Andrew Boyd's Create a Company

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by God Emperor Truex, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

    Feb 23, 2018
    This is basically my spin on the idea presented by @Bomster. With my own creative differences.


    The year was 1988, and video games were strong, but the industry was a duopoly, mainly dominated by the massive and venerable Nintendo, and the smaller but just as influential Sega. However, many more wanted to enter this lucrative piece of the entertainment industry's pie. Among them was the Japanese electronics firm Sony. Interested in entering the lucrative gaming industry, Sony sought an entry, but was unsure how to do so with any degree of success. Which is why Sony decided that instead of entering the industry as a freshman, they would enter it with a senior.

    And that senior was Nintendo, a company whose mascot, Mario, was on par with Mickey Mouse in sheer recognizability. The original idea began when Sony presented a sound chip for use on Nintendo’s upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System console. Upon its introduction, Nintendo was impressed and proposed a new disc-based add-on for the Super Nintendo called the SNES-CD, that would harness the power of CD’s to boost the system’s power to unprecedented heights. However, it was ultimately decided to have the SNES use CDs from the start. The deal was an incredible one, but in early 1989 it almost all fell apart. Nintendo found that Sony planned to have complete ownership of all games on the new console, which made the Nintendo higher-ups enraged. It was at this moment that everything could have gone awry, but in the end the deal was revised and completed by June that year. Under which the two companies would split profits from the console itself. Whereas the profits of each game depended on which studio agreed to publish it.

    At last, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released just in time for Christmas 1990, selling far better than ever expected. The SNES would go on to harbor some of the greatest games ever made, such as the Super Mario World trilogy, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and The Legend of Zelda: The Dream Temple, the original Star Fox duology, the Donkey Kong Country quartet, and The Secret of Mana, and is often considered to be some of the greatest consoles ever made. By the time 1994 rolled around, it was clear that the decision to partner with Nintendo was a wise one, as money was pouring into both company's pockets. However, the major game changer came when Sony complained it was not getting enough of the profits from the games. It took three days of negotiation among the two companies, but in the end it was decided that the two should merge so all revenue from the games produced could go equally to Nintendo and Sony. Leading to the brand name Nintendo-Sony. With that crisis averted by early 1995, it was time to make the next console.

    The brilliant minds at Nintendo and Sony, building off of the Super Nintendo, created a new console that was specifically envisioned as a disc-based machine. That new console was the revolutionary PlayStation (PSN). Released in 1997, the PlayStation revolutionized the gaming industry forever by wowing gamers everywhere with its realistic (at least for the time) graphics, and making 3-D graphics the new standard for all game consoles from that point on. This console would famous become known for its major game changing titles such as the Super Mario Ultra duology [1], Mario Kart Ultra, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time/Majora's Mask, Edison & The Dreamers [1], Banjo-Kazooie, the original Mario Party trilogy, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Starfox 3, Ultra Metroid, PaRappa the Rapper, Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, and Goldeneye 007. This console was also praised for being able to play SNES games through backwards compatibility.

    Their next console, the GameCube (GCN), was decent. But at that point, Sega had returned to the forefront through becoming a major subsidiary of Apple. Whereas Microsoft had launched the brand-new Xbox. Despite this, the two companies managed to give out several contemporary classics like the Metroid Prime duology, Pikmin, Super Mario Director, Final Fantasy X, Kingdom Hearts, Kameo, Super Mario RPG: The Millennium Door, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Whereas other games like Super Mario Sunshine, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Luigi's Mansion, and Mario Kart: Double Dash were initially more divisive for playing more loosely with the formula. (For instance, Wind Waker changed the world of Hyrule into a series if islands in an ocean). However, most of the games that were received hostilely at first have become Cult Classics over time, or have simply been given their deserved accolades retroactively. This game continue the tradition of backwards compatibility by playing SNES and PSN games.

    Nintendo-Sony would get back on their knees with the creation of the Nintendo Warrior (WRN). Which became famous for its innovation of motion controls in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Imperial Guard, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Shift, [3] Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Inc, LittleBigPlanet, Banjo-Kazooie: Gruntilda's Ghost, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Mario Kart: Speed Demons.[4] That said, these games always had the options to be played with more conventional controls like Batman: Arkham, Super Mario RPG: Melody of the Guardians, and Return of the Dreamers were still nonetheless well received. This era is also loved for rebooting Spyro as the Dragon as The Legend of Spyro, which clearly inspired later Mario games with deeper lore. Again, backwards compatibility for all past consoles.

    The next console, the Union (UNN) was the brand's weakest point. But despite being the least profitable of the brand's systems it still enjoyed a few diamonds in the rough. Such as Super Mario Maker and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which are both considered some of the finest side-scrolling platformers ever made. As well as Super Mario Galaxy 2, which revitalized the villain Tatanga from Super Mario Land. This console also introduced the iconic series Splatoon, which was Nintendo EAD's first new IP for years. Starfox fans also remember this era for their work to fully incorporate Rare's Dinosaur Planet games into the two series' Shared Universe that was first established in Star Fox Assault on the GameCube. On the Sony side, The Last of Us was very loved, as was Ratchet & Clank with franchises like Jak and Daxter and Final Fantasy. Unfortunately, Zelda fans were left out as the only major titles were remakes of the PSN and GCN titles. Again, backwards compatibility for all past consoles.

