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The Car Shopping Round 67 - Old and Wise [FINAL RESULTS]


Thursday afternoon

Buck stood above his water bowl, his tongue lapping at the glazed ceramic until long after the last drops were gone. His head lifted, and he looked over his shoulder, ears perked up.

“The squirrels are coming, I know it. Where is Barry?” he thought.

He wandered to their bedroom and sniffed the covers. He could smell the distinctly different scents of both Eve and Barry. Though they had been gone for hours, their essence lingered.

“Maybe a nap,” he pondered, placing one paw on the bed on Barry’s side. Just then he heard the car pull up.


He loped headlong into the living room, bashing into the side of the couch as he overshot his “sentry spot” at the edge of the window. Something was amiss, though.

“THAT’S NOT BARRY’S CAR. THAT’S NOT EVE’S CAR,” he barked. His hackles shot up, and he mustered all of the power of his dog-vice. “GO AWAY. BARRY DOESN’T WANT YOU HERE. THIS IS MY HOUSE. THIS IS BARRY’S HOUSE. GO AWAY!”

Both doors opened, and a man and a woman stepped out. Buck’s heart skipped, and his tail began to wag furiously.

It was Barry and Eve.


He launched toward the door as hard as he could falling over on his side as his traction failed on the freshly buffed hardwood floor. Buck scratched at the door and whined. “BARRY, WHAT’S GOING ON? WHERE’S YOUR CAR, BARRY?”

The jingle of keys could be heard. It was like Barry’s keychain, but slightly different. As the key slid into the lock, Barry soothed, “Easy, Bucky-boy. Easy. It’s just us.”


The door swung open. Barry was trying to speak, but Buck bowled into him, charging into the yard, barking at the strange car.

Eve giggled. “I think Buck likes it.”

Barry picked himself up and laughed. “You like it, boy? You wanna go for a ride?”

Buck froze and looked over his shoulder. It was only then that he realized he had forgotten about his hackles. They went flat again, his tail wagged happily, and he began to pant.

“Ride, boy?”

“YES” he barked.

“I think that’s a yes,” Eve mused. “I’ll get his leash.”


“C’mon, boy,” Barry beckoned as he walked to the car and opened the massive rear gate. It was a bit more of a jump than to get in Eve’s car, but still no trouble for him. He immediately began sniffing every surface that he could reach with his nose, while Barry continued to laugh.

Eve returned with Buck’s leash and collar. She sidled up to Barry and gave him a hug. “See? It was the right choice. I love it. Buck loves it. And I know you love it, too.”

Barry closed the hatch and gave the sleek white car a pat as he returned to the driver’s seat.

The Dormans’ 1986 Komodo Nurim, in Silky White

Sometime in 2006

The Final Ride

Barry strapped the safety belt around his body. His eyes fell to the inch long tear in the faded burgundy fabric of the driver’s seat. His hands grasped the worn grips of the steering wheel. The key turned in the tumbler with a bit of effort. The 2.5 liter six gasped and wheezed, but came to life, loping with a slightly uneven idle.

A rerun of “Car Talk” was playing on NPR. Barry turned up the volume slightly, then reached up and adjusted the rearview mirror. Sitting up in the cargo area, panting and smiling was Duke, his 3-year-old Golden Lab. Barry sighed, and a lump rose in his throat. Fond memories came back of his years with Buck, and of the hundreds of adventures that the had had in the car.

His eyes moved forward, just beyond the cracked dash and faded hood. Eve stood before the car, withered, gray, but ever-smiling. She waved and blew him a kiss. Other memories flooded back; times with the grandchildren as they grew, years of dinner parties with friends who were now gone. Of trips to the local nursery for gardening supplies for their old home.

Times had changed so much for the elder Dormans; they had just welcomed their third great-grandchild. They had sold the house they had lived in for almost 50 years and moved to a senior community. Buck had passed on, and with time, Duke entered their time as their new love.

And now, another major change.

