Reviews Part 1
A week after deciding to change his life for the better, Chazz is now employed at the tire factory and ready to buy his new car. He’s spent the last week paying close attention to ads in magazines, newspapers, billboards, and even on the boob tube. With that in mind, he’s hitting the pavement this weekend to visit dealerships and hopefully find the car of his dreams (for the near future, at least).
@abg7 NMI Arrowhead GTX
The first dealership of the morning is NMI. Chazz was captivated by the bright red pony car promising 458 cubic inches of mayhem. Getting to the dealership, he got a bit of a surprise. This pony car is firmly in muscle car price territory, costing $13,900. It is within his budget, so he’s still planning on giving it a go.
Walking around the car, it’s a strong looking American design… until getting to the rear. The rear has a very European look for some reason, as though NMI got a team of American designers with an Italian to design the rear end. The massive tail pipes do look like they mean business. Moving on to the inside, a nice premium interior seems very promising… but the Italian was clearly put to work on the gearbox as well. Chazz has never seen a 5 speed before, and it just seems as strange as it is revolutionary.
Beyond the looks, specs are important. The 458ci V8 produces 380 hp and 489 lb-ft of torque, making use of the classic OHV cast iron with 4 barrel twin carbs formula, while of course running on super. This engine is enough to get the Arrowhead GTX to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds and to a top speed of 159 mph. Another promising point is the promised 13.38 second quarter miles. While the 5 speed transmission was enough to give Chazz pause, disc brakes on all four wheels is even stranger, as is the automatic locker the salesman mentions. Such a system is more at place on a rally car of some sort than a young driver’s everyday car. The Arrowhead GTX seems like it just wants to be too many things at once.
With that, Chazz leaves the NMI dealership without a test drive. The Arrowhead GTX seems caught between the world of American muscle and Italian rally cars.
Conveniently next door to NMI is the LLA dealership. Chazz saw an ad for the Psyco in a magazine and figured that even with the misprinted name and terrible spelling it should be worth looking at. A 519ci V8 producing 419 hp should not be ignored, regardless of spelling. Of course, at the dealership, he quickly realises that Psyco was not a misprint; it is in fact the name of the car. At this moment, his confidence about it quickly drops…
In terms of aesthetics, it’s idly similar to the Arrowhead, being a bright red pony car with a big chrome grille. That chrome grille is strange considering the engine’s in the rear, while it seems only a few small vents around the back are giving it some air. Inside is pretty standard far, the three of the tree is certainly more familiar to Chazz. Quality is nothing special, but with a price of $11,800, he isn’t expecting many luxuries.
Popping the hood in the back, Chazz is greeted by the 519ci V8 in all its glory. Just like the NMI before it, it’s an OHV cast iron job with 4 barrel twin carbs and runs on super. Along with 419 hp, it produces an astonishing 545 lb-ft of torque. 0-62 is done in 5.7 seconds, quarter mile is 13.62 seconds, and it has a top speed of 168 mph. All these numbers sound like fun to Chazz, even with the seemingly odd four wheel disc brakes. At that, it’s time to take it for a test drive.
Out in the parking lot, Chazz steps into one of the Psycos and starts its… and is nearly deafened by the roaring V8 behind him. It was at that moment that he realised it has no mufflers. He figures he’ll start with some fun by leaving in a trail of tire smoke, so he stomps on the gas. And does not get that much tire spin. What he does get is being propelled forward, hopping a curb into the NMI lot and smashing into one of the Arrowheads on display.
Stumbling out of the car feeling dazed and confused, Chazz manages to run off to his own car across the street before employees from either dealership realise what happened. The LLA Psyco is most definitely not an easily drivable car.
Following the incident at the previous dealership, Chazz thought it prudent to drive across town and visit the Centauri dealership. The Marauder 445 is a big yellow muscle car that caught his attention with a big, high performance V8.
The Centauri Marauder 445 certainly looks like a proper muscle car, even with the fancy wing on the back. There isn’t much to say about the exterior design except maybe the lack of door handles. If not for all the salesmen around, Chazz would hop in through the window, but he’s got to make do with reaching in to unlatch the door. The interior is standard fare, the four on the floor a nice feature, but Chazz is certainly wondering where the money went for it to cost $13,900.
Under the hood sits the gleaming 445ci V8 that drew Chazz to the Marauder. Following the exact same formula as both cars before it, Centauri has engineered it to produce 406 hp and 489 lb-ft of torque. These number are enough to propel it to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds, complete the quarter mile in 13.86 seconds, and hit a top speed of 151 mph. For the third time this morning, Chazz finds himself looking at disc brakes on all four wheels. And these ones seem fancy enough to explain some of that $13,900 asking price. Before heading for a test drive, he reads up on the AutoTrak differential… and learns that it’s another automatic locker. With how popular they seem to be, he’ll have to give it a try.
