Cool Wall 5: High Proof [DONE]

Cool Wall Challenge 5: High Proof

Welcome, at long, looooong last, to Cool Wall 5.

Previous Cool Wall challenges

Cool Wall 1: Used Car Shopping
Cool Wall 2: Yet Another Cool Wall Challenge
Cool Wall 3: Not Cool
Cool Wall 4: I’m Rich!

Welcome to Woodward, Oklahoma. The year is 2009, and your client is a young liquor store owner looking for a ride that would life her spirits and boost her standing.

Client Backstory

There’s something sad about the phrase “24-year-old family business owner”. It should strike one as something that, in a kinder world, would have never been uttered. However, this is real life - and Samantha Daniels is indeed a 24-year-old family business owner. Her old man, a liquor store proprietor named Jack, passed away in 2007 from a very sudden illness - and while ‘Sam’ had worked as a hand at the store for some time before the tragedy, she now unexpectedly became sole owner and proprietor. And right on the eve of the worst economic downturn in recent memory, too.

But Samantha fought through the grief, the inexperience and the recession, and by 2009 - today - hope as well as some sort of financial stability are coming back. Sam has decided to start living rather than surviving - that means resuming her hobbies, expanding her social circle, and getting a couple of nice things.

One of those things is a nicer car. Her current car is her late father’s 1997 Pontiac Bonneville; it’s hardy and not even in that bad shape, but a) she would rather not have to see it every day and b) she always did want something more unusual. Now, Sam likes Woodward as a whole, but the bland Ford/GM-dominated automotive landscape of the town conditioned her to be fascinated by more out-of-the-ordinary cars. This has since been compounded by the Internet, which brings all sorts of fruit ranging from forums to bootleg rips of that one British car show. Why not own something interesting herself, now that the store’s cashflow isn’t so choked up it’s turning blue?

Some facts about Samantha:

  • When she turned 16 and got her driver’s license, Samantha’s father got her a then-relatively fresh 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier. It was a shitspec manual coupe, but it served her well enough. She sold the Cavalier in 2008 when finances were tight.
  • Samantha is fond of web art, having discovered Newgrounds as a teenager. She has since gathered a small (and entirely zero-profit) following there with her own creations.
  • The only cars Samantha has a firm opinion of other than the two she’s owned are police cruisers - she hates the things. No, she’s never been in serious trouble with them - but an ex of hers bought a Crown Vic after it was decommissioned early and would not stop talking about the wretched thing.
  • Samantha has a decent social circle even as is, consisting both of some of her old school friends as well as acquaintances of her father. None of them lack for transport.


  • Trim year: between 1960 and 2009 (inclusive).
  • Engine year: Same as Trim Year (no CW4-style engine swaps)
  • Bodies from the Legacy Bodies Mod are banned
  • Quality sliders: No higher than +10 each
  • Engine stress overall: No greater than 20%
  • Fuel requirement varies with trim year:
    -92RON or 98RON leaded 1960-1972;
    -91RON unleaded 1973-1982;
    -91RON, 95RON or 98RON 1983-2009.
  • No carbon fiber parts (Chassis Material, Panel Material, Rim Material, Brakes
  • Purchase cost must not exceed $15,000 (See Max Price Table)
  • Interiors are not required; if present, they may be used for photos and flavor text but not in the judgement.
Max Price Table
Trim Year Residual Value of Car Max Approximate Cost in Automation
1960 66.36% 22,600
1961 64.31% 23,300
1962 62.38% 24,000
1963 60.56% 24,800
1964 58.86% 25,500
1965 57.28% 26,200
1966 55.82% 26,900
1967 54.47% 27,500
1968 53.24% 28,200
1969 52.11% 28,800
1970 51.11% 29,400
1971 50.21% 29,900
1972 49.42% 30,300
1973 48.75% 30,800
1974 48.19% 31,100
1975 47.73% 31,400
1976 47.39% 31,700
1977 47.15% 31,800
1978 47.02% 31,900
1979 47.32% 31,700
1980 47.47% 31,600
1981 47.62% 31,500
1982 47.92% 31,300
1983 48.23% 31,100
1984 48.70% 30,800
1985 49.12% 30,500
1986 49.84% 30,100
1987 50.67% 29,600
1988 51.60% 29,100
1989 52.64% 28,500
1990 53.79% 27,900
1991 55.04% 27,300
1992 56.40% 26,600
1993 57.86% 25,900
1994 59.43% 25,200
1995 61.10% 24,500
1996 62.89% 23,900
1997 64.77% 23,200
1998 66.77% 22,500
1999 68.87% 21,800
2000 71.09% 21,100
2001 73.41% 20,400
2002 75.84% 19,800
2003 78.38% 19,100
2004 81.04% 18,500
2005 83.80% 17,900
2006 86.68% 17,300
2007 89.67% 16,700
2008 92.78% 16,200
2009 96.00% 15,600

