IP Automotive LTD. (1997-02 Turnpike Star)

Well, you should thank Hshan, haha, I just did some corrections.

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I’m just pestering people for interesting info :stuck_out_tongue:

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1979-82 IP PANDORA

The second generation Pandora was introduced in 1979. Like its predecessor, it was a sporty coupé utilizing parts from the Commuter and Warbler models.

However, the reception was a bit lukewarm. The styling, if modern, was hardly exciting for a car in this class. About as unexciting was its driving dynamics, at least in its lesser models.

The main gripe the motoring press had, however, was the new 4Z engine. That might sound strange, considering that it had a good reputation in vans and light trucks for 30 years, but its coarseness, weight, unwillingness to rev, and in this early iteration, fuel thirst, meant that it was seen as kind of a disappointment in a car that was supposed to be sporty. That might have contributed to the 4Z being replaced by the 4AC already in the third generation Pandora.

There was a Pandora for every taste, however. It now had a 2 door notchback version added, complementing the 3 door liftback, and it was available in a bunch of different trim levels.

The base model was the stripper 1800 S, complemented by the more luxurious 1800 DX. If you wanted a little bit more power, there was a 2000 DX (shown). In the 2000 GTX, fuel injection was added, as well as some other goodies like alloy wheels and a sunroof. For even more power, there was the 1800 GTT, featuring a turbocharged version of the 1.8 litre engine. The top of the line model was the 2400 GT/HR with a 2.4 litre turbocharged engine, built in a small series for homologation purpouses.

Oddly enough, a 5 speed manual was standard even in the bare bones"S" model. In the 1800 DX and 2000 DX, a 3 speed auto could be had as an option.

Technically, it was very conventional. Longitudinal engine, rear wheel drive, Mc Pherson strut suspension up front with a recirculating ball steering box. The rear suspension was lifted from the Warbler, and was a coil sprung solid axle. The GTX, GTT and of course also GT/HR model featured rear disc brakes, while the S and DX only featured discs up front.

The second generation Pandora was produced until the 1982 model year.


I like the metallicness of this car. It’s a direct hit to the golden apple of the 80’s era. Probably exactly how the Boomers was seen the perfect sports car. And it is not completely clear what could be hide this chest.
I like autos with sharp corners and smooth slopes. Exactly theys looks cool. However, here is an overkill of coolness that distance it far away from the 2013 Ford Shelby as one of my favorite vehicles. It seems to me what it is a peak of body brutality and whole all build in general, that was most likely drawned from an American Hawk.
You can only suspect how powerful Pandora is, but I am sure it is more than enough.

The styling might be inexciting, but I somehow like its simplicity, the pure form. With more modern bumpers it could really look quite pleasant.

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1967-71 ICARUS

The second generation Icarus was introduced for the 1967 model year. Due to the arrival of the Celestia, and later even the Vagant, this generation was moved a step upmarket compared to its predecessor.

Two examples of what was done to move it upmarket: the solid rear axle was changed out for a semi trailing arm unit, and for the first time it could be had with a six cylinder engine.

But there really still was an Icarus for every taste. If the 2.2 litre six cylinder engine wasn’t your thing, it could as well be optioned with a 2 litre inline 4, or a 2 litre diesel inline 4. As a gearbox, you could choose between a 3 speed auto, 3 speed manual or 4 speed manual, with column or floor shifter.

The bodystyles available was, just like for its predecessor, a 4 door sedan, 5 door station wagon, or 3 door panel van. The body changed from a dated design with tailfins, to the fashionable coke bottle style design. Aiming heavily at export markets like the US was reflected in the styling - including the optional faux wood trim on the wagon.

The stripper “S” model was available in all bodystyles, with a gasoline or diesel 4 cylinder. The somewhat more luxurious DX could be had as a station wagon or sedan, and with all the engines. The GLX was yet a step above the DX, and the VIP added more or less any equipment you could think of back in the day, making it a full blown luxury car. The GLX and VIP only could be had with the sedan body, and only with six cylinder engines.

Another option was the choice between bench or bucket seats up front - except for in the VIP, that always had an interior with four bucket seats (not available in the other models that always had a rear bench).

The station wagon also could be optioned with two jump seats in the back, effectively making it available in four seating configurations, from 5 to 8 seats.

