OK, since the 4WD comparision test was appreciated, I have had an idea for another Trafikjournalen comparision test challenge for a while, and sorry for setting it in the 90s again, but it’s still quite different from last time…
This time the scenario is the following:
It is 1993, and Sweden has recently been hit by one of the worst recessions in modern times. New car sales are at their lowest numbers since the early 50s, leading to even the used car market suffering, since people keep their old cars and even worn out old examples starts going for good amounts of money.
When the situation is like that, a very cheap new car may seem like a good alternative to an used one of a better regarded model/brand that might be quite abused and going for large amounts of money. But what do you really get for, say, $14K AMU? That’s what Trafikjournalen wants to find out. Are they viable alternatives to used cars, or jokes on wheels?
Premium unleaded fuel. You can of course build an engine for regular unleaded, but if it’s not for lore reasons, there is no idea to do it since 95 octane was the only unleaded fuel available at the tap here by then, so being able to run on regular is no benefit.
3-way cat (standard or high flow) and at least one muffler. This is to reflect legal requirements.
No limited production/racing parts (not that I think that anyone will be tempted in this price class)
Price limit at $14000, and it means “no, your 14100 car won’t slide”.
No strict PU or ET limits, but things like quality slider abuse or unrealistic engineering gives me the right to bin the car right away. Once again, if you are unsure, ask. Also, horribly outdated technology might be borderline here and very dependant on the car itself. I may accept a simple leaf sprung solid rear axle, carbs and 4 speed manuals even if that was ancient in 1993 since you could still find primitive solutions on budget cars, and some of them had been in production for a long time. Things like front drum brakes, solid front axles or crossply tyres to save money is nothing I want to see, though. Once again, if unsure, ask, and look at some IRL cars in the same class.
Safety has to be basic 70s or better. This is to reflect the absolute minimum legal requirements, but since it will be judged, going higher might be a good idea.
At least four full seats, and this is about regular cars for Mr. Average so I strongly recommend sedan, wagon or hatchback bodies (2 door variations of them are of course OK though). Things like sport coupés, convertibles, vans and pickup trucks are aimed at a different market, and even if I don’t want to put up a ban, the usage of common sense is recommended.
Trim year has to be 1993. Model year and engine family/variant can be 1993 or any year earlier. There was cars on the market like the Mini that had been in production since 1959 and the Lada 2105 with roots in the 1967 Fiat 124 so a model year much older than the trim is not a problem.
Keep in mind that the goal is not necessarily to create the cheapest car, but the best value under 14K. If you need to blow the whole budget but will make a fantastic car - fine! If you can build something almost as great and still be far from the budget - fine, too. Also, creativity within the lines is encouraged, since the lowest price segments at the era was an interesting mix of Soviet leftovers, stripped budget versions of more expensive compact cars, tiny but fully modern cars and some real low budget bargains from Korea.
The format that will be used can be seen here:
CAR MODEL / TRIM NAMING: 14K - your name / Car brand and model name
ENGINE FAMILY / VARIANT NAMING: 14K - your name / Name of engine
DEADLINE: 11th of June, 3 PM CET