CSR 118 - The Craigslist Crawl

Hey guys, Diet Dr. Rick here, and I’m so psyched to be bringing you the new 2020 CSR 118 challenge! Before we get into it, be sure to like and subscribe to this post to be up to speed on the saltiest trips to bin city. Now let me tell you about Raid Shadow Legends….Nope nope nope I can’t do this to you or myself.

CSR 118 - The Craigslist Crawl

Read the CSR rules here.

Previous round: CSR 117 - Rumble In the Bronx

Ok here’s the deal, y’all are gonna build for me from a year ago. I’m a college student in Ohio whose 1996 Selene can’t hold it together any longer. The ride was nice and the interior was great, but I am suffering from PTSD having the constant fear of breaking down and buying a quart of oil with my gas.

Photoshop by @titleguy1

I’m looking to replace my car with something more reliable so I can have some piece of mind. Being a music nut, I really liked the good quality speakers as well and the roomy 4 seats and smooth ride quality, and those will be missed if I can’t find a car that can deliver.

I drive in Ohio, so that means:


Environmental resistance is going to be key in keeping the car from turning into a rust bucket. The roads here can be rough and covered in potholes and salt. I’m not taking this thing to track day, but even if I did, I’d rather be comfortable the 99% of the time I’m just running errands than pretend I drive a sports car.

The car does not need to be fast, but it should be able to get up to speed on the highway no problem. I need to cover the essentials before I worry about how fun the car is to drive, but If you can manage a fast car without sacrificing reliability and service costs, it will sure stand out.

I don’t need anything fancy, but when it comes to design, let me have some dignity. A car’s looks are the first thing that will get my attention when deciding what to buy. Colors are very intense for our eyes in Ohio since most of what we see is grey and brown. Bright purple or lime green will burn into my retinas.

I know at some point my car is likely going to be used for family outings, so I strongly prefer at least 4 seats (come to think of it we only have 2 working cars for 4 people right now). We have some unpredictable winters in Ohio, and I’ve had some bad experiences driving a RWD pickup in the snow. Keep in mind I’ll be driving your car in the snow. Don’t kill me please.

A sedan is most preferable, but I don’t mind coupes, small SUVs, or most other passenger cars. What I don’t want are pickup trucks (been there done that). While I wouldn’t mind driving a hatchback, they are pretty rare around here. I don’t need a big car, but the average car on the road here comes out to about a 2012 Chevy Equinox. If I crash, I don’t want to be eviscerated.

Coming off a Selene, I want to avoid a car that is going to need expensive parts and constant maintenance. Good fuel economy wouldn’t hurt either. Service costs will be a major deciding factor.

Lastly, I prefer an automatic. Don’t lynch me

Sound easy enough? Good, here is the budget:


Yep, I am not ready to buy a car, but here I am, so its time to scrape the bottom of the barrel looking through craigslist ads. You’re going to build a car between 1985-2005 that hits the preceding criteria the best you can while staying under a budget of $2,000 using the provided calculator. Mileage will also be determined by the stats of your car. I will not look at anything it over 275,000 miles or under 50,000 miles because I will assume there is something wrong with it or too good to be true. The number of approaches you can take is vast, but finding a balance will not be an easy task. Good luck.


I will not look at cars that fail these requirements.

  • Trim and Engine Variant Year must be set within 1985-2005.
  • Engine Variant year must not be later than Trim year
  • Body: No meme bodies or bodies that are obviously low production like the LaFerrari
  • No V16s, V12s, or V10s. (I3 is discouraged as well)
  • Engine must have no race parts.
  • Catalytic Converter is required
  • Must use 95 RON or lower, 91 RON is encouraged
  • No Semi-Slick tires
  • Minimum 45 Drivability
  • Minimum 15 Comfort
  • Minimum 40 Safety
  • Minimum 50 Reliability
  • Minimum 30 Environmental Resistance
  • Cost must be under $2000. I am willing to haggle down from $2200 if it is really worth it.
  • Mileage must be between 50,000 and 275,000 miles

Note: The Neon and Stagea mod bodies that just released this week are not allowed for this round because they were released after submissions started coming in.

Judging Criteria


  • Reliability – If I need to buy another car’s worth of parts over the time I own it what’s the point? I would rather fix the Selene.

  • Service Costs - Things like staggered tires and big vented disc brakes are going to get me worried about when its time to change them. I’m leaving the Selene behind because its riddled with expensive problems. I don’t want to trade one old luxury car for another.

  • Is the car within the budget? - The more money left over for parts the better, but I’m willing to go slightly over the budget if it is worth it.

  • Drivability - I’m a decent enough driver, but I want to get where I’m going without being on full alert. It needs to be controllable in snow and potentially ice.

  • 4+ seats - Needs to fit a family of 4


  • Environmental Resistance - this will equate to how rusty it is and how bad it will get after I buy it.

  • Design - Does it make sense for the year? Is it a quirky anecdote of its time or a timeless design? Will all those trim pieces you’re covering the car with still be there in 20 years? These are some things to consider.

  • Mileage - There isn’t much difference between 150,000 miles and 170,000 to me, but the more miles it has, the more likely there are problems with the car. Over 200,000 miles and I start getting wary.

  • Comfort - It’s a daily driver and I do a lot of driving. A sporty suspension tune won’t kill me but I’d rather have some legroom and not feel every crack in the road.


  • Safety - I’ve never been in a crash (knock on wood), but I don’t want to take any chances if I do.

  • Fuel Economy - Going with service costs, good fuel economy is always better. Also, less trips to the gas station throughout the week is convenient.

  • Practicality - It needs to be able to take a family of 4 places and have enough cargo space for groceries and supplies. Beyond that is just extra.

  • Performance - Just because I’m selling my Selene doesn’t mean I can’t have fun driving anymore. A sportier car that hits the important criteria may tempt me to go for it. (Ohio is mostly straight roads. I won’t be able to get much use out of a cornering machine.)


  • Entertainment - I gotta have my tunes. A basic interior would be hard to swallow but with a budget like this, sometimes sacrifices must be made.

  • Offroad - I’m not really going off road besides the odd gravel road. It just needs to be enough to where I don’t have to worry about poor roads, snow, and other obstacles.

  • Prestige - Going along with sportiness, I’d rather drive something cool if I have the choice. I’ll also be selling this car in a few years, so resale value is a minor plus.

All of this to say, I need something that runs.


Naming convention:

Model and Engine Family name: CSR 118 – “forum username”
Trim: Make/Model/Trim of car
Variant: Engine Model/Variant

Message me on the forum with the .car file to submit. While I’m on discord, I may miss your entry if you send it to me there.

Entries are open until Jan. 27th 5 AM Monday GMT (11:59 PM Sunday EST)

Used Car Cost Calculator

Download a copy of the calculator so you can use it on your own. Calculator subject to change until the round starts.

It is not required, but lore cars and creative ads are encouraged for this round.
Last note, this round can be hard, so if you submit early and it doesn't meet requirements, I will accept 1 resubmission before the round closes.

I am going to try to submit a real contender this time, not something silly.

1 Like

I’m not sure how you calculate mileage based on the car’s stats. I looked at the cost calculator but I just can’t figure out the formulas.

When I open the challenge, I’ll give some tips. For now ill say with mileage, the year affects it the most, with older cars having higher mileage. Reliability is the next biggest factor with more reliable cars have higher mileage, and then more prestigious cars have less mileage.

Ah, thanks, this explains pretty much all the things I was wondering.

I take that to mean “no race intake/headers”.

Also, the fact that our client is looking for a used car seems to justify the lack of engine or trim PU/ET limits.

People seem to be sufficiently struggling so its time to open this thing. I made a minor adjustment to the calculator yesterday so if you were one of the first ones to download the calculator, make sure you have the most recent version. Check the judging criteria for a couple tweaks in the importance of certain stats.