Barry knew this would be his last drive. He was too old, his reflexes too slow, and his mind too clouded to deal with driving any more. With the amenities offered by their community and support of two nearby granddaughters, he no longer had the need to drive.

He glanced down at the odometer on the Komodo. 199,997. Fitting, that on his last drive, the odometer would turn over 200k. And though Barry was filled with emotion and conflict at having to give up his reliable friend of 20 years, there was solace in the knowledge that his son, Mark, would be taking the car… and attempting to restore it to its former glory.

Congratulations @koolkei !

And thanks to everyone who posted and made this round so great.

For posterity, the order of finish for the top 7 is:


I look forward to the next round, whoever it ends up with.


What an amazing conclusion to this round. I did not expect the wagon from ZAR to lose to a fastback… Could it be that the Komodo’s efficiency gave it the win? It’s highly likely.


Congrats to @koolkei and thanks to @VicVictory for hosting this great round. I think I can safely speak for others when I say that Buck will live on in our hearts…




Go read the Overall CSR rules thread. I mentions to not tag anyone who was a finalist.

You had just let koolkei know that he had won. He hadn’t read the results yet.


Am I missing something here? What’s the problem with tagging or mentioning names?
Also - where? I looked and can’t see anything related to tagging…?

Anyway, Congrats to the winner, it was difficult to predict! In hindsight I should have gone for looks rather than functionality - happy wife and all that… :wink:


Well, the relevant rules are:

  • Don’t tag people to congratulate them on winning or placing. It ruins the surprise for them. Muting isn’t a practical solution.
  • As the host you are allowed and even encouraged to tag people when reviewing their cars

The host seems to be exempted from the first rule. It only ruins the surprise if everyone starts tagging the winner so that he has tons of notifications. A single tag from the host to every finalist just notifies final results are posted, not what the results were.

On the competition itself, I am amazed I did so well among all great designs, I guess it was because I went for the boring everything box and was bad in nothing (but maybe power). I also didn’t score top because I went for the boring everything box. I loved the back story on this one though, I really, really did.


well… didn’t see that coming… i uhhhh… let’s see. give me a couple of hours to get back to you guys


ah ok, well that makes sense - I still can’t see it written anywhere - am I just blind or looking in the wrong spots?

Private_miros: Yours wasn’t bad at all. It was styled appropriately, conservative but not too boring, fit the requirements… Absolutely not the car that I would ever want, but I wasn’t buying! :wink:


In the FAQ, under Misc.



I think I see… are you supposed to click on the “► All your questions answered here” and it expands out?

If so then it’s not working for me - clicking does nothing :frowning:


Whoops - I was completely unaware of that not-tagging thing. Sorry for spoiling then.


Muh feels :cry:


Well that ending was chock full of "aww"s, talk about living and dying with people who felt like close family. The dedication to context alone made this a great round, regardless of my own results.
In the end, the Komodo didn’t just fly in advertising… But it was anybody’s ballgame, and the variety of cars showed that.

Well, time to pick the books back up and learn a bit more. Here’s hoping next CSR can teach me even more!


Join the club…the queue is quite long! :rofl:


Your entry was very, VERY well balanced. But that was also its downfall; it was balanced. It had no category in which it stood out positively, either. However, from the stats and overall build, I can envision that hundreds of thousands of that generation of Companion wagon were built and sold, as it was the very definition of a prudent choice in the era.

The Bogliq was so high on the list due to sheer reliability, cost of acquisition/ownership, and fuel economy, and despite its poor comfort. I envision it being kind of like the Mazda 323 of the day; nothing special to look at or talk about, but loved because it just… went. I was also happy to see the car in something OTHER than Bogliq Blue… lol

As someone speculated, the Komodo’s better fuel efficiency was a determining factory in its win over the ZAR, but there were others. Including almost a 9 point difference in comfort, in the Komodo’s favor (comfort was a 6th tier consideration, if it tells you how close the top few were together), and Eve loved the styling of the Komodo more, because it resembled her Ardent Chancellor (which was a big, luxury fastback). Its transmission was also better tuned, which is saying a lot considering I had almost instabinned it for being an outdated 4-speed manual.

