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


#101

Upgrading the whole body and chassis to corrosion-resistant steel was way too expensive for me. But you still have a point.

So my car might just find a buyer… Just not the one I expected.

And surely this is the first round in which the finalists have been urged to list all of the available color schemes for their respective cars?


#102

Seeing as how the Dormans have the means and the time to wait for the car that they want, I figured that they’d also logically extend that to color choice. :slight_smile:


#103

I was reading through this again, and I just noticed this… apparently there will be Albatross collectors in the future. I guess that’s a good thing for the future of Albatross Motors. Cheers.


#104

Round 2 Part 1: Tuesday morning

Armed with a notebook full of research and 5 brochures, the Dormans bid goodbye to Buck for the day, and climbed into Eve’s Ardent Chancellor. Their plan was to spend an hour at each of 5 dealerships, scrutinizing their targets, and taking a test drive. The remaining 5 were slated for the same treatment on Wednesday morning.

W&R Huron

Their first stop was at the W&R dealership, for the Huron. There were two on the lot, both in a brown color. In person it was quite large, a little unexpectedly so for Barry.

It took a few minutes for them to hunt down a salesman, and another few for him to retrieve the keys so they could look inside.

Barry whistled as he opened the tailgate. There was no doubt that the Huron’s ample cargo area would handle his fishing and camping gear, and the roof rack would make easy work of his canoe.

Meanwhile, Eve was in the driver’s seat, running her fingers along the top of the plush seats, and fiddling with the radio controls.

“You folks have an eye for fine vehicles,” the salesman grinned. “This is one of our finest.”

“It has power steering, right?” Eve asked, as her hands gripped the wheel.

“Yes ma’am. Power everything. Brakes, steering, and windows. Even the tailgate window.”

“Tailgate?” Eve asked. The salesman pointed to the ignition and smiled. She turned on the Huron, which purred to life with a distinctive whistling noise as the engine idled down. The salesman then pressed a switch to the left of the steering wheel, and the tailgate glass retracted into the gate shell. This took Barry by surprise, nearly causing him to knock his head into the tailgate.

“Like I said,” the salesman continued, “It’s got everything. Even anti-lock brakes.”

Barry consulted his notes and grunted. This was one of the models that incorporated a lot of newer technology, including a turbocharger. Twin turbos, in fact.

“This thing’s got a turbo on it. Premium gas?” Barry queried.

The smile disappeared from the salesman’s face, albeit briefly. “The economy gains more than make up for the increased fuel price, if that’s what you’re worried about, sir.”

Barry nodded. “That. Among other things. Can I see under the hood?”

A moment later, Barry was poking around in the engine bay. It was a cramped, confusing mess. He shook his head in dismay. “Well, let’s see how it handles, shall we?”

They took the Huron for a 15 minute drive. The reviews were spot on about its comfort, as it sailed effortlessly over highway and surface streets, and smoothly rocketed up to speed. Bumps were soaked up by the suspension, and ruts didn’t cause it to wander. As they cruised along, Barry could barely hear the engine. He glanced down at the new-fangled in-dash tachometer, which read under 1800.

After the drive had concluded, Barry got the salesman’s business card, but only after hassle and pressure to sit down for numbers.

“What did you think?” Barry asked Eve as they drove off.

“I liked it for the most part. The radio was pretty bad, though.”

Barry nodded in agreement. “Yeah, I think this one’s better,” he said as he punched the mechanical memory preset button to call up the NPR station. “It had its ups and downs. Definitely don’t like what I saw under the hood, but it drove great.”

Mitsushita Lorux Lusso-G

Just down the road was a Mitsushita dealership. Three rows of new cars stretched across the front of the building, and the tall profile of the Lorux was visible in the third row as they pulled up. It seemed as if they had a good selection. Five minutes later, they were poking around a brilliant red Lusso-G.

A single bench seat up front provided the entirety of passenger capacity. However, it was a very finely appointed seat, and the Dormans both found it to be exquisitely comfortable. The Lorux’s AM/FM cassette radio was in easy reach from both sides, and the cavernous space behind the seat put the Huron’s to shame.

Barry turned the ignition all the way forward, and the 2.1 liter straight-6 purred to life.

They repeated the route from their previous test drive, and the Lorux handled the roads with ease. As they ran up the freeway onramp, Barry noticed it had a bit more pickup than he expected.

“Hey, this is actually pretty quick,” he noted.

“That’s because we use an aluminum hood and tailgate to keep weight down,” the salesman explained.

“Interesting.”

As it got up to full freeway speed, the once quiet and smooth engine started to emit a decidedly loud growl.

The salesman could tell Barry had noticed, and interjected. “The Lorux Lusso is designed for towing and off-road capabilities. The gearing of the transmission is part of that set up. But unlike competitors, we still get almost 20 miles per gallon in mixed driving.”

At the conclusion of the drive, they once again collected a card from the salesman, and departed.

“Boy, that thing screams at high speed,” Barry sighed. “I think I still have a ringing in my ears.”

“What?” Eve shouted, only half jokingly.

Bogliq Boxcar Entrique

Their drive was only one driveway. While the Dormans could have walked, they felt it would have been tacky to leave their car at a competitor’s dealership while driving another car.

A sea of light blue Bogliqs stretched before them, with occasional smatterings of other colors.

“There you go, honey. They DO come in something other than light blue,” Barry teased.

“Ooh, that one,” Eve pointed at a gray Boxcar, ignoring him.

They parked and took a deep look. Once they gained access, they confirmed the lack of stereo in the car, though there was definitely space to install one. Eve sighed in disappointment when she sat in one of the small, thin, vinyl-covered seats, and the seemingly cheap quality of the full-width jump seat in the rear. Barry noted the application of a rubberized flooring material in place of carpeting, which he thought would be a lot easier to clean after an excursion. This car was also the first manual transmission they had seen thus far.

Its cargo bay was deceptively large. Not as big as either of the other cars they had looked at, but still unexpected.

Also unexpected was the quiet operation of the Bogliq’s small 1.6 liter four cylinder at speed, as well as the speed at which the car motored around. The ride was somewhat less cushy, with some bigger bumps getting through. Gear shifts were smooth and precise, and the power steering gave the wheel such a light feeling that Eve could have sworn she wasn’t actually driving when it was her turn.

Once the salesman’s digits had been acquired, they headed out.

It was silent for a minute as Barry started to navigate toward their favorite diner for lunch.

“Well?” Eve finally broke the silence.

“Definitely had its ups and downs,” Barry replied. “I think I’d have to order the optional roof rack on that one. And those seats felt really small.”

Eve nodded in agreement. “Even I felt cramped in them. I’m just glad it wasn’t hot out today. I imagine those things would burn if they were left out in the sun. Plus that whole no radio thing. Kind of a shame, because it drove really well.”

Komodo Nurim

After lunch they sought out the Komodo dealership, located in another suburb 10 miles away. It was a smallish dealership, with only a couple of each model on display out front, and two cars inside the showroom. That is where they found the car they sought; a Nurim in Jet Blue with red accents.

Being the showroom model, they didn’t need to waste time waiting for a salesman to open it before they crawled inside to check it out.

The long, sloping hatch opening revealed a cargo area that wasn’t as big as Barry had hoped, but was still plenty large. The seats folded forward, nearly flat, helping in that aspect. Both rows had impressive space for legs and heads.

Eve got behind the wheel before Barry could, admiring how all of the controls were in easy reach. The cloth-faced, vinyl-backed seats had plenty of cushion for her. She closed the door and checked herself out in the side mirror; she liked what she saw.

“Well, I know what car YOU want,” Barry grinned as he made his way forward to the engine bay.

“Shoosh, you.”

24 Valve MPFI

These were the words scrawled across the cover of the 2.4 liter straight-6 engine. The engine bay was neat and tidy, with significant room to maneuver tools.

Finally, a salesman came up and greeted them. They weren’t allowed to test drive the model on the showroom floor, but instead were ushered into an identically equipped white one that the lot porter pulled out of the holding lot for them.

Barry had overlooked a detail on his first inspection; the Nurim had only a 4-speed manual transmision. This ended up not being a problem, however. The transmission and engine were perfectly balanced. The Nurim had no trouble getting up to speed quickly, and the engine was only pulling 2100 RPM at freeway speed. Unfortunately, braking was not quite as fun. The pedal was very twitchy, and they accidentally activated the antilock brakes a couple times.

Barry took the salesman’s card, and they hit the road again.

“Boy, that was an experience,” he noted. “I’ve got a lot to process with that one.”

“I’ve got all you need to process,” Eve retorted. “It’s gorgeous. I can learn to live with the brakes.”

“You’re not the one I’m worried about.”

Pastinuji Roamer-IV

A couple blocks further along, Indian manufacturer Pastinuji had set up shop with one of their stores. A handful of Roamers in an array of colors were on bold display across the front line. A blue-and-white one caught their eye, and they gravitated toward it immediately.

Once unlocked, the scrutiny began.

Barry immediately began to see flaws. The cargo area was actually very small, and the middle row only had two seatbelts instead of three. Still, the 1.6 liter all-wheel drive hatchback intrigued him, and he was game for a test drive.