    Today, the brand has made a handheld-home console hybrid known as the Leviathan (LVN). Known for stellar titles like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey. It was a bonafide success, and many games from the weaker Unity have been ported or are receiving sequels soon. In addition, installments like further ones in the Final Fantasy franchise. Again, backwards compatibility for all past consoles.

    Overall there really is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we can expect the Nintendo-Sony empire to never die.

    [1] The Super Mario Ultra duology introduced two fan favorites among Mario fans. The first being the operatic pirate boss Captain Heckbeard of the Pineapple Pirates. Where as the second introduced Prince Cream, the younger brother of Princess Peach and a powerful psychic.
    [2] ITTL, the crew behind Conker ultimately puts their character in Edison & The Dreamers, allowing Banjo-Kazooie to remain a platformer.
    [3] TTL's version of OTL's Super Paper Mario.
    [4] What's worth noting is how Imperial Guard began on the GCN to be for Twilight Princess what Majora's Mask was to Ocarina of Time. But then, it developed into a completely new game for the Warrior.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  2. saltburn861 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    United Kingdom
    Pontiac Australia

    Launched in Australia in 1989, they were formed to supplement the Holden range with a variety of models imported from the U.S. and Canada.

    They officially launched in January 1990 with the following models:

    Pontiac GPR

    For Australia, it was marketed as the GPR rather than Grand Prix.

    Sold alongside the Holden Apollo as a sports sedan for those who wanted something smaller, but sportier, this was available with a 3.1-litre/140hp (104kW) V6 or 3.1-litre/205hp (153kW) turbocharged V6 petrol engine.
    The smallest engine, the 2.3-litre/160hp (120kW) 4-cylinder was never sold in Australia.

    Trim levels were Base and Touring for the sedan, and the coupe could be had only with the 3.1-liter/205hp turbocharged V6 engine in Turbo spec.

    Touring had the 3.1 V6 turbo engine.

    From 1991, GTP replaced Turbo as the coupe trim level, aligning itself with the U.S. and Canadian nameplates. A new 3.4-litre/210hp V6 with 5-speed manual or 3.4-liter/200hp V6 with 5-speed automatic were offered.
    SE trim complemented Base as the mid-range model, unlike in the U.S. where it replaced Base.

    GT trim could be specified on the coupe with the same engine as SE.

    In 1992, no major changes except ABS was discontinued.

    For 1993, the SE "Sunlight" spec, based on SE, was available between March and May as a limited edition. This had yellow paint and retro 1970s alloys, and was available in a limited run of 8,000 cars, only for Australia and New Zealand (4,000 for both countries).

    In 1994, the range got simplified and revised - Base spec was now fleet-only, and trim levels were SE, GT and Touring, and the 3.1 V6 engine was replaced by a new 3.1-litre/160hp V6 engine. Coupe models could only be had in GT trim - no GTP versions were available in Australia.

    From 1995 to 1997, no major changes were made.

    Pontiac Bonneville

    New for 1992, this was sold in Australia in sedan form, but it differed from the American and Canadian models in some ways.

    Engine choice was a 3.8-litre/170hp (127kW) V6 or a 3.8-litre/205hp (153kW) supercharged V6 engine.

    Trim level choice was LS (base model), SE (mid-range) and GT (equivalent to SSEi in the U.S.).

    From 1993, the Luxury trim debuted, midway between SE and GT - similar to the U.S. SLE model, but more of a luxo emphasis than sport-luxo.

    These were built in CKD form in Australia at a former disused factory that General Motors had bought in 1990.

    Compared to the Holden Commodore, it was less successful but American and Canadian expats in Australia enjoyed this car.

    Pontiac TFP


    This launched in 1991 as a badge-engineered pickup, to cash in on the growing trend for cars like the Toyota Hilux and Holden Rodeo.

    Effectively this was a Pontiac version of the Holden Rodeo, but limited solely to the 2.6-litre/118hp (88kW) 4-cylinder engine and only as a two-door single cab bodystyle. Trim levels were limited only to SE trim.

    In 1991, it got a 2.3-litre/92hp (69kW) 4-cylinder engine, offered only in LE trim, which was as bare-bones as you can get.

    From 1992, GT trim was available, but it was more a case of all show, no go, as the 2.6 engine was the sole choice. GT was rear-wheel-drive only.

    It was offered in rear-wheel-drive or 4WD versions.

    By 1995, the 2.6-litre engine was revised, but no major trim level choices.

    Eventually, in 1997, it was discontinued from the market, having had limited success against the Holden Rodeo and Isuzu Faster it was based on.

    This was built alongside the Holden Rodeo and was basically a badge-swap job.


    By 1997, Pontiac Australia was limited to the Grand Prix and Bonneville models, with the brand withdrawing from Australia quietly in 2001.

    This was Pontiac's return, for the first time since the 1950s and 1960s, but it did not work out.

