The Official History of Smoogo - The Wind From the East
SMOOGO, THE WIND FROM THE EAST
(the official history of Smoogo - By VPN)
Smoogo was founded in the simoviet city of Vestorgrad in 1924 by Sir Vladimir Smoogo, the first president of the company.
Sir Vladimir Smoogo was an important man and he was the main leader of the Simoviet iron industry.
He was a member of the SPSU (Simmunist Party of The Simoviet Union) and minister of Industry various times.
Smoogo started its business in weapon and military industries.
Today are still remembered the Smoogo Weapons, like the PS-03, the famous machine gun used in the Sapan War in 1937,
the revolver "Vignorosso" and their military vehicles, like the Smoogo Aries, an heavy and powerful tank used by the Simoviet army.
The Smoogo weapons were known for their reliability and deadly precision and they were used in various wars that the Sims fought.
It was only when the Sapan War ended in 1940 that Smoogo began a reconversion of its production.
After the Sapan war, Smoogo began to change its production, and they decided to focus their activities on the research for special metals and the production of steel and iron.
In 1942, sir Vladimir Smoogo died, and his son Alexei took his father place. The young Alexei planned a reconversion of the industry activity and he decided to enter in automotive market. So, Smoogo Iron Industries changed its name in Smoogo Automotives Incorporated. Alexei hired some expert designers and technicians, and he created a Research Institute for engines and its new automotive business... The SMED, an Institute focused on researches for engines, mechanics and experimental materials.
But we should wait 1945 to see the first car with "Smoogo" brand... It was a low-mid class prototype of a Torpedo-Coupè car called "Smoogo Nova", showed at the TSA (The Simlish Autoshow). The project was very attractive, and it was also interesting the engine. It was called SMED Model 0 and it was a V6 made entirely without external partnerships (unlike previously, when Smoogo made tanks, the engines were made by Smord).
After the Nova prototype, Smoogo decided to began various researches in the automotive industry, because their aim was the creation of the most cheap car available on the market, with a simple and reliable engine, and low-cost maintenance prices. The project involved the help of SMED engineers that developed this project since 1946. But we must wait 1947 to see the first result of this project:
In that year, Smoogo began the production of its first car: the PA-8
(PA stand for Popular Automobile), a mid-low class sedan, available in hatchback and station wagon versions, fitted with the SMED-01-3D, declared by the Simoviet Institute of Sciences of Mechanics "the simplest engine made by a sim". It was a one-cylinder two-strokes air-cooled engine,
very light and simple in construction.
Updated and revised various times, in the beginning this engine had an average top speed of about 100kph (65mph),and had only five moving parts.
The engine was so small and light it could be lifted out of the car by one person. The reason for the engine being two-stroke was that there were fewer moving parts required as well as the shortages of finances by Smoogo at that time.
Materials that were available were too expensive to use for the recently-born automaker.
Alexei Smoogo, the legendary president of the former Smoogo Automotives Incorporated.
The PA-8 was produced from 1947 to 1950, until it was replaced by the PA-25, a revised version of the car, that adopted a Front Wheel Drive and an updated version of the engine, the SMED-02-4D, that now tooks 125kph and it had 4 transmissions. Were also introduced for the first time the Special series: standard, expensive and luxury versions were renamed Maya, Azteka and Tolteka version.
The PA series was a great success for Smoogo. It was the cheapest car available in the late 40's, and many automakers like SNA were forced to make a people's car to compete the newbie Smoogo... SNA made the Nadya and the Marianna, Heaveola began its Landwhale series (later it adopted the Landwhale name as a brand), and Yomoshoto began to make its Musashi series (replaced by the Oleg in the '70s).
The PA-25 was still a discreet selling, but its design was too old for the late '50s, so Smoogo planned to make a totally new car, to replace the old PA-25. And in 1955, Smoogo presented its new prototype at the TSA: it was a five-door "liftback" car, an hybrid between an hatchback and a station wagon, made with heavy steel panels and fitted with a modern revision of the classic SMED-02-4D engine: that car was the one that become the legendary Smoogo PA-34. The PA-34 entered into production with the same style of the prototype in the same 1955, replacing the old PA-25 in production lines. The PA-34 was available only in its particular "liftback" design, and it was the most sold Smoogo until 1969.
The engine was updated, and renamed in SMED-03-2ST, and it featured a completely new revision: now the engine took 140Kph and required less petrol to run, thanks to the replacement of some old components with totally new ones made by SMED.
