Festive Frolics (1) – Answers

Time for some answers.


[1] Who or what connects the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, the 1972 Volkswagen 412 and the 1980 Briggs & Stratton Hybrid Concept?

Answer: All were designed by Brooks Stevens


[2] Which is the longest surviving UK motor manufacturer still in business, now 120 years old?

Answer: AC Cars

[3] Which of these is the odd car out?

Answer:  Each of these cars was sold in one market only with an altered engine capacity.  The Audi is the odd one out, as its capacity was 22cc larger, the other three had displacements reduced to suit local rules.

Audi 100LS: For the Swiss market, the 100 LS was equipped with a version of the M118 OHV engine bored out by 0.5 mm to increase its capacity from 1760cc to 1782cc.  This placed the engine above the 9 fiscal horsepower tax threshold in the nineteen cantons where this system was applied.  I have not been able to find an explanation as to why this was considered desirable – the Swiss do not seem any keener to pay tax than the rest of us.

Daihatsu Charade:  From the 1980 model year, Charades exported to Chile were supplied with an 843cc version of the C-series triple in order to fit into a lower taxation category for imported cars.  The capacity reduction was achieved by a smaller cylinder bore, reduced to 70mm from the 76mm 993cc engines.

VW Polo Typ 86: For the Swedish market only, VW offered a smaller capacity EA111 engine from 1976-77, with a 771cc displacement, achieved by a 4.5mm reduction in cylinder bore relative to the next-smallest 895cc engine.  The reason for the reduction was to bring the engine under the 0.8 litre threshold for Sweden’s 1976 emissions regulations.

Fiat 850:  At the time of their introduction into the United States the 850 Sedan, Coupé and Spider were marketed with a reduced capacity 817 cc (50 cu in) engine in order to slip below the US emissions regulations threshold, by which engines equal to or smaller than 50 cubic inches were exempted from the need to comply.

[4] BMW is said to have considered giving the original E12 generation 5 Series a name as a suffix to its model number designation but dropped the idea. What was the name and why was it dropped?

Answer:  The suffix was to be ‘Olympic’ in commemoration of the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.  The plan was dropped after the attack on the Israeli team by the Black September terrorist group that resulted in twelve deaths.

BMW Group

[5] Why did the Russian state limousine manufacturer change its name from ZIS to ZIL in 1956?

Answer: The ‘S’ in ZIS stood for Stalin and President Khrushchev had denounced the cult of personality surrounding the former Soviet leader.  The new name ‘Zavod imeni Likhachyova’, was a tribute to the factory’s former director Ivan Alekseevich Likhachov (1896-1956).  

Classic Car Catalogue

[6] When BMC appeared uncommitted to continuing production of the Vanden Plas Princess 4 Litre R, Rolls-Royce offered its FB60 engine to which other British car manufacturer?

Answer: Rootes Group. This appears to have happened at the time of the announcement of the merger of BMC and the Jaguar group of companies in July 1965. Rolls-Royce, on their own initiative, bought a Humber Super Snipe and fitted it with an FB60 engine for demonstration to Rootes. The venture was doomed to failure as Rootes had already tried Ford and Chrysler V8 engines in the big Humbers, and were to cease production of the range in mid-1967 as Chrysler took full control of the business. 

According to the memoirs of Peter Hill, a Rolls-Royce engineer involved in the project, the re-engined Humber was a far nicer car than the Princess 4 Litre R, superior in ride, refinement, and handling.

Vic Berris Autocar 1964

[7] General Motors established a joint-venture company with Toyota in 1984, initially to build the Corolla for the North American market. Under what marque and model name was GM’s version sold?

Answer: Chevrolet Nova.

[8] What were the nationalities of the Archbishop and the Cardinal, and from which different country of birth did the Cardinal emigrate?

Answer:  British and German respectively: they were the project code names for the 1961 Ford Cortina Mk1 and 1962 Ford Taunus P4. The United States: the Cardinal was a Ford US design originally intended for its home market.

[9] Which feature of the Rover P6 2000 was included “just to write its name in the specification of the car, even though it cost an extra £35”, according to Peter Wilks?

Answer:  De Dion rear axle. 

Driving and Life

[10] Which car was advertised on TV as having “Vroom enough for Five!

Answer:  The Austin Allegro

[11] Which car had, most unusually, a glazing arrangement comprising thirteen separate pieces of glass?

