QFC13 - Truckin' - Sport Trucks!

Hi everyone, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to host my second challenge. Let’s make it a good one!

Previous QFC12 - Hot Hatch Time
Original QFC

For this round, we will be making factory sport trucks new for 2003. I was going to pick 1999 but there’s some good bodies that come up in '03 so we’ll go with that.

First thing - Personally, I think the “Tech Pool” system works poorly for competitions. Its basically like skipping ahead years, so it defeats the purpose of us picking a timeline. Therefore, I’d like to run this competition with Zero Tech Pool, across the board.

Set all Tech Pool to Zero:

Note: the Tech Pool is a bit bugged. Therefore, change the Tech Pool all to zero, and then exit the vehicle, and reload. That should make it behave.

Scenario and Buyer Details

It is the early 2000’s, Midwest America. Our buyer is 30 years old, has no kids and works out of his truck as a mobile detailer. He needs a truck but a small to mid-size model will do just fine. A full-size truck could be great as well, but he’s got 30k to spend so it all depends on what is possible at that budget. He’s selling his 95 Mustang GT, and he likes the idea of a sporty truck. His GT is a 5-speed manual, so shifting gears is fine but autos are OK too. He’s upgrading his business with a trailer to hold more equipment, and that’s why the Mustang is for sale, because the truck will need to tow a light load, and carry one too.

Naming Convention
– Model and Family QFC13-{username}
– Variant and Trim - open

Body styles restrictions:

  • “Utility” bodies 1978 through to 2003
  • Go for a body that is either a “Regular Cab”, or “Extended Cab” type.
  • No Crew Cabs, no Ranchero or El Camino types of bodies (let’s save those for another challenge later!)

Panel restrictions:

  • no carbon fiber or partial carbon fiber. Not practical for the time or the vehicle.

Chassis restrictions:

  • stick with Ladder or Light Truck Monocoque chassis types.

Suspension restrictions

  • front suspension anything (though most every truck runs a double wishbone type in front)
  • rear suspension - anything with a solid axle.


  • 95 Premium Octane (with Octane Margin set to 0.0)

Tyre Choice limitations:

  • Because these are sport trucks and not off-road, use Hard-long, Medium Compound, or Sports Compound tires.
  • I am a stickler for tire accuracy. I know it isn’t possible to easily look up common tire sizes for the 2000’s, so for simplicity just look for current tires today. Early 2000’s light trucks were not yet pushing the tire sizes beyond 20’s, with most trucks choosing 17’s or 18’s.
  • Also, Be certain that the tire size you pick is actually a real tire size. These will be standard “P-metric” tires, ending in “5” (example 225/70-16)


  • For the sake of keeping things similar, let’s go with either 2-seater for Regular Cab, or 2+2 for Extended Cab variants.


  • Standard 90’s or better, minimum Quality zero.


  • “-2 / +2” max sliders

I don’t think the towing parameters are quite correct, but I would like to have each truck be able to tow at least 1500 lbs.

Load Capacity:
This calculation seems a bit more realistic. Let’s use at least 1000 lbs as the minimum load capacity. Higher capacity will be a plus, as the “Priorities” go.

The obvious stuff:

  • No race parts. These are factory up-rated passenger light trucks. No V12’s or V16’s. Must have 3-way catalytic converter (or high-flow)

Hard Figures
Trim “Approximate Cost” Max - $30,000
Engine ET Max - 140
Trim ET Max - 100
there is NO minimum fuel economy requirement. However, Fuel economy is a 1-star priority so it does matter. Trucks with 8-10MPG better be darn sure be magical at everything else. My testing found 13-18MPG to be reasonable.


  • Drivability - trucks are already a little ungainly for new drivers, so good driveability behavior is important.
  • Reliability - despite being sporty vehicle, these trucks are built to last and need minimal repairs over the years.
  • Styling - sometimes these trucks are more show than go, but they always look unique compared with their more utilitarian trims.
  • Utility - its a truck, and so it needs to do truck things.


  • Environmental Resistance - It is good for these trucks to last a while.
  • Sportiness - Sport trucks are not race cars, but they should be interesting to drive.
  • Performance stats - bragging rights are part of the joy of ownership, to a degree. It needs to go, turn, and stop better than average.


  • Fuel Economy (1 star but still important enough to care about.)
  • Safety
  • Service Costs
  • Cost - trucks of this era were very competitive price-wise. 30k is the max, but if a truck is 5k less but the job better, it would be more appealing to purchase.
  • Comfort - Sport trucks are not known to be extremely comfortable, but they should have some basic comfort.
  • Towing / Payload - it isn’t a competition to see how much one can haul or tow, but any truck should be able to do either. Automation treats this a little weird so just make sure your entry can do at least these minimums - 1000 lbs load capacity, and 1500 lbs tow capacity. Note: Edsel brought up some good points about towing vs. load capacity, so if these numbers cause issues for anyone, let me know and we can perhaps combine them.