Out in the dealership lot and away from any salesman, Chazz hops into the car through the open window and fires it up. The large V8 rumbles to life and in a cloud of tire smoke he’s off into traffic. This thing is fast! But unlike the Psycho, it’s manageable. With the calming sounds of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’, Chazz cruises around appreciating the looks he gets. The AutoTrak system, while great for burnouts, is a hassle for daily driving due to the unpredictable jerkiness it brings to cornering while the extremely stiff suspension significantly adds to that discomfort. Maybe as a more experienced driver he wouldn’t mind so much, but it’s very disconcerting to Chazz. Returning to the dealership, he comes to the conclusion that it’s not the most easily driven car and that the stiff suspension makes it very uncomfortable.
With that, he leaves the dealership to go look at something else.
After all the disappointment (and the near death experience) of the morning, Chazz is hoping to have better luck at the Kingston Automotive dealership. The ad for the Chiser 8.2 struck his fancy, even with the strange European naming. Completely at the top of his budget, with a price of $14,000, Chazz has high expectations for the Chiser.
This big, sleek car, is certainly along the lines of what Chazz is looking for. It seems quite different from the average muscle car, but not necessarily in a bad way. Stepping inside… not quite. Chazz opened the door and promptly slammed it shut. The interior is straight out of a basic communist car and most definitely not worth $14,000. On the way out he notices how many Chisers are at the servicing bay, seemingly with overheating issues. Good thing he isn’t buying one.
Following a morning of disappointment and that near death experience, it’s time for Chazz to go to one of the drive-ins for a nice lunch break. Hopefully the afternoon prospects will be better.
With his belly full and spirits slightly raised, Chazz heads over to the DMV dealership… and promptly realises the address he looked up was for the Department of Motor Vehicles. A quick stop by a phone booth to check for the address of the other DMV brings him to a dealership to see the Trebuchet 346 RS. This is another bright red pony car that caught Chazz’s eye, this time by following one in traffic.
Stepping into the dealership and taking a good look at the car… he can say that the nice ass is really thrown off by an ugly face. That grille has no place on such a car. Casting his doubts about the front end aside, Chazz opens the driver’s door and slams it shut as well. Another commie interior! What is this world coming to? Even the car that tried to kill him had a better interior, and it cost less than $12,600.
@conan MALL by Bob Wyatt
The next car is a cruiseliner. Almost literally. Chazz drives down to the docks to get to the Bob Wyatt dealership, a shipbuilder, to see the MALL. While the classic good looks in the ad were certainly alluring, what truly drew him here was the promise of a 993ci V12.
Getting to actually see the car for himself brings a tear to Chazz’s eye. It’s beautiful. It’s the most beautiful car he’s seen so far today. And at $13,900, he can afford it. Tearing his eyes away from that dark burgundy body, he steps inside to find a fairly standard interior. With a cheap stereo. The extra $100 could buy him a better stereo for it. His judgement is certainly clouded by the beast lurking under the hood.
Stepping out and popping the hood, Chazz sees the TANK engine in all its glory. 993ci of pure cast iron American muscle, spread into 12 cylinders to produce 464 hp and 918 lb-ft of torque. At this point nothing is going to make him change his mind about driving it. The promised 0-62 of 6.3 seconds, top speed of 165 mph, and quarter mile of 14.34 seconds are not as impressive as some of the other cars, but damn is that 993ci tempting.
Out in the shipyard, Chazz gets the keys to a MALL and a grin on his face. Starting it up, that V12 sound is nothing like the rumble of a large V8. It’s both primal and exotic and makes Chazz forget to tune the radio. With a long strip of port ahead of him, Chazz slams it into first and sends the MALL off in a cloud of tire smoke and screams of joy. Not quite a quarter mile forces him to slow just after reaching 62 mph in the promise 6.3 seconds, then turning to come back… the car jerks harshly, nearly causing him to crash. Another automatic locker. Taking it more easily on the turns, Chazz leaves the shipyard for the proper test drive. Keeping the stereo off to listen to the excellent sound of the V12, Chazz is liking how it feels except for the drivability. Even without the automatic locker, it’s a little hard to manage a 4667 lb car.
Chazz returns to the shipyard and with a beaming smile on and decides to add the MALL to his shortlist, mainly for the massive engine and the fun it brings to the straight lines. The huge back seat is also a good feature.
@TR8R NCC Zephyr 243
Following the disappointment of the MALL, Chazz heads down to the NCC dealership for a look at the Zephyr 243. A groovy billboard with a black and red fastback ais what brought him here.
Seeing the Zephyr in person was strange, as the black paint reflects no light. It’s a dark as the night in the basement bomb shelter and really contrasts with the bright red power stripes. The design is quite pleasing, though the rear end looks like they slapped on a bunch of spare lights they had laying around. Inside, Chazz is glad to see no traces of communism, with the seats even being premium.
Moving on to the front, he takes a look under the hood at the 366ci V12 lurking within. With 243 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, it’s one of the more sensible engines of the day. Other than the extra cylinders, what seems out of place on a muscle car is the eco carb NCC have fitted to it. Strange. He wonders how much a difference swapping it out for a performance model will do. Even with the eco carb, the Zephyr is said to do the 0-62 mph sprint in 6.4 seconds, quarter mile in 14.7 seconds, and reach 154 mph, so it’s certainly no slouch. Another strange aspect is how the rear wheel setup looks just like the front wheel setup. Rear double wishbone and disc brakes is quite strange indeed, but maybe this stranger from another land will surprise him with its road behaviour.
After convincing the salesman to get him some keys, as word has been getting around of a young man destroying cars at two neighbouring dealerships in a test drive that morning, Chazz finds himself behind the wheel of the Zephyr. A less pronounce version of the MALL’s roar fills the cabin, and shifting into gear and popping the handbrake after getting a satisfactory amount of smoke to peel out of the parking lot. After this bit of excitement, Chazz tunes the radio to fill the cabin with Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Crosstown Traffic’. Finally getting a decent test drive in, Chazz is happy to not that the Zephyr rides very smoothly and predictably. The strange suspension and brake setup is certainly surprising him in all the right ways, as this is a car that seems great at peeling away from lights and cornering at relative speed. Strange indeed.
After a comfortable drive around, besting a few cars at lights and getting some appreciative looks from quite a few women, Chazz returns to the NCC dealership with a smile on his face. and the hope that he just might have found a car worth buying. With no real faults, He’ll have to see what else is available before making a decision.
Washington Motorworks Stallion
Chazz saw a newspaper ad for this one that caught his attention, but there was no address for it and searching the phonebook didn’t bring up anything either. Shame, that sleek black convertible looked good.
(Naming scheme not followed, no username)
Following the failure of finding Washington Motorworks, Chazz went on to the Sofa dealership. The strange name followed a mostly torn newspaper ad with that caught his attention, mainly from the words seeing a bit of a sleek roofline, “V8,” and “$6800,” so he figured he could do with a little mystery in his day.
Stepping inside and asking to be directed to the 2200, Chazz got an air of red from the place. Red with a capital ‘R’. Maybe it’s the salesman’s strange accent, maybe it’s the size of the cars. One look at the flimsy 2200 already bubbling with rust got him out of there faster than he left the LLA parking lot that morning. That was not a muscle car and that most certainly was not part of capitalism.
A quick call to the local police department to notify the FBI about Soviet spies, and Chazz is back on the road to see the next car.
Following the close brush with communism, Chazz heads to the Bogliq dealership. He has no idea where this brand is from, especially with such a strange name, but the ad for the bright blue Duster Action Express caught his eye for being decidedly not communist. The price of $11,000 also tickled his fancy.
In terms of design, Bogliq has nailed it. A sleek fastback body style with matching front and rear end design, sporty side exit exhausts, smatterings of chrome, and of course the black hood with a large air intake. After admiring the bodywork, Chazz steps inside the Duster and find himself in a standard far interior that is neither exceptional nor bad. He does note that it’s another one to make use of one of those 5-speed European transmissions. Must be where Bogliq is from.
Under the hood, Chazz gets a bit of a surprise: the first I6 of the day! He’s surprised he hasn’t seen more of those yet. What’s strange about this one is the mechanical injection system it uses. Definitely European. At a positively tiny (compared to the competition) 265ci, the Duster’s engine manages to achieve an even 267 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, enough hit 62 mph in 6.2 seconds, a top speed of 145 mph, and complete the quarter mile is 14.34 seconds. This all seems good until Chazz notices mention of an automatic locker. As much as he dislikes those, he’s still going to give it a try.
Starting up the bright blue Duster, the I6 doesn’t sound quite as satisfying as the V8s (and V12), but it’s certainly still worth a try. Peeling out with a satisfying squeal of the tires, Chazz brings it to a stop at a red light. Rocking out to The Who’s ‘I Can See for Miles’, he slams his foot down as soon as the light changes and speeds up to 62 mph in the promised 6.2 seconds. This is definitely the fastest I6 he knows of. The image of this sleek and flashy blue car is great. The comfort isn’t the best but is far from terrible. Despite the inevitable jerkiness of the automatic locker, it’s still one of the more easy to drive cars of the day.
Chazz returns to the Bogliq dealership with the hope of maybe returning to buy it. Following this experience, maybe the Duster made by a certain American brand could also be worth a try…
A smooth ride over to the Smooth dealership followed the disappointment at the Bogliq dealership. A billboard proudly displaying the Smooth Warthor 69 with mention of it being a ‘muscletruck’ is what brought Chazz here today.
Heading straight for the black behemoth, Chazz is impressed. While the Warthor 69 is at the top of his budget, costing $14,000, it’s a convertible muscle truck. What it lacks in sleekness, it makes up for in pure rugged manliness. It just looks like it means business, especially in the very dark blue that is easily mistaken for black until closer inspection. Opening one of the out of place suicide doors, Chazz climbs in and settles himself in the premium interior. Stereo’s average, but that’s not a big concern, because it’s a convertible muscle truck. The lack of a 4x4 switch is strange, but Chazz figures that system was removed for improved performance or something.
Stepping out, and taking a brief glance under the raised body, Chazz notices a couple of peculiarities. The first is the four disc brakes, the second is the unibody design. Strange. That’s not a truck. Popping the hood, he takes a look at the 543ci cast iron DAOHC V8. With a four barrel twin carb and performance intake, it looks like it means business.
While the Smooth is strange so far, it’s still interesting enough for Chazz to ask for a test drive. Settling behind the wheel, he realises something vital, beyond the missing 4x4 system. The column mounted shifter belongs on a car. A premium car. Because it’s an automatic. It certainly appears that a premium car has been hidden inside the Warthor 69. That would certainly explain the automatic transmission, four wheel disc brakes, unibody construction, and premium interior.
This is certainly not the kind of thing he’s looking for. Who could ever want something with the behaviour of a premium car and the looks of an offroader? That’s crazy, and so it’s time to head to head to another dealership.
@Madrias Dynamite Motor Tuning Desastir Model 45 Hot Rod
With the evening quickly approaching, this will be the last dealership for Chazz to visit today. Dynamite Motor Tuning happens to be a small industrial place on the wrong side of town. Making sure to lock his doors, Chazz heads over to the nearly windowless building to have a look at a car that caught his eye in that morning’s paper.
Stepping into the garage and being greeted by a mechanic, Chazz is led to the back to see a gleaming black car of an era gone by. He’s familiar with the Desastir Model 45, it’s far from being a good car, but it’s still so common that one can’t help but notice it. Other than the newer wheels, he could easily think this is an original 1945 Desastir. Stepping inside, Chazz is comfortably greeted by a tastefully updated interior pack with premium features. So the outside isn’t much to look at, but the interior is certainly one of the best so far.
Under the hood lurks a 444ci OHV V8 that’s been tuned for performance by Dynamite Motor Tuning. The new four barrel twin carb plays no small role in helping it produce 276 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. While not the biggest, most powerful, or even newest engine, it’s certainly got a soul to it. 0-60 mph takes 6.3 seconds and the quarter mile is achieved in 14.46 seconds, both astonishing for a car from 1945. The top speed of 140 mph is also significantly better than what the original Desastir 45 could achieve. This is another car making use of the fancy disc brakes on all four wheels and an automatic locker. Before Chazz can tell the mechanic that this is not quite what he’s looking for, he’s ushered outside and into another of these hot rods parked behind the building and told to take it for a spin before making any decision.
Firing up the engine and tuning in some Cream on the radio, he slowly heads around the building to the melodies of Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, glad that power steering was fitted to the car. A bit of jerking from the automatic locker and finding himself on a straight and mostly deserted industrial road, it’s time to see what this car can do. First thing is the burnout, and it’s slightly underwhelming, especially with the high expectations for a hot rod. What is not disappointing is the acceleration through the cloud of smoke, quickly reaching speeds much higher than the posted speed limit. And then turning around to try it again brutally reminds him of why he isn’t too fond of automatic lockers. A bit of driving around doesn’t bring the stares he was hoping for. The car is surprisingly easy to drive and has one of the most spacious interior. A hot rod isn’t exactly what Chazz is looking for. A quick peel back to the ‘dealership’ and Chazz returns the car behind the building, feeling unsatisfied.
After letting the mechanic know this car is not quite what he’s looking for, he heads back to his newer car to head back home and consider the adventures and disappointments of the day.
With only three car making the cut so far, Chazz is not feeling too confident about his search for a new muscle car. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.