Answer:  The Citroën XM.

[12] Why was the frontal appearance of the Wartburg 353 changed from the prototype design below at a late stage of the car’s development?

Answer:  When the round headlamped 353 prototype was presented to Walter Ulbricht, the DDR’s Chairman of the State Council (effectively head of state), he declared that “Our cars should not look like Jeeps”. 

To placate the squeaky-voiced, Lenin-bearded former carpenter, Automobilwerk Eisenach’s in-house stylist Hans Fleischer duly revised the frontal treatment, dusting off an arrangement of rectangular lamps and a horizontally barred grille proposed for the previously abandoned P100 ‘Paloma’ saloon and reworking it into a more production-friendly form.

Wartburg P100 ‘Paloma’ prototype Image: motorostalgie.de

[13] What caused GM’s first electric car, the EV1, to become a public relations disaster for the company?

Answer:  To avoid any ongoing liability, GM boss Rick Wagoner ordered that all EV1s should be retrieved when their lease periods expired and, apart from a few museum exhibits, they should be destroyed.

RightBrain Photography

[14] Which major car manufacturer commissioned Twin Peaks director David Lynch to produce a bizarre TV advertisement featuring a disembodied pair of blue lips? Which model did it advertise?

Answer: Nissan, for the K12 Micra.

[15] What distinction is shared by these two marvels of badge-engineering, the Wolseley 1500 and the Daimler 2.5 V8 / V8 250?

Answer:  In both cases they were the best-selling cars in the history of their marques.

Jaguar Cars Ltd

12 thoughts on “Festive Frolics (1) – Answers”

  1. 1: Would it be fair to say Brooks Stevens had a helping hand from Giugiaro with the Hybrid? I very much suspect that door to have been borrowed from the 1st-gen VW Scirocco, and possibly the windscreen too.

    1. Good morning Jonathan. You’re right about the Scirocco parts, but I’m not aware of any Giugiaro connection. Here’s the full story:

      American Pioneer

  2. OK, I’ve just realised that I don’t understand the Rover P6 rear suspension….
    Because of the watts linkage locating each hub, the de Dion tube must twist as well as slide, but the illustration also shows a lateral link. What purpose can this serve, as the hubs are located laterally by the fixed-length driveshafts ?

    1. Mervyn – The in-situ photograph below explains the function of the ‘locating arm’ better. It’s not performing the function of a Panhard Rod, as might be imagined, but instead is a torque rod strategically positioned to restrict rotational and side-to-side movement of the differential housing, which is mounted with compliant bushes in a small sub-frame of its own.

    2. It’s impossible to use a Panhard rod on the P6’s axle tube because the fixed length driveshafts prevent any lateral movement of the axle that any Panhard arrange induces. The lateral location arm just takes the lateral forces incuded on the differential casing by the fixed length left side half of the DeDion tube and the fixed length driveshaft. The right side half of the axle is not affected because it only works against the splined telescopic part of the axle tube.

  3. The version of the Wartburg shown here IMO looks better than the production version, I was never a fan of those hex lights on it. This one looks kinda cartoonishly cute. And that Paloma, pretty good looking car.

  4. I’m still hoping somebody can explain why the Swiss got their Audi 100LS with a 22cc larger engine in order that they could pay more annual vehicle tax.

  5. I cannot resist the temptation to post the Allegro ‘Vroom enough for five’ advertisement. Perhaps it’s my weird sense of humour, but I think it is hilarious! I imagine that’s not the reaction BL was hoping for. Enjoy!

    1. Good morning, Daniel. I have seen this somewhere before, although I can’t remember when. I don’t think it was ever on Dutch television.

      It is indeed hilarious. Try imagine something like this being made today.

  6. It was lovely to see the E12 5 Series mentioned and I came across this short film from BMW while trying to discover whether my guess about its suffix being ‘Olympia’ was correct. It’s a charming film and it reminds one of what a good job they did with the E12’s design – the car looks comfortable in its own skin, somehow. Even its ‘sharks nose’ looks characterful and dynamic, rather than aggressive.

    I also came across a film about the graphic design used at the ‘72 olympics (Otl Aicher’s work) and it seems that in some ways, this period had some high points in design.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Charles. I really like the e12 and the shark nose is indeed not that aggressive. It looks good in yellow too 😀

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