The PA-34 had only few technical modifications in its life, like the
alternator that was ported from 6v to 12v in 1966, and the introduction
of the possibility to start the car without a battery, with a "starting handle" included into the "Tecnichal Toolkit" offered with the car.
It was also the first car exported by Smoogo on foreign markets: it was rebadged "SMAI Jupiter" for export.
The Smoogo PA-34 production ended in 1969, after the replacement of the Maya, Azteka and Tolteka versions with a single version called "Do Svidaniya", that featured various aesthetical modifications to the car (plastic bumpers, the wing-mirrors were replaced by a single mirror on the driver door, different steering wheel), and in the late '69 the PA-34 was officially replaced by the Azam, that soon revealed to be a complete failure.
The Smoogo Azam (above), the car that nearly bankrupted the company.
The infamous Azam was the result of the partnership with Smoogo and Heaveola Motor Company, in the same period that seen the death of SNA, an historical mid-high class simlish automaker, bought by Cermeydes Sense, its worst enemy, and seen the disappearing of Heavyola brand, replaced by Landwhale Motors.
Made to replace the old Smoogo PA-34, the Azam was an hatchback that had a platform made by Landwhale Motors,
for a prototype that never went into production, the Landwhale Ardenne.
Even the engine was made together with Landwhale: the SMED-Heavyola S45-Z, a noisy and outdated two-stroke water cooled engine, quite different from the one mounted on the PA-34, made with poor quality materials. Since its launch on the market, the Azam was known as an unreliable car, due for its problems caused by the bad quality of materials used.
Here are a little part of the Smoogo Azam's problems, reported by an unlucky owner:
-The alternator catched on FIRE during the driving
-Tendence to steering to the right; after 10 balancing of the wheels and the replacing of the simoviet tyres, the car goes...to the left
-Loss of the radiator liquid, because of tube locking fragile and badly assembled
-Noisy left washer-wiper, moreover it goes on the chassis during the working
-Failure of the tachometer after 200 km!
-Door locks blocked with the cold weather, making difficoltous to enter in the car
-Fuel indicator unusable; steering to the right, the hand goes to the right (and vice versa...)
-Very fragile internal plastic: the washer-wiper lever broke and it's remained in the hand of the driver!!
-Engine rebuilt four times
-Door locks replaced countless times
-Unbelievably bad paint; after 10 years, more than half of the body was replaced with new parts because of rust
But problems are not finished here, as typical lack, the Smoogo Azam had a poor stability on the road,
because of the too advanced engine position (placed ahead of the front axle) and of the poor quality of tyres and bumpers.
And on an exemplar tested by a Simlish car-magazine, the steering wheel was mounted loosen!!! Like in the best jokes!!!
The Smoogo Azam was considered one of the worst cars made by Smoogo, even in comparison with other models of the same brand!
That car was also exported under the name "SMAI Modulor" to other countries for two years, then the import was stopped because of countless problems.
It was produced only for 4 years. The upcoming station wagon and sedan versions of the Azam never left the factory, and even the SMED-Heavyola S45-Z engine was dropped and never used again.
After 4 years of production, Alexei Smoogo decided to break the partnership with Landwhale Motors, and he gave the order to SMED technicians to began the development of a new cheap and reliable material to use in chassis of future Smoogos. The result of SMED researches followed the discovery of an extremely resistant and light plastic-fiber glass material, that was called "Duroplast".
Officially presented in 1972, the Duroplast was light, flexible, and strong. It was also made of recycled material, cotton waste from Vestorgrad and phenol resins from simoviet dye industry. That material were going to be used for an upcoming series planned to be the successor of the PA-34: began in 1965, these projects featured a mid-size subcompact car, a sedan and a station-wagon, that were planned to be the first car with a chassis made of recycled material. Because it can be made in a press similar to shaping steel it was more suitable for volume car production.
The projects, before known only as the SMED-51,52 and 53, were officially revealed in 1974, and they were really revolutionary.
At the 1974 TSA, Smoogo revealed six different cars, that used the Duroplast for their chassis. The cars were a subcompact hatchback called Smoogo 720, with a sport and off-road version, a sedan called Istanbul,
fitted with an entirely new V4 engine made by SMED, plus a station-wagon version of the same car, and a police version that mounted a powerful but noisy Wankel Rotary engine.
Some months after the TSA, these models went officially into production.