    The Pontiac brand, however, was more successful in New Zealand

    Compared to the Holden which offered more bodystyle choice and a wider range of engines and trim levels, this was a niche choice.

    Compared to the Holden which offered more bodystyle choice and a wider range of engines and trim levels, this was a niche choice.
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
    God Emperor Truex likes this.
  3. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2016
    American Company Marketing Everything.

    Massive mail order company, known for guaranteeing quick delivery of anything in the (massive) catalog. Buying out Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1898 gave this company a leg up in the mail order business. Based in Grand Rapids, MI with warehouses all over the United States, this company quickly embraced both telephone and telegraph in order to deliver goods as quickly as possible. When reliable air transport became available, they quickly integrated that into their delivery process, taking advantage of mass sell-offs of military transports after the second world war to shorten delivery times further.

    Noticing the trend towards Internet merchandising, they were quick to hop on board, purchasing a small online bookseller in 1997, and using the start to create a large web presence. Today, due to their well-deserved reputation of quick, reliable service, the name has become household, with billions in sales in the US alone.
  4. AnonymousSauce The 7 Deadly Butterflies of Shaolin

    Aug 17, 2016
    Have they managed to corner the anvil market?
  5. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2016

    For all of your squashing needs
  6. docfl dazed and confused

    Jan 19, 2009
    But its not an ACME anvil!!
  7. saltburn861 Well-Known Member

    Jul 6, 2017
    United Kingdom
    ACME - top of, peak. So it's got to be a reliable anvil!
  8. weasel_airlift Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2016
    Look at the illustration. Acme is certainly on it
  9. PNWKing There's Still Hope Out There!

    Oct 19, 2016

    Caruso's began as a single restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, in 1924, opened by Italian immigrants Dominic and Mario Caruso. In 1935, Caruso's opened two more restaurants in Manhattan and Queens, NY. But starting in 1945, US soldiers who had been stationed in Italy during WW2 brought back a taste for Italian food with them. By 1953, Caruso's had 50 restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, & New Hampshire. By 1967, Caruso's had restaurants in all 50 states. In 1972, Caruso's introduced frozen pizzas so you could make Caruso's pizza at home. In 1989, Caruso's was sold to Marriott, Inc. In 1994, Marriott sold Caruso's to Ford Motor Company, who spun off the operation in 2004, finally making it an independent company for the first time since 1989. Currently, Caruso's is headquartered in downtown Manhattan in a 7,000 ft. tower called Caruso's Tower. The lobby of Caruso's Tower has the flagship Caruso's. The first store in Brooklyn is still open. The CEO is Dominic Caruso's grandson Ted Caruso, the 3rd member of the Caruso family to head the corporation after Dominic and Mario.
    God Emperor Truex likes this.
  10. docfl dazed and confused

    Jan 19, 2009
    So it does. Someone has to do someting about acme.
  11. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

    Feb 23, 2018
    Culkin Video

    This eccentric company was built upon niche markets. Which it continues to do so the present day though distributing international TV and cinema that appeals both to the general public and said markets. Culkin first began in 1982 as the creation of Chicago native Theodore Jacob "Ted" Culkin. Ted was known for his desire to enter the film business by enticing the general public in unique concepts and subjects.

    Culkin Video's first chance game in 1984, when Ted and several associates went on a journey to Australia to document the railroad preservation movement there. During this stay, Ted discovered Burbank Animation, a studio known for its adaptations of classic literature. Ted was immediately enticed, and by the end of the day he had reached a contract to release their creations on hime video in the United States. It was Ted's efforts that lead to the studio receiving international recognition and acclaim.

    In the late 1980s and 1990s, Culkin distributed numerous British programs, like Superted, giving them much love among fans of international animation. Looking to Japan, Culkin also sought to appeal to crowds with the unique varieties of anime and live-action. Of particular note were in the 1990s, where he released the original Ringu trilogy and numerous other iconic J-Horror films.

    Today, Culkin Video still goes strong, and continues to search far and wide for any untapped market and international TV/Film there is.
  12. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

    Feb 23, 2018
    The Chicago Railroad Institute

    Being the major railroad capitol of America, Chicago was always determined to have their share of railroad history preserved where possible. Especially as the steam engine was phased out in most of the country. Eventually, several Chicago preservationists; including Richard Jensen, a bread route salesman for Catherine Clark Baking Company of Oconomowoc, WI; began working together to preserve as many steam engines as humanly possible. Then preserve them in one of the many Chicago stations that were becoming less relevant due to the new one in the Midway Intermodal Terminal.

    The first steam engine preserved was Chicago North Western 4-8-4 #3013, a large engine which was perfect for excursions on the western lines out of Chicago. Soon after it was joined by Grand trunk Western 4-6-2 #5629, which often ran into Indiana from Chicago on day-long round-trip excursions. Later additions would include the Burlington Route 4-8-4 #5632, and the Missouri Pacific 4-8-2 #5321.

