Stuart Motor Group

1942 - The Stuart Motor Group was originally founded as Stuart Motor Parts (S.M.P.) in Melbourne, Australia in 1942. The companies original operation was set up for the importation and wholesaling of military vehicle components to supply the Australian and U.S. armed forces operating in the Pacific during the latter part of WWII.

1943 - It wasn’t long at all before the company started to have difficulty getting access to parts and had to find a way to adapt. Luckily, raw material supply in Australia was improving drastically at the same time so Stuart Motor Parts invested in a number of milling machines and installed a casting facility and began making their own parts under licence.

1945 - With the outbreak of peace the demand for components for military vehicle components plummeted. Strangely, this wasn’t something S.M.P. had planned for and it almost bankrupted the company until in late 1945 two of the companies suppliers (one supplier of raw material and one supplier of machinery) each purchased a 25% share in the company, injecting some much needed funds and giving S.M.P. a second wind. Management set about turning the company into a low turnover, high margin manufacturing facility, leaving the automotive industry for a short while and focussing on building specialized components for other local industries.

1948 - In 1948, after almost 3 years absence from the automotive parts industry, management at S.M.P. began running an advertisement across Australian news papers warning readers to “Expect something big from Stuart”. This was one of the first time such a cryptic advertisement campaign had been used in Australia and it had everyone talking about what it could mean. Remembering that at this point Stuart was not a well known company and most that did know of it knew it as S.M.P.

1949 - In early 1949 S.M.P. officially changed their name to “Stuart” and less than a month later released the “Omen”, an in house designed car with obvious Morris style influences. See below for details on the original Omen. The Omen was not initially a success however it was profitable, a fact that encouraged Stuart management to continue pushing towards their goal of becoming a new, world class car manufacturer.

1951 - Stuart released the “Beta”, a down engined “Omen” with a cheaper interior and narrower tyres. The aim was to try to move into the large market for small, cheap cars like the Morris Minor and the VW Beetle. Unfortunately the Beta had a number of inherent flaws that prevented it from becoming successful and it was discontinued only 2 years later.

1953 - Struggling to compete with the immensely popular Holden, who’s larger car had completely dominated the local market since it release, and lacking the funds to develop a larger model to compete (largely due to the failure of the “Beta”) the decision was made to roll back output and focus on lower turnover, higher margin vehicles. To this end the Beta was discontinued, as was the base Omen, the Blue 77 and Blue 116 discontinuing production at the same time. In their place Stuart released the Series 2 Omen which consisted of a 2 door and a better equipped, higher priced model, known as the “Omen C” and “Omen Prodigy” respectively as well as the “Omen S”, all powered by the Blue 125. The Series 2 received some minor updates to improve finish quality and simplify production, which allowed the Prodigy to go to market only costing £50 more than what the S had been sold for in the previous year while the new S and C were both offered for less.
This strategy worked well for Stuart, even though overall sales dropped by around 40%, car sales immediately became profitable for the first time since the release of the “Beta” and profits continued to rise throughout the lifetime of the Series 2.

1957 - This year saw the long overdue update to the Omen line-up as well as the adoption of the two letter model code scheme used by both Holden and Ford. The new Omen would be coded “DB” while the previous models would unofficially be known as DZ and DA (The Beta was never given a model code, officially or otherwise). The DB Omen was again be offered in C, S and Prodigy options but the car it self underwent quite a few changes. The new chassis was based off the old but was lengthened up to an 86" wheelbase, otherwise the bodywork was all completely new and almost had no resemblance to the previous model. The Blue 125 was carried over with some small modifications to improve it reliability and overall performance, pushing it’s output up by 3hp up to 102hp. Unfortunately, the increase in weight caused by the increased size was more than the increase in power and the DB was slower than its predecessor.
The DB remained profitable throughout it’s life however its reduced performance over the previous model saw both sales and overall profits fall until the release of the more powerful DE model in 1960.