The front suspension was more or less identical to its predecessor, using Mc Pherson struts, and a recirculating ball steering box. However, power steering was now available, optional on the DX and GLX, standard on the VIP.

The S and DX featured vinyl upholstery, the GLX cloth (leather optional), while leather was standard in the VIP.

It was still some years away until the Icarus was positioned clearly as a luxury car, though - it was a roomy family car that could fill a broad range of needs in this second iteration.

The second generation Icarus was produced until the 1971 model year.


The google sheets timeline idea is so much better than the ad-hoc note taking I have been doing so far.

Otherwise, just gotta say the interiors are absolutely fabulous around here.


Proceedings did not passed in vain - now you have an excellent attractive automobile in your collection, which is good from all sides.


1987-91 COLIBRI

The fourth generation of the IP Colibri was introduced in 1987. It followed the exact same formula as its predecessors, a small, front wheel drive runabout. It was available as a 3- or 5 door hatchback, as well as a 4 door sedan.

By now, it shared lots of parts with the IP Commuter, that went front wheel drive in its fifth generation. It had even grown a bit close in size, making many people question if both of the models actually had to co-exist. However, a little bit like the relation between the Lily and Warbler, or the Vagant and Celestia, the Colibri was a bit smaller, a bit more youthful and “sporty” than the Commuter.

Most “Youthful” of them all was the hot hatch version, the GTT. Sharing its 1.8 litre, 136 hp turbo engine with the Pandora GTT, it was not the quickest on the market, but still delivered lots of fun for reasonable money.

Of course, it could be had with a variety of other engines, from 1 litre up to 1.6 litres, as well as an 1.7 litre diesel. There also was a range of equipment levels available, the sparsely equipped “S”, somewhat more luxurious “SX”, even more well equipped “DX”, or the sporty “GT” that had some (not all) of the cosmetics from the GTT, but really was just an appearance package, since it could be had with any engine except the 1.8 litre turbo.

The main difference from its predecessor was a more modern, aerodynamic, sleek shape, replacing the more dated, squared off lines. Technically, though, it relied heavy on its predecessor.

That was not the worst base to build on, though. For example it featured a rather advanced independent rear suspension compared to most of its competitors, being on torsion beams.

On the inside, you quickly recognized the GTT by the leather wrapped, 3-spoke, GTT-badged steering wheel, and the leather/velour “sporty” bucket seats. Other than that it was mostly a Colibri as they always had been on the inside. Not exciting, but functional and practical.

On the outside, a hood scoop and alloy wheels was where you could notice it. The bodykit was another hint, but that was shared with the GT.

The GTT could only be had with a 5 speed manual, however, some of the lesser models had a 4 speed manual as standard, and a 3 speed automatic could be optioned in everything but the GTT.

The fourth generation Colibri was produced until 1991.


2009-2019 IP RUBIQ

For its third, and this far also last, generation, the Rubiq switched from its softroader origins to a more mini-MPV like approach, since IP felt that the segment was starting to get crowded in their lineup.

Styling cues left no doubt that it was still a Rubiq, yet it recieved some criticism from people that felt that some of the charm of the original now was lost.

Nonetheless, the image of a rugged, boxy, practical car did stay. It was available with three gasoline engines (1.5, 1.6 and 1.8 litres) as well as a 1.5 litre diesel. Transmissions available were either a 5- or 6-speed manual, or a CVT.

Chassis technology could be seen as more or less standard for a modern car in this class. Strut suspension up front, torsion beam in the rear, and of course front wheel drive with a transverse engine.

Despite the change in bodystyle, IP tried to keep some of the things that identified the original Rubiqs, like the split tailgate, triangular side indicators, C-pillar vents, ribbed body panels and canvas roof. Some special editions were made, like this 2019 “Final edition”.

On the inside, the new Rubiq became much more “mainstream”, though, which was another thing that was not well recieved by all its buyers.

After a 10 year lifespan, the Rubiq was discontinued in 2019 with no direct successor.



In 1978, IP released a smaller van than the already existing Highway Star model. Being aimed at a market needing more nimble and maybe a little less utilitarian vans, it was based on an unibody structure and had a coil sprung rear axle, while the Highway Star used a BOF design with a leaf sprung rear axle.

Other than that, the same concept was just scaled down. A forward control design with rear wheel drive and the engine under the front seats.