Look for your car’s model year on the left, and you’ll find that year’s max cost on the right. If you want to know how much your car specifically is worth after depreciation, multiply its approximate cost by the percentage value / 100 for your car’s year (e.g. “0.5067” for 1987).


Start with the above distribution (+2 everywhere except turbos; 30 points in total) and add a maximum of 50 extra points for a total of 80. No techpool category may have a total value of more than 8.


While this isn’t a challenge with perfect balance anyhow, I will seek to balance it by discouraging choices which would raise eyebrows in the real world; in addition, I will levy penalties on things that would raise real-life costs and hassles.

As with CW4, you can try and gamble with this.

Unrealistic/uncharacteristic engineering: -2 to -8pts

This challenge does not call for CSR realism, but given the simple and public grading scheme I will be taking points off for all manners of uncharacteristic design - especially in cases where it constitutes ‘cheese’ - that is, the use of unrealistic engineering choices or combinations to get ahead.

Grading scale:

  • 1-2 point: One major element of engineering is off, or multiple minor engineering decisions seem questionable/contradictory. Visual design shows signs of modification or elements of it blatantly don’t match with the car’s engineering or time period.

  • 3-5 points: Multiple mechanical traits about the car appear to be off, or the car has a combination of mechanical and visual issues. Visual discrepancies alone do not warrant this tier of penalty unless it’s something like a neon pink and green car with 6 spoilers. Engineering goofs like transverse–mounted boxer engines, or front drum brakes with rear disc brakes, go here.

  • 6-8 points: A high number or severity of offenses from the lower tiers, with at least one being made for a “cheese” reason.

I do reserve the right to bin any car which is too unrealistic, though I don’t think I can imagine an entry getting that egregiously bad; the majority of instabins in the last several CSRs would have gotten away with minor to medium penalties in this challenge.

Engine Stress: 1-5pts

This is a discrete scale which represents acute concern over the engine literally blowing, on top of the lower reliability score you’ll get. If the combined reliability penalty in the Stress sidebar of the Engine Designer is:

1-6%: -1pt
7-13%: -3pt
14-20%: -5pt
21%+ is a bin.

Engine loudness too high: -1-2pts
  • Engine loudness of 48.1-58: -1pt
  • Engine loudness of 58.1 or more: -2pts
No entertainment: -2pts
No muffler: -2pts
Inappropriate catalytic converter arrangement: -2pts

A car with no catalytic converter on MY1975+ or two-way ones on MY1981+ will receive this penalty.

Complex Spring Types: -2pts

Hydropneumatic, Air and both Active spring types will be penalized due to their high failure risk factor, especially if old.

High Engine Bay Fill: -1-3pts

Engine Fill is penalized due to impairing repairability, and maintainability.

  • Engine Bay Fill >85%: -1pt
  • Engine Bay Fill >100%: -2pts
  • Engine Bay Fill >120%: -3pts
95 or 98 RON fuel: -1pts

Self-explanatory: any higher-grade gas hurts peace of mind and the wallet, too.

Quality below -3: -1pt

Each area with lower quality than -3 will cost you a penalty point.

Scoring system explanation

A car’s “coolness” will be ranked on a scale of -20 to +20, with 20 being the coolest possible, and -20 being as uncool as possible. What qualifies as cool is explained in the “coolness” section.

All other categories are worth either 0-10 or 0-5 points. For each category, the best car will be assigned the highest value, the worst car gets the lowest value, and every other car’s value being assigned in relation (rounded to the nearest tenth). Here’s an example with real-life cars, taken from Edsel’s rounds:

The Trans Sport has the best practicality, so it gets a score of 10 in that segment. The Seville has the worst practicality, so it gets a score of 0. And the Astra? Its practicality is 1/3rd the difference between the best and worst cars, so it gets a score of 3.7.

