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The Standard Book of British Cars

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Bute secures Met contract, changes name to Babylon.
Scourge defeated, Mayor exultant.
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A new motorway menace.
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Latest features

Riding with Lackhart's Lancers

The cracking of super-heated air makes my head snap round. A flash of searing light lances across the landscape, followed by a second. In the distance, I see a body crumple.
“Down and out!” The excitable voice of Rich Lackhart bursts from the radio speaker. “Let’s keep it moving, Lancers.”
Another morning’s commute for a mid 21st Century haulage gang.
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Motorway Patrol interview

It is 4am on a cold September morning. Patrol Sergeant Dave Chapman takes a deep draught of hot tea, standing at the service station in the shadow of the Severn Bridge. For the past two hours, he has driven from London at a sedate 55 mph, showing the flag and protecting his patch. Now he takes a well-earned break.
“Everyone seems to think that we have high-adrenaline lives; that the excitement never stops. We have our moments, but actually, most of what we do is just remind people that we are here; that there is a law; and that someone cares if they break it. That is often enough.”
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Latest opinions

23/9/55: Babylon is a true inspiration in these times of darkness. Under the dynamic leadership of Sir Hector McDonaugh, the company has thrived while so many others failed. Read more

20/9/55: Mayor Rod is victorious. The battle against an insidious foe has been won, and Mayor Forrester-Smythe’s aggressive policies have been vindicated. While others dithered, Mayor Rod took action. The result? Londoners are safe from a creeping infection that has decimated nations, destroyed civilisations and ripped communities in half. Read more

18/8/55: The recent attacks on everyday citizens have shocked the nation. The brutal slaying, just yards from his own doorstep, of Dominic Bruehl, a student with a glittering academic career, has deprived a young man of a brilliant future. On the same day, the gang that style themselves the Motorway Marauders have killed a working driver just weeks away from his retirement. Read more

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Cutty Sark

With a nod to the golden age of sail, Austen have created a fast and manoeuvrable mid-size which can transport two people in comfort, safety and at high speed. The basic model suffers from light armour and a lack of handling features, and very few are sold. Nearly every Cutty Sark on the road is the Platinum version.
Cutty Sark: Streamlined mid-size, heavy chassis, heavy suspension, super power plant with superconductors, 4 solid tyres, driver, passenger, VMG in turret, hot smoke dischargers B, L, R, airdam, heavy-duty high transmission motors, overdrive, spoiler, SWC. Armour: F30, B25, L25, R25, T17, U15, 2 fake wheelguards back, 4 fake wheelhubs. Accel. 10 (20 with HDHTMs), top speed 130 (150 with overdrive, 85 with HDHTMs), HC 3. 5,231 lbs., $16,632.
Personal equipment: 75 lbs.
Cutty Sark Gold: Upgrade chassis to extra-heavy, add platinum catalysts to PP. Armour: F35, B30, L30, R30, T30, U20, 2 10-point wheelguards back, 4 5-point wheelhubs. Top speed: 135 (155 with overdrive, 90 with HDHTMs). 5,685 lbs., $19,515.
Cutty Sark Platinum: Add ABS, HD brakes, HD shock absorbers to Cutty Sark Gold. 5,705 lbs., $22,595.
Personal equipment: 55 lbs.


The Stalwart from Kennington is probably the single most common vehicle on the British roads. An excellent all-rounder, the standard model is configured to act as a rearguard. Customisers frequently reconfigure the armour to surprise assailants and draw them into targeting heavily protected areas.
Stalwart: Mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, heavy suspension, large power plant, 4 solid tyres, driver, RR with HEAT ammo in turret, MD and OJ linked back, link from RR to dropped weapons, airdam, overdrive, spoiler, SWC. Armour: F30, B55, L30, R30, T30, U20, 2 10-point wheelguards, 4 10-point wheelhubs. Accel. 5, top speed 90 (110 with overdrive), HC 3. 5,735 lbs., $16,645.
Personal equipment: 25 lbs.


Stoic Autos’ classic Firebird has been a powerful British symbol for 20 years. The latest incarnation has been extensively remodelled to incorporate modern weaponry, and has proven as popular as its ancestors. The Firebird I combines the staying power and accuracy of a Vulcan, the defence of a flaming oil jet and the hidden kick of a pair of concealed heavy rockets that can be factory-installed in any location. The GL boasts a grenade launcher for areas where pedestrians and bikers are the main threat, while the HD upgrades the armaments at the expense of one of the heavy rockets. Three times winner of Car of the Year, the Firebird remains a formidable opponent.
Firebird I: Mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, heavy suspension, large power plant, 4 solid tyres, driver, turreted VMG linked to FOJ back, 2 linked HRs front with blow-through concealment, bumper trigger, targeting computer. Armour: F45, B45, L40, R40, T30, U25. Accel. 5, HC 3, top speed 92.5. 5,700 lbs, $16,825.
Personal equipment: 60 lbs.
Firebird GL: Replace HRs and bumper trigger with GL front, loaded with 5 tear gas and 5 explosive grenades in rotary magazine, impact fuses for all grenades. 5,730 lbs, $18,400.
Personal equipment: 30 lbs.
Firebird HD: As Firebird I but remove 1 HR, upgrade VMG to HD ammo, FOJ to HDFOJ. 5,750lbs, $17,950.
Personal equipment: 10 lbs.


An unsubtle name for an unsubtle car. Ironbridge Autoworks have shoe-horned twin heavy machine guns into the Basher's turret, giving it an unrivalled punch for its size. Wheelguards and component armour provide defence in depth, and a rear-mounted flame-cloud gas streamer provides a deterrent for tailgaters. Getting in close and taking the Basher out fast is the only practical strategy.
Basher: Mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, heavy suspension, large power plant, 4 solid tyres, driver, 2 linked HMGHDs in turret linked to FCGS B, airdam, spoiler, SWC. Armour: F30, B30, L30, R30, T25, U12, 10-point CA around driver, 2 10-point wheelguards. Accel. 5, top speed 90, HC 3. 5,736 lbs., $19,612.
Personal equipment: 24 lbs., 1 space.


Baden's mid-range unarmed passenger vehicle is the Swiftshock. With its characteristic low body work and handling accessories, the Swiftshock can carry 3 passengers at speeds in excess of 150 mph. The downgraded LT model looks identical from the outside, but sacrifices some of the handling modifications for an affordable price.
Swiftshock: Streamlined mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, heavy suspension, sport power plant, 4 steelbelted PR radial tyres, driver, 3 passengers, airdam, anti-lock brakes, heavy duty brakes, heavy duty shock absorbers, overdrive, spoiler. Armour: F45 (ramplate), B35, L35, R35, T10, U20, 2 10-point wheelguards, 4 10-point wheelhubs. Accel 10, top speed 135 (155 with overdrive), HC 4. 5,600 lbs., $20,556.
Personal equipment: 160 lbs.
Swiftshock LT: Downgrade power plant to super, tyres to steelbelted PRs. Remove anti-lock brakes, HD shocks. Accel 5 (10 with no passengers or cargo), top speed 120 (140 with overdrive), HC 3. 5,620 lbs., $13,156.
Personal equipment: 140 lbs.

Fighting Iron

Since it first exploded onto the roads in 2043, the Fighting Iron has been astonishingly successful. The combination of laser-guided rocketry with uncertainty over the exact weapon payload makes it a difficult vehicle to tackle.
Many arena combatants leave some of the rockets unguided in exchange for body armour. Successful winners have also sacrificed armour to make some or all of the heavy rockets real. This upgrade costs $300 per guided rocket, and requires the removal of 10 points of armour.
Ironbridge also offers the Ramming Iron, a courier vehicle that uses the protective camouflage of the Fighting Iron. Invariably at least one or two of the rockets is real, so engage with caution until you are certain what you are facing.
Fighting Iron: Mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, heavy suspension, large power plant, 4 steelbelted solid tyres, driver, turreted TL and RL with laser-guided rockets, extra magazine with guided AP rockets, extra magazine with smoke ammo, magazine switch, RL F with laser-guided normal rockets, ice dischargers L, R, B, smoke discharger U, 4 fake HRs (F, R, L, B), SWC, 4 bumper triggers. Armour: F40, B35, L35, R35, T35, U20, fake ramplate, 4 fake wheelguards, 4 fake wheelhubs. Accel. 5, top speed 90, HC 3. 5,728 lbs., $24,796
Personal equipment: 32 lbs.
Ramming Iron: Downgrade tyres to solids, remove RL magazines, replace F RL with fake. Upgrade 2 fake HRs to real HRs with LGL. Make wheelhubs, ramplate and rear wheelguards real. Add two mini-safes. Armour: F40 (ramplate), B30, L30, R30, T30, U16. 5,580 lbs., $19,355.
Cargo capacity 180 lbs., 1 space (split between 2 mini-safes).


The Sharpshooter is designed to stay at a distance and pick an enemy to pieces. Crawford has drawn their inspiration from the military to combine the innate accuracy of a Vulcan with tracer rounds and the latest electronic guidance systems. Do not allow the Sharpshooter to stay away. Close rapidly to negate its advantages.
Sharpshooter: Mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, heavy suspension, large power plant, 4 solid tyres, driver, turreted VMGHD with tracer ammo, extra magazine with HD ammo, SS back loaded with hot smoke linked to VMG, airdam, magazine switch, spoiler, SWC, weapon timer (set to turn SS off after two phases on automatic). Armour: F35, B35, L30, R30, T30, U18, 10-point CA around each of PP and driver, 4 fake wheelguards, 4 fake wheelhubs. Accel. 5, top speed 90, HC 3. 5,722 lbs., $18,014.
Personal equipment: 38 lbs.
Sharpshooter WG: Upgrade fake hubs and guards to 4 5-point wheelhubs, 4 10-point wheelguards. Armour: F30, B30, L25, R25, T20, U18. HC 2. 5,714 lbs., $18,118.
Personal equipment: 46 lbs.


Waydale have always claimed that their vehicles can go anywhere, and the Loggerhead may well be the most flexible car ever released commercially. This amphibious mid-size is waterproofed, has off-road capabilities and more than enough firepower to defend its territory. A Loggerhead recently entered the English Channel in Chichester and emerged at Honfleur, having covered over 100 nautical miles across the busy shipping lanes. The most dangerous aspect of this car is that it could emerge for anywhere, so keep a keen lookout at all times.
Loggerhead: Mid-size, extra-heavy chassis, OR suspension, large power plant, 4 OR solid tyres, driver, turreted VMG, linked to PS back, HR with blow-through concealment F, amphibious modifications, brushcutter, surge protector, targeting computer, weapon timer (set to turn PS off after three phases on automatic). Armour: F40, B40, L30, R30, T30, U30, 2 5-point wheelhubs front, 2 5-point wheelguards back. Accel. 5, top speed 92.5, HC 2. 5,705 lbs., $26,288.
Personal equipment: 55 lbs.