Shitbox Rally 2023 - Stage 14 (FINISHED!)

2023 Shitbox Rally – Going the Distance!

A race across a continent is difficult enough, some would say. Language barriers, weird road signs, different traffic laws, legally crossing borders, foreign food that you’ve never heard about, and trying to find lodging in a nation that, half the time, barely understands your native language.

Doing that same race across a continent in a proper shitbox takes things up a notch. Not just do you have all the aforementioned problems from the land you’re going through, but now you have unreliable engines, rust-holes the size of small planets, crunchy gearboxes, seats that needed to be replaced 50,000 miles and four owners ago, and a myriad of issues yet to show their ugly heads.

But, this is no mere ordinary shitbox race across a continent. Learning from the mistakes of last year, our gracious hosts have turned this from a high-speed race into something… A little closer to Top Gear. A bunch of teams with their shitty cars on a long drive… With the occasional challenge along the way. We’ll be (somewhat) obeying speed limits (mostly) and traffic laws (occasionally) on this run… But the goal is to have fun, not just to be first place.


This is going to be a long-running challenge in the real world.

Last year, I thought I could do 17 stages in “just” 17 weeks. About mid-challenge, I was about to burn-out from the workload of both writing all of the stage information and also trying to participate in the story, and had to switch to the two-week format, which extended the time dramatically.

This year, I’m working with @Elizipeazie as a co-host, and we’re starting out with the two-week format. We cut things back to ‘16’ stages, of which 13 will encompass the actual road-trip part where each team is out to have some fun. That STILL is 32 WEEKS, though. Last year, I think some people might have gotten surprised at the length of the run, because I failed to communicate exactly what the plan was from the start. This time, we’re making sure everyone knows that, 1: Yes, I’m fucking crazy for doing this again, and 2: This IS the short version.

So what is this?

Shitbox Rally 2023 is a cross between a car cruise and a stage rally, so we’ll be making camp between runs. This is to encourage collaboration between teams, allow in-story repairs to take place, and (behind the scenes) make all the numbers a little easier. (And let me catch up on story events, too.)

Role-playing is highly encouraged, but not required. Just want to watch the story unfold? That’s okay. Want to be part of the story? Just jump right in. (Note: If you’re uncertain about whether something could be done, exists in the world, or you’ve got a plot idea in your head, please, contact me or Elizipeazie and bring it up. Seriously, SR 2022 was epic only because people were putting ideas into the world.)

We’re going through another nation in Aetherii, namely Nehmenweld.

Aetherii? Nehmenweld?

Aetherii is the earth-like planet we will be traveling to, and it has a non-standard system of time… While an Aetheriian second and an Earth second are both equal, an Aetheriian minute is 80 seconds. An Aetheriian hour is 80 minutes. An Aetheriian day/night cycle is 20 hours, split between 10 hours of day and 10 hours of night. This is known locally as Sun and Moon time (Five-Sun being Noon, and Five-Moon being Midnight, by our terms). This means that an Aetheriian day is 35.56 Earth Hours long, or 1.48 Earth Days. Expect to feel jet lagged early on.

Nehmenweld is the largest continent on the planet. We will be traveling from the Southernmost point of the landmass to the Northernmost point of their land, spanning an epic journey over mountains, across plains, through the jungle, and ending at the beach. In the south, it’s cold, with temperatures potentially down to -40C and biting cold wind. In the north, it’s hot and potentially humid, with temperatures daring to climb to 40C thanks to being near the equator. Expect to pack a set of cold weather gear and some hot weather supplies to be comfortable on this trip. Expected temperatures during our trip will range from -15°C to +40°C.

While Crugandr was full of shapeshifters and their more dangerous counterparts, the Dyre, both of them are rather rare in Nehmenweld. Most people there are humans, with a high population (roughly 25%) of them being spellcasters of some sort. However, there are laws in place restricting the use of magic outside of academies, homes, and businesses that require it. Don’t expect that you’ll see any actual signs of magic, so consider it like an alternate-universe Earth with weird time.

There are large forests in the mountainous southern terrain, a large number of rivers requiring plenty of bridges to cross them. In the middle are the massive farming and hunting plains responsible for feeding the nation. Further north, we’ll pass through the jungle before we see the ocean.

Wildlife there is similar to that on Earth, just on average 10 to 20% larger than our similar creatures. So, large wolves do exist, but they are not the Dyre we met before. Likewise, large cougars, bears, and jaguars exist in their respective areas. Also, watch out for snakes in the jungle.

Expect snow, rain, sun, wind, and clouds, as well as freezing cold and blistering heat.