Now let’s add a 4th competitor:

Since the Eclipse now has the worst practicality, it gets a score of 0. And since the bar is now been set lower, the Seville gets a score of 4.4 (2/5 the difference), and the Astra a score of 6.6 (3/5 the difference). The Trans Sport, still the best, still gets a score of 10.


Coolness: ±20pts

Coolness is a measure of how valuable Samantha thinks the car is, and how much it agrees with her idea of style and flair. In order to give you reference points to base your designs off of, each contestant can select up to five real-life cars to place on The Cool Wall.

You can request an addition either directly in the thread - or, if you want the request to be anonymous, through a DM. Make sure to specify in text the make, model, year (or year range/generation), and if you feel it matters, the trim; don’t leave it to me to guess, because I may guess wrong. If at all possible, please supply me with the images of the cars you would like placed onto the cool wall.

Each contestant can also two questions about a given car’s cool-wall placement (such as “why is this car placed where it is?” or “Why are these 2 similar-looking cars rated so differently?”). Questions should be asked through DMs; questions about cool wall placement in the thread will be ignored.

This time around, there are no hints relating to body styles. You are going to have to experiment with your Cool Wall entries; to this point, you are allowed to suggest all your 5 allotted cars in a single batch or in multiple - though one-by-one would be very tedious for me so please do not.

Reliability: 10pts

Sam is not a ‘playboy’ in any sense; the new car will be her main mode of transportation, and as such she’s much prefer it if it started every morning. Especially coming from

Service Costs: 10pts

Likewise, Samantha has no desire for her personal conveyance to cut into her already somewhat tight margins. 2000-dollar optical distributor replacements? No thanks!

Comfort: 10pts

Between the Bonneville and her dad’s old Caprice Classic that came before it, Samantha has mostly driven or ridden in cars that are comfortable her whole life; and while she is setting her sights on something more unusual, what she isn’t looking for is a downgrade. And let’s not remember the Cavalier.

Sportiness: 10pts

Samantha has long desired a car that’s more exciting to drive and makes her feel in control. The Bonneville is sleepy and wallowy, and Samantha is tired of coaxing vague responses out of it. Note that sporty or responsive doesn’t necessarily mean lightning fast. 7pts of this stat will be decided by the sportiness stat, and 3 more based on 0-60 (lower = better of course)

Base Cost: 5pts

While Sam has allotted her 15,000 budget to spend on the car, she wouldn’t mind saving on her purchase if the car in question is worthy. The leftover money could be put to good use elsewhere.

Drivability: 5pts

Samantha considers herself a competent driver, and isn’t sure she needs the latest word in driving assistance - but wrestling for control with her daily still isn’t her idea of a good time. She is considering cars from eras as far away as the 1960s, but those aren’t exempt: the car has to behave.

Fuel Economy: 5pts

Nobody enjoys spending more at the pump, even if fuel is cheap: again, margins. The new car doesn’t have to be a miser, but it should not be overly gluttonous.

Prestige: 5pts

While Sam cares about her personal satisfaction with the car and her perception of it more, it pays to own something others respect and appreciate. If Samantha got something cool to her but objectively a shitbox, people would still think she was cheaping out.

Interior Volume: 5pts

Cars are versatile things; Samantha has always been wise to that. And even though her father and her have always owned sedans and coupes, even those can fit a lot in a pinch - with proper finagling.

The stat being measured is a sum of the car’s cargo and passenger volume.

Environmental Resistance: 5pts

Samantha knows that the worst part about getting a used car is that you never know where it might have been. As such, it would be best if the car could handle neglect.

Safety: 5pts

Sam doesn’t live in a massively large city with massively dangerous drivers, but it helps to know that her car won’t crush like a can or impale her if she does get into an accident. And if there’s airbags? She might even avoid a concussion.


Naming Scheme:

Car model & Engine Family: CW5 – [YourForumUserename]
Car Trim, Engine Family: (your choice)

Rules deliberation will continue until June 25 at 11:59 PM CDT, at which point submissions will open.
Submissions will close on July 7, 11:59 PM CDT. Cool wall submissions are currently being accepted, but won’t be added until after deliberation ends.

A submission requires a .car file compliant with the above naming scheme to be sent to me through forum DMs as well as an ad/listing/however you wish to style it to be posted in this thread. I will allow a single resubmit if your car is noncompliant with base rules - which I will inform you of.

Feedback welcome and encouraged during rules deliberation; questions are also welcome. I may initiate edits myself; I’m not sure the brief is finished/fleshed out enough as is.

