[I’d like to thank @Human89845524 for the next pair of cars, specifically with the reference designs and engines for these little things. They looked great on the outside and I wanted to give them lots of TLC to make them that bit more complete. Due to version differences, some of it may look different however, yet rest assured that the engines are completely untouched.]
Trial by Fire: The 1977 Dynamic Duo:
The Consort 2000 Sport:
1977 was surely a busy time for Span as they worked on marketing the sporty duo that their engineers had worked on. They were eager to get a slice of the pie for a nippy and rather light sports car that also was a bit more focused on saving the customer a bit of money yet offering the thrills that such a could offer. The car came with a vinyl roof as standard and they sought special help with engines that help power the new and more exciting generation of Span Consorts.
Span had looked for suitable manufacturers to make engines that were suitable for such a car, and they even had them request drafts on what the new pair of sports cars should look like so they can work on these as a reference point. They had managed to strike a deal with Phoenix-Trident, who had given them the 100B series of DOHC engines to use for these sprightly vehicles (Specifically the second generaion engines). The engines themselves were designed in 1975, yet had innovations that were better than Span’s current Wiltshire series engines. The 120-95 engine powering the 2000 Sport had given it 95hp and a lot more fuel economy compared to the older more budget oriented Consorts of 1974.
The engine itself had resulted to being part of why the car was more expensive than others, normalising mechanical fuel injection for the Sport range. However, it was only slightly more expensive than the XL Consort when new, thus making it seem like it would be great value for a nippier version of the Consort that consumed less fuel per average drive. These cars were made special since they also came with an optional pinstripe of gold paint along with a badge at the side with the motif of a bird to show that these had Phoenix-Trident engines installed. This was true with the other Sport-series Consort.
The suspension was also switched to one that would offer the car more drivability and comfort, yet still trying to make the car sporty through other means. This was still sportier than the earlier Consorts by far, and the price tag made it. It also sat lower and had suspension specifically adapted to offer this nippy feeling around the track. This truly felt like an entry car into racing (albeit on less than legal circumstances for many of the owners). These truly felt like hot wheels for many of their owners, and these put the Consort on the map for Span Motors.
Not only were the Sport series of Consorts treated more as upmarket products with style and appearance, but they also were the safest of the Consorts. This was especially needed because they expect these to be thrown about, their speeds reaching nearly 120mph for this specific model. With $17800 in approximate costs, I think this would be a bargain sports car at the time. Maybe.
The Consort TurboSport:
The TurboSport borrowed much of the same design cues from the 2000 Sport, but it was made to certainly stand out from the crowd and look as imposing as it may be on the roads. This was dubbed as the ultimate Consort, the 2000 Sport’s wilder sibling because of how much power they squeezed into it. The secret answer as to why was simple, because of the turbocharger they had installed into this powerplant. However, it also had needed specifically higher quality fuel to take the engine to such power. This meant that servicing the car was a lot more expensive than the regular 2000 Sport.
The turbocharger had also made the car require more high maintenance than the 2000 Sport, yet Span Motors had took this to account by saying this type of Consort was more catered to more of the car enthusiast, who was much more passionate about cars and who would want to keep them in tip-top condition. These Consorts were a lot more faster than the regular 2000 Sport due to the turbocharger, offering 150hp compared to the 2000 Sport’s 95hp. However, this car was a lot more expensive as it was treated as the range topper of the Consort set, providing more premium quality lightweight seats, a racing steering wheel and premium 8-track system. This balance of sportiness and comfort had made this less of a pure racing car and more of an extremely sporty version of the Consort that caters to many needs at once. This Consort was also the quietest of the range, which was a rather surprising move for many people, and many popular aftermarket mods for it was to delete the mufflers.
Due to their more frightening sense of speed, the TurboSport was treated as even more of a track-car than say the 2000 Sport because of the amount of power they have packed into such a small and nimble body. Despite it, these also are the heaviest of the range because of all the accoutrements to make this car more luxurious than the other Consorts. The logo off to the side had made sure that this was what it claims to be and these things would be seen rocketing off of roads if their owners were living dangerously.
Like the 2000 Sport, it also had sat lower compared to the earlier models and had also offered a similar back appearance to the XL regarding the panel. It had also featured a spoiler to make it fit the part even more. This also has the approximate costs of $21500, making it still rather cheap for a dedicated sports car. I’d almost wanna say this was like the Sierra Cosworth of its time at this rate.
These cars were the most desirable for sure, and probably the rarest bunch of desirable Consorts to find because of their nature as being sports cars that most likely had the most interest about them. I’d imagine seeing them as a poster in someone’s bedroom as a dream car in the 1970s because of the fact that it feels more value for money compared to other sports cars at the time.
I had as much fun writing up for them as much as they had fun designing the cars and the engines. The Consort truly was an interesting detour to my usual cars and it lets me appreciate those sprightly 70s small cars a lot more.