    Ever since then, the CRI has achieved constant success with its excursion trains. Of particular note is the widely travelled nature of the 5629, which has travelled as far as Kansas City ot the west and Philadelphia to the east. Though its stomping ground has always been the GTW line from Chicago to South Bend via Valparaiso. With other notable events being when after 9/11, MoPac 5321 hauled Amtrak's Chicago - San Antonio Lone Star over home rails, which by that point also included the former Chicago & Alton.
  13. hammo1j Member Donor

    Apr 29, 2005
    United Nations Space Real Estate Co

    This was founded to determine 'who owns space' after 1975's successful Skylab mission, a joint US / Soviet venture.

    First the moon was to be sold off in 10 Hectare chunks to fund space exploration.

    Sales took a boost when Helium-3 was discovered at the poles and stakes sold at $50 were purchased by long term investors for $1,500 dollars.

    A bubble was followed by a crash, but quality real estate has continued to rise with Nasa selling the Apollo 11 site for $77,000,000 in 2016 to the Saudi government.

    Mars was added to the portfolio in 2014 and the company has raised $1.9 Bn since inception.

    The latest project is satellite internet access for the poorer equatorial regions, but the majority of funds have gone on the ISS.
  14. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

    Feb 23, 2018
    Emerson ACE

    During the oil crisis that began in the backlash of the Six-day War in 1967, most railroads had begun to electrify their key mainlines. This was especially true with the New York Central, Southern Pacific, and Pennsylvania [1] whereas electrification was seriously considered by the Santa Fe, Southern, and Illinois Central. But in spite of all this progress in electrification, something that had back into consideration was the idea of steam power. Steam had only recently been retired on most US Railroads, and the last railroads to completely dieselize, namely eastern ones like the Pennsylvania, New York Central, and Chesapeake & Ohio, still had several long lines of them marked for preservation. However, the idea of returning steam traction in regular freight service was not widely considered until during the late 1970s.

    In 1980, a new corporation was formed in the United States: American Coal Enterprises (ACE), which was headed by financier Ross Rowland, who was well-known for restoring and operating NKP 2-8-4 #759, Reading 4-8-4 #2101, and C&O 4-8-4 #614, ACE was founded to develop practical coal-burning locomotives for modern American railways, and to shift them from the use of imported diesel fuel to the use of the more indigenous and therefore more abundant coal, which had remained stable in price for some time. The chief design goal of ACE was to develop a steam locomotive which was just as simple to operate and economical to maintain as the diesel. Earlier in 1980, a meeting was called to discuss the possibility of re-introducing coal-fired locomotives to America's railways. Present at the meeting were Ross Rowland, William Withuhn, Bill Benson, and L. D. Porta among other technology experts. Porta believed that the development of modern steam locomotives would have to proceed on a step-by-step basis. He was basically the only man in the previous 40 years who had devised any significant improvements for steam and overseen their implementation on actual working steam locomotives, and he was the only man at this meeting with steam design experience.

    All agreed that the time was ripe, and plans were made to develop a prototype steam locomotive using advanced technology. Porta had already been considering the possibility of the need for advanced coal-burning locomotives for several years, and he had a basic design concept ready at the time of this meeting. Porta's initial concept for ACE was a fast-freight 2-10-0. This would be a "Second Generation Steam" (SGS) locomotive, and was not designed with the expectation to seamlessly fit into existing U.S. railway operations. It was intended to (1) be designed and built within 2-1/2 years, (2) pull actual freight trains in revenue service, (3) show that "classical" steam had nowhere near reached the scientific limits of performance or efficiency, and (4) provide valuable design and operating experience for the ACE design team. But other members of the ACE team decided that it was absolutely necessary to produce a 100% sellable machine, even as the first prototype. As a result, the concept for the ACE 3000 we saw in Trains took shape.

    The final result was intended to be a coal-burning steam locomotive which would somehow be made compatible with the modern railroad operating environment. Judging that the EMD GP-40 diesel-electric of 3000 crankshaft horsepower was pretty much the average railway locomotive, the ACE team set out to design a steamer that could effectively compete against it. The ACE 3000 was to be capable of 3000 draw bar horsepower, an efficient operating speed range of 15 to 70 MPH, have computer-controlled firing, and a typical (not peak) thermal efficiency of 15%. While the ACE team acknowledged that this efficiency was much less than a modern diesel-electric locomotive at about 30%, they knew that the immense cost difference in coal and diesel oil would allow a less-efficient coal burning locomotive to be more economical than diesels in the fuel department. It was claimed that the locomotive would be rugged, (relatively) simple, and use only proven technology. Unexpectedly to some, the proposed engine did not feature rotary-cam poppet valves, a 1200 psi watertube boiler, or a steam turbine prime mover. The ACE team carefully studied failed "advanced steam" attempts of the 40's and 50's and concluded that these items had never stood up to the harsh railroad environment, and moreover, were unnecessary to achieve their design goals. The ACE 3000 was to use a reciprocating, 4-cylinder compound expansion piston drive with Walschaerts-actuated piston valves (dual valves on the low pressure cylinders) and a 300 PSI firetube boiler (with Belpaire firebox). Computer control of the multitude of tasks taken care of in steam days by an experienced engineer and fireman would allow a diesel-educated engineer to run the locomotive.

