Welcome to the finals
The time has come
It’s finally the day when Henry is going to buy his car, and he is really excited about this. He had left early in the morning, taking a bus to Tuusula, a city known for it’s many car dealerships, used and new. He had the 13000$ as cash with him, he was going to pay for the whole car right then and there without any extended paying periods.
Soon, he had arrived to the area where the most dealerships are, and he sees a massive hall, with a large sign on the front wall, that has different car brands in it… seems like this is one of those dealerships that import soviet cars. Henry enters the massive hall, and the experience is a rather basic one, the entire hall is full of different kinds of cars, in different paintjobs, sizes and trim levels. After passing a line of SYZ- branded cars, he sees what he is actually looking for, a Nira Azimuth.
Henry looks around the car, touching the body panels, which feel… more or less sturdy. The car definitely feels and looks more plasticky than in the pictures. “Can I help you?” A voice says behind Henry’s back, startling him as he didn’t notice anyone being behind him. “Oh, um, yeah… can I take one of these to a test drive?” He asks, a bit shy as he is totally new to this. The older salesman nods and leads Henry outside to an another example, that the customers get to drive.
The car felt nothing like his dad’s Mercedes, everything was more or less slapped together and less refined, and the car felt… cheap, but this is just because Henry isn’t used to this. The engine started up right away, and it sounded… surprisingly smooth, nothing like his uncle’s old SYZ that his parents hate.
Henry tries to leave the parking lot, but ends up stalling the car a few times, as the engine really lacks torque and the gears are rather long. but after revving the engine to oblivion he manages to leave the parking lot.
Henry immediately notices how dead the car feels in general, the feel-nothing power steering, front wheel drive, and rather gutless engine make the driving experience rather… unimpressive. The suspension is also rather unforgiving in bumps, with the harsher suspension and loose dampers, but the car’s large size helps a bit.
Henry returns the car to the dealership soon, and decides to visit the AHB dealership right next to the large hall. The AHB dealership looks more like a small kiosk compared to the huge hall, and most of the cars are stored outside in the parking lot. Right after Henry steps in the shop, a large man approaches him with a cigar in his mouth. “What ya looking for, boy?” He asks, and Henry looks at him with a surprised gaze for a while. “Uh, I was looking for the Alb-” He stutters out, and the man laughs, taking out the keys from his pocket. “Take that one there, and return it before evening or I’ll call the cops on ya” He says, returning to his small office space, puffing his cigar on the way. Henry looks at the keys for a second, shrugs and walks to the car.
The door creaks as Henry opens the driver side door, and the car looks so much more basic than the Azimuth… and so small too. The car shakes as Henry gets inside, and he immediately notices that his legs will be quite tightly together, from all angles, because the foot well is narrow, and the seats won’t move far back enough.
Henry starts the car and is impressed about the fact that it is quieter than the Nira. And because the thing barely weighs anything, getting the car moving is an easier job as well. Henry soon notices that the car feels so much more “mechanical” than the Azimuth, but in a fun way, the steering is quick, the car isn’t that gutless either, and overall the car handles really nicely, and if it wasn’t for the lack of space it might be comfortable too.
Henry notices how he instinctively ends up thrashing the car around and driving rather irresponsibly, as the car is so much fun. He comes back to his senses soon, and decides to return the car to the dealership. He gets out of the car and slams the door shut, and it makes a nasty creaking noise again.
Henry gets inside the shop, and the fat man approaches him with a new cigar in his mouth, taking the keys from Henry. “Did you like it? hope you didn’t like it too much, you’ll pay if there is any scratches” The man says, staring at Henry. He just nods to the man, smiling uncomfortably, quickly walking to the dealership on the other side of the street. It seems much classier, and he senses some more… luxurious european vibes.
The Autodelta dealership gives a much better first impression than the beat-up AHB Shop, with a marble floor and modern furnitute and building materials. The Autodelta also looks much nicer than the other cars so far, and it looks much better put together.
Soon, a well-dressed, tall man in his 30s walks over to Henry, looking at him admiring the car. “Are you interested? We can arrange a test drive for you” The man says to Henry, giving him a warm smile, that Henry has seen many times at the Mercedes dealers, probably some kind of a selling tactique.
Henry agrees to the test drive, and the man sits on the passenger seat with him, unlike in the last two dealers where he can drive the car alone. The man gives Henry the keys, and lets him drive the car out through a garage door on the side of the building. While being inside the car, Henry notices how the nice luxurious looks are only an illusion, the dash is rather flimsy, the seats are some cheap vinyl that feel… rather unpleasant.
During the test drive, Henry feels how similar this car is to the Nira, and the man sitting next to him is extremely distracting as he babbles about th car’s features, that don’t really even exist. The car is faster than the Nira, but it also consumes more gas, but the interior is much worse, but also the suspension is better… Henry gets annoyed by the man’s talking, deciding to get back to the dealer as soon as possible. He gets the car back to the lot quickly, giving the keys back to the man, and gets out of there quickly, not wanting to deal with this man anymore.