For the Komodo, I was getting a whiff of Nissan T12 Stanza/Bluebird, only longer. The ZAR could have been a stand-in for a Maxima or Loyale wagon (The lines being closer to the former, the mechanicals being closer to the latter)

As a note, I had to laugh at the sheer number of manual lockers and 4/AWD entries. Either forest service roads are very different throughout the world, or y’all REALLY wanted Barry to do some serious trail blazing. I grew up on FS roads, with an '82 Subaru Leone (DL) 2WD 5-speed wagon. Never scraped or got stuck.

I suppose, in that sense, it’s fitting that the winner was a 2WD 4-speed non-locker. I didn’t pick it for that; it just ended up being a merry coincidence.


from almost getting instabinned to winning the round…

that’s like starting from the pits in a race of 34 competitor to 1st place in 1 lap :joy: wtf

also a fastback won out of all the wagon… i also almost submitted to the 4x4 trend. ALMOST :slight_smile:


This CSR had an outstanding story. It made for excellent reading. I can’t wait for the next one.

Also, RIP Buck. He was such a good boy.


I had planned the Boulevard Star in my lore for a while before this competition came up. And, to jump on the Tercel/Subaru/Prairie (Stanza wagon)/Honda Shuttle (Wagovan) bandwagon (the car is after all sort of a mix of all four of them), it was planned to first introduce a version with longitudinal FWD (like the Tercel 2wd) and later come out with an AWD version (was very easy to make from the 2wd Tercel due to the FWD layout, just add sort of a PTO on the FWD gearbox and an AE86 rear suspension, more or less). When this competition came up, I quickly started making the vehicle I already had planned in my head.

Since it turned out that it would very well fit into the price limit, I thought that the AWD version could be the one to go for, not necessary but at least yet another selling point. The “Extra Low” gear on the Tercel is nothing that is supported in the game so I replaced it with a somewhat unrealistic manual locker. But it turned into other problems. Being set in the 80s USA and with the wife asking for power steering, I felt that an automatic version was probably the most suitable one, and a cheap car in 1986 most likely still had a 3 speed. Then the lore friendly 1300cc engine turned out to be painfully slow in the now much heavier model with AWD and a energy sucking old school auto trans. Now, my company is set in a fictive asian country just because it is much easier to make up a story when everything can be made up, but it is quite a bit japan inspired, and in the 80s the japanese solution was to install a turbo on absolutely everything. So now I had a small and still slow (but not painfully slow) car that was drinking fuel at an alarming rate instead… On the other hand, it sounds very much like the Leone Turbo coupé my aunt had…

So I guess that made it into a very unbalanced car for the round and that a FWD N/A manual version would have been much more sensible…on the other hand, it probably was too progressive in the looks department anyway (once again, neither the Tercel, Subaru, Honda or Nissan would have won any beauty contests back then) for the old lady.

Not whining because I was instabinned, it simply wasn’t what they were looking for, just a little background story behind my choices, which were wrong for this time. I try to engineer cars that are somewhat realistic for it’s era, and is staying true to the lore, it’s more fun for me that way. Some other people may enjoy tailoring vehicles for the contests and trying to make the perfect one and nothing wrong with that either. Just different kind of challenges, and the best part about the CSR is that it is so subjective just like when a real buyer is looking for a car. Feelings are as important as numbers, which may make wildcards the winners sometimes.

I’m from northern Sweden myself so I know how much you can do with 2wd vehicles on really bad roads as long as you have a little bit of ground clearance (until some years ago, RWD Volvo 240s and 740s was what everyone and his aunt was driving here). With that said, I still drive a lifted 4WD Nissan 720 with M/T tires nowadays so I can get stuck even worse. :wink:


Didn’t expect a runaway graduation ceremony. After all this may be Internet-based education, but it’s certainly not the Sonic speed clickbait-y kind! :rofl: