Trafikjournalen comparo: 1979 executive cars (on hold until later this year)

Time for another challenge like this or like this I think. This time it is a more specific segment, though. “Executive cars” or roughly what is called the E-segment nowadays, so there will be a little more stringent rules around what to build.

RULES: (under construction)

ENGINE: Minimum cylinder count 4. Maximum cylinder count 6 (turbo) or 8 (N/A).
Minimum displacement 1750 cc. Maximum displacement 2500 cc (turbo) or 4000 cc (N/A). This is hard limits since I have stretched them a bit far, so 1749 or 2501 (turbo) / 4001 (N/A) won’t cut it.
Regular unleaded fuel.
No race parts.
At least one muffler needed. Try to keep loudness as a “sane” level since this is cars that is supposed to be more comfortable than sporty, even if I know that the numbers are a bit borked at the moment.
Maximum emissions: TBA

BODY: Has to be rounded to between 2.5 and 2.8 metre wheelbase by the game (if the body is listed as minimum 2.5 or maximum 2.8 metre in the body selection tab it is OK). Only four door sedans or five door hatchbacks allowed.

DRIVETRAIN: Only FWD or RWD allowed. Lockers not allowed.

WHEELS & TYRES: Radials only. Chunky offroad, all terrain, utility or semi slicks not allowed. Minimum profile 60. Maximum rim diameter 16 inch, however, 16 inch will be treated as Michelin TRX in the review with economical drawbacks etc. No staggered tyres. Widths not ending in “5” will automatically be treated as TRX too, regardless of rim size.

INTERIOR: Only standard or premium allowed (this is cars that are supposed to be “nice”, but still not genuine luxury cars). At least 4 full seats. Making a visible interior is mandatory, and will be part of the judging/writeup. However, it is more about the general layout in this case, not if the design is beautiful or if all the fixtures are placed perfectly, so don’t sweat it.

SAFETY: If 60s safety is used, it has to be at least “Advanced”. If 70s safety is used, it has to be at least “Standard”.

QUALITY SLIDERS: No hard rules, but use common sense. This is cars that are supposed to be “nice” and negative quality abuse will not be seen as a good thing.



This is a preliminary and unfinished ruleset and I leave this thread open for discussions for a while from now on.


Sounds like a great chance for the boom-or-bust AMM to trot out its first 4.2 car.

As far as rules questions - the new entertainment and safety options deliver some interesting possibilities that violate the spirit but not the letter of the rules. Shoving a phonograph or AM radio, or using 40s/50s does not violate the rules as they are written but they both violate common sense enough to be binworthy. Up to you whether you want to rely on the common sense of the community.

My other comment is that it would be nice to have some indication of priorities and preferences. Do reliability and service costs matter? Is there a strong preference for manuals?

Finally, I’d recommend all participants to look at this round of SCCR, as it provides some useful indicators of what elements are required in your car (assuming Trafikjournalen is still reviewing with a Swedish focus).


Well, as usual with my challenges, I give myself the right to bin anything obviously unrealistic and / or minmaxed. I can’t ban every possible stupid thing in the rules, but in the end if I get something that is not in spirit with the competition it can get a bin or at least a sour review.

By the way, only adv 60s or std/adv 70s safety will be allowed, maybe the rules were not written clearly enough there though.

Already built a car for the contest, installed in it a conventional radio and a basic interior, and found out that in 1979 you get too slow cars - acceleration to 100 km/h in 20 seconds. The participant would have to work hard to achieve 10 seconds.

In fact, the car is ready; all that’s left is to adjust it to the rules of the Challenge.

Cars in this class would not have been running basic interiors though. As I said, standard or premium only.

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Are sealed beam headlights, 5-mph impact bumpers and side marker lights all mandatory, as was the case for the American market back then?

US or Sweden? I’m in the middle of choking a V8 to death rn

No. And I don’t want to go deep into the rulebook as I did in SCC so I won’t care about stuff like headlamp wipers etc. - if a car looks somewhat sane it will pass.


Wouldn’t executive cars of the era reach up to 3.0m wheelbase length, or is that crossing over into luxury territory? I also assume that fuel economy is going to be quite important, considering we are post fuel crisis?
Edit: the premium interior trim restriction applies to the entertainment system as well, right?

IIRC its only on the 2010s when executive cars actually reached that wheelbase length so nope


i love this challenge already

mostly because it’s ready-made for the Brick™

I checked up some 1979 cars in this class, the Citroën CX with regular wheelbase was the longest one with 284.something cm (LWB CX is a different matter but it is hardly the model that would have been compared to the rest of the cars), Saab 900 the shortest at 251 cm. That’s why I put the 2.5-2.8 limit. As a comparison, the Mercedes W116 SWB and Jaguar XJ Series II both have a 286 cm wheelbase, and a 1979 Cadillac Sedan De Ville is just slightly over what the game would round up to 3 metres at 308 cm. That’s cars in a completely different class TBH.


Yeah I’m thinking more Euro or Japanese executive based on the rules and settings so far. Neat! I need to get better at interiors

I wonder if I can use my American premium midsize car for this. Dead sick of making Euro-market Waldersees at this point. That’s what I meant when I asked US or Sweden

As long as it fits inside the rules, I don’t care if it is supposed to be made in Norway, Gambia or Taiwan. Chevy Nova, Mercury Monarch and Dodge Aspen were all imported to Sweden, and one could argue that they are sort of in this class. Just keep an eye on the displacement, though. 4 litres = 244 cubic inches, so smaller than most american V8s of the era but closer to the 6 cylinders. Actually, the maximum cylinders/displacement were kind of a compromise. One car that I had in mind was the Rover 3500 SD1 that actually had a small V8, so they were not completely out of the question. But I bumped up the volume to 4 litres to reach american 6 cylinder territory. I fear that if I should allow 5.7 litre V8s we would see completely different animals to the choked-to-death malaise US stuff so I hope you can agree with me on the limits.

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That’s fine. A Malaise midsize car with a 350 wasn’t that common a sight anyhow. But if we’re in Sweden, no cats as long as I can make the emission limit I take it?


I agree, my company didn’t start using V8s until 1982 when they launched the IVERA Thor 4-000 V8 engine. So your rule makes sense for me too.

You don’t believe in shoes and cars,
But you believe in shooting stars…

For now, I suggest creating a super exclusive brick like for wall cool, which I’ve already created for this challenge, even though it’s a little different than my dream.

I liked the idea of taking a finished Mercedes 280E, redoing it a bit and giving it a facelift, and you can send it in as a finished project.

About the rules. Haven’t tried to upsize my 1.6L - ( 98CI ) engine from 60 horsepower to 4L yet, so I can’t say any important changes are needed.

3.5 or 3.8L would make a good middle ground. I can help you with engineering and designing your car if you’d like, because it could spare you being binned. Some tips: make sure you choose the most realistic option for panel and frame materials, mess around with the cam profiles and lifter/spring stiffness if you encounter valve float, change either the mixture, ignition timing and compression if you have knocking. Hope this helps you to get started.

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Your 280E idea sounds more like something for ARM, and I agree that a W123 280E could be an interesting choice for that challenge, but that’s up to the ARM host to decide. It’s a nice idea for some future ARM though.