Not so Important

  • Offroad - these trucks will need to navigate a gravel or dirt road every once in a while, but this trim level isn’t expected to go trail riding or mudding.

We will run this competition with Tech Pool set full to Zero across. I understand the complaints back and forth on the topic, but to level the playing field, set all to zero and then build the truck.

Timeframe (updated 11/11/2022 8:00CST)
Updates came through, resub’s are allowed. Pushing deadline to November 15th, 12:00PM EST

Inspiration vehicles

Y’all nailed it, I’m reposting those pics because they were better than what I could find. I myself had a very not-sporty 1986 Mazda B2000 back then, but I lusted after trucks like these inspirations and modified my little B2000 to at least look the part.

Bigger beasts like the Ford Lightning, Ram SRT, Chevy SS are plausible as well. A shopper back then could easily go shopping for midsize or full size trucks interchangeably, as long as either met the needs and wants.


Any naming convention that applies for the entries?

You can’t guarantee everyone here knows enough about trucks to understand what “regular cab” and “extended cab” mean; I’d recommend including more descriptive terms like “2-door” and “4-door.”

So, from what I understand (please correct me if I’m wrong), the problem with the towing stat (especially for trucks) is that it subtracts out the vehicle’s cargo capacity: For example, if you have a truck with a towing capacity of 10,000lbs, and a cargo capacity of 8,000lbs, Automation will erroneously display it as a towing capacity of 2,000lbs, because it’s assuming the cargo bay is full, and subtracting that out.

And so about the ruleset: let’s say I have a truck with a cargo capacity of 2,500lbs, and a towing capacity of 0. If I then lower the load capacity to 1,000 (by perhaps shrinking the bed, or lowering the suspension), I may suddenly “gain” a towing capacity of 1,500- thus meeting the rules. Except the truth is, both configurations could actually tow 2,500; and in fact the first, illegal truck was objectively better, since it’s more versatile.

So to better fit the rules’ intent, try requiring a cargo capacity of 1,000, and then a “cargo + towing” capacity of 1,500/2,500.

That aside, I love this idea, and can’t wait to see what gets entered. :D

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Excellent, glad to see interest

Note that this is all going to get tightened up, inspiration pics, dates, all that are coming soon. For now it’s deliberation and discussion and I’ll finish the first post with much more as well.

Thanks and talk soon

Regular cab. The shortest type of cab where the front seats are basically leaning against the back of the cab.

Extended cab. Here you have some space behind the front seats, and in some cases, jump seats behind them.

So, as I interpret the rules, what you are not allowed to do is a crew cab (4 door with full seating in the back).


Is there a rough size to aim for? I assume it’s the American full size pickup truck. Not like a smaller European car derived truck

Are there any ET or cost restrictions?

Perhaps some pictures of inspirations could help determine what exactly you’re going for?

He’s pretty clearly aiming for the F-150 Lightning, with other examples being the SRT10 Ram (newer) and Chevy 454SS (Older)


Does “El Camino types of bodies” include all utes?

Would something like the Proton Jumbuck be allowed?

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My guess is no utes at all, so the Jumbuck would not be allowed, as well as the Holden Maloo and the Ford Falcon RTV. Think along the lines of the half ton full sizers, like the F150.


Based on what we know so far, I don’t think it’s explicitly full-sizers; the Tacoma X-Runner came out right around this era as well in ‘05, and Xtreme versions of the Chevy S10 and Colorado existed as well. Oh, and how could I forget the Daktoa R/T 5.9!

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One thing I will say is that +5 techpool is actually a more accurate representation of technology available in a given year (because I know for a fact variable hydraulic steering was a n accessible option well before 1993), so axing techpool is pointless. Oh, and give us star priority ratings now

… and metric units in brackets, please, unless you want us to go full immersion :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m thinking sizes between midsize Dakota / Tacoma up to full size “1/2 ton” , but there are pros and cons to each size choice.


Re: Utes, I love em but for competition fairness, let’s say they are out of bounds for this one. I’m thinking ladder frame or monocoque light truck frame. So, the body would have to have a clearly separate truck bed. Utes maybe next time?

Utes (with their monocoque chassis) should be reserved for a future round - ladder frame or light truck monocoque chassis should be mandated in QFC 13.

Price limitations? Or is it just free for all? :smile:

I would suggest a maximum price of 40k-50k AMU.

Maybe, and also how about which are the most wanted stats, like the star chart, and maybe the buyer’s background and interests for the sport truck. It’s quite hard to gauge what is exactly wanted, right now it feels more like a build to this spec if it makes sense?