1960 - In an effort to boost their sporty image again and regain some lost market share Stuart released the DE model in 1960. This was a facelifted version of the DB fitted with the new White 131 motor producing 106hp along with a fairly noticeable improvement in torque. The new model was widely praised by critics and the general public alike, many journalists not only praising the improved performance when compared to the DB but also improved economy and improved engine smoothness and responsiveness. It would also become known as one of the most reliable vehicles of its time.
The DE did a lot to regain the sales lost by the DB and even manage to hold a slightly higher market share than the Series 2 (DA) achieved at its peak. It would be replaced in 1962 by the mostly brand new DF Omen.

1962 - In 1962 Stuart released a nearly all new Omen, the DF model. The new model was again quite a lot larger than the outgoing model and was intended to be released with a newly revised (again) engine to help compensate for the gain in weight. It became apparent fairly early during the DF’s development that the new engine wouldn’t be ready in time so the engineers decided to focus on making the best car they could with the White 131 engine and chose to use an all new 4 speed gear box to help the engine cope.

1964 - Finally the new engine was ready for release. To launch it Stuart released the updated DG Omen. The new engine had some reliability issues due to its complicated new cylinder head but this didn’t stop it from receiving massive acclaim, nor did it stop it from setting all new sales records.

In 1999 during the companies celebration of their 50 year anniversary of making cars it was revealed that almost immediately after the launch of the DG model, a group of engineers were tasked with designing an all new V8 engine planned for release in the next model Omen. A small amount of information was released on the engine during the celebrations, it was to have a larger 3 1/4" bore and a shorter 3 1/8" stroke giving it a total displacement of 207 CID, almost 50% bigger than the most recent of Stuarts in-line 6’s (but much smaller than the American sourced V8’s that would be used in it’s Ford and Holden competitors). It would have still used an OHV valve train, taking advantage of some of what was learned during the development of the Orange motor, however it was to only have 2 valve per cylinder rather than 3 in an effort to reduce it’s cost. It is claimed that the Orange 143 was going to be carried over to the next model unchanged and the new V8 would be used to power a new, higher performance version of the Omen. The program was dropped before any casts were made however. After hearing the level of praise heaped on the advanced multi-valve head used on the Orange 143 it was decided that continuing with this modern technology was the best course for Stuart but it would be too expensive to use on a V8. To this end, attention was redirected back to the Orange 143 and the development of a highly tuned performance version to fill the role originally intended for the V8.

1967 - This year saw the culmination of a number of major Stuart projects. Firstly, the release of the DI Omen, this was a further update to the third generation chassis (introduced with the DF) with many improvements to materials and interior fittings as well as vast improvements to fit and finish thanks to updates in factory tooling. It was also fitted with an enhanced and updated motor named the “Orange 143-2” which fixed many of the problems the first version of the Orange 143 had with it’s high tech, multi-valve head allowing it to produce another 7hp.
1967 also saw the launch of a brand new facility in Liverpool, England which would allow Stuart to make its first car sales outside of Australia. The UK was chosen as the first export market because of the strong ties it had with Australia, this and the fact that cars drove on the same side of the road in both countries greatly simplified the process of making the cars meet the design requirements for sale in both countries. To minimize the effect of freight on the final cost per unit the cars were shipped mostly dissembled, with only part that required specialist skills or machines (like engines, gearboxes etc) pre-assembled. They were then pieced together at the facility in Liverpool and distributed to a small network of dealerships throughout the UK.
The launch of the DI Omen and the opening of the Liverpool facility were planned to be simultaneous, with the DI’s launch date in Australia being postponed by three months to allow shipping and assembly in Liverpool. Ultimately, teething problems in the Liverpool facility caused the UK launch of the DI Omen to happen 2 weeks later than it’s Australian launch.
Later in the same year saw the third major launch. The DI Omen 2X, a high performance version of the Omen with almost no external differences to the DI Omen C (it was never released in a 4 door variant) but quite a few changed under the skin, including an all new 5 speed gear box, independent rear suspension, a highly tuned “Orange 143-2X” engine, a much more spartan interior to reduce weight and many other smaller modifications intended to push the cars performance as far possible.