The engine was the 4A series, originally introduced in the Commuter in the 60s, an alloy head, cast iron block inline 4, with pushrod valvetrain. 1.2, 1.4 and 1.5 litre variants were used. Later, the 2 litre 4DL diesel inline four was added as an alternative. Gearboxes used was a 4 speed manual or 3 speed auto, in both cases column shifted.

Both panel- and passenger van versions were available, as well as different trim levels (“S”, “SX” and “DX”).

Not even the DX was an epitome of luxury, but at least it had features like side trim, halogen headlights, high back bucket seats, radio and cigar lighter.

The interior was in all cases simplistic - but functional.

The Freeway Star in its first iteration was produced until 1988, when a much improved and more modern second generation was introduced.



The Celestia got a rather big refresh for the 1989 model year. Like earlier models, it could be had as a 4 door sedan (in this case, a faux hardtop) or 2 door coupé. But with a larger emphasis put on sportiness compared to earlier models, the station wagon version now was gone.

The streamlined shape was a bit avantgardistic, both for its era and considering the fact that the car was an IP, a brand that generally had been stuck in making rather boxy designs when many competitors were going for more of a jellybean styling.

Handling was improved, now eliminating the front struts that had been used since the model first appeared, for a more advanced double wishbone suspension. However, a multilink rear suspension had to wait until the next generation. This 7th generation model still used semi trailing arms.

Also gone, was the option of a diesel engine. The base model DX used an 1.8 litre inline 4, but the rest of the range used inline 6 cylinders. In N/A versions, you got a 2 litre in the GLX and a 2.5 litre in the GTX. Turbo versions was a 2 litre in the GTT (model shown here) and a 2.6 litre in the GTT-4. The GTT-4, however, differed a lot from the rest of the versions, was only available as a coupé, and produced in relatively limited numbers. Unlike the other models that were RWD only, the GTT-4 featured AWD.

The regular GTT was about as sporty as it got for most customers. It could be identified by its front and rear spoilers and its 16" alloy wheels.

On the inside, the GTT featured leather/alcantara sports seats, leather shift knob and boot, and a leather wrapped sports steering wheel. Like the other models, a 5 speed manual was standard equipment, but unlike the GTT-4, the regular GTT could (just like the lesser models) also be had with a 4 speed auto.

The GTT also featured the limited slip rear differential from the GTT-4, as well as the adaptive damping, so other than the more powerful 2.6 litre engine and the AWD system, not much was missing.

Even if it somewhat sacrificed function for form, the sedan was useful, if not the most comfortable, as a 5 seater, unlike the coupés that were strictly 4 seaters.

The 7th generation was produced until the 1992 model year. It’s successor was more or less a refinement of the same concept, but with an updated multilink rear suspension that further enhanced its handling and sportiness.


The post loaded… Oh hey, 406 :smiley: Of course, that’s only the front fascia, and it resembles the coupe more than the sedan/wagon. Overall a really nice design, I especially like that thin crease on the side and near-black taillights.

Yeah, it ended up as a 406 ripoff up front, but well, body was more or less begging for those fixtures, I didn’t even realize that I had built a 406 until I was finished with the front end, but I liked it so it did stay. And the 406 is a good looking car, after all.

I love the way it looks like a 4dr coupe almost

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Even if IP have always offered passenger versions of their more cargo oriented vans, they were also relatively early to jump on the MPV train with the smaller Boulevard star in the 80s. However, in the 90s it became quite clear that a larger MPV was also needed, for especially the US market, and hence, the larger Turnpike Star was born.

The first generation, however, was still unusually utilitarian engineering wise for a MPV, using a longitudinally mounted engine, rear wheel drive and a coil sprung solid rear axle.

When it came to the drivetrain, not too many choices were offered - a 3.5 litre V6 and a 4 speed computer controlled automatic was what you had to stick to.

There was some more choices equipment wise, though. Already the entry level “DX”, however, was relatively well equipped, with the Turnpike Star being positioned as a more “luxurious” MPV, the “GLX” offered things like alloy wheels and a half leather interior, while the “VIP” had more or less all the equipment you could think of.

Seven- or eight seat configurations were available (VIP only as a seven seater), depending on if you did choose a middle bench seat or captains chairs.

The first generation Turnpike star was produced until the 2001 model year, for 2002 the more refined second generation took over.