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The Car Shopping Round (Round 64): Tears in Heaven


@Rk38 / @Koolkei

Viktor woke up the next day, and after his usual morning procedures went to check his mail. Inside his mailbox he found a Mitaishi brochure. “Damn, these guys really push their product” he thought… “I didn’t even tell them my address!”. “Some other company I visited must have sold me out”. The brochure looked very fancy and was printed on thick glossy paper. Viktor studied it, and decided that maybe he should have at least driven the thing when he was at the dealership. Viktor remembered reading about con-rod failures on the internet though, and decided that before heading back, he’d go research it some more. Viktor went back inside and turned on his computer. After reading through a couple of forums, he found out that the guy who had a rod failure in his engine took his SRV-X to the race track, and the man commented that “it sounded really funny pegging the rev-limiter”. Viktor shook his head and read a couple of more forum posts, and all the failures were tied to extraordinary abuse of that engine; and so, concluded that the engine’s rods aren’t defective. The engine’s rods are merely adequate for their intended use, and only that. They can not tolerate abuse like some of the older over-built and reinforced engines that Viktor is used to. This is the modern era, and gone are the days where an engine’s internals can take double the stress they were designed for from the factory.

Viktor decided that the next-day Mitaishi brochure was a sign that he needs to go back and take a second look, so he warmed up his beloved Loaf and headed back into the city; this time dressed to deal with that rainforest inside the dealership. Viktor found a parking spot right in front of the Mitaishi dealership, and dashed out of his Loaf wearing just a dress shirt. Dodging the tropical birds inside, he made his way to the counter and requested a test drive of the SRV-X. Viktor signed the required paperwork, and was given the keys to a SRV-X. He fired up the smooth and very quiet inline-6 and drove off into the street. The turbocharger spooled early but fairly abruptly; that could make crawling through mud more difficult. Viktor wasn’t used to the power curve of a turbocharged engine, and like usual, he was worried that the turbocharger and intercooler adds more failure points. The six speed manual’s first 3 gears were very short, and that helped the already powerful engine feel even more spry. The engine also promised very good fuel economy too. The ride was decent, although the fairly stiff anti-roll bars would prevent good articulation off-road. The on-road handling felt impressive compared to some of the other vehicles he’s driven. Viktor returned to the dealership after a few laps around the adjacent streets, and ran back to his Buhanka to think.

@koolkei - I trust this is satisfactory?


I’d say that’s a model and faultless way of handling the situation - I’d even say that adding a nice story for such thing is beyond expectation :slight_smile: I really admire the way you’re making this round.


I’d love to meet the guy who took a 4000lb 7 seat SUV to the race track :smile:


Come to America then, we have plenty


I got the chance to autocross my old 4,800 lb Chevy Silverado. And let’s not forget the growing trend of sport SUVs, which which the Germans and Brits got way more involved in than us Yanks.


well it is more than what i expected. so yes. it is more than satisfactory

and after you mentioned it. so there is that problem. it does show yellowing when it’s bumping of the limiter. i did not test that way. i was thinking it might have been too much torque and so i revved it across the whole rev range manually trying to find and hear the rod knock and not finding anything . but did not test it at the redline…

while tuning the yellowing does not show up at all, and the stats is not affected. so it’s a problem with kee engine and me then. i never found this issue before. and thank you for both putting it up with me, and the review :slight_smile:


GMC Typhoon/Syclone…


I never said we didn’t get involved (and the Typhoon is far cooler than the X5 M could ever hope to be IMO), I just said they did more.


Now for the concluding story; part one.

Viktor sat thinking in his Buhanka outside the Mitaishi dealership for well over an hour. He knew that he had to make a decision today. A very important decision. A decision that would change the fate of his company, his livelihood, and possibly his life and the life of his drivers, and even the lives of his customers. He had to decide which one of the 23 cars he has seen would replace his aging fleet of UAZ-2206s.

He thought about what he needs. He needs a vehicle that can go anywhere; a vehicle that can brave one of the harshest environments on our planet. Extreme cold, deep mud, snow, sleet, flooding. It may even have to ford a small river. The vehicle has to do it day-in and day-out. People depended on Viktor’s bread-loaf shaped vans. They were called upon to bring people to the far reaches of our land. To bring people to their distant jobs. Sometimes to bring critical supplies. Sometimes to visit a family member or an old friend. Sometimes the trip was one of happiness. Sometimes the trip was one of sadness. Those trips must be made, and his vans made it happen. All these people loved the Buhanka. Not only for its light-hearted, almost soothing looks… but for being an ever-faithful workhorse. Always doing what is asked… never leaving anyone stranded.