Technology-wise, think of it as a steampunk 1930’s United States, with a more European city focus (closer, more-densely-packed cities with roads suitable for cars, but better suited for walking or cycling), where train technology has advanced to about the early-to-mid 1960’s. Primitive diesels can be seen, but 90% of all trains will be steam powered. Most road-freight is hauled in rigid-frame trucks, typically flatbeds or dump trucks, with virtually no articulated units. Trams exist to bring people from train stations to various points of interest around the city.

What are da Rulez?

Team Rules

A team name of some kind is needed.

You may enter up to 2 vehicles. More info on that further down.

Your team needs at least two crew members.

The maximum number of crew is determined by the amount of available seats within your vehicle(s).

Each Member needs a name of sorts. Ideally, it is a full name (first and last name), but Nicknames or shortened variants are fine as well.

Characters should be 18+ in Earth Years. If you need an underage character, ask for an exception. You will need a reason for why this character needs to be here. Exceptions are not guaranteed.

Vehicle Rules

  • Game Version must be 4.27

  • Mods are allowed. If a vehicle fails to import, we will figure it out. Surely.

  • Advanced trim settings are allowed, as are 3D fixture axles for heavier vehicles.

  • The vehicle must be road legal (i.e. headlights, taillights, indicators, etc. When in doubt, ask)

  • Engine Tech-Pool must be less than or equal to 30 points total. How they are spread is up to you.

  • Trim Tech-Pool must be less than or equal to 50 points total. Again, spread them as desired.

  • Trim Year must be 1970 to 2010, inclusive.

  • Approximate Cost must be less than or equal to 30.000 AMU, as indicated on the markets tab.

  • Reliability must be greater than 0

  • Offroad must be greater than 0

  • Drivability must be greater than 0

  • Comfort must be greater than 0

  • Top Speed must be at least 55mph/ 89kph. You may claim top speeds lower than 75mph/ 120kph via lore, as the game won’t allow anything lower than that unless gearing is exploited.

  • Seating must be equal to or greater than 2. Each team member must have a seat to sit in. If your vehicle convincingly seats more than 9 people (e.g buses or troop carriers), an argument can be made towards seating more than what the game allows for naturally.

  • Tires must NOT be of Semi-Slick variety.

  • If your car is mid-engined, the following additional restrictions apply:

→ Must be RWD

Engine Rules

  • Variant Year must be 1970 to 2010, inclusive. It may differ from Trim Year to simulate non-stock engines or replacement blocks.

  • Fuel must be Low-Quality Unleaded. If you can pull off a faux-diesel on this fuel, you may RP it as such. The closest equivalent would then be Fuel Oil instead of Kerosene, which is sourced at most Railway stations.

  • Do not adjust the ignition timing slider underneath the fuel selection options.

  • Engines from 1973 or newer must have a catalytic converter. Yes, you may de-cat your cars. Expect that you’ll probably get some unpleasant looks during tech inspection, though.

  • Race parts must not be used.

  • V16s are banned.

  • If your car is mid-engined, the following additional restrictions apply:

→ Displacement: must be less than 3001cc

→ Must be Naturally Aspirated

→ Cylinder count is limited to 6 or fewer.

Some additional Info regarding the Event

Top Gear Mode

Since you can enter two cars, there has to be a reason for it, which we dubbed “Top Gear Mode”.

With Top Gear mode enabled, a car that breaks down will be left behind to fix the problem by itself. As such, the two cars act completely independent of each other.

WIth Top Gear mode disabled, a breakdown will cause both cars to stop and fix the issue at hand. This means that the slower car dictates the finishing times of both vehicles, but repairs can be made more quickly with the added resources the functional car and its contents provide.

Reliability/ Breakdowns

Compared to last year, the formula for breakdown chance was altered, which means that breakdowns should be less common now. However, they might rob you of A LOT of time and may turn an 8 hour cruise into a 20 hour nightmare of fiddling on the roadside.

The types of breakdown have remained unchanged and are as follows:

  • Powertrain
  • Chassis
  • Tires
  • External

The latter defines any loss in time not directly caused by the car itself, but outside circumstances, such as road closures, navigation mistakes, stranded locals and such.

Fuel Tanks

Unless stated otherwise via lore (within reason, that is), fuel tanks will be assigned based on vehicle wheelbase as follows:


0.1 to 2.19m – 8 Gallon – sub-compacts aren’t known for huge gas tanks

2.2m to 2.49m – 13 Gallon – Your average compact car

2.5m to 2.79m – 15 Gallon – A general midsize, small SUVs.