Entries are open until Jan. 27th 5 AM Monday GMT (11:59 PM Sunday EST)

If you are lost on what cars to make, I suggest going onto craigslist in ohio and seeing what comes up for under $2000 or so.


I done something similar, I went on my Local Kijiji (Canadian eBay Classifieds/Gumtree) & with certified in the search bar I looked for 2005 max year & $2760 max price ($2000 USD+5.75% Ohio sales tax = $2115 USD converted to CAD) & got 7 results:
2004 Volvo S60 with 198800 km for $1650+tax (13%) from a dealer, very little to certify
2004 Chevy Cavalier with 159236 km for $2000 OBO certified
2003 Mitsubishi Lancer with 214500 km for $1000 as-is, will need front drivers side brakes looked at, CEL for evap leak & minor oil seepage around valve cover gasket
2000 Honda CRV with 330000 Km for $2000 as-is, very little if anything to have certified
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4x4 with 250000 km, description says $3000 obo but listed price is $2000, certified 2 years ago, won’t need much
2005 Nissan X-Trail with 267475 km, description says $2500 OBO but listed for $2000, can be certified & e-tested
2005 Chevy Equinox with 236000 km, $1400 or B.O, easily certified

I’m leaning towards attempting a 2004 Cavalier replica, but who knows.

And I went to my local used car website and there were 153 cars that fit the criteria. May I ask what exactly is your point?

I think Letto is just trying to help, but looking for cars in Canada won’t always translate to Ohio, and also I’m not factoring in Ohio taxes. People don’t need to know that much. Assume I have the budget for that set aside.

Oh yeah, and if you’ve never shopped for a cheap used car before and are looking through craigslist, 9 times out of 10 the car is in worse shape than it appears.


Hell, I recently bought an '03 Crown Vic for $1525 on a government auction site. 91k on the odometer.

It might also help to note, that around this time of year, (in the U.S.) people tend to be a bit greedier than they were in say, October. Tax refund season is about to begin, and cars that would go for $2k or less, are making their way towards $3500. LordLetto’s list seems to be in line with what I’ve observed, but mileage and condition could vary throughout the year.

Interesting complexity because sometimes higher mileage is better than low mileage. You might find a sweet 20 year old car with only 40k on the odometer, but then realize that nearly everything under the hood made of rubber is dry rotted. In that scenario 140k miles would likely end up being the better buy.

1996 Lavish Serenity - $1900 (Florence)

condition: good
cylinders: 6 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 198611
paint color: maroon
title status: clean
transmission: automatic
type: sedan

Selling Base trim Lavish Serenity for $1900 OBO
1 owner
Runs great, just replaced brakes and shocks, serviced regularly
Leather seats, PS, PB, A/C, toolbox, aftermarket CD head unit
+free Winter tires & wheels

Cash only, NO SCAM/TRADES!!!

  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

How would you prefer we submit the .car files? Do we put them in a post here or send them to you? Sorry if this was covered elsewhere and I just derped too hard to see it.

1 Like

You know what I think I forgot to mention and took it for granted. Send me a message on the forum with the .cars, thanks.

Emphasis mine, you can get some real bargains this way. My brother managed to get a 2016 Toyota Aurion (270bhp of family car on-ramp hooning) for a good 30% under normal resale value doing just that.


Gonna rework the front and see how this does on the calculator.
Me Sorta jag but not jag. sorta MG ZTT but not MG ZTT thingy


1996 Firebird Badlands 4x4 - $1,703 (North Canton)

Nice clean interior, 213,891 miles, and counting as it is my daily driver. The hood has some slight paint fade and the rear rocker panels are a little rusty but for the year you can’t really complain. I’m open to trade for other vehicles.

1996 Firebird Badlands
Condition: good
Cylinders: 6 cylinders
Drive: 4wd
Fuel: gas
Odometer: 213891
Paint Color: green
Size: mid-size
Title Status: clean
Transmission: automatic
Type: SUV

  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

For sale
2.4 I5 MPFI
ODOMETER : 174284
Price : $ 1938,93
New Tyres, New Oil and Filters , Clean… It’s a car for use without worries