Bargain Basement Bin [Finished]

Hello! I kind of ran out of things to do this summer. Wanted to do something different. So:

Bargain Basement Bin

DECEMBER 1994 - Dave is recovering from a long bout of addictions. He's turned his life around, thank god, but there's still a road to stability. He's landed a well-paying job in software and found a home to buy, but unfortunately, his Pinto that he was driving blew up on the highway. He's saved a bit, but not much, and he really needs his car to get to work, being in the states. While he's managed to carpool with a coworker, the need for a replacement is more and more noticable each passing day. Option is between no car and a bargain - but which?

Main premise of this challenge is the budget: 8000$. Trying for a more laid back one that’s still a bit of a challenge, and not pure competitiveness that is the LM challenge running now.

Here's the priorities:

Bang for your buck - He intends to spend all of the 8000$, and he wants to spend it good.
Reliability - The last thing he needs is another car that will fail him.
Fuel economy - While he has a well paying job now, he wants to avoid having his potential savings eaten up by a car better suited in the 70’s than now.
Service costs - Same reasons above, a car with 90 injectors that must be serviced is a car he does not want.
Uniqueness, styling cohesion - While in reality Dave wouldn’t give a shit about how his car looked, as long as it was efficient and priced competitively, I want to have something vaguely interesting. Give your car a twist, give it something to talk about, something to make it stand out. And make it look like it’s an economy car, or perhaps something trying to look like not an economy car while still being cheap. Realism? Go wild, but try to stick to a 90’s theme. Transverse boxer type shit is fair game.
Comfort - He knows the money he has won’t lend him a luxury car, but something to pad the buttocks would be nice to have when commuting.
Drivability - He doesn’t exactly live in a place where weather gets tough, but something which is easy to drive would be nice.
Safety - Not dying in a crash would be nice. Bells and whistles in forms of pre-tensioners and whatever aren’t that big of a priority however.
:star: (tiebreakers)
Sportiness - While he’s wanted a sports car since he was young, he knows that no sports car is priced like this. But something vaguely enjoyable to drive would be nice.
Price - Something cheaper which is still equally as good will be higher on his list.
Practicality - Other than doing the shopping and maybe moving a friend or partner he has no need for anything more, but ease of use in daily situations would be nice.

Interiors are not required and will not be scored but may be used for judging flair.

The Rules
  • Model & Engine Family name: BBB - Forum username
  • Trim & Engine Variant - Free
  • Model year: 1980 - 1995
  • Trim year: 1995
  • Engine family & variant: 1995 and earlier
  • Techpool: Keep at default (+5 everything) UNLESS you are making a mid or rear-engined car, to which you will get another 10 points to put on top of default, as a compensation for how they suck at the moment. Limited to +8 per category max. (debate?)
  • Fuel: 91 RON Unleaded
  • No race parts (Why would you even want to use them anyway?)
  • Radial tires only
  • Resubmissions allowed whenever and for whatever. I’ll try my best to notify you of rule breaks but no guarantees as I’m only human after all
  • Catalytic converter required (2 or 3 way)
  • Did I forget something? (catalytic converters, apparently)

Deadlines 'N Stuff

Rules deliberation until Monday, 21st August 00:00 UTC
Submission close: Monday, 28th August 00:00 Anywhere on earth


  • Catalytic converters are now required
  • Minimum year lowered from 1990 to 1980
  • Trim year must now be 1995
  • More inspirations
  • Engine family and variant no longer have to be before 1995


Geo Metro

Toyota Corolla

and the even better example of the Toyota Tercel

Volkswagen Fox

Ford Festiva

Mitsubishi Mirage / Plymouth Colt

Hyundai Excel lently cheap

Honda Civic


Fiat 126 / FSM Niki / 126 Maluch / whatever other name / How did they even sell this in to the 90’s???

Suggestions are welcome


Wouldn’t catalytic converters be required in this time period?


They would. Thanks for pointing that one out.

1 Like

Sorry if I missed it, but what part of the word is this set in?

Set in the US. Roughly around virginia


I’d recommend a wheelbase limit of ~2.5 meters or less.

ah yes, transvers boxer my beloved

If you want Yugos and Fiat 126s, then how about allowing older car years as well? I haven’t tested for a fair while what the positive and negative effects are on stats of ancient car models versus more recent ones.

I’d require trim & variant to be set to 1995 if that’s the year the challenge takes place in.

1 Like

I’m gonna be honest, a wheelbase limit here seems really redundant. Every other rule basically makes a large car unviable, so there’s no point in specifying that, and anyway, if someone can fit a large car in this why not.


Similar discussion took place on discord, will change.


Is there going to be a “tilt” mechanic for the older model years versus the newer years?

I’m thinking of submitting a version of this:

It’s the LVC LC90 (for light commuter of the 1990s), and it’s powered by a 1.2L pushrod I3 making 50bhp.

People have suggested a thing where every year prior to 1990 one would get an additional amount of money to the budget (100 & 200$ were mentioned) but I am not sure of the balance yet. I will have to make a lot more test mules, but I would like to hear everyone’s opinion as well.

Edit: Some test muling later and it seems fairly reasonable; however, it starts to get a lot more complex which isn’t something I exactly think will be good…therefore, poll?

  • Add adjusted budget for older models
  • Don’t add adjusted budget
  • Other solution (discuss?)

0 voters


any rules on quality sliders?

If you really want conrods made out of cardboard and a dining table for your interior chair, then go ahead! Just remember that it’ll probably be terrible. So basically go wild, no rules on quality.

the golden rule: if it isn’t in the rules then it’s legal
(and Ldub’s addition to that; just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s good)


does it need to be a car?

While I would usually say yes, automation is a car game and that should fall under the universal ‘common sense’ rule, I’m actually intruiged to what non-car thing you could make. Car-n’t at own risk.

nothing special just a truck, although i do have a history with making some quite crazy car-n’t stuff


truck is being cheap


Unfortunately i am building a lawnmower.