Deep in Viktor’s heart; he knew that nothing could ever really replace them. Everyone knew their unmistakable look. It is what his drivers and his customers have seen for decades. No matter what vehicle Viktor would choose… it will not be the same Buhanka that everyone knows and loves. Living on the outskirts of Russia, some of these people haven’t seen any form of transportation except for horses, tractors, and the Buhanka. How could these people accept something new? Something different? Something they are effectively trusting their life to? That vehicle must be extraordinary.

With seriousness of this choice dawning on Viktor… he decides that he needs one more night of thought and research, and he heads for home; distressed and deep in thought.


@strop - do we need to look at the “strictly 72 hours” ruling for reviews, or just delete it?


I was just starting to wonder exactly what was going on here. Has it been that long already?


I can afford to wait a few days for a comprehensive write-up of the final results, but something must be done if it takes too long to complete.

Edit: I guess I’ll just have to give the host as much time as needs then.


I can understand the delay over the weekend, but all the reviews have been completed and issues resolved, so what’s the hold up now?


C’mon guys, hold your horses, KA24DE has to select a replacement for a Russian classic; a clearly monumental task!

Let’s all just relax, give him the time he needs and ponder how to run things when Kee is shutdown for good!


I want to thank everyone for their patience with me, and I want to apologize for how long this round of CSR has taken. I’ve had a very rough week dealing with the death of a family member, and my own health issues. Had I forseen this coming; I would not have taken up hosting this round.

I’m almost done; I’ll have it all posted up in a couple of hours at most.


After a strained night’s sleep, Viktor’s alarm clock woke him up. With much difficulty, he sat on his bed holding his aching head. He stayed up much too late last night scouring the internet in search of reviews for his top-pick of cars. He remembered how people praised the Fahrzeug V2 for being one of the best rear-engined vehicles in the world, and how the Mitaishi SRV-X has won so many awards from various car magazines. Viktor also remembered how many families loved the GAC SKV-18, and spoke of the vehicle as a family member; something that he can relate to with his own Buhanka. He also noted how the Boyd Carrier won several awards for initial quality and reliability, and how the H.A 755 that captured Viktor’s eyes also received much praise as being an excellent all-round vehicle.

Viktor also visited quite a few forums for off-road enthusiasts, and while nearly all of Viktor’s choices received high regards; the FOA Ranger had the highest praise. Apparently the Ranger was a mainstay in many off-roading competitions as well. Oddly enough, the same FOA Ranger also received praise from the Greens for being the most fuel efficient and the most ecologically friendly off-road capable vehicle ever sold. “That says a lot coming from those tree-huggers” thought Viktor.

Viktor commited to his morning procedures while constantly revolving all the cars in his head. Three of the cars had particular advantages over the rest, and the other three were jack of all trades. Viktor honestly liked them all… but he needed to select one for his company. Viktor even considered getting more than one type of vehicle, but realized that it would be a logistical nightmare; even with a fleet of just six. Viktor always kept a stock of spare Buhanka parts around his garage in case a member of his fleet had a failure or breakage. Towing a car 30km back from the middle of nowhere in mud and snow isn’t a reasonable task, so his men would conduct emergency repairs on the spot after he delivered the required part to them.

Viktor looked at the time and realized that he needs to start getting ready for his trip to the dealership. In the process, he narrowed down his choices to two, and decided that it he would further narrow it down to one by the time he gets there. Viktor packed up all the documents he had into a folder and took them with him. After a stop at the bank to withdrawal a couple thousand in case the dealer requires a sizable down-payment, he set off into the city.

Time to announce the runners-up and the winner! (My unfortunate trait of being extremely indecisive is also part of the very last delay)

#6 - @Sillyducky - what you accomplished using just rear wheel drive is amazing.
#5 - @thecarlover - I’m in love with this vehicle’s aesthetics, and it has competitive stats.
#4 - @Rk38 / @Koolkei - Great stats across the board.
#3 - @Leonardo9613 / @titleguy1 - Great stats across the board, with the superlatives of best drivability and best comfort.
#2 - @Leedar - Best reliability, great practicality, and solid off-road ability.
#1 - @TR8R - Best off-road, best fuel economy, and all other stats are very high.


It felt awful having to pick a winner… I know you guys spent a lot of time and effort into this; and I did as well.

Now; the last part of the story.

As Viktor drove into the city; he finally made a decision. Viktor was going to buy FOA Rangers for his company. Viktor remembered how many times he and his men had to help pull people out of the mud and snow. The roads were harsh and unforgiving in his territory, and only a very narrow assortment of vehicles were capable of safely traversing them. Lately the weather in Russia has been getting more extreme with heavy rains and flooding. This was the first year in his life that Viktor had to refuse to make trips to certain areas because of how bad the conditions were. His men are skilled and his Loafs capable. If they say that it’s too risky, then Viktor listens. He does not take it lightly. Viktor knew that he could not replace his fleet with a less off-road capable vehicle; and so came his decision to purchase the FOA Ranger over the Boyd Carrier. Viktor also expected fuel expenses to drop significantly compared to his current fleet, and it may allow him to expand his area of influence and take longer distance trips.

The only doubt left in Viktor’s mind was that the FOA Ranger did not win as many reliability awards as the Boyd Carrier, but Viktor saw no complaints of the FOA Ranger either. The only questionable feature of the design was the use of coated low-friction pistons, but the award-winning Boyd used them as well. Viktor even saw the all-aluminum engine as an advantage; since he did not have to worry about a hot iron block cracking if he had to drive into icy water.

Viktor arrived at the FOA dealship, parked his Buhanka, and entered the building with his documents in hand. The bureaucratic process took a little over two hours, and a tired Viktor emerged from the building to grab the money that he had withdrawn earlier today. Viktor put down a down-payment for six Rangers, and after another hour in the building, returned to his Loaf. As he sat there waiting for his Loaf to heat up… he had mixed feelings. He was happy that the deed was finally done… but he also felt remorse for betraying his fleet of Loafs. “Sadly, they do not last forever”, he thought, as he rubbed the steering wheel; polished smooth and shiney from all the years of use. Viktor returned home, and notified all his employees that new cars would be arriving soon.

Just under two weeks have passed, and the new Rangers arrived at Viktor’s base of operations. His older drivers were naturally very skeptical of the new cars, but Viktor’s youngest driver praised the Ranger immediately because of the off-roading TV shows he has seen them participate in. He said they were solid machines. With time, all of Viktor’s drivers came to trust their Rangers. The drivers enjoyed the much more comfortable interiors and better heaters compared to their previous Loafs. The drivers praised the off-road prowess of the vehicles, one going as far as saying it is superior to everyone’s beloved Loaf. Viktor’s customers also came to love the Rangers. They weren’t as cute as the old vans they were used to, but their distinctive yellow paint made them instantly recognizable. They were certainly more passenger friendly too, with comfortable seats, a warm interior, and good sound insulation.

However, Viktor made sure to not betray his Loafs that have served him all these years. He merely put them at rest. Viktor’s base of operations consisted of a large garage with a small lot in front of it where his fleet was parked. The land was his, and it was fenced in. There was a narrow but long area behind the garage that was also his; it was filled with random semi-useful garbage such as worn parts, a burned down UAZ-496 that he found in the woods, an old engine from a Volga, a couple of old axles, a few steel rims, old tires, and more. During the two weeks that he was waiting for the Rangers to arrive, Viktor set out on a massive project to clean up that area and get rid of all the garbage. That area… would be where his Buhankas would rest. Viktor had three of them parked end to end, with the forth parked on the side of the garage, blocking access to the rest. Space was tight, but they all fit. Viktor covered them all with a tarp to shield them from the elements until he could think of something a little more permanent.

Viktor had plans for the fifh and sixth Loaf. His fifth; the oldest and most worn of them all, would be stripped of its engine, most of the running gear, and interior leaving just a shell with wheels. Viktor called a local construction company to make use of their crane, and ordered them to hoist the fifth Loaf up onto the roof of his garage; where it would stand as a monument for his company. The sixth Loaf; was Viktor’s own. He decided that he would restore it and keep it as his personal vehicle. The new Rangers are the workhorses now, but the Loaf was a memory that he wanted to keep alive.

A round of applause for @TR8R; the winner of CSR 52.



congratz to TR8R for winning :smiley: I’m glad I wasn’t instabinned, but it looks like I didn’t survive round two, still improving though.

and I also have to say, i really loved the story you had going along with it, that was a really nice touch.


Well done TR8R; who would have thought that he, of all users, would win this round? Anyway, thanks for finally finishing this round and its highly compelling story! It was later than expected, but the final results were well worth the wait!

And now comes the wait for the rule set for CSR53… What will it be? At least I wasn’t cut immediately this time.


The reason for my listing was literally that: I’m travelling and haven’t been following the thread so I literally didn’t know what the timing of circumstances were.

On that note, sorry for your loss @KA24DE.

And also props to TR8R, the offroading bias finally bears fruit!


A surprisingly poignant close to this round that to me almost feels as much a send-off to the trusty old Kee engine as the loyal UAZ-496 ‘Loaf’.

I know this round took a bit longer than usual but given the transitional period of the game and the high-quality writing and story I’m quite happy with the way it went. Big thanks to @KA24DE for pulling off such a nice and heartfelt round and congrats to TR8R for finding a worthy replacement for the legendary ‘Loaf’.

I wonder how long until CSR transitions into the bold new territory of the UE4 engine?