2.8m to 2.99m – 20 Gallon – Large midsize, small full-size car, most SUVs, most crossovers

3.0m to 3.29m – 25 Gallon – A big full-size car or SUV

3.3m and Up – 30 Gallon – Trucks, vans, large SUVs


Aggression is the replacement for the 7 to 13 speed rolls of last year, but with more player input, since there is actual traffic and some basic road rules (speed limits, stop signs etc.) in Nehmenweld.

Aggression is measured on a scale of 1 to 6 and may be changed by the player if desired:

At 1, you’ll obey all traffic laws to their furthest extent, and drive about 5% under the speed limit, “just to be sure”. You have no risk of being pulled over.

At 2, you’ll obey all traffic laws and drive at the speed limit. If you’re pulled over, you probably did something stupid or got unlucky with some cop on a power-trip.

At 3, you’re somewhat like the average driver, willing to speed on faster roads (up to 5%), and you’ll stop when traffic is present, but otherwise, it’s a nearly-stopped roll. You might be noticed by the police as a result.

At 4, you’re a little more aggressive, pushing up to 15% over the speed limit, only stopping at stop signs if there’s traffic, and you’ll weave through slower moving traffic as necessary. This makes you more visible to the police.

At 5, you’re getting a little reckless, pushing up to 30% over the speed limits, ignoring some stop signs with traffic, and weaving around traffic, including passing on the shoulders of the road. If a police officer sees you, you WILL get a ticket.

At 6, “Did someone order some tofu!?” You’re not even bothering with road rules at this point, and will push your car as hard as you dare. You’re getting chased by the police, but chances are, they won’t be able to catch you… Unless you break down. You best hope you don’t break down, or you’re spending the night in jail. This won’t end your run, but it’ll add 12 hours to your stage time, on top of whatever breakdown you had!


With traffic rules comes traffic policing. If you are caught being naughty on Nehmenweld’s roads and highways, the local law enforcement will take note and try to apprehend you for your wrongdoings.

Depending on your aggression, the chance of being stopped varies, as does the chance of being ticketed once you are stopped.

An aggression value of 6 has you (attempt to) flee from the cops to avoid the ticket, which isn’t hard to accomplish due to our vastly better cars. That is, unless you break down, in which case you’ll spend the night behind bars, adding 12 hours to your trip time on top of the time you spend repairing the fault that got you caught.

Campsite Challenges

Since the event itself is more of a road trip in this iteration of Shitbox Rally, there will be small challenges at camp, similar to Top Gear’s way of determining who brought the better car. What exactly those are is up in the air, but you can expect some of the classics to be there as well as some more unconventional ones.

Campsite Electricity

Unlike last year, which had teams rely on a true camping atmosphere with gas cookers, tents and the like, this year will allow participants access to mains electricity just like we have at home. The power will be Generated by @elizipeazie ‘s steam car to EU standards (230Volts AC at 50hz; Type C and F european plugs;). Each team is allotted 4kW of power, unless there are leftover slots (of which there are 27) at the start of the event, in which case teams may request additional capacity on a first-come, first serve basis. For further inquiries as well as the RP framework, contact @Elizipeazie directly. Of course, you can also choose not to, but noisy internal combustion generators might piss off the locals in places. Because of this, parts of the camp will be lit through the night to improve safety.

What will a stage be like?

Here’s an example stage (covering my team’s arrival at the Desert from their warehouse.)

Mojave Desert

Weather and Conditions:
Temperatures: 23°C to 34°C

Dry and little wind. Not a single cloud in the sky makes for stable, if uncomfortable, conditions.

6:00 AM Local Time

For miles, all you can see is sand, sand, and more sand, occasionally broken up by a cactus here or there. If you listen long enough, the sound of the gently blowing sand scraping past everything in its path sounds eerily like slithering snakes. Or, maybe, those are actually snakes you’re hearing. Other than the highway you arrived on, there’s not much else to see. The sky is clear, not a cloud in sight, with the sun unmercifully beating down on you.


Team Shift Happens

Finish Position: 1

Support/Single/Top-Gear: Support

Distance Traveled: 200 Miles

Aggression: 5

Team Travel Time (Earth): 3:56:41

Team Travel Time (Aetherii): N/A


Travel Time (Earth):3:56:41

Number of Refuel Stops: 0

Time Lost to Refueling: 0:00:00

Breakdown: Powertrain

Time lost to breakdown: 1:34:40

Stopped by Police: No

Time lost to Police: 0:00:00


Travel Time (Earth):3:56:41

Number of Refuel Stops: 0

Time Lost to Refueling: 0:00:00

Breakdown: Helping

Time lost to breakdown: 1:34:40

Stopped by Police: No

Time lost to Police: 0:00:00

Total Distance Traveled: 200 Miles

Total Time: 3:56:41

Things were going well with the pair of HD-GV’s, until one of them stalled and required some serious assistance to get it running again. Turns out that both of the main ignition units had become loose in transit and proceeded to pull all of the plugs free as they fell to the bottom of the chassis pan. After figuring out 32 plug wires and which box was intended to be Ignition 1 and which was Ignition 2, the beast was back up and running… After about an hour and a half at the side of the road.