1968 - The initial plan was to commence development of the fourth generation Omen for release in 1970 but after the release of the DI Stuart decided that their flagship was still so far ahead of it’s contemporaries that they could stave off the new generation for at least another year or two by releasing one more update on the third generation. While the bulk of the design staff were tasked with researching ways to make the fourth generation Omen as big an improvement over the third generation as possible, a small design team was redirected back to one last update of the third.
The DJ Omen was released simultaneously in Australia and the UK in November 1968 and was a very minor update on the DI, no 2X version of the DJ was ever developed but small numbers of DI 2X’s we still produced during the DJ’s lifetime. The S, C and Prodigy models of the DJ came with virtually identical trim to the DI models with a few components replaced by more reliable options or, in a few cases, by components that could be more easily sourced in the UK in order to reduce the cost of exporting to that market.
In place of the 2X Stuart released the “DJ Omen Augur”, an attempt to try and keep up with the ever increasing size of the Holden Kingswood and Ford Falcon and even the Toyota Crown. The Omen Augur was very similar to the Omen Prodigy and was fitted with all of the same internal equipment. The primary difference was that the Omen Augur was lengthened, it gained 5" of wheel base, all of which was between the A and C pillars. The Augur was also fitted with the Orange 157, which was simply an Orange 143-2 bored out to 3 1/16" and stroked out to 3 9/16". The engine had new larger pistons, shorter piston rods and a new crank shaft but otherwise used all identical parts to the 143-2, it produced only a fraction more power. The main aim here was simply to bridge some of the size gap between Stuarts engines and those used by its larger competition even though the 143-2 was notably more powerful than the largest of the 200+ CID engines it competed against.
The Omen Augur struggles in the Australian market against the cars it was supposed to compete against. It was smaller with a much smaller engine and had no V8 option. It was howerver, surprisingly successful in the UK when it became the first ever Stuart model sell more models in the UK than in Australia (by only 2 units).
By the end of 1969, Stuart had started to offer the S, C and Prodigy models with an optional upgrade to the Orange 157 motor as well as an optional upgrade to the 5 speed gearbox from the 2X. This was done both because many customers had been asking for it (indeed, it was becoming increasingly common to purchase the pistons, rods and crank and “upgrade” 143-2’s to 157’s) but also in an attempt to pay for the development cost of the 157 which had thus far failed to justify the money spent on it. Stuart would also later reveal that this was something of a test to see if their vehicles would sell in multiple engine options or if the bulk of their customers would simply buy the cheapest, or the most powerful option.
Note: None of the DJ models will be shown at this stage. Either because they aren’t different enough to the DI models already shown, or in the case of the new Augur, the is no suitable model in the game to represent it.

Stuart Omen - Released 1949 in Australia only.

Originally released in 2 variants. The Omen and the more performance oriented Omen S.

1949 Stuart Omen
The Omen was powered by an in house designed 116 CID inline 6, known internally as the Blue 116 after the colour the rocker cover was painted.
This was a 2.75" bore x 3.25" stroke engine of fairly simple construction, it used push rod driven overhead valves, two single barrel carburettors and a simple cast exhaust manifold.
Putting out 73 hp the engine was nothing to get excited about but it certainly wasn’t bad for its time.

Tameness 28.5
Sportiness 5.4
Comfort 20.3
Prestige 14.2
Safety 9.1
Automation Track: 3:05.12
Airfield Track: 1:51.36

1949 Stuart Omen S
The Omen S didn’t have many outward differences to it’s cheaper brother but under the skin were a number of performance improvements.
Most importantly was the upgraded engine, the Blue 125 was a Blue 116 with a longer 3.5" stroke. On top of this, the Blue 125 also had three rather than two single barrel carburettors with better air filters, a more aggressive cam, a new head to increase compression, a better exhaust manifold and a larger 1.5" exhaust pipe. All of this combined to push the larger engines output up to a much more impressive claimed 98hp.
In addition to the changes to the engine, the Omen S had a slightly shorter diff ratio to improve acceleration, bigger/wider 205/40R15 wheels all round, larger front breaks and stiffer and lower suspension.
The Omen S was over priced which hurt its sales, however, its success in local racing and the exterior similarity to it’s cheaper brother is considered one of the major reasons the base model was able to sell enough units to become profitable. An experience that has influenced Stuart’s strategy ever since.