Current Cool Wall:

  • 06/23 - Updated cool wall; Reduced number of askable questions to two; Increased max quality slider to +10. Slight tightening of submissions window (Starts night of Sunday; ends night of Friday a fortnight after)
  • 06/24 - Updated cool wall; added cat penalty, banned legacy bodies mod.
  • 07/12 - Changed the cargo volume judging parameter to total volume.


My first three suggestions: 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT, 1993 Opel Calibra 16V and a Nissan Pathfinder V6 from the same year. Saving the last two for when I can see some structure on the wall.

EDIT: Changed Calibra pic to one that was larger than a postage stamp…


Aw hell yeah new cool wall, time to totally miss the mark yet again :^)

1987 VL Holden Calais

1982-94 Subaru Brumby

1998 Volvo V70 R

Gotta get variety in the strangest way possible!


What body styles and transmission types does Samantha prefer? And what are her favorite exterior colors?

Anyway, I’ll nominate the 2000 Honda S2000, 1989 Ford Mustang GT 5.0, and 1995 BMW M3 E36 for the Cool Wall.


My three nominies:

1994 Nissan Pulsar GTI-R

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

2004 SVT Cobra “Terminator”


Should adaptive and semi-active dampers, as well as any sway bar type other than passive, also be penalized for this reason? Those components are more complex, after all.

In any case, I’ll hold off on my remaining Cool Wall nominations for now, or at least until a clearer picture of what went where has developed.

Nice premise, I like.

I nominate:

1990/1992 Galant AMG Type 1

1985 Trans Am

1996 Elise S1


Sounds interesting, here are my nominations:

2004 Seat Leon Cupra

2000 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

1993 Pontiac Firebird

1990 Toyota Celica ST183

1982 Porsche 944


Women love Nissans! With that being said,

2003-2008 Nissan Teana

2002-2007 Nissan March Rafeet


That’s all for now. By the way, is there any limit on how many cars we can send?


We can only send one actual submission, but we can send up to five Cool Wall suggestions.

Here’s a few ideas, this challenge sounds quite interesting! Think I’ll save a coupe till the list fills also.

  • Isuzu Piazza 1980-1990

  • Plymouth 'Cuda 1970

  • Mazda Miata/MX-5/Roadster (NA) 1989-1997


My first two cents:
2007 Pontiac G5 Coupe

2009 Mazda RX-8


I will use what I assume is the maximum of 5 cool wall ideas straight away.

Also in ascending age order


Two more nominations from me to fill out my allocation:

1992-2002 Mazda RX-7 FD

2001-06 Holden Monaro CV8 (V2-VZ)

I was thinking of nominating the 4th-gen Camaro in place of the Monaro, until I realized that someone else had already nominated the same-generation Firebird (the Camaro’s sister car) by now.


My options - cute small city cars!


Fiat 500 (07 Version)


Fiat Nuova 500 (57-61 Version)


MINI Hatch (02-06 Version)


Daiatsu Copen (1st Gen, 02-13)


Smart Fortwo (1st Gen, 98-06)


I already have several test mules that I could adapt for CW5 - the challenge for me right now is deciding which one works best.

The last two cars I am nominating. I have seen a lot of two doors up until this point, so I decided to throw these into the mix.

2005 Chrysler 300C Touring

1967 Lincoln Continental Convertible


Woohoo, Cool Wall is back! And it’s just as good as ever! :D

Even my copy-paste errors are back! :face_holding_back_tears:

Seriously though, this looks like it’s gonna be a blast. Here are my first 2 suggestions:

2004-2010 Scion tC

2009-2012 Volkswagen Golf Hatchback


Looks like fun! I am excited to be binned for making a goofy car. Here are three I like a lot.

'78 Celica

'00 TT

Best Corvette ('92) pictured with wrong wheels to upset you, the reader


Edit: Sorry, didn’t read the dropdowns, but really you shouldn’t even need to ask (twice…), added another car to make it better (or worse)

Still, challenge rating: Very Cool

Mazda 323 F (BG) 1989–1994

Saab 900 Turbo 1984-1987 (model introduced 1979, facelift 1987-1994)

Peugeot 306 Cabriolet 1997-2002 (presumably 1.8 110hp; pre-facelift model introduced 1994)

Subaru Legacy Sports Tourer (BP) 2003-2009

Ford SVT Lightning 2001 (1999-2004)

May not be a Sam car, but looks peak American liquor store to me