One of the things I like best about Thanksgiving, aside from grandma's ketamine-laced stuffing, is that it gives me a flimsy excuse to talk about cars made in Turkey. I did it last year and we all pulled through (relatively) okay, so let's give it another go. This time, let's talk about the Anadol STC-16, also known as the Super Turkish Monster.
Anadol was Turkey's first real volume automobile company, and even though their name sounds like some sort of painkiller that suburban moms take to make life bearable, they were fairly successful. Their fundamental technology was based on Britain's Reliant — ladder-frame chassis with fiberglass bodies, and, when you can, let some other poor schmuck design and build the engines.
The particular Anadol I want to talk to you about today was the second car to be completely designed in Turkey (the first one didn't really pan out) and was Turkey's first actual sports car. Making the car at all took some convincing by the General Manager of Otosan (Anadol's parent company), who was also the son-in-law of one of Anadol's founders, which I'm sure helped. The thinking was this could be a car to appeal to the higher end of the market, and to help bring some prestige to the Anadol brand.
Anadol chose the name STC-16 because they must have used up all their creativity at breakfast, since the name means Sports Turkish Car - 1600cc. Since that's boring, the Turkish people picked up the slack, deciding that STC must stand for "Süper Türk Canavarı" which means "Super Turkish Monster." Much better.
They got designer Eralp Noyan to make the STC-16 something special, and I think he did. The first prototypes appeared in 1972, and the car certainly feels like a sports car of that era. You can see a little Mk I Escort in the dogbone-shaped grille, there's more than a little Datsun 240z in the profile and proportions, and maybe even a little MGB GT or Saab Sonnet in there, too.
Despite feeling a bit like a mash-up of things you've seen somewhere before, I think the STC-16 is a very attractive car. Especially in its signature yellow. It has the right long hood/short deck classic sportscar proportions, a good, determined face, and some interesting detailing, like the trapezoidal taillights and useful hatch.
Under the hood, the car used Ford's 1600cc Kent Crossflow engine, normally good for about 68 HP (maybe 78 HP — I've read differing specs) — not exactly monstrous. The transmission was from a Cortina, and while the drivetrain doesn't seem too impressive on paper, it was a very well-known and tunable little lump, and pretty rugged besides.
A rally-prepped version with a lighter chassis and an engine tuned to 140 HP did pretty well in Turkish and European rallies, and did manage to give Anadol a little bit of that sizzly-goodness they were lacking.
The STC-16 was doomed by the 1973 oil crisis, since it was just too expensive and thirsty to weather that sort of upheaval effectively. Even though only 176 were made, the STC-16 is still remembered fondly in Turkey, and has become a sort of symbol of a more freewheeling carefree '70s era Turkey, and shows up in that role in ads and movies to this day.
So, if you're sitting around the table this Thanksgiving, desperately trying not to hear another one of your creepy uncle's racist diatribes about how the Moors are poisoning us with chemtrails of gluten, take a moment and be thankful that almost every country that can build cars will, at some point, try their hand at making a sportscar.
And, sometimes, like the STC-16, they can turn out pretty cool indeed.