Tameness 28.2
Sportiness 8.0
Comfort 19.3
Prestige 16.0
Safety 9.3
Automation Track: 2:59.56
Airfield Track: 1:47.56

1951 Stuart Beta

The Beta was an attempt to appeal to the market that was importing Morris Minors and VW Beatles with a locally produced vehicle.
The Beta was powered by the “Blue 77” which was essentially a Blue 116 with two cylinders cut off. Producing only 48hp this small engine really struggled to move the Beta even though it was lightened with a more sparse interior and fitted with the shorter diff used in the Omen S.
Ultimately, the imported cars fill the role better and the car was not a success. Dropped in 1953, the Beta name plate would never be used again by Stuart.

Tameness 32.5
Sportiness 3.3
Comfort 17.2
Prestige 8.9
Safety 8.7
Automation Track: 3:20.19
Airfield Track: 1:59.70

You’ve put a lot of effort into the background story and the concept behind your cars. I loved reading about it. I am curious to see what happened to the Stuart Motor Group in the 50’s. :sunglasses:

Thanks vroom =)
More updates coming shortly. There will be timeline stuff for the 50’s but the next model I’ll be sharing will be from the 60’s.

1960 - White 131 Motor

In an effort to boost their failing sporty image Stuart released the DE model Omen, a mostly cosmetic update of the 1957 DB model but equipped with the update “White 131” engine.
This new engine was an evolution of the old Blue engine but incorporated a number of significant changes.
The engines stroke was reduced to 3 3/8" to reduce piston speed whilst the bore was increased to 2 7/8" to ensure an overall volume increase.
The triple single carburettors were dropped in favour of two double barrel carburettors to reduce production costs whilst the expensive performance air filters were replaced with a cheaper unit to help reduce the vehicles service costs.
Most importantly, the crank and block were both heavily updated to allow the use of 7 main baring rather than the less reliable 4 used in Blue 6 Cylinder engines.
The result was a 5% increase in torque and an 8% increase in power with a negligible change in manufacture cost and more than 25% reduction in service costs.

1962 - Stuart DF Omen (C model shown)

1962 - In 1962 Stuart released a nearly all new Omen, the DF model. The new model was again quite a lot larger than the outgoing model and was intended to be released with a newly revised (again) engine to help compensate for the gain in weight. It became apparent fairly early during the DF’s development that the new engine wouldn’t be ready in time so the engineers decided to focus on making the best car they could with the White 131 engine and chose to use an all new 4 speed gear box to help the engine cope.

Tameness 30.5
Sportiness 13.1
Comfort 27.6
Prestige 20.7
Safety 22.4
Automation Track: 2:57.30
Airfield Track: 1:46.00

See above for details on the White 131 engine.

Just clicked on the link in your signature.

Wow ! I love the background you’ve created around your compagny! It adds a roleplay aspect to the game. Excellent !

[quote=“E21320”]Just clicked on the link in your signature.

Wow ! I love the background you’ve created around your compagny! It adds a roleplay aspect to the game. Excellent ![/quote]

Thanks mate. =)
The 60’s was when things really started to get interesting for Stuart.
Will hopefully be releasing the next model this weekend

1964 - Stuart DG Omen (C model shown)

1964 - After the release of the DF Omen, efforts were re focused on the upgrade to the old engine. As the engines development came near to completion it was decided that it should be released in a new model number which would be an external facelift of the DF Omen, no major mechanical updates were required as the new engine was still based off the original Blue engines of the 40’s and the DF had originally been designed to fit the new engine anyway.
Performance wise the DG was a significant improvement over the DF however all of this gain was due to the brilliant new engine. Be sure to read below for details on this exciting new unit!

Tameness 33.1
Sportiness 14
Comfort 30.2
Prestige 21.7
Safety 22.9
Automation Track: 2:52.90
Airfield Track: 1:42.82

Orange 143 Engine
The real star of the DG’s story is the brand new “Orange 143” engine. An update of the White motor, just as the White was an update of the Blue. While the White motor was mostly an update of the bottom end of the motor, the new Orange went much further. The bottom end was updated once again, mostly just to remove the old block mounted cam which would be moved into the all new head and increase the cylinder bore out to a full 3". Not only did the new head now house the cam, it also featured 3 valves per cylinder, this feature alone would make this new engine one of the most advanced engines to be installed in a passenger car anywhere in the world! These changes boosted power output to 128hp, a massive 22% increase from less than a 9% increase in volume. All this came at a cost however, not only did the new engine cost more to manufacture and maintain but Stuarts inexperience with OHC, multi-valve engines resulted in minor errors in the design of the head that caused reliability problems with valve train. Even so, the car and the engine were praised by motor journalists without exception, one exclaimed “With the new DG Omen and it’s Orange motor, the Australian automotive industry has smashed it’s way into modern motoring! Look out world, here we come!”.

Me too, now just to see the end of the 60’s and how they go forward!

I do love a bit of history behind a company. :slight_smile:


Me too, now just to see the end of the 60’s and how they go forward!

I do love a bit of history behind a company. :slight_smile:[/quote]

Thanks man. I’ve been pretty busy of late but more info inbound.
I almost have the next Omen model ready for launch!

1967 - DI Omen (C model shown)

After a short delay to allow for the opening of a facility in Liverpool the DI model omen was released in the second quarter of 1967. The DI model was still based off the same chassis as the DF but it received many minor updates. Nearly all lighting had been revised, as had the grilles (much to the chagrin of fans of the brand who criticized the deviation from the “traditional” over under mirrored grills). The interior of the car also underwent a huge re-design, incorporating higher quality materials and more modern styling.
Perhaps the biggest update of the DI model wasn’t the car itself, but the factory that built them. Much of the tooling used to build the cars was refurbished, modernised or simply replaced. The result was a noticeable improvement in the cars overall fit and finish and general build quality. This was seen as vital if the car was to be successful in the UK.
Unsurprisingly, sales in the UK weren’t high volume, they were only a fraction of the sales in Australia despite the larger market. Interestingly however, the mix of sales much more strongly favoured the more expensive Prodigy (and later 2X) models. Market research showed this to be a result of the sell price of the vehicles. Even though great care had been taken to minimize freight costs, the Omen was much more expensive in the UK than it was in Australia. As a result, those that were willing to pay the high price for them were generally willing to pay that bit extra to get the higher priced versions.

Tameness 33.4
Sportiness 14.2
Comfort 31.1
Prestige 22.2
Safety 24.3
Automation Track: 2:51.85
Airfield Track: 1:42.14

The DI used a revised version of the engine used in the DF, known as the “Orange 143-2”. This was really just an update of the original Orange motor with most of the effort focused on ironing out the problems it had with it’s advanced valve train.

1967 - DI Omen 2X
In the forth quarter on 1967 Stuart released one of their most famous cars ever. The DI Omen 2X was the first time since the original Omen that Stuart had developed a special version of the Omen powered by a specially tuned engine. For over a decade every model of Omen had only been available with one engine option.
The 2X was more than just a better engine stuffed back into an Omen shell however. While the sheet metal of the car remained totally unchanged there were many improvements underneath. The car had an all new 5 speed manual gear box, a first for an Australian car. It had an all new, fully independent rear end in place of the solid axle coil suspension of the standard car. Another Australian first! In addition to these there were many other smaller upgrades, the under side was now fully clad, bigger wheels were fitted all round and the rear tyres were widened to 225’s, the interior was stripped of most comforts to reduce weight. The cars ride was lowered and stiffened and bigger breaks and softer rubber were fitted on all corners.
Even thought the 2X engine’s 163hp couldn’t compete with Ford Falcons 200hp 289 Windsor V8, the car was around 600lb lighter and held the road much better.
The new Omen 2X was an absolute weapon!

Tameness 43.4
Sportiness 20.3
Comfort 23.0
Prestige 20.0
Safety 23.9
Automation Track: 2:43.45
Airfield Track: 1:37.06

The engine used in the Omen 2X, the Orange 143-2X was a substantial upgrade on its parent engine. It featured three, double side draught carburettors, a tubular exhaust, a higher compression ratio and a more aggressive cam. On top of all of this, the engine were meticulously hand assembled by teams of three engineers that carefully measured, honed and balanced every part. These engines were extremely expensive and slow to produce but produced more than 20% more power and 8% more torque compared to the standard unit. They were also much more responsive and lighter. Not surprisingly, these engines and the cars they were used in were very popular on racing circuits.

Very nice presentation and cars!

Bump. Added in some info on the DJ models of 1968 in preparation for moving into the 70’s!