The drive did not go very far. The Pastinuji appeared to have extremely short gearing, and the tachometer was reading over 2000 RPM in its top gear… at a mere 30 miles per hour. Barry had no desire to even attempt to take it on a highway.

For once, they didn’t bother collecting information. They simply left.

“A shame. It looked so great on paper,” Barry lamented.

Verdict: This is the only car that was outright eliminated on day 1 of test drives.


Meanwhile, Buck was at home, guarding the house from squirrels.

“MY HOUSE! GO AWAY, SQUIRRELS!” He barked loudly. “Squirrels are dumb. They run away… GO AWAY, SQUIRRELS!”

He paced to his bowl and started to take a drink, when he heard a car out front.

“BARRY! BARRY, I LOVE YOU! I’M COMING FOR YOU BARR…”

He tried to screech to a halt in front of the door, but his claws couldn’t bite into the hardwood, and he slammed head first into the door. This was just a momentary setback; he sprang right up, then sat down, his tail wagging furiously.


#105

Round 2 Part 2: Wednesday morning

Barry and Eve Dorman completed their morning routine and collected the final 5 brochures, leaving Buck once again as the guardian of home. Eve was glad the process would soon be over; it had been an exhausting two days so far, and today looked like it would be no different.

Ios Cross-Rover Deluxe

This time heading north, the Dormans landed first at the Ios dealership. Four Cross-Rovers in Deluxe trim were bunched together, and the Noble Green example attracted their collective attention.

“I love how dark this paint is,” Eve noted. “And look, veloured seats!”

As if clairvoyant, a salesman bounded up with the keys for the very unit they had crowded around. “That’s a great model, lots of fun,” he beamed as he unlocked the doors.

The salesman took time, without prompting, to open all doors and give the Dormans an overview of every feature, from the unique rear roof to the locking system on the all-wheel drive manual transmission. Barry asked him questions in return, mostly in respect to fuel economy ratings and available accessories.

Shortly thereafter, they were on the road, testing the Cross-Rover. Its handling was nowhere near as crisp as any of the previous days’ cars, and somewhat punishing over larger bumps. It did did boast reasonable performance, however. Barry also got a dissertation on how the airbag located behind the steering wheel was designed to provide extra protection for the driver in case of a crash.

Once they got back to the dealership, Barry excused the salesman for a minute so he could take a deeper look. Once satisfied that the cargo area met his specifications and that everything was square with the drivetrain, he exchanged contact information with the salesman, and left.

The Dormans agreed that the ride wasn’t very good, but from there their opinions differed. Barry thought it a very capable choice for his outdoor activities, and Eve insisted that its uniqueness would set her apart at the gardening club.

BuergerFahrzeug SLF-Kombi

Across the street was the BF dealership, loaded with sedans and wagons of all varieties. A bright yellow specimen beckoned to Eve, though it made Barry’s stomach turn a bit.

Upon closer inspection, the SLF-Kombi was smaller than Barry had anticipated. Though it still possessed a decent sized cargo area, it was bordering on concerning. Eve, meanwhile, was enjoying the premium cloth seats and the flashy yellow paint.

Their test drive began, and immediately Barry noticed that the 2.7 liter four-cylinder was significantly louder than the competitors. It did, however, have good punch, and the automatic transmission moved through the gears smoothly. Bumps were not so smooth; the BF seemed to bounce unusually in the rear when it went over bigger imperfections, but it held tight to the road, and had a short turning radius.

Another card was collected before they left.

“I don’t know,” Barry muttered. “I’m not actually sure it can handle my gear.”

“Even with that roof rack?”

He nodded. “The way that thing was bouncing back there. I can only imagine how much worse it would be if it were fully loaded.”

“That’s no good,” Eve sighed. “And it felt so good, too.”

“I’m going to have to go ahead and call that a no.”

Verdict: This is one of two cars that were outright eliminated on day 2 of the test drives.

ZAR 1700 S Export

ZAR’s dealership was set up even farther north than the previous two, taking a half hour to drive there from the previous point.

A smaller store, the front rows consisted of only one or two of each model. A lone 1700 S, in a deep red color, sat at the end of the second row.

Though similarly sized to the BF Kombi, ZAR’s offering was just a hair longer, and that made a big difference in Barry’s assessment of the cargo area. Eve went through the interior, giving it a thorough once over. With cloth-faced seats and decent ergonomics, it seemed passable to her.

Barry flagged down a salesman and got the keys. They then hopped in and took off for a test.

The 1700 S had, undoubtedly, the loudest engine that they had tested. It wheezed and struggled to get up to speed. But once up at speed, it handled like a dream. And despite its shorter stature, it handled bumps as well as the biggest, softest wagons. Eve took her turn behind the wheel on the way back, and was surprised at how easily it handled at all speeds.