    As the backlash against turbine locomotives took hold after the Rio Grande's disaster in 1981 [2], the ACE went to Union Pacific to suggest their design to replace their turbines. Union Pacific didn't put much into that, so Rowland instead went to heavy coal haulers Chesapeake & Ohio (Chessie System) and Burlington Northern, proposing a variant of the original design known as the "Dash-8", though with a new middle fuel wagon with a condenser unit, fluidized bed firebox and many other innovations, as well as a remarkably complete set of environmental controls, all of which added up to a locomotive with potential. BN was impressed enough to request a quote on building a test prototype. Rowland himself decided to make a point as well, and brought out his own steam locomotive, Chesapeake and Ohio 614, to do test runs for both roads to show the idea worked. After a through overhaul, the 614 took to C&O and BN rails in the late winter and early spring of 1985 to show its ability, blasting between first Huntington and Thurmond, WV, then Williston, ND and Billings, MT, to show the potential. This got a lot of attention, as did a fluke scene in August that year, when Amtrak's Empire Builder had an engine suffer a turbocharger failure while in Montana, and the 614 got the call to help pull the luxury liner. It did so flawlessly, and got quite a lot of publicity as a result.

    The first ACE 7000 unit, numbered as Burlington Northern 9000, took to the rails for the first time in late April 1985 for an extensive test campaign. The ACE 7000 was less powerful than UP's mighty fuel oil turbines, but at 14,500 rated horsepower at the drawbar the locomotive was no slouch, and was less complicated to maintain than the big turbines were. Better still, the thermal efficiency of the locomotive was figured at 28% - not quite modern diesels, but better than the turbine and not far off the latest diesel locomotives. It was also proven that the ACE 7000's emissions releases were no higher than other diesels in every area but particulates, where the ACE 7000 was actually lower than its diesel counterparts, thanks to much of the particulate catcher designs of previous engines. Burlington Northern was impressed by the result, and bought big into the idea, ordering nineteen more examples of the ACE 7000. Months after that, Emerson Electric bought Rowland's company for over $400 million, and the engines became the Emerson ACE 7000.

    The first two ACE 7000s in commercial service entered it for real in May 1987, numbered BN 9000 and 9001. These two units entered revenue freight service originally between Minneapolis, MN and Williston, ND, but as facilities were built for them their territory soon extended from Chicago to Tacoma, WA. The ACE units were almost all used on heavy drag freights and unit coal and grain trains, purposes for which they excelled. The success of the project did not go unnoticed, and Pennsylvania, Chesapeake & Ohio, Santa Fe and Canadian National also would ultimately buy examples of the Emerson ACE 7000. Emerson kept up the development of the project, seeing the ability to crack into the three-maker (GM, GE and Chrysler-Alco) American locomotive market. Emerson also built a 7000 and one ACE 3000 from the original design for its own keeping and tested them both on other solid fuels and semi-liquid fuels, with it being tested with fueling from gasoline, alcohol and even municipal garbage.

    The idea of revitalizing steam power for at least some uses was greatly benefitted in the Western world due to the ACE project, as it showed that there very much was life in steam power yet. The purchase of engines in the ACE 7000 series within months of each other in 1987 was indeed a sign that the steam engine could make a comeback. However, not all were convinced of the engines' newfound power. As such, the Emerson company decided on trying to develop some more engines of the design. Their next engines would be based upon the improvements given to the 7000, but then improve many more things.

    One of the first things that took place after the 7000's success were plans for the company to build the original ACE 3000 Designs. While the Burlington Northern was again determined to try them for themselves, other railroads were to say the least more hesitant, as it was not as powerful as the 7000 series engines. However, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad did see some potential use for the 3000 engines since their intended service on coal traffic in West Virginia did not cover as much distance. As such, the first of the 3000s rolled out in 1988 and immediately went to the C&O after a few test runs. Soon after their rival Norfolk & Western, a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was using several of them on coal trains through the Virginias. However, this would not prove to be anywhere near enough for larger roads that had taken interest in the ACE's creations, and a plan for an engine bigger than either of the pre-existing cab-forward diesel-shaped designs. Eventually, the other railroads decided that there wasn't much other than horsepower than the 7000 that prevented the 3000 from boing well, and other roads, namely the IC, bought examples of the 3000.

    This next engine would be the ACE 8000, which was a garratt based on John Sharpe's proposal for a modern British steam locomotive. It was a 4-8-2+2-8-4 combo with the boiler, firebox and bunker in the middle and water tanks on either end with condensers, and it used Sharpe's idea for a turbo re-compressor between the first and second stages of expansion for energy recovery. In addition, the many proven innovations of the ACE 7000 were applied to the product. The first engine of the 8000 type was build in 1989, and spent the first few months of 1990 in tests on various railroads. This time however, their success was noticed by Union Pacific, who purchased 20 of the type for use on the grades from Ogden to Cheyenne, as well as on their new and ex-C&NW lines to the Powder River Basin. But this time, the BN would not be alone in their liberal use of the 8000 type. The Denver & Rio Grande also took note of the Emerson ACE Series' success, and ordered the 8000 class to assist them in shuttling major freight operations from the Western Pacific in Utah to either Denver or The Ft. Worth/Dallas area. Meanwhile, the Western Pacific Railroad also purchased several 7000s and 8000s for their own uses on the mainline from Ogden to Oakland.

    The next major design would be rather less conventional in comparison to what most people expected modern steam to be like. Instead of going for yet another big hauler like the cab-fowards for garratt, they would instead go for a switcher. It was an 0-6-2 tank engine Livio Dante Porta originally designed for a railroad in his home country of Argentina. This engine, known as the ACE 200, was designed with the idea of being operated by only one crewman inside the engine itself. This idea was promising, and the engine was eventually tested on several railroads other than the naturally quick to respond BN. One of the first places whey worked in bulk was in the coal yards along the Atlantic Coast Line's former Louisville & Nashville main line from Cincinnati to Atlanta via Corbin, KY and Knoxville, TN. Some were even sent to Cuba for use in the Sugar Cane fields. They proved to be so successful that Emerson even built a few specifically for use on various tourist railroads across the country, like the Strasburg Railroad or even the Steamtown NHS in Scranton, PA [3]. That said, their lack of genuine use beyond switching did not do them much favors outside of a few railyards. Even so, most of them were built mainly for tourist lines.

    [1] In my TL, the Pennsylvania survives by acquiring the Norfolk & Western in the 1930s. Eventually, the N&W more or less take overs the PRR and upgrades it fully.
    [2] In my TL, the beginning of the ends for the GE Turbines happens sooner than what @TheMann envisioned.
    [3] In my TL, Steamtown is based out of the NYO&W yards in Scranton. Whereas the Lackawanna yard is still part of the Chessie System of my TL.
    Lucas likes this.
  15. TheMann Canuckwanker in Chief

    Aug 4, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Panoz Auto Development

    Established: July 7, 1989
    Headquarters: Braselton, Georgia, USA
    - Panoz Auto Development (road car development and production)
    - Elan Automotive Technologies (racing engine and drivetrain development)
    - G-Force Technologies (racing car chassis construction)
    - Panoz Motor Sports (racing team)
    - American Motorsports Promoters (racing circuit ownership and operation) (50%)
    - International Motorsports Association (American road racing sanctioning body) (33.3%)

    One of the North American 'boutique' automakers (joined by the likes of DeLorean, Vector, Fisker and Saleen) and one of the most important organizations in the world of racing in North America, Panoz Auto Development is the result of the enthusiasm and leadership of Dr. Don Panoz and his son Dan. The Georgia-based organization, whose efforts include Indy 500-winning Indycar teams, sports car teams that have been victorious in championships all around the world, ownership and operation of a number of world-class racing circuits and a collection of technically-advanced and impressive road and race cars, was built over a generation by the Panoz family, with humble beginnings that Panoz' enthusiasm rapidly made not so humble.

    The story began when the Panoz father and son bought the production rights to the TMC Costin (an Irish-produced track car developed by Cosworth founder Frank Costin in the early 1980s) from the bankrupt company in 1989, along with hiring designers Freeman Thomas and Sarah Rossland to design new bodywork for it and adapt it for the use of the Ford Mustang's 5.0-liter V8, a big step up in power from the engines the car had been designed for in Europe. The resulting Panoz Roadster debuted at the North American International Auto Show in 1992, and despite being pricey - over $45,000 in 1992 money -325 Roadsters were sold in its first four years, before the company evolved the design into the similarly-looking (but nearly entirely different underneath the skin) Panoz AIV in 1995. That car, too, was a massive hit, particularly as it was far more civilized than previous Panoz creations in terms of creature comforts.

    Right from the beginning, however, Panoz had big dreams in racing, and in 1995 the Panoz family commissioned famed British race car developer Adrian Reynard (not related to the Reynard of Westland-Reynard fame) to develop a sports racing car for the company, capable of competing at the highest levels of international Motorsport. The Panoz LMP-1 Roadster, debuting at the first Petit Le Mans, was the result, making headlines for being the first front-engined prototypes to compete at the top level of racing in a generation. The LMP-1 Roadster, however, would go on to become an icon, largely owing to its massive giant-killing victory in 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans, dusting competition from BMW, Toyota, Audi and Porsche in the process and, famously, giving Mario Andretti a victory in one of the few great races the American icon had never come out victorious in, despite the 1999 Le Mans being his twenty-fifth attempt at the race (and having finished second twice previously). The huge win was followed by Ford Motor Company, which knew of Chrysler and Cadillac's impending entries into the sport, teaming up with Panoz in the world of sports cars starting in 2000.

