Otosan Anadol A1
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
Although Otosan was not the first Turkish manufacturer to develop a car, it was the first to mass produce one. Styled by Tom Karen of Ogle Design, Otosan approached Reliant
in the UK to develop a prototype, mainly because of their experience with developing cheap and reliable cars.
Pre Production FW5 Leaves For Turkey
"...An important moment in the life of a new British car, as Reliant's Managing Director, Mr. R. W. Wiggin, hands the keys of the code-named "FW5" to an executive of the Turkish group which will start producing it later this year. The visitor, who flew from Istanbul to Britain recently for a test run in this final pre-production car, is Mr. Bernar Nahum, Director of the Automotive Division of Koe Holdings"...
The Anadol A1 Enters Production
The new model went into production on the 19th December 1966
, these first iterations using the 1200cc Cortina
engine. In October 1968
this was replaced by the 1300cc Kent engine, a much stronger and more reliable unit. Then in 1969
the dashboard gauges were updated with a new design and their positions were changed, even the steering
wheel was given an ergonomic overhaul.
Although neat and well finished, the Anadol A1 looked rather too slab-sided, due mainly to the high waistline working in conjunction with flat side windows - this later element being an unwanted "feature" dictated by the local supply situation.
Good Quality, But Little Concession To Safety
The interior layout was simple but the finish was generally very good, and best of all there were face level fresh air vents. The only really issue when you got inside was the clumsily high position of the steering
wheel. Taking a look around you would be amazed at the simplicity of design, which was a keynote of the interior styling. The dash and seats were suprisingly well made, although it was evident that little thought had been put into crash protection.
The boot was quite spacious and extensively trimmed, and there was an automatic lid prop. A hinged number plate concealed the fuel filler cap. The under-bonnet layout was neat and practical. A large 55 ampere hour battery
hid the distributor, but otherwise accessibility was good. But once again the steering
was of concern, the forward mounting of the rigid steering
column not conducive to driver safety!
the two round headlamps at front were replaced with oval headlamps, a new transmission
system was introduced, and the bumpers were changed. In 1971
the interior of the roof was covered with vinyl to keep up with fashion trends, although the design essentially remained this way until April 1972
Commemorating The Mediterranean Games
the Mediterranean Games in İzmi were commemorated by Otosan by building a special model A1, the Akdeniz
(Mediterranean). Anadol Akdeniz was like a prelude of the new model which arrived in 1972
, and had bumpers which were integrated to the shape of the bodywork, a different front grille, rectangular headlamps with white signal lamps, and different rear lights.
The interior of the car was also completely changed, with a new dashboard, new seats and new finishing materials. Starting from 1972
, this model became the standard coupé of Anadol until its production finally came to a halt in 1975
The 5-seat body was built from fibre glass and affixed to an H-Frame chassis. The Anadol was originally only available as a coupé, but in late 1973
was joined by a saloon (sedan) and an estate (station wagon) version.
The chassis had independent front suspension
utilising coil springs and leaf springs on a live axle for the rear. Brakes were disc in the front and drum in the rear. The steering
system used a recirculating ball mechanism.
Competent Rally Performer
Anadol A1 was also the first Turkish rally car, and Anadol Ralli Takımı (ART)
became the first Turkish rally team. The first official rally in Turkey, the 1968
Trakya (Thrace) Rally, was won by the famous duo of Anadol A1 drivers Renç Koçibey and Demir Bükey.
Other famous Anadol A1 rally drivers included İskender Atakan, Claude (Klod) Nahum, Mete Oktar, Şükrü Okçu and Serdar Bostancı.
Famous rally driver Romolo Marcopoli was also an A1 fan. In 1968, another Turkish driver, İskender Aruoba, participated in the 30,000 km Africa-Asia-Europe Tour, which lasted 8 months, with his Anadol A1.
The Otosan Anadol was certainly not a great car, however it was well built and the absence of body joins enhanced the impression of cleanliness.
Both inside and out, the car did not scream "cheap and cheerful", although even for the standards of the mid 1960's it was obvious that little thought had gone into safety, and this remained the cars major flaw.