CSR79: Family Matters
alternate title: Rooooadtrip!
(Note: I won’t accept submissions until 11:59pm (not am) EST Saturday just in case the rules need changing)
June 2003; a small town in New York, USA
(you’re free to skip the prologue if walls of text scare you)
Monica staggered back in disbelief after hearing the news from Mike, her father. Their 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan, the first of its generation, totaled. The minivan had recently had a new set of tires installed, but the shop they went to had poorly secured the rear left wheel. Mike was running a quick errand alone when suddenly on the winding road leading up to their neighborhood, the tire flew off, sending the Dodge and Mike careening down a cliff. Luckily Mike escaped unscathed, and no other cars were involved in the accident, but the car was completely wrecked and written off.
“Yes,” he said solemnly. Mike had purchased the car brand new back in late 1990, almost 13 years ago. He remembers keeping up with the Caravan’s release like a teenager hyped about a new video game. His family is rather large after all, so such a car seemed perfect for his situation then. His family consists of Monica, the eldest child soon to be heading off to university at a rather famous institute on the east coast, Bill and his twin sister Lizbeth, currently finishing up his sophomore year in high school, Justin, who just “graduated” from elementary school, Mike’s wife Karen, and of course Mike himself.
“Luckily the insurance gave us a generous amount of money to use on a new car (with a bit extra from the auto shop due to their negligence), so l guess it’s time to start searching!” Mike exclaimed, attempting to wipe the frown off of Monica’s face.
But Monica was still blue.
“I…I don’t know how to feel… for 13 years, two-thirds of my life, that car was like our second home. We road tripped all over with it. I could remember who liked to sit where, all the little dings and beeps and creaks, where every stain on the carpeting was and how it got there and who did it and…”
Her expression lightens. Mike creeps out a small smile.
“Remember that time we were going to Florida and Mom pulled out her old cassettes? There was that one song…I forget its name…it went like “a-boom chika boom” and it cracked us all up. It was so silly and over the rest of the trip we just randomly said “a-boom chika boom” as sillily (sillily? Is that even a word?) as we could and we just started dying of laughter. Ooh ooh, and remember that time when Bill got a Big Mac for the first time and the burger just collapsed and got all over his pants. Oooh and when…” Monica continued to recollect various memories of the tens of thousands of miles in that van and in the end she said
“You know what…let’s start looking, I’m sure we’ll create many more memories with our new car, and I’ll make sure it’s the best one out there!”
Mike had gone around to tell everyone else in the family later, but while all were disheartened about the accident, none were as eager to begin the search as Monica. Still, they have to take into account the interests and accommodations of each family member.
Mike is going to be the one driving the car the most, but at the same time he’s more concerned about who else will be riding in it and driving it. Personally, he wants a car that’s good on fuel. Note that the US has 3 common grades of fuel: 89, 91, and 93 AKI (91, 95, and 98 RON), but the higher octanes are more expensive, and he’ll take that into account. While he has some money to spend on the car, he especially wants a car that’s reliable and won’t cost him too much down the road, which is what he loved about the old Caravan*. For road trips he’d like lots of cargo volume (roof racks will add 500L if there is enough extra load capacity at the cost of $150 for the carrier, also see the end of the post for a note about cargo volume) He’d also like a little bit of utility, extra load capacity, and offroad, though it’s not entirely necessary. It’s slightly more convenient when he doesn’t have to check out a company truck when he has to go out onto the field for his job. He’d also appreciate if the car had a decent power-to-weight ratio.
Karen works night shift and tends to like driving bigger cars, so Mike thinks she’ll end up driving it occasionally. She asked Karen and she would like a very comfortable car (she complains when Mike runs over even the smallest of bumps). Considering Mike’s accident, she really emphasized that the car should be safe and reliable. She’d also like it to be fairly quiet (=<40 loudness), so as to not disturb anyone who’s sleeping. She also wants practicality and some cargo volume for the bi-weekly grocery trips. Mike also thinks Karen would appreciate a very drivable car, and a car that’s pretty good-looking and modern (for 2003) and has great street presence (she never really was a fan of wood trim).
Monica dreams of road trips with the family full of card games, random games like all your cows are dead, etc, and relaxing as the rolling roads rock her to sleep. Part of the reason she decided to go to university far away was to create more road trip memories along the way to her new school. She’d especially like a comfortable car so that cards and stuff aren’t ejected from hands lost under seats after bumps and so that sleep will come easily. She’d also like a driveable car since she’ll be driving the car occasionally when she is at home. And finally, she’d like a car with lots of cargo volume and a bit of safety (again, roof racks will add 500L if there is enough extra load capacity for $150 for the carrier, also see the end of the post for more info) for road trips and carrying her stuff to school.
Monica then went around to her siblings and noted their requests:
Bill isn’t really into cars, so he’d just like a car that’s “easy to drive and safe” so he can learn “without fear of death or something.”
Lizbeth, however, is the real car nerd. She has pictures of the Delta S4 from the crazy group B days, the McLaren MP4/4 from the insane turbo F1 days, and the Mazda 787B with its screaming quad rotor covering her bedroom wall. Mike already bought a fairly sporty car (there were so many to choose from) but she doesn’t think he’ll let her drive it when she gets her license. So, she conceded to simply wanting a car that doesn’t sound sad so she can at least crack a smile when she’s alone and can press her foot to the floor…(oop don’t tell dad). Oh, and she kinda wants the car to sip fuel because she really really doesn’t want to pay for gas when she ends up driving. And when she gets picked up by her parents after her many after-school extracurriculars, she’d rather see her parents roll up in a good-looking, prestigious car so she can brag to all her friends and enemies.
And finally Justin…Oh Justin…he was the most distraught… like he’d lost his third parent. He just wants the Caravan back, but after telling him that sadly probably won’t happen, he simply told Monica he wants a car with 4 wheels, plenty of room, and enough seats for everyone. Monica noted that he recently developed chronic back pain (doctors are unsure what caused it) and so he would need a comfortable car.
Idk if this is actually true with first/second gen Caravans
Yep. It’s a Car Ad
With all this information, Mike and Monica begin the search for a new car. They start scouring newspapers, magazines, and the Internet (*gasp*).
I tried my best to limit the ambiguity in my wording so it shouldn’t be too subjective. Note that if multiple family members mention a stat it’s probably important wink wink.
Engine PU/ET limit: 50/42
Car PU/ET limit: 105/40
ALL prices are at 50% markup. Mike got $27000 from the accident and will put another $5000 towards the car. He’d rather the car be below the combined $32000, but he’s willing to put in a bit more of the family nest egg into it, though he won’t be too happy about it.
“Effective cargo capacity” is as follows: load capacity, in kg, must be one-third of cargo volume, in liters, + 325kg (for five 65kg people) for the cargo volume to be entirely accounted for. E.g if the cargo volume is 1000L, load capacity must be at least 333.3+325 = 658.3kg. (I’m not sure how the unit conversions work out). Otherwise, “Effective cargo capacity” will only be a fraction of cargo volume. Cargo volume and Utility will be determined by removing the third row if your car has one to simulate removing/folding seats.
Adding a roof rack will increase cargo volume by 500L at the cost of $150.
Must seat at least 5, though 6+ is much more preferred
Loudness =< 40
91, 95, or 98 RON fuel (Regular, Premium, or Super)
Stats in order of priority:
Effective Cargo Capacity
Fuel Economy, Reliability
Prestige, Power to weight ratio (minimum 0.06), Practicality
Engine note & sounds, Offroad, Spare Load Capacity, Utility
As usual, please pm your cars in the following format:
Car model: CSR79 - [username].
Car trim: Name of the car I will display
Engine family: CSR79 - [username].
Engine variant: Name of the engine I will display