    Outside of the team owner and car builder world, when IMSA was sold to Andy Evans and Roberto Muller in 1996, it caused a sizable rift in the series' management, and Panoz joined with friend (and soon-to-be-Indycar boss) Tony George to ally the competing sanctioning bodies of sports car racing, beginning with the development of the Road Atlanta racing circuit, whose re-development led to the first Panoz-sanctioned the race, the 1998 Petit Le Mans. A massive hit, Panoz subsequently went on to create the American Le Mans Series in 1999, which became the IMSA American Le Mans Series after Evans and Muller sold out to Panoz and his partners (including George, Dan Gurney, Wayne Taylor and Bill France Jr.) in 2001. Panoz' meteoric rise the world of motorsport was followed by his purchasing and development of racing circuits, both at Road America but also the Sebring International Raceway in Florida and the rebuilding of Pacific Raceways in Washington State and Mosport International Raceway in Ontario, Canada. Mosport was ultimately sold to a consortium of Canadian racing team owners in 2012, while the Panoz Motor Racing Promotions was merged with Dan Gurney's American Motorsports Group in 2014, bringing no less than six top-end North American racing circuits - Road Atlanta, Sebring, Pacific Raceways, Riverside, Watkins Glen and Bridgehampton - under one roof, as well as both companies' involvement in several legendary karting facilities (including the famed Kart Space in Philadelphia and Empire State Kart Club in New York City) and Panoz' involvement in the famed Savannah Grand Prix in Savannah, Georgia, which by the mid-2000s was one of the races one went to when one wanted to see future racing stars. (As of 2019, only two of the nineteen Savannah Grand Prix winners didn't end up winning races in Formula One or Indycar Racing, and a win at Savannah would immediately mark you as a star in the making.)

    Panoz' massive success on the racetrack didn't see the road cars left behind, either. The Panoz GTR-1, which combined a modified version of the LMP-1 Roadster chassis with a hybrid-electric powertrain centered on a variant of the Ford Triton V10 (though the Panoz Triton used four-valve cylinder heads with helical camshafts and a flat-plane crankshaft), was despite controversial looks widely considered to be one of the world's greatest cars in the 2000s for its incredible acceleration and traction. The GTR-1 was rapidly followed by the beautiful Panoz Esperante, which debuted in 2002, becoming a much greater seller than the hardcore AIV and the very-expensive GTR-1, and the Esperante was followed by the Panoz Ambition, a smaller roadster powered by a turbocharged Ford-Cosworth V6 engine priced at around $40,000, aiming to compete with the 'premium roadsters' of the time, namely the Porsche Boxster, Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z3 and Alfa Romeo Spider, as well as somewhat with the newest versions of small sports cars like the Toyota MR2, Mazda Miata and RX-8, Pontiac Fiero and Dodge Copperhead.

    The Esperante/Ambition lineup sold in large numbers, with the Esperante being at higher-end grand touring cars, and Panoz' Elan Automotive Technologies both developing hybrid-electric drivetrains as well as helical drivetrains, and Elan and Cosworth was primarily responsible for the development of Ford's EcoBoost series of engines, which began to appear in Ford cars in 2006. Panoz' LMP-1 was replaced by the LMP07V (after the first LMP07 was redeveloped after its initial problems with cooling) in 2003, which lasted until the development of the LMP10 in 2006 to accomodate for rules changes and again into the LMP12 in 2009, which finally was forced by rules changes to abandon the front-engine designs that had made the first three Panoz Le Mans Prototypes so distinctive. Panoz' decision to go mid-engined ended up being a good one as the LMP12 claimed Panoz' second Le Mans win in 2009, beating Audi (who Panoz had been chasing for nearly a decade), Peugeot, Chrysler and Cadillac. By then, Panoz was using the Esperante in GT racing, a field in which it had considerable success in the 2000s in national championships all around the world.

    While sports car racing and developing their road-going offerings had always been the company's first priority, after Ford's involvement with Panoz, Tony George convinced Panoz to begin an Indycar effort, helping this along by arranging to buy the exiting Arciero-Wells team in 2002, becoming Indycar Team Panoz in 2003. The efforts initial struggles didn't last forever, as while the team struggled though 2003 and 2004, by late 2004 they were hot on the pace, and the team claimed its first Indycar win in the first race of 2005 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida, and it was to be followed by constant competitiveness for years to come, culminating in David Brabham's win in the 2006 Indy 500 for Panoz - who was by then driving a Panoz-built Indycar, as the organization had purchased and merged into the Panoz empire the G-Force Technologies chassis company.

    The late 2000s saw Panoz' influence reach perhaps its greatest high when he was invited to join World Sports Car boss Stephane Ratel, Japan Automobile Federation chairman Masahiro Hasemi and 24 Hours of Le Mans boss Jean-Claude Plassart in shaping the newest rules of sports car racing. The resulting Global Sports Car Rulebook that debuted for 2011 was a game changer, as it not only explicitly labeled classes of race car - two classes of prototypes (LMP1 and LMP2), two classes of silhouette race cars (SGT1 and SGT2) and three classes of production-based GT cars (GT1, GT2 and GT3), it - at Panoz and Hasemi's explicit request - locked in the rules for eight years and allowed for performance-balancing mechanisms, creating a whole bunch of new cross-overs of teams, manufacturers and racers as their cars could see use all around the world as a result. That had been deliberate, and Panoz had hoped that its offerings - the SGT2-class Panoz GTS, GT2-class Esperante GTLM and GT3-class Ambition Super Sport - would see use outside of North America, something that did indeed become the case.

