Posts tagged ‘Iran’


Autocade turns four, and it’s about to get its two millionth page view

10.03.2012

It’s hard to believe but Autocade is four years old this month. In fact, its actual birthday was some time last week.
   It’s been busy at work, so Autocade has received a little less attention in the last 12 months, though things were buoyed when Keith Adams (of AROnline) added a whole bunch of models. It’s also about to cross the two million-page view barrier.
   When I look back at the previous year, we’ve added a lot of Chinese models, for the simple reason that China is where most of the new-model activity is these days. There are a lot of translation issues, but Autocade may be one of the only references in English to the more obscure vehicles coming out from behind the Bamboo Curtain.
   Still, there are some oddities from other countries that have appeared over the last 12 months, including a Ford made by Chrysler, and a Hillman Hunter with a Peugeot body (kind of). Here they are, for your entertainment.

Image:Changcheng_Ling_Ao.jpgChangcheng Phenom (長城 凌傲/长城 凌傲). 2010 to date (prod. unknown). 5-door sedan. F/F, 1298, 1497 cm³ (4 cyl. DOHC). Supermini that looked to all the world like a Toyota Vitz (P90) with an ugly grille, with the same wheelbase. Essentially a clone, though interior changed over Toyota version. Even Chinese media noted the similarity to the Vitz at the rear, but did not find the grille distasteful. Engines of Changcheng’s own design, with decent performance from the 1·5.

Image:1968_Chrysler_GTX.jpgChrysler GTX. 1968–9 (prod. unknown). 4-door sedan. F/R, 2414 cm³ (V8 OHV). Performance version of Esplanada, with go-faster stripes, apeing US imagery. Filled the gap of the earlier Rallye and Tufao in the Chambord series, which had been missing since the Regente–Esplanada took over in 1966. Offered only till the platform was finally retired in favour of the A-body cars from the US.

Image:1958_Dongfeng_CA71.jpgDongfeng (东风/東風) CA71. 1958 (prod. 30). 4-door sedan. F/R, 2000 cm³ approx. (4 cyl. OHV). First passenger car built by First Automobile Works of China, with bodyshell and interior apeing Simca Vedette (1954–7) and 70 bhp OHV engine based around a Mercedes-Benz 190 unit and chassis. Self-designed three-speed manual transmission. Laboriously built, as China lacked the facilities, and bodies were not cast but beaten to the right shape. Initially badged with Latin letters before Chinese ones replaced them on the order of the Central Committee. Used for propaganda, and Mao Tse Tung even rode in one around launch time, but faded into obscurity after 30 examples.

Image:Dongfeng_Fengsheng_A60.jpgDongfeng Fengsheng (東風風神/东风风神) A60. 2011 to date (prod. unknown). 4-door sedan. F/F, 1997 cm³ (4 cyl. DOHC). Uglified version of Nissan Bluebird Sylphy (G11) on a Renault Mégane II platform, developed for Chinese market by Dongfeng. Basically the Sylphy with the Dongfeng grille grafted on it, with production commencing December 2011 for 2012 sale.

Image:Emme_Lotus_422T.jpgEmme Lotus 420/Emme Lotus 422/Emme Lotus 422T. 1997–9 (prod. approx. 12–15). 4-door sedan. F/F, 1973, 2174 cm³ (4 cyl. DOHC). Very obscure Brazilian luxury car, built on Lotus principles of lightness, with early Lotus Esprit engines. T model denoted turbocharging. Claimed 87 per cent of components locally sourced. Manufacturing techniques with advanced materials not particularly refined, leading to questionable build quality. Little known about the vehicle, but it faded without trace after currency changes in the late 1990s.

Image:2010_Hawtai_B11.jpgHawtai (華泰/华泰) B11. 2010 to date (prod. unknown). 4-door sedan. F/F, 1796 cm³ petrol, 1991 cm³ diesel (4 cyl. DOHC). Ugly first attempt by former Hyundai affiliate at its own sedan, using Roewe 550 engine. Media centre with sat-nav and entertainment perhaps one of its few stand-outs. Petrol model first off the line in late 2010; diesel followed soon after.

Image:1978_Panther_de_Ville.jpgPanther De Ville. 1974–85 (prod. 60 approx.). 4-door saloon, 2-door coupé, 2-door convertible, 6-door limousine. F/R, 4235 cm³ (6 cyl. DOHC), 5343 cm³ (V12 OHC). Panther creates a new flagship to sit about its original J72 model, based around Jaguar XJ mechanicals. A pastiche of the Bugatti Royale, creator and “car couturier” Robert Jankel targeted his De Ville at the nouveaux riches, and they found homes with the likes of Elton John. Lavish, though never as quick as the Jaguars due to the weight and poor aerodynamics. Humble bits included BMC “Landcrab” doors. Cars were custom-made and De Ville was usually the most expensive car on the UK price lists. Few redeeming features other than exclusivity; caught on to the 1930s retro craze that seemed to emerge in the 1970s.

Image:2011_Peugeot_Roa.jpgPeugeot RD 1600/Peugeot Roa. 2006 to date (prod. unknown). 4-door saloon. F/R, 1599, 1696 cm³ petrol, 1599 cm³ CNG (4 cyl. OHV). The Rootes Arrow lives on, but with a Peugeot 405 clone bodyshell. Basic model offered by IKCO of Iran, blending the platform of the obsolete rear-wheel-drive Paykan with a more modern interior and exterior. Initially offered with 1·6 petrol and CNG engines; G2 model from 2010 has 1·7 unit.

