CSR121 - Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza
Kayla is nearing the end of her sophomore year living off campus at a large college in a small town located in the Appalachian mountains. She’s a fairly regular student for this party school; a bit of a wild child, her studies take a back seat to fun.
She’s an active member in the school’s car enthusiast club. She’s been a car enthusiast her entire life, and, she’s been lucky. Her parents are wealthy, and let her borrow one of their least-expensive cars for her use at school. A 2007 Volkswagen GTI 5 door.
As an enthusiast’s car and a car for a college student, it’s damn near perfect. Sporty, but not too fast. Cool, but still practical. Enough space to easily move her from her dorm room out to the apartment she’s in now.
But Kayla’s not in love with the car. You see, within the car club, despite being one of very few girls in the club, Kayla feels a sense of disdain from other members. Sure, the 4 year old hot hatch isn’t a supercar, but it’s nice and new enough that she can’t shake certain stereotypes. Namely, that she’s a spoiled brat, driving around “daddy’s money” and that being into cars is a sort of a ploy for attention.
It bugs her, because, she knows, it’s not entirely untrue. She is spoiled. This car isn’t hers. She hasn’t had to work for it, and she’s never had to work on it. It doesn’t feel like her own, because really, it’s not.
She wants a car that she can, hand over heart, really call her own. And she wants something more stylish than the GTI. A hardcore sports car or something vintage cool, if not both. Something she’ll look cool in around town, that will be a hoot in the surrounding mountain roads, that will be a willing autocross partner, and, hopefully, something she can use to try out this drifting thing she keeps seeing all over Speedhunters.
But to call it her own, she needs to buy it with her own money. That’s not a huge pool of money to work with. She can’t ask her parents for help either, that would defeat the purpose. And she doesn’t want to finance anything either.
Utilizing the used car calculator here, make sure your car is no more than $4500. Save your own copy of it for your use.
Trim year no newer than 1996, and no older than 1976.
Maximum 95 RON.
Minumum Safety 38.
Must seat at least 4. “+” seats are acceptable for the 2nd row, but only use them if they make sense for your vehicle. Sedans and wagons should seat at least 5. She’s got friends, and she wants to be able to shuttle them around and take occasional road trips.
Body styles should be cars only. No trucks, SUVS, vans, etc. Local racetracks and will not allow these vehicles types for insurance reasons.
Catalytic converters are expected, but can be removed at 25 years old and up. Consider that when you’re thinking about aftermarket mods. See the mods section below.
- It’s gotta look cool. Kayla’s an enthusiast, and she wants something that pulls on her emotions the moment she looks at it. Plus, she’s got this new app called Instagram on her iPhone 4, and she’s got to have a cool looking car for posting there.
- It’s gotta be sporty and/or quick. Don’t go overboard with the sportiness and destroy comfort and drivability in the process. It will be her only car.
- Some power. Sure, a sporty car doesn’t need to be fast to be fun, but Kayla grew up around muscle cars, and loves some good grunt. She’s enjoyed the GTI as well, so she has nothing against smaller displacement and/or turbocharging, but she doesn’t want something with too laggy a turbo setup. If it’s a comfy cruiser with enough grunt, she can overlook a lack of sportiness compared to a less powerful car. Don’t go overboard though. Look at the example vehicles and stay realistic.
- Be inexpensive to maintain and reliable within reason. While she wants to take this opportunity to get something she can learn to work on, she also lives in a 3 story apartment with shared parking and has limited access to tools, so she won’t be able to work on it easily. On this front, cars that are less old and have fewer miles will be seen more favorably than an older or higher-mileage vehicle of similar maintenance costs and reliability. Anything around 250k miles or more will be an unlikely choice.
- Front Engine, RWD layout heavily preferred. Spending too much time on Speedhunters has her dying to try drifing, and there are a few low-key local events she could do in a nearly-stock car.
- Manual Transmission heavily preferred. She’s an enthusiast dying for more respect amongst the car guys, so an automatic may not help with that.
- Limited slip differential of some kind heavily preferred. 1, for the drifting, but also 2, this town is built among mountains, and it does snow in the winter.
- A good stereo is a plus, but not top priority.
- Practicality is a plus. It’s her only car, so being useful for moving things around will be appreciated.
- Fuel economy is a plus, but not top priority. Gas may have been expensive by US standards in 2011, but that’s still pretty cheap in the grand scheme of things. If you want to tune your car for 91 RON, I’ll consider it a roughly 15% savings on fuel costs. But in either case, I care more that the fuel mileage is reasonable and realistic than if it is especially good.
- Well-Roundedness. Please be reasonable and realistic. I will be looking at everything on your car, not just the listed priorities, and since it is her only car, it needs to be a well rounded, useful, and livable vehicle. You will be making compromises with this car. No single car fits all of her needs and wants. Try to find the right balance.
Take a look at the example cars below. Try to build your cars in relation to these real-life examples, to keep your vehicle grounded in reality. I’ve tried to enter a wide variety of cars here. If your car seems like an outlier in this group, please reconsider your engineering choices.
That said, the vehicles do not need to be totally stock! A few mods here and there make sense for these types of used cars. If your submission includes any bits you’d consider an aftermarket mod rather than how the car was built stock, I can be a little more lenient on the realism for that bit. Just be sure to mention in your submission what bits are aftermarket, and why/how it is a modification that makes sense for the vehicle. But please, no engine swaps. It gets too complicated.
if you are interested in submitting a vehicle that is a 76-80 trim year, and would like to reduce the mileage the calculator is giving you for your car, I will allow this. If you want to do so, please send me your .car file as usual, the mileage you’d like the car at and an explanation on why it was not used regularly for some of it’s life, and I will review it the car and come back to you with a price I decide for it given it’s details and mileage. I’m looking to increase the freedom available for your builds, but if you want to take this option, please understand that it will be done pretty subjectively and on a case by case basis, and please try to get your car to me sooner than later so I can get back to you with the price adjustment and you can make additional adjustments if necessary.
IRL Cars considered
MN12 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe
Volvo 740 Turbo
IT IS CURRENLY 4:00 PM EDT AND I AM OPENING ENTRIES. One week, so, 8:00 PM GMT on March 21st. Please use the standard naming convention for submissions:
Model: “CSR121 - YourUserName”
Trim: Brand model and trim
Engine Family & Variant: whatever you’d like to call the engine.
Please, no resubmissions.
I believe stable and open are the same right now, but in case that changes, I am switching over to stable for judging.
And here’s a pair of Kayla’s favorite playlists (both WIP. Designed to be shuffled). Hip-hop for partying, Indie for chilling.