“Just few more cars” He thinks, walking along the street, until he sees the rather nice-looking Legion dealership. He walks inside the old-fashioned building, he remembers reading an article about this dealer being the first one in this street. Henry quickly walks over to the Sparrow lineup, and the cars look surprisingly more muscular and sturdy than in the pictures. They are also the tallest and highest-riding cars so far.
Soon, walks over an older lady, that clearly looks like she should have been retired years ago. “Hello there young man, do you like this car? I couldn’t help but notice how interested you were about it” She says and gives out a warm smile, opening the driver side door for Henry. “You know, I have been driving these cars for 20 years and I know these are good machines” The lady says, gesturing Henry to get inside the car. Henry sits down on the soft front seat, and the car feels really welcoming and cozy, maybe a bit old-fashioned, but the car didn’t feel outdated.
The interior was nicely put together, and the seats were quite nice cloth as well, and the dash is sturdy. “Here are the keys young man, I know you want to drive this beautiful machine, just leave the car outside when you are ready.” She says to Henry, closing the door carefully after giving Henry the keys.
Henry starts the engine, and it sounds quite old, bit like a tractor. He drives the car out of the side garage door, and it is really easy to get moving, as the first gear is very tight. While driving, Henry notices how boaty the car is to drive, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t really that fun though. The brakes are the biggest letdown, they feel quite bad and the car stops quite slowly, and the steering wheel is heavy and rather vague, because of the massive steering wheel. The car isn’t exactly fast either, but it is quick enough because of its moderate weight and quick gearing.
Henry returns the car back to the dealership parking lot, leaving the keys to the ignition like he was told to. He walks off again, to the more modern dealer building with glass walls, and he sees that both the Rosker Tigo and Kaizen TR are being sold there. He sees both of the cars out in the car park, and there is a man dressed in a suit unconcsious in the front seat of the Tigo.
Henry hurries off to the car, opening the door and shaking the man, and he wakes up, apparently he was only sleeping. “Wha- Oh hello, I think I dozed off for a second” The man says, getting out of the car like nothing happened. “I assume you wanted to test drive this car?” The man says, and before Henry even has a chance to say anything, the man slaps the keys to Henry’s hand, and starts walking away. “I-I was going to test drive the Kaizen too!” Henry says to the man, and he sighs back as a reply, looking at Henry, tired. “The keys are in the ignition… Do whatever you want as long as you won’t break the cars” The man says, running inside the building, leaving Henry confused about how this man is behaving.
Henry decides to try the Kaizen first, and he can see that it is put together rather nicely, and the spaceage looks are quite neat as well. As Henry starts the car he notices that it sounds different than the other cars so far, probably because of fuel injection. As he leaves the parking lot he accidentally makes the front wheels spin out, not being used to this king of power, as most of the car before this had 30 less hp.
Overall , it feels like a very sporty car, but like the Alberto it is quite cramped, and the seats are maybe a bit too sporty, aka hard, or it might just be the rough suspension. Even though the car is fast and sporty, and also modern, it still doesn’t give out pure joy like the Alberto, this feels more tame and… heavy in comparison, which is undestandable as it costs a few thousand $ more.
After being done with the Kaizen, Henry moves on to the Rosker Tigo, which looks a bit old in comparison, but Henry kind of prefers the more “normal” look. Inside, the car seems a bit nicer than the Kaizen, and also less sporty and more comfortable, and in deed, the seats are much plushier than in the Kaizen.
Driving the Tigo is also a stable and relaxed experience, as it has less power, but a flatter power band than the rev-happy TR.
The car feels overall more stable, and much more comfotable than the TR, despite this car being smaller. But still, this car doesn’t give really any interesting aspect in driving, and it makes you forget rather quickly that you are driving the car. Henry returns the car to the lot after a while, and he has made his decision now…
Henry walks back to the old-fashioned building, walks over to the older lady behind the counter, and places the asking price of 12400$ on the counter, smiling to her.
“I’ll take that Legion Sparrow, please”
Congratulations to @donutsnail for winning RTR!
The finals were a tough one, as the competition was more or less on the same level, but one of them stood out the most!
Also, here are the results for other cars too
2nd place: AHB Alberto by @chichicoofisial
3rd place: Nira Azimuth by @Taffin_Blur
4th place: Rosker Tigo by @Ryan93 and @MGR_99
5th place: Kaizen TR by @66mazda
6th place: Autodelta Elaphus by @Marv666
Oh, you might want to read this:
So, Henry was kicked out like promised, and it happened quickly enough that he just barely had time to get all of his stuff before being thrown at with a slipper. Henry had to sleep his first few nights homeless in the backseat of the Sparrow, which luckily was comfortable enough to be slept on.
Henry bought an apartment from the cheaper part of the city, and he was living rather comfortably even with his low pay, but at least the Sparrow never had basically any problems, and it didn’t use much gas either.
10 years later, Henry already has a family and he is going to be having his first child in a few months, but the old Sparrow is not exactly the safest family car… Maybe he should get a new car?