Fairly simple. A location name, a weather report, the current time using the local time unit, a description of the area (potentially more detailed than this one, as the Mojave Desert is, well, quite empty), and then your team-relevant information. This will have your username (to get your attention), your Team Name, what position you finished in, whether your team is running a Support car, a single vehicle, or traveling in true Top-Gear fashion, how far you traveled in this stage, what your current aggression was, your travel time in this stage, both in Earth and Aetheriian time, how many times you stopped to refuel and how much time was lost to that process, what breakdown, if any, you had, and how long it took to fix it, whether you were stopped by the police and how long you were there, your total distance traveled, and your total time.

Then there’s some flavor text, detailing what exactly caused the chaos in this stage.

I wanna join! What now?

Unless you’re in possession of a time machine (At which point, you’d already be in the run,) entries have been closed.

Index of Important Information:

Roleplay, Consent and You, written by AMuteCrypt

Shitbox Rally Discord: Discord


Stage 0
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Stage 6
Stage 7 + Announcement
Stage 8
Stage 9
Stage 10
Stage 11
Stage 12
Stage 13
Stage 13.2 - A Day at The Beach
Stage 14 - The Conclusion of this Epic Adventure


Is 30K per vehicle, or for both vehicles combined?

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I believe its both vehicles are to be under 30k, I assume to simulate a deteriorated/used state.

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30,000 per vehicle.

It’s meant to give you plenty of room to build within reason. And you’re allowed up to two cars.

Before someone asks, no, you can’t spend 15,000 on one and 45,000 on the other, but you can spend 30k on one and 30k on the other. Or 15k on one and 30k on the other.


If we have 2 cars, do we need 2 crew per car, or 2 crew total? (I strongly prefer the latter for my idea)

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One per car is fine, but they could be driving for quite a bit of time in some situations.

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So this implies that cars can be physically older than 1970, but the trim would be 1970+ to account for restoration/resto-modding that has occurred in subsequent years?

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The intent was to allow cars produced into 1970 to be legal. If you can manage a “shitboxy” resto-mod of something older than that, go for it.

It’s not what our intended plan was, but, well, it is legal and we’ll allow it.


I was very much thinking the “we found this abandoned in a shed and got it functioning enough to be road legal with a new coat of paint and possibly some backyard engineering” and a “we bought this dirt cheap as military surplus and it’s outdated as fuck but bulletproof” sorts of vibes for the two vehicles.


Totally fine with that, actually. A “barn find” car with enough tinkering done to get it running, possibly engine-swapped for something that they just had laying around, plus some military surplus vehicle works well enough in my opinion.


do I get different aggression ratings if I have two drivers? I plan on going full top gear here, bringing in Johnny Lemming for once

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Yes. If you have two cars and two drivers, you can have two different aggression ratings.

Is the engine restriction size being less>3001cc and 6 cylinders only apply to mid engine cars or to all applicants?

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Only mid engined vehicles

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So you can have a 1970 chassis and mod it up to have a 2010 engine and trim setting?

Who provides the travel sickness pills because Gran’s not a fan of aeroplanes…so getting to a different planet may take more than Beefeater Gin to calm her nerves!


alongside this, whos providing food. Johnny dont like foreign stuff


the restrictions on displacement, cylinder count, drive type etc only apply to those wishing to use a mid-engined vehicle.
Other engine placements may use engines of larger displacement, with more cylinders and/ or AWD.

perfectly legal.
Travel sickness bags are to be supplied by the participant, if needed

If Johnny wants to have earthen food only, prepare to stock up on non-perishables and canned varieties for at least two weeks.
Food supply is not officially covered by Shitbox Rally Staff ( them being the teams of @Elizipeazie and @Madrias ) and has to be accounted for by the participant.

mind detailing local cuisine a bit for those asking?


Time for Johnny to dig into the lifetime supply of Beans he won from a competition

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ok heres a proper question. what are the chances of the cars having to go on loose surfaces?


Are you supposed to write your own flavour text based on what happened in the run? (i.e. someone gets a powertrain breakdown and they later explain what exactly happened with some interesting writing)

Also, do you have to specify the conditions in your own post, or does the host provide them?