“Variable power steering,” the salesman explained when they got back. “So much nicer than the old systems. It’s the way of the future, for sure.”

They thanked him for his time, took his card, and moved on to the next one on the list.

“Pretty good,” Barry noted. “I just wish it wasn’t so damned loud.”

“Oh my goodness, yes. But did you feel the way it drove?”

PMI Companion Wagon 1.7

Another short three block journey landed the Dormans at a PMI dealership. An entire row of Companion wagons lined the side of the building. Barry picked out a white-and-black two tone to look at.

Only a few moments passed before a salesman greeted them, and retrieved the keys.

Barry’s first stop, of course, was the cargo area. Now the third mid-sized wagon in a row he looked at, he was slightly disappointed to find it was the smallest of the three inside. They also confirmed that this particular trim did not, indeed, come with a radio, though there was ample room to do so.

The test drive was uneventful; the Companion seemed to be the middle of the road in absolutely everything, with neither any flaws nor any outstanding characteristics about they way it worked.

Card received, Chancellor filled, off they go.

“Not bad, I guess,” Eve said. “Not happy about the no radio bit.”

“We could always get one installed, honey,” Barry replied.

“So you want that one then?”

Barry shrugged. “It’s not bad. It’s not good either. But, really, it’s not bad. It’s probably a really sensible choice.”

RCM Mattawa Borealis

The final dealership was next door, in the form of RCM. Their Mattawa Borealis was the target here, with a steel blue mica version being particularly attractive to them.

“Wow, this is even more beautiful in person,” Eve cooed.

Barry nodded and whistled. “You’re right there, honey.”

The salesman came out and greeted them. Then gave them a rundown of the 2 liter engine, four-wheel drive system, and major interior features. Barry took a peek in the back and determined it was even smaller than the Companion’s.

The Dormans took off on their last test drive. Overall its performance was snappy, and it turned well. This seemed familiar, and it was about to become even more familiar. While turning around on a residential street, they encountered a speed bump. The Dormans, as well as the salesman, cringed as the bumper scraped on the bump during the rebound.

Unfortunately, for Barry, that was a dealbreaker. They returned to the dealership, and walked away, taking one last look at the beautiful, but insufficient, Mattawa.

Verdict: One of two cars eliminated during testing on day 2.


The squirrels were quiet. A little too quiet. Perhaps that was their strategy, and it worked too well.

Buck fell asleep, snoring heavily, head laying in a puddle of his own drool.

But what was that, a car door?

“BARRY! BARRY, I LOOOOOVE YOU! BARRY, WHERE ARE YOU? BARRY! BARRY, I SAVED YOU FROM THE SQUIRRELS!”


Wednesday night

“Well, that made things easier, I think,” Barry mused as he filled a glass of water from the tap. He walked over to the dining room table, where the remaining 7 brochures were laid out in a line.

Eve smiled gently and took a sip from her own glass. “A little. Only six more to cut, right?”

“Yeah. Six of the best, to find the absolute best.”

“We can figure this out, Bear. It’ll just take a little time.”

Much midnight oil was burned that night…


Final judging/results will be released tomorrow.


#106

Wow, thanks VicVictory for the detail in judging!


#107

What a great set of reviews you made for the top 10 cars in this round - considering that this is the first round of CSR you have ever hosted, I’m struggling to find fault with your writing! And that can only fill me with even more anxiety about the final results than I ever imagined.


#108

Wait, why would my car hit the speed bump? It’s not a low rider or anything.


#109

Flavor text, mostly. Imagining it bouncing a little too much in the rear and catching. But of the remaining 10, yours had the worst rear load rating. Buck + a boat + supplies could have easily exceeded it.

(Also, residential speed bumps out here are 2x the size and 4x the width of the ones in parking lots… so they represent an extreme you might find on a FS road)


#110

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.

“HOORAY, BARRY! BARRY, YOU’RE HOME! I LOVE YOU!”

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.

“BARRY! BARRY, I LOVE YOU! WHERE IS YOUR CAR, BARRY?”

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.”

“I KNOW IT’S JUST YOU. WHERE’S YOUR CAR BARRY? WHAT’S HAPPENING?”

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.”

“LEASH! WALK? OR RIDE?”

“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:

koolkei
@NormanVauxhall
@HighOctaneLove
@conan
@machalel
@Private_Miros
@bastormonger

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


#111

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.


#112

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…


#113

NO MENTION OF NAMES.


#114

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.


#115

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:


#116

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.


#117

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


#118

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:


#119

In the FAQ, under Misc.


#120

hmmm…

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: