safety ratings, ensured that the Sparrow remained a popular choice among buyers on a budget, ensuring that Harris-Albury would remain profitable well into the next decade.

The third and last generation of the RMA was released in 2005; this, too, was a strong seller, no doubt thanks to its sensuous new body and improved dynamics.

As the first RMA with a direct-injected engine, throttle response was considerably improved along with power and torque outputs, allowing it to out-point other similar cars with ease.

The more powerful S version had even more power from its small V6 and an extended redline (9000 vs 8000 rpm) compared to the base model.

Although no immediate replacement for it or the front-engined CMC was planned when production of both cars ended in 2009, the RMA proved that Harris-Albury could create light, affordable and reliable performance cars for anyone to enjoy. One additional footnote is that the original plan for the RMA III was to swap the high-revving V6 for a small turbocharged straight-four displacing no more than 1000cc. However, Ian Harris overruled the beancounters (which were responsible for this radical rethink of the model) and retained the existing six-cylinder engine. Meanwhile, Albury Motors bought the original design (codenamed CMS-16) and reworked it to accommodate a high-revving 1.6-litre straight-four, essentially creating a cheaper alternative to the RMA; the resulting car was released in 2007 and remained on sale until 2013, when production ended. As for Harris Cars Ltd., they were able to weather the storm of the Great Recession at the end of the decade, but recovery would necessitate a redesign of much of its range.

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Although this thread will be retained, and I have a few more Harris-Albury models from the current decade, I will wait until the UE4 switch to showcase further new models.

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With all these new balancing changes coming our way I’m thinking the same, but I’m kinda weary that we’ll loose some mods after the change :confused:

It would just be up to the modders to edit them for whatever changes are made in the new version. There are unfortunately some non-active modders anymore with cars that are pink (like the Vivaro body), and unless they come back and edit the mod, then any user will have to edit it or maybe someone could try to get permission to upload a fixed variant with credit.

In order to ‘fix’ the mods for UE you’ll need the source max files. If the authors are no longer active then we are likely to lose those mods as I don’t believe there’s a way to reverse engineer them from the KJC files.

Hopefully any author, not willing to amend their mods, would be still an occasional visitor to the forums and would be willing to post the max files for others to do so once the new process is published.