Image:2011_Renault_Pulse.jpgRenault Pulse. 2011 to date (prod. unknown). 5-door sedan. F/F, 1461 cm³ diesel (4 cyl. OHC). Nissan March (K13) with a nose job, aiming at the premium compact sector in India, expecting to form the bulk of the company’s sales there. Designed by Renault staff in Mumbai. Largely identical under the skin, with diesel at launch, petrol models following later.

Image:Siam_di_Tella_1500.jpgSiam Di Tella 1500. 1959–66 (prod. 45,785 sedan, 1,915 Traveller). 4-door sedan, 5-door wagon. F/R, 1489 cm³ (4 cyl. OHV). Licensed Argentinian version of Riley 4/68 but with Traveller wagon (from 1963) adapted from Morris Oxford V Traveller. Very popular among taxi companies, especially as twin-carb OHV was willing, although compression ratio had been reduced to 7·2:1, affecting power (55 hp instead of 68 hp). Modified suspension to cope with Argentinian roads. From 1966, Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA) took over, modifying and renaming the cars. Pick-up (called Argenta) also developed, with at least 11,000 manufactured.

Image:FSM_Syrena_105.jpgSyrena 105. 1972–83 (prod. 521,311). 2-door saloon. F/F, 842 cm³ (3 cyl. 2-str.). Syrena switches factories to FSM at Bielsko-Biała, though it was briefly at FSO in 1972 before the company switched to producing only its Fiat-licensed models. Suicide doors now replaced with conventional ones hinged at the front. Lux from 1974, but with the same 29 kW engine.

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A great first few days collaborating with Keith Adams on Autocade

10.04.2011

I’m pleased to announce that automotive writer and historian Keith Adams is now collaborating with me on Autocade—and doing an incredible job.
   Keith has been as good as his word: not only has he fulfilled his promise to work with me on Autocade, he has got so much into the spirit of the site that it’s hard to distinguish which entries are his and which are mine on style alone. He’s adopted very quickly to my quirks—there are a few which, were I to do the site from scratch, I wouldn’t have (it would have been easier for I4 to denote inline four cylinders, for example).
   You will see his entries in the history (Kadams is his handle), though in a couple of cases, moved pages will show me (WikiSysop) as the author when it was actually him.
   I’ve linked Keith’s AROnline site—or, as it was once called, The Unofficial Austin–Rover Resource, for years, because I was one of many fans who enjoyed the work he did covering the history of British motoring. I’ve read Octane because of him. So when I said in a press release last week that I could not think of a better collaborator, I meant it.
   Keith’s knowledge of marques such as Bizzarrini is superior to mine, and he’s been able to add entries for such models as the Audi 100 and Peugeot 405. (I blame my own laziness for the absence of these models till now—my motoring books are not in this office and I usually bring out one volume at a time to check facts on Autocade.) He’s logically divided the Saab 9000 entry into Marks I and II (any Fiat 500 fans are welcome to break up the 1957–77 entry), which now makes more sense. Eeriely, I have often found myself on the site at exactly the same times he is.
   Last week, Autocade crossed the 1,000,000 page view barrier, and, with Keith’s help, we’ve shot past 1,400 models.
   So to celebrate, here are three entries that combine the best of Keith’s and my work on Autocade, and to give you an idea of how international we’re getting. Thank you, Keith!

Image:Peugeot_405.jpgPeugeot 405. 1987 to date (prod. over 3,933,716). 4-door saloon, 5-door estate. F/F, F/A, 1360, 1587, 1761, 1905, 1998 cm³ petrol, 1769, 1905, 1997 cm³ diesel (4 cyl. OHC), 1761, 1905, 1998 cm³ (4 cyl. DOHC). Hugely important mid-sized Peugeot, riding on a modified Citroën BX platform, that hit the market square-on, rivalling the Ford Sierra and Opel Vectra A. Agreeable Pininfarina styling (and closely resembling the Alfa Romeo 164) and excellent road manners made this an appealing driver’s car, although build quality lagged behind the best of the opposition. Mid-life facelift in 1993 introduced more practical boot, with lower loading lip and folding rear seat. Western European production ended 1997; continued in Iran under IKCO with both OHC and DOHC versions of 1·8-litre engine (in GLX and SLX trims), including CNG variant.

Image:Peugeot_Pars.jpgPeugeot Pars. 1999 to date (prod. unknown). 4-door saloon. F/F, 1761 cm³ (4 cyl. OHC), 1761 cm³ (4 cyl. DOHC). Facelifted version of Peugeot 405, modernizing front and rear for 21st century, and built by Iran Khodro. Sixteen-valve DOHC from 2003 in 16V model, replaced by luxurious ELX in 2004. Well regarded dynamically; used by officials. Produced alongside original 405 in Iran. CKD production in Egypt and other countries.

Image:2011_Peugeot_Roa.jpgPeugeot Roa. 2006 to date (prod. unknown). 4-door saloon. F/R, 1599, 1696 cm³ petrol, 1599 cm³ CNG (4 cyl. OHV). The Rootes Arrow lives on, but with a Peugeot 405 clone bodyshell. Basic model offered by IKCO of Iran, blending the platform of the obsolete rear-wheel-drive Paykan with a more modern interior and exterior. Initially offered with 1·6 petrol and CNG engines; G2 model from 2010 has 1·7 unit.

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