The first car that seen a great commercial success was without any doubts the 720: its particular design and its "front mask" that hides the front grille, replaceable with other of various colors was a great break-up of the traditional concept of car. The Smoogo 720 was presented as a car able to do anything: it was even capable to tow a truck, like in a famous spot made by Smoogo in the 80's.
The famous Smoogo 720. Its design was left unchanged until 1999, when it was discontinued.
After its debut, the Smoogo 720 became a real icon of simoviet and international pop culture.
It was the most sold Smoogo until 1999, and its life was very long because of its continuous sellings, that made the 720 a real icon of the simmunist car: the simple (but noisy) SMED-04-2ST engine was revised only one time on the 720, in 1984, when the SMED changed the exhaust system with a more modern one borrowed from the Istanbul. It was also the last Smoogo that had the particular to have the exhaust mounted on the side, not in the rear part of the car, and its muscle variant, the 720 Sport, won continuously the SCR, the Sim City Raid, until 1995, when a Yomoshoto Evasion mk.1 broke the record of the legendary Duroplast Hatchback.
Known for its noisy-but-reliable engine, the SMED-04-2ST (still used without any change on the modern Minima) and its mechanical simplicity,
the 720 was the "people car from Simoviet Union", and now is a cult object, a sort of myth for the sims in the entire world.
This car had only a lack: plastic fittings on the doors had a tendency to rattle at certain speeds.
A bit of curious facts: the Smoogo 720 appeared in various simlish media, as well in the movie "Go Smoogo, Go!" by R.S. Pleasant.
There are thousands of fan-clubs for this car and every year at Pleasantview there's the "720 Rally Championship".
The Smoogo 720 was also exported in other countries under the name "SMAI Uranus", and since 2004, in Vestorgrad a group of young tourist-guides invented a new way of tours: the "Smoogo Safari", basically a tour of Vestorgrad on its more famous cult car!
The 720 appeared also in many simlish videogames, like "Streets of Strangetown", called the "NCI-027", that's very similar to the 720 itself.
The "legendary" 720 was produced, in various series and minimal restylings for 25 years, before it was replaced by the Minima, after a long and massive advertising, that signed the definitive end of the Smoogo 720.
The Smoogo 720 was the last success of Smoogo Automotives Incorporated, and the last car seen by Alexei Smoogo, that died one year after the Duroplast hatchback was discontinued.
Now, Smoogo 720 are nearly cult objects, and their owners tends to restore and preserve them. This "720 Mania" is still strongs in the sims, and millions of 720 are still driving in our roads, and it's still the cheapest car that a sim can buy.
The Smoogo Istanbul (above in both sedan and wagon versions) was basically a 720 with a custom Duroplast chassis and some different components.
It shared with the hatchback, the platform and the lights, but other parts were made exclusively for the car.
Like the engine, a V4, very easy to repair, used also on some custom rally cars. A modified version of the Istanbul, called Smoogo Commander, was sold to Simoviet and East Serman Police. The Commander was an Istanbul fitted with a powerful but incredibly noisy Wankel rotary engine, and it was the fastest Smoogo made for police use. Later it was replaced by more silent Yomoshotos. Although is less popular than the 720, the Istanbul is one of the most common simoviet cars.
But not only: Smoogo tried also to compete directly against Yomoshoto.
In 1987, they've made a particular car (made also in Duroplast) to face the luxurious Yomoshoto Oleg: it was a full-size fastback. The 732 was the first -and last- attempt to make a mid-upper class car, that could face the more luxurious Yomoshoto brand.
But the idea was not good, for a weak automaker like Smoogo: although it was a good car,
with a good engine (not the two-stroke of the 720, nor the V4 of the Istanbul) made from scratch (the powerful and rarely used SMED-X87), Smoogo sold very few 732,
and this nearly bankrupted the company, saved only by the enormous sellings of the 720 and the Istanbul series. It was produced only for 5 years, and now is a rare and trendy retro car, a must for every retro-sim.
The Smoogo 732, the luxurios response for Yomoshoto. Although it was a really good car, (but the chassis was made of Duroplast) it sold very few in its five years of life.
Like I've said before, Alexei Smoogo died in 2000, and the Smoogo, now without a president,was worried to find another expert person to take his place, because he didn't have sons.
After the new president, dr.Radovan Jitmakusol, was elected, Smoogo decided to stop the production of the 720 standard and to delay a bit the production of the Sport version and the Istanbul sedan and Wagon.
Before Alexei Smoogo's death, the company was already planning a successor of the 720: it was called the SMED-724, a prototype of a new generation "liftback" car that was planned to be the modern version of the PA-34, with a new updated design and a more modern four-stroke engine to replace the old two-stroke engine still in production since 1974!
The prototype was planned to be sold under the name "Smoogo Minima-724", to give a continuity with the past 720 model, but with the death of
Alexei Smoogo, all of pre-exhisting projects were istantly dropped by the new president, that planned a radical change of the classic Smoogo style and lineup: in 2001, Smoogo decided to drop the development on the Duroplast, and they returned to make steel for their car bodies, and the company name was changed from Smoogo Automotives Incorporated to Smoogo Autos, together with the legendary "Black stripes" logo, that was replaced by a green diamond inserted into a shield.
During this radical change, Smoogo presented at the TSA 2000 the new car that was planned to replace the 720. It was a low-class mid-size compact hatchback, with an old fashioned (but less squared) line,
fitted with the same old two-stroke engine of the previous model, but without the Duroplast body, now made with solid steel plates.
It was the car that later will be known as the Smoogo Minima.
The first series of the Minima made its debut in 2000, and some months after the hatchback version, Smoogo released the Sedan and the Station Wagon version of the car, called Medima, that were made to replace the Istanbul sedan and wagon versions.
Before Alexei Smoogo's death, the company planned already a successor for the 720. The car was planned to be called "Smoogo Minima 724 (above), and it was planned to be built with a two or a four-stroke engine version. Only three models were made (left in prototype stage), the first is in the Smoogo Museum in Vestorgrad, the second is lost and the third was sold on auction. The prototype, known as the SMED-724 was far away better than the Minima itself, but this car never entered into production.
A little curious fact about the Minima: on the first series, it had the logo made only with the "Smoogo" signature, without any graphics, because it was a transitional logo, to prepare the debut of the new emblem in 2006.
Obviously, as we can see, the Smoogo Minima didn't succeded to have the same success of his "grandfather" 720, and the great difference we can see in the sellings, that are far-away inferior than the sellings that made the 720 until 1999.
And not only: the Minima suffer of the same problem that previously had the Azam... The rust, and the chassis of this Smoogo is known to be very exposed to this problem. For example, a car-magazine depicted the Minima as "the car that you can hear rusting" for its low-quality steel panels that had the first models.
Some changes to the steel chassis, to reduce the rusting problem were made in 2003, along with some minor revisions on the two-stroke engine, and it was also the year that seen the end of the last living 720: the 720 Sport, replaced in the same year by the Minima GTH. With the end of the 720 Sport, the last piece of the "Great Smoogo" is lost. Forever...
(above) The Smoogo Minima mk.1, from 1999.
We should wait 2006, to see a new restyling of the outdated Minima, with the debut of the Minima mk.2 with a facelift of the front grille, and a new logo. It's debuted also a convertible version, the Minima CVT, along with a particular Diesel with a four-stroke engine version. The Medima remained unchanged, though.
Now, although the development on the SMED-04-2ST engine stopped in 2001,
Smoogo still produces the Minima mk.2 along with the Medima sedan and station wagon with the same two-stroke engine, but they've recently added another series of the Minima, the "4ST" that mounts a new four-stroke engine, the SMED-2006-4ST, a totally new engine made by SMED, far modern than the old two stroke one.
But what will do Smoogo in future? Will remember its origins and its great models that they're still icons of Pop Culture and still driving in simoviet and international roads?
We'll know this only in future, people. For now, Smoogo, one of the most important automakers of the Simoviet Union,
is what remains of a great simoviet automaker that now is in a confused period, because it doesn't have a guide, and it doesn't spend well its many resources. What will happen to the "People's automaker"? Will they make someday, a car that will have the same success of the legendary 720? Will the old two-stroke engine finally be dropped, being replaced by a more modern four-stroke one? We must wait to have a response.
Only wait.... And we'll see what will happen in the future of the automaker of Vestorgrad...The Smoogo, the company from the Simoviet Union that made toys of cheap resin-plastic for transport use...
The toy of a poor sim.
(above) A photo that shows the central plant of Smoogo, in Vestorgrad,
the financial capital of the Simoviet Union (along with Simgrade, the political capital).
The photo is dated back to 1980. It's possible to notice the coat-of-arms of the city in the flag on the left.