A Joop belonging to the Schopenhauer Museum of Industry
|Manufacturer||Sàenlig Arms Company, Joop Division|
|Assembly||Sàenlig Arms Company|
|Designer||Hector "Heco" Sàenlig and Thierry Sàenlig|
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Utility terrain vehicle|
The Sàenlig Arms Company Joop is an Odentian 4x4 utility vehicle assembled by the Sàenlig brothers of Collines operating as the Sàenlig Arms Company. It is an unlicensed reproduction of the highly successful Meralan Jeep 4x4, assembled out of the Sàenlig garage in Mobile. The Sàenlig brothers produced approximately 200 Joops over a few years before numerous road incidents involving the vehicles led to their being pulled from the road by the Odentian Infrastructure Office.
History and design
The Joop is a wholly unlicensed reproduction of the Meralan Jeep. The Sàenlig brothers had purchased a Jeep secondhand from a local off-roader in 1974, and spent the next three years reverse-engineering the vehicle. By 1979, they had managed to construct a working replica, and showed it off regularly around the backwoods of Mobile.
Like some models of the Jeep, the Joop featured a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine was frequently the only part of the vehicle not manufactured by the Sàenlig brothers. The original sources for the engines were often old Stasnovan GAZ-51 trucks; exactly where the Sàenlig brothers managed to acquire these engines is unknown and was under investigation by the Odentian authorities for several years.
The Joop's exact specifications are unknown. Lax manufacturing standards means that each vehicle varies wildly in dimension and often construction. These same imperfections make the Joop nearly impossible to maintain and unsafe to drive. Recorded ailments with the car varied from engine mounts shaking to ruptured fuel lines causing fires
The Sàenlig brothers, Hector (known as Heco) and Thierry, were born in 1941 and 1944, respectively, to Alice and Eric Sàenlig of Collines. Records indicate that the two graduated primary and middle school, but failed to graduate high school. The brothers worked as machinists at the shipyards in Barre-Karrigan, but had left the job by 1963. They were believed to have picked up rudimentary manufacturing skills in this role. It was here that the brothers picked up a keen interest in cars.
Alice and Eric Sàenlig both died in 1978 within a month of one another. After his death, it was reported that Eric Sàenlig had made significant investments in Cartier-Bresson that had made great returns; Hector and Thierry were left with significant inheritances. It is believed that this money was used to produce the Joop.
On February 19, 1983, a Joop belonging to one Jean Richard Bork was driving along backroads in the Grand Murgris when the vehicle's chassis abruptly split in two. Later tests indicated that Bork's Joop was made from low-grade steel, and had developed significant cracking in two years of usage. Although Bork was unharmed in the accident, he was stranded for several hours in snowbound temperatures and developed severe hypothermia.
On July 12, 1983, a Joop was involved in a collision. It was revealed that the Joop's steering had spontaneously failed as a result of improperly installed suspension that had failed suddenly after hitting a particularly deep pothole.
On October 27, 1984, the engine mounts of a Joop rattled loose on the highway, causing the vehicle to shift suddenly and the engine to damage itself beyond repair. It was this crash that first caused Odentian federal authorities to take note, though no action was taken.
The most significant accident involving a Joop occurred on July 4, 1987, when a Joop belonging to Pierre Harcout spontaneously exploded in the middle of Val-d'Odene. The sudden conflagration was highly unusual; cars usually do not destroy themselves in this manner. Subsequent investigation revealed that an errant and almost vestigial structural member had managed to penetrate the fuel tank. The friction between the fuel tank walls and the magnesium beam created sparks that set the fuel aflame; within the enclosed space of the fuel tank, an explosion occurred. Harcout and three bystanders died.
After the July 1987 incident, the Odentian Infrastructure Office took notice of the Joop. This crash was the first to take place in a city center and the first to take the lives of bystanders. The Sàenlig brothers were not secretive about their work, and in fact took pride in it.
Federal authorities raided the brothers' workshop in late 1987 and arrested the duo for manufacturing and selling cars without a license and for breaking various manufacturing and sales regulations. Additional charges relating to their branding as an "arms company" were dropped. The remaining Joops were either seized or bought back and destroyed or donated to museums, rendered inoperable, or, in at least two cases, were allowed to remain in private hands with the acknowledgement that the vehicle could never be taken on the road.