Willow Automotive

Seeing as I decided to clear all my Automation engines and vehicles this morning, I have also decided to completely start anew. Going through the years of my new company, Willow Automotive.

Willow Automotive officially opened its doors in 1954, situated in Montgomery AL, US, built as a group venture between the owners and workers of the Willow Auto Repair company. Though they were well versed in engineering, a problem would immediately arise; they did not have high levels of funding. Still though, they went on with their effort, bringing forth their first car.

[size=150]1955 Willow Calavante[/size]

As Willow’s first car, the unrefinement would show, heavily. This initial model of the Calavante came powered by a 3.2 litre OHV Straight-6, putting out a modest and slightly disappointing 128 horsepower, hooked up to a 3-speed manual transmission. The Calavante came with a basic, stripped out interior and overall was not the best car in the world. The exterior styling was also out of place, looking more like a European Grand Tourer than an American budget vehicle of the time, confusing potential buyers. But surprisingly, it still managed some decent sales, for one reason.

The price tag, a measly $1,631 [size=85](Yes, you read that correctly, going by the total production cost I determined a suitable price, and then converted it to 55’s dollar value. Modern day price would be $14,240. The production cost is around $3,900-ish)[/size] helped the car sell, and fortunately keeping Willow from bankrupting out of the gates.

Price: $1,631
Displacement: 3200cc
Engine Configuration: Straight-6
Redline: 4700[size=85]RPM[/size]
Power: 128 @4300[size=85]RPM[/size]
0-60: 12.2 seconds
Top Speed: 100mph
Weight: 1100kg
Gas Mileage: 18 MPG

Stay tuned for more, and yes, I’m aware the car sucks, that’s sort of the point. A company’s first car would not realistically be refined at all.

being dirt cheap and having that euro coupe makes it look like a perfect hotrodding candidate

[size=150]1961 Willow Calavante[/size]

After five rough years of production, Willow announced the '61 model of the Calavante would be getting a makeover. The end result was a more aggressive, sportier coupe. The headlights were widened and inset, the front grille changed designs entirely, fog lights were added to assist in low-visibility situations, and the car received both a lip to the front bumper, and a lip on the trunk to add stability at high speed. The interior became slightly more complex and more comfortable, a welcomed addition to those who did not appreciate the bareness of the original Calavante. But the biggest differences were mechanical; the car received independent rear suspension, and the gearbox was updated to a better, more efficient 4-speed transmission in place of the original 3-speed. Under the hood was where the changes were most significant, the 3.2 litre six cylinder engine received improvements to its pushrod system, and a dual carburettor, bumping power up to 156 horsepower @ 4900[size=85]RPM[/size]

But the talk of the town was not the improved base model. Willow also added a Calavante GT model, powered by a snarling 4.2 litre OHV flatplane V8, “222 horsepower” claimed Willow Automotive. The GT version of the car howled whenever you pressed on the accelerator; sprinting from 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. [size=85](For comparison, a Jaguar E-Type with the 3.8 DOHC Straight-6 producing 250-ish bhp could run 0-60 in 7.0 seconds)[/size]
Also notably included in the GT package was a premium style interior, entertainment systems, and power steering.


[color=#008000]Calavante SIX[/color]
Price: $2,007
Displacement: 3200cc
Engine Configuration: Straight-6
Redline: 5400RPM
Power: 156 @4900RPM
0-60: 8.6 seconds
Top Speed: 111mph
Weight: 1113kg
Gas Mileage: 20 MPG

[color=#FF0000]Calavante GT[/color]
Price: $2,173
Displacement: 4200cc
Engine Configuration: Flatplane V-8
Redline: 5400RPM
Power: 222 @4900RPM
0-60: 7.5 seconds
Top Speed: 121mph
Weight: 1207kg
Gas Mileage: 18 MPG

I like how you managed to incorporate new designs while still keeping the theme of your design language in text.

So I’m reviving this topic, with not one, not two, but three cars. All for '14

[size=150]2014 Willow T Series[/size] (2.8 Model)
A…Van? Yes, a transit van. Willow’s solution to the everyman/everywoman’s transport needs. Aptly named the T(ransit) Series, this vehicular pack mule might not turn many heads, and it might not be very fast… But it’s a van, so you’re likely not expecting those things. What you can expect from the T Series is a moderately comfortable, easily manageable transport vehicle. And your wallet will thank you for the durable 2.8 litre naturally aspirated Inline-6 engine, producing 158 horsepower, which is more than a competitively priced Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro, but managing 31 US MPG, 37 UK MPG, and 7.6 l/100km, hooked up to our 8-speed automatic transmission. It features an AHS Steel ladderframe chassis, and a solid rear axle for optimum load capacity. All from $25,995 / €20,758

*Optional 305 V8 + Towing Package available for US Market.
*Optional iPower package available.

[size=150]2014 Willow Calavante[/size] (Standard Package)
A throwback to the original Calavante, this sports car features simple, retro-inspired styling, and a 305 V8 producing a rumbling 405 horsepower in its base tune. I think we’ll let the statistics do the talking for this one…

Pricing: $41,872 / €33,436
Economy: 29 US MPG, 35 UK MPG, 8.1 l/100km

*Optional performance engine tune available.
*Optional GT package available.