    LMP1 had been designed to be a manufacturer playground - with Audi, Peugeot, Toyota, Ferrari, Chrysler, Cadillac, Panoz and Aston Martin competing, along with privateer teams Rebellion Racing, Drayson Racing, Dyson Racing, Epsilon Euskandi, Team Cytosport, DAMS Competition and Team Prodrive in it, there was no shortage of competitors, and technical innovation was encouraged - and sure enough, the diesel-fueled Audi R15 and Peugeot 908 entries and the bio-ethanol fueled Cadillac racers matched up against hybrid-electric racers from Toyota and Panoz and Chrysler's radical natural gas-fueled Chrysler Patriot series of racers. LMP2 was designed to be a privateer-prototype category, with cost-controlled cars and a requirement for production-based engines. SGT2 was the traditional tube-framed race car seen for decades in Trans-Am and IMSA AAGT, while SGT1 was the 'Class One' cars developed by the Japan Automobile Federation and the ITR in Germany for their respective series, similar in being silhouette cars but using carbon-fiber center sections. IMSA GT and ACO GTE, effectively the same cars, slotted into GT2, while the FIA's GT1 cars landed in that category, while Stephane Ratel's lower-cost, high-diversity GT3 formula formed the cases of its final category.

    IMSA's soaring profile in the 2000s helped draw entrants, and IMSA rapidly closed much of the gap in popularity between themselves and the 'big two' series of NASCAR and IndyCar in the 2000s and 2010s, and indeed Indycar and IMSA were regular partners in events, including Indycar races supporting IMSA's highest-profile events and IMSA's GT racers providing a landmark race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of the Indy 500's 'Month of May' for the first time in 2014. In the aftermath of the rules unification, SGT1 ultimately shoved the SGT2 cars out of the top levels of professional racing in North America, the much-safer carbon center cells of the SGT1 cars proving irresistible, and from 2013 all six of the classes competed both in the World Sports Car Championship and the American Le Mans Series. In 2014, Super GT in Japan took on all of the GT categories, and perhaps unsurprisingly Masahide Kyuwa's Panoz Team Japan was the first GT2 champion in Super GT.

    The Esperante and Ambition lived on until 2010, when the Ambition was replaced by the mid-engined Panoz Aura, which also ditched the Elan-tuned V6 for a EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder that made a bit more power but far more tore. The Esperante lasted until 2013 when it was replaced by the Panoz Avezzano, which was evolutionary in styling but radically different under the skin, while the last GTR-1s were produced in 2011. Panoz revived its classics with the Roadster II, which debuted in 2014, the new Roadster II powered by the 'Voodoo' version of Ford's Modular V8, and with 525 horsepower in a car weighing less than 2700 pounds, the Roadster II's speed was absolutely incredible. Not satisfied with the luxurious Avezzano, sporty Aura and incredible Roadster II, Panoz developed and introduced the Akuma for 2015. An extremely-luxurious four-door sedan meant to compete with the likes of the top-end models of the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, Lexus LS and Jaguar XJ using an electric drivetrain, with a 55 kwh battery occupying most of the area under the passenger compartment, electric motors driving all four wheels and a turbocharged Ford V6 in the front, acting as a range extender and driving the car though a generator when the battery was depleted. As befitting a Panoz (and clearly with mind to the Tesla Model S and Cadillac's V-Series cars, among others), the Akuma was very, very quick for a 5000-plus pound luxury sedan, but unlike the more viceral cars of Panoz's sports car history, the Akuma was a top-drawer luxury sedan, and only the 2015 models weren't equipped with a plug-in charger for the batteries (and Panoz offered to retrofit all 2015 Akumas with the plug-in system for free at the owner's request, and virtually all Akuma owners did this), allowing even-greater range for the cars.

    Dr. Don Panoz ultimately passed away from pancreatic cancer in September 2018, but by then him and his son's empire had grown to immense proportions. The Panoz auto companies did R&D for automakers all around the world and were a key player in Ford's motorsport efforts all around the world, sold over 16,000 cars in 2018, ran efforts in IMSA and Indycar and supported racing customers all around the world. In recognition of his efforts (and with the Panoz family's complete approval), the teams' trophy for the IMSA American Le Mans Series was renamed the "Don Panoz Trophy", complete with a trophy based on the design of one of Dr. Panoz's favorite art sculptures. When the trophy was first awarded to the Audi Sport Team Champion six weeks after his death after the team and its Audi R15 TDI had claimed the ALMS' team trophy, team co-owner Devinder 'Dave' Maraj had a difficult time accepting the trophy from Dan Panoz, commenting "Your father made so much of what we all are today, I'm not sure I'm truly worthy of this."

    As of 2019, all of the six Panoz children are part of the empire, and the company employs over 6500 people in the United States on its vast array of projects, efforts and car production.
  16. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

    Feb 23, 2018
    UPDATE: Banjo-Kazooie is still its own game in my Nintendo-Sony universe. Whereas Conker is eventually a character in Edison & The Dreamers.