[size=150]2014 Willow V Series[/size] (Standard Package)
The final, production version of our V-Series sedan. It differs from the prototype sent in(to Cheeseman, obviously) for a yet unreleased review in that, it has a steel ladderframe chassis, as opposed to the originally intended aluminium monocoque- But don’t think that means it is a slouch, not for one second. In fact, the SP model featured here actually weighs less, and produces more G force in the corners than the prototype. Performance is decent, with help from a 2.6 I4, the V-Series SP manages 225 horsepower, fitted with the same 8-speed Automatic you can find in our T-Series. But the parting piece for the SP is the fuel economy, the 2.6 while not particularly impressive in power output, manages 27 US MPG (32 UK MPG, 8.7 l/100km) in comparison with the 2015 Ford Taurus EcoBoost 2.0’s “best in class” EPA rating of 26 combined US MPG. All at $32,000 / €25,553

*Optional 2.6 Turbo package available.
*Optional GT package available.

Awesome van! It’s like a Vivaro mated with a Ford Mustang! :smiley:

Thanks for the compliment! I wanted to make it a little square-jawed and distinctly American, but still be something you can drive in Europe without being made fun of.

The next cars I’ll be getting stats up for are the V-Series GT, and the T-Series iPower. Basically, just upper-end versions of both the sedan and the van, that eclipse their standard editions in power and efficiency, but cost more due to the more advanced technologies they are fitted with.

Both cars will be fitted with iPower 3.6 engines, which are basically, very torque-y and low-revving Turbo I6’s that produce more power AND get better gas mileage than the standard naturally aspirated engines for either.

[size=150]2014 Willow V Series GT[/size]
Provided you didn’t feel the standard model of the V-Series was comfortable enough, powerful enough, posh enough, or even economic enough, Willow can fix those things for a price. Meet the V-Series GT; the SP’s upscale big brother. At first, there isn’t much you’ll notice that is different, save for a hood bulge, two vents, and a set of quad-tip chrome exhausts built into the bumper. And that’s because most of the change is on the inside, where the interior has been refitted with a luxury style you wouldn’t find out of place in a Mercedes or BMW. When you push the ignition, away with the original clunky Inline-4, the new iPower Turbo engine whirs to life, presenting you with 276 horsepower, but nearly 500 newton metres of torque. Thanks to the iPower engine’s more efficient design, despite being larger and more powerful than SP level engine, you get 32 US MPG(39 UK MPG and 7.2 l/100km!)… The price? $43,500 / €34,709.

very true!

And a teaser for what’s to come…

Willow lifting the bar! These designs are flawless, and that teaser is just sick in itself! Excellent job. /golfclap

[size=150]2014 Willow Infinitum[/size]


In 1985, Willow, under the ownership of lady Roxanne Walker, whom had purchased the brand 11 years earlier in 1974, began to take a major interest in Group B.

Willow had been in and out of Rally during the 70’s, where they had consistently mediocre performance due to their inexperience with the particular category of Motorsports. This continued up until 1981 when they seemingly dropped out. Only to declare their return during the winter of 1984.

R. Walker had called up development and ordered they design an engine that would produce as much power as possible within the displacement regulations, and put it in the lightest body available. The result? A 2.1 Turbocharged Inline-6 producing 500+ horsepower, fitted in a small mid-engined shell which they dubbed the Type 507. A problem was immediately present; Due to the transverse mounting, it was impossible to fit the car with a 4WD drivetrain, meaning that the drivers had to manage 500 horsepower through the rear wheels on mud and dirt.

Test drivers cited the car as being “Impossible to drive, even at low speeds.” off-road. But having already spent countless dollars on the project, Willow went through with it, producing a total of 400 cars to account for both the '85 and '86 seasons. The street cars came bare-boned and literally nothing more than racecars with mufflers, and, in the stock set-up, were capable of nearly 220mph, and tagged with a price of $81,330 ($180,000 in modern value.)

On the rally stages, the Type 507 did poorly, even if only for the sheer fact that it had too much power for its own good, and did not manage to achieve any remarkable results in 1985, or 1986.

On the street, the cars often suffered from a lack of reliability, which is to be expected from a car running the level of boost it did, and were also astronomically expensive to repair. This resulted in many Type 507’s being fitted with entirely different engines altogether by customers, among a variety of other modifications, such as those to the interior. Because of all of this, an original Type 507 is incredibly valuable today.

Now that’s a car that could have singlehandedly killed off Group B rally :laughing: 507bhp going to the rear wheels? If it were balanced for the road, it would beat the hell out of an F355, of which it somehow reminds me.


[size=150]2015 Willow Calavante[/size]

For 2015 the Calavante has took a drastic turn. Whereas the standard model for 2014 had a V8, the newest model has returned to its grassroots with an inline-6 power plant, and while it may not be as powerful, it’s important to note that the Calavante benefits from the new engine in many ways. The new engine is much more economic, achieving 39 US MPG, which is 47 UK MPG and 6l/100km. Furthermore, in order to boost sales, the MSRP of the car has been lowered from to $36,000 / €29,301. Sure, a lot of American muscle cars in the same price range will give you a lot more power, but more is not always better (and we’d know, considering we built a road-legal car with 2,000 horsepower)

The new Calavante may be slower around a track, in its base model. But it’s designed to be cheaper, more comfortable, better looking, and overall easier to live with. Furthermore, if you live outside the US, you can get your Calavante in right-hand drive, which, in addition to not costing a fortune in gas, means it’s overall more Euro-friendly than a Viper or Corvette, and plenty cheaper. Did we mention it’s more economic than one of those silly plastic gerbils known as Fiat 500 Abarths? While being more powerful and much better looking?

I see my grill is put to use very well on this car :smiley:

I couldn’t NOT use it, Wizzy. :mrgreen:

Love it.

Interesting that the Infintium has as much power as the Aeroline Force. Infintium has much better MPG though, lol not that it really matters at 2,000hp. I didn’t realize that the first time I saw it. Interesting company with great designs. Been watching Willow closely. Would like to see Willow enter the ultra-luxury sedan market and compete with Solstice and Aeroline. :smiley: