Shitbox Rally 2024 - Journey to Holsia (Entries Closed)

Shitbox Rally 2024

Journey to Holsia


Driving clapped-out clunkers anywhere is a bit of a challenge. Doing it in another world takes things up to the next level. Especially when your gracious hosts have decided to return things to their 2022 roots and have decided, we’re all camping again.

Gather your “finest” bucket of rust with a worn out everything and show up for another turn at the only Intergalactic Driving Trip this side of the Milky Way!


Important Notice:

This is a long-running challenge in the real world. We found out last time that if we pre-write enough stuff, we can run a stage per week, but we’re still looking at roughly 16 weeks to completion.


“So, what the heck is this!?”

Shitbox Rally 2024 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 allow for natural story events to take place. After all, it’s not fun if everyone is spread out across several thousand miles and no one can hear you trash-talking on the radio.

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. Missed a stage or 12 but still want to participate? Go ahead!

(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, the previous Shitbox Rallies were epic only because people were putting ideas into the world.)

We’re going through another nation in Aetherii, and this time, it’s Holsia.


“Aetherii? Holsia?”


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.


Holsia is another major power on the planet of Aetherii next to the already-known Crugandr and Nehmenweld as well as Valraad. However, it is a mountainous Island nation largely isolated from the others.

We shall be doing what more or less counts as “a lap” around the island, sticking vaguely to the coast for the majority of the event while taking a shortcut across the central mountains about halfway through.
Those coasts are a lively mix of cities varying in size, farmland, villages and forests. Further inland, you generally trade farmland for forestry as terrain progressively is more extreme. With few exceptions, the average size of a given settlement also decreases.
Temperatures are generally temperate, with the western half being marginally colder and substantially wetter than the east. Truly cold weather is not really expected, barring the trip across the mountains, which do carry snow year-round. The expected range of temperatures varies from “around freezing” to “comfortable summer”, though we all know how accurate forecasts can be with 1930s equivalent technology…

Wildlife is eerily similar to what returning participants might have seen from Nehmenweld.

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. No, Holsia does not have a jungle, but some (generally harmless) snakes do exist.

Holsia primarily is inhabited by humans, which make up the VAST majority of the population. Human-adjacent humanoids like (half-)elves, dwarves and similar species exist, though at best one in about 50 Holsians are of this variety. Even rarer are non-humans of any kind, including shapeshifters.

Magic is pretty much unheard of to the Holsian commoner, courtesy of it being an island nation far away from the nations where magic is common. It’s usage is not inherently regulated, but expect a lot of attention from the locals if you do apply major use of magic.

The lack of magic is intended to be made up through technology, though Holsia is not any more advanced than Nehmenweld or Crugandr.
Holsia generally is European-in-spirit if we look at general development of it’s areas as well as city planning. Roads are narrow and twisty, but of remarkably good quality, to the point of you having won the lottery if you find an unpaved road that is not a driveway to some farmstead.
City roads are ironically a bit worse for quality, with various grades of cobblestone being the norm. On top of that, they are “Italian village” levels of tight if you are not on the major through-roads and avenues.

Car ownership is relatively low and limited to the really wealthy, with the “commoner’s vehicle” being a motorcycle, possibly with a sidecar. Less fortunate ones on intercity trips poodle around on a motorized bicycle.
What little cargo haulage that is not done via rail usually runs on roads with rigid trucks, possibly with a trailer on the flatter coastal regions.

A similar case can be seen for rail infrastructure, with a railway going to pretty much every corner of the country, rilvalling roads regarding coverage. Their rolling stock is entirely steam powered if we exclude the 16 battery-electric shunting locomotives near major switchyards.

City traffic is an oddity, since trams are a rare sight, instead being supplemented by trolleybus services on the lower end and “full-scale” trains for high-demand routes, forming a proto-S-Bahn network in cities large enough to justify it.


“Da Rulez"

Disclaimer

The hosts of this challenge (@Madrias and @Elizipeazie) reserve the right to deny entry based on the spirit of the challenge or for any other reason, even if it is “by the book” legal. If such a denial happens, we shall try our best to provide a reason as to why.

Vehicle rules will be left rather vague, but we are somewhat banking on you (the entrant) staying somewhat reasonable with vehicle choice.
You are running the event with 2000USD cars (or local currency equivalent), and while we do have provisions to calculate semi trucks, you will have to provide rather sound reasoning as to how you got a hold of it while vaguely in budget.

We have a hidden reliability cap in place to hopefully keep things interesting. It should be high enough to not hinder most reasonably-built cars, but we’re hoping this keeps the reliability min-maxing to a minimum. Yes, it’s reasonable that a 1998 Toyota Corolla’nt would be reliable - but a dirt-cheap one might not be.

Team

  • Your team shall have a name of some variety.
  • Your team shall consist of at least one humanoid crew member.
    • What constitutes as “humanoid” lies within host discretion. In general, humans, elves and similar human-adjacent races are fine, as are “furries”. Humanoid robots might require upfront deliberation based on their level of sentience and general appearance.
    • Non-humanoid crew members must be cleared with both of us.
  • Each crew member must be named.
    • Shorthands/ Nicknames are valid.
  • Characters younger than 18 years (earth-equivalent) require specific approval.

Vehicle engineering

  • tech-pool is to be left at default (+5 on every category)
  • if your car is mid-engined, below restrictions also apply
    • engine cannot have more than 6 cylinders
    • engine cannot displace more than 3000cc
    • if turbocharged, the displacement shall not exceed 2000cc
    • cannot be AWD
  • if your vehicle falls outside of the main scope of Automation, please try and emulate it’s expected performance to the best of your ability
    • this applies to anything larger than a delivery van, tracked vehicles, overly heavy vehicles, those with more/ fewer than 4 wheels or tracked vehicles.
  • Fuel is to be Super Leaded
    • No adjustments to Ignition Timing.
    • Super Unleaded may be used, but be aware that any emissions equipment will lose functionality in RP.
    • Lower grades of fuels (both leaded and unleaded) may be used if desired for story purposes.

Vehicle visuals

  • at least one pair of headlights
    • Motorcycles only need one headlight.
  • at least one pair of taillights
    • Motorcycles only need one taillight.
  • indicators must be visible from all angles of the vehicle except from above.
    • how you accomplish that is up to you (wrap around, side markers, pillar mounted indicators, trafficators for the really old folks, etc.)
      • Front Indicators must be amber in color
      • Rear Indicators must be amber or red in color
      • Side Indicators must be amber in color
        • Side indicators in other colors will be assumed to be misc. reflectors or lights.
  • at least one (singular) reverse light
    • Motorcycles do not need a reverse light.
  • any light as detailed above may also be declared “broken” by using an empty housing instead
    • in such a case, it’s function must still be obvious to determine legality of it’s original, non-broken state
    • at least one headlight and one taillight have to remain functional
  • a rear license place of any variety
    • installation of a front license plate is allowed
  • at least one (singular) exterior mirror on the driver’s side
  • at least one (singular) windshield wiper
    • Motorcycles do not need a windshield wiper.
  • (Optional) at least one (singular) large antenna as part of the CB radio equipment
    • This will not count against your vehicle’s dimensions.

Vehicle size

Unlike last year, the size of your vehicle will affect the time taken to travel from one campsite to the next.

Below, you can find a list of the size classifications as well as a .car file to verify which class your vehicle falls into.
For reference, we will align both the vehicle and the box to face the same direction, centering the vehicle within the box across it’s width.
The vehicle will then be moved fore and aft to figure out the smallest box that fully encompasses the vehicle, including mirrors and any attachments.
Being larger than the largest possible box disqualifies the vehicle.

The list:

Class Length Width Height Default Tank Size
A 3.0m 1.3m 1.5m 15 Liters
B 6.0m 2.3m 2.0m 50 Liters
C1 9.0m 2.55m 2.5m 50 Liters
C 12.0m 2.8m 3.2m 200 Liters
CE 18.0m 3.0m 4.0m 200 Liters

SR23_Size_Guide_-_Complete_Set.car (19.7 KB)
*Requires “Md’s New 4.27 Rim Pack” for the glass material to work.
Ignore it saying SR2023. It’s valid for SR2024. I’m We’re just too lazy to fix naming.

Regarding the size of your fuel tank: If you say nothing, we’ll use the default tank size for your vehicle’s class. If you want a specific tank size, give us a reasonable value in either Gallons or Liters - All will be converted to Liters.


Reliability


Like the previous couple of years, shitboxes will occasionally break down and cost you time. This year, we’ve limited the breakdown maximum time, but there’s a catch. This year, each breakdown will cost a bit of reliability. As your car falls further and further into disrepair, and the reliability falls lower and lower, there is a chance for a critical breakdown. At that point, your car will be stuck on the roadside, and you will DNF that stage.

You have the choice of either accepting that DNF as the end of your car and taking the train (see below), or accepting that DNF for the stage, knowing that you’ll have to fix the car on the side of the road somehow, and then cannonball to the next stage’s camp.

However, a DNF is not the end of the story for you.

Elizipeazie’s team has graciously provided the use of a train, both for a mobile kitchen, and to ferry teams from camp to camp after a breakdown. You can still help other teams fix cars in camp, party with the others, socialize, and participate in the chaos, even if your ride has changed from the rolling scrapheap you showed up in, to a carriage pulled by a steam locomotive.


Aggression


Aggression makes a return this year in a whole new way.

Last year, it was a bit of a mess, and really only affected time gained versus time lost.

This year, it (like so many things of this challenge) has been revamped.

We’re still running under the assumption that all drivers are at least making a vague attempt to follow the rules of the road here.

You’ll need to pick a whole number between 1 and 4, which will affect your speed, your fuel consumption, and your reliability.

Drive slower, you’ll save fuel and not wreck the car as much.

Drive faster, you’ll burn more fuel and risk damaging the car more.

Risk versus reward - Go faster, be first place… Or the first to the mechanic. Go slower, get last place… Or be the last in the race.

This can only be set before the race starts, and will not be changed.


Please Read This!

Roleplay, Consent, and You - written by AMuteCrypt for SR 2023. Still Useful here!


How do I join?

Create a legal car and a team, submit the details (Team Name, Character Names, Chosen aggression) and .car file to Elizipeazie and Madrias in the same message. Put a team post up in the thread.

Car Submission Format:

Car Name: SR 2024 - (Username)
Trim Name: As you please.
Engine Name: SR 2024 - (Username)
Variant Name: As you please.


Entries will close on: They’re already closed.

First Stage should release on: April 4, 2024


Changelog

Edit 1:

  • Added submission format. Oops.

Edit 2:

  • Breakdown DNFs are now semi-optional. Breaking down still means you didn’t make camp, but you can continue the trip. The option remains to end your trip early.
  • Improved the changelog format.

Edit 3:

  • Mentioned the hidden reliability cap.

Edit 4:

  • Fuel Octane requirements Added.

Edit 5:

  • Mentioned that motorcycles do not have to have windshield wipers or reverse lights.

Edit 6:

  • Added Indicator color rules.

Edit 7:

  • Added motorcycle headlight and taillight exemptions.

Edit 8:

  • Removed emissions requirements. Kaboom! You may now de-cat your cars, or engine swap a 1940’s truck engine into a hatchback without needing to make it comply.

Edit 9:

  • Refreshed the SR Discord link.

Edit 10:

  • Whoops, forgot to put in the Aggression section.
  • Added more information to the details that should be sent in team submissions.

Edit 11:

  • Added fuel tank sizes and a note about how to get “lore accurate” tank sizes.

Edit 12:

  • Altered the minimum team size rule - One person teams are open now if you really want to do so.
  • Opened the Challenge. Rules are now final.

Lucky Edit 13:

  • Made antennas optional following a discussion in the Discord. They no longer count against vehicle dimensions, either.

Edit 14:

  • Closed the challenge entries, removed the Discord join link.

Edit 15:

  • Changelog go crunch! into this nice dropdown box.
7 Likes

Reserved.

Team Index

Team Shift Happens
Team Highway Hooligans
Transporttjäns Eriksson Aktiebolag Eslöv
The Argonites
Team Firulais
The Rhino Squad
Timeloss
Halfsies Offsies
The Crazy Eight
Team Hillbilly Rollers
Snork’s Tuners
The Interceptors
Team Chitco
Faolan Industries
Straight Outta Saratos
Spy Kids
Machinas Con Passione, (Part 2, you absolute madman.)
Cunning Stunts
Peak Performance
Team Fuist
GECA - Interstellar
Team Imperials
Honey I Bought a S#!tbox

Stage Index

Stage 0 - Nevada to Holsia
Stage 1: Menes to Unmar

3 Likes

Most cars can fit in a Class A or B box; anything larger will need at least a class C box.

That’s the intent. Smaller vehicles might be able to take shortcuts. Or, more appropriately said, larger vehicles will need to go a longer way.

What constitutes as “humanoid” lies within host discretion
f
or

LOL

It’s mostly there to prevent sentient cars, or other outlandish escalations like we saw last year.

so, i basically need to create a car with approximate cost of 2000$ and imagine a team with 2 names in it?

1 Like

Create any car, but have a loose reason why it cost your team $2,000 or less, and at least a two character team.

Note: I have two teams because I’m one of the hosts of this challenge. I’ve wanted to have the Highway Hooligans come back, but Shift Happens is essential to this challenge.


Team Shift Happens


Our usual suspects when it comes to starting intergalactic automotive shenanigans, Team “Shift Happens” has gone through quite a lot in the last year. How much? A lot.

The Crew:

Kaylie Malradi

Race: Panthirian Tigrilan
Age: 104 Earth Years (70 Panthirian Years)
Height: 6’5" (195.5 cm)
Weight: 190 pounds (86.2 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

Of the crew who hasn’t had much changing in her life, Kaylie is still the owner of Twin Suns Towing & Garage. What is new in her life is that now there’s an Aerodrome just a bit further out back. Still happily married to Jayde, she’s just doing the best she can despite several agencies “stealing all of her good workers.”

Jayde Malradi

Race: Aetheriian Leoni
Age: 55 Earth Years (36 Aetheriian Years)
Height: 8’5" (256.5 cm)
Weight: 397 pounds (180 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

Jayde, like Kaylie, hasn’t really had a huge amount of changes in his life… Up until very recently, at least. His love for adventuring resurfaced, and he signed on with an agency, ARRD (Asset Recovery, Removal, and Destruction), to satisfy that need. In his downtime from the agency, he still works on fixing cars… Or slinging curses to people who deserve them.

Kayden Grayson

Race: Panthirian Tigrilan
Age: 104 Earth Years old (70 Panthirian Years)
Height: 7’8" (233.7 cm)
Weight: 422 pounds (191.4 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

Another one who hasn’t seen a lot of change in his life, except a surprise for the better. See… Kayden found a partner in the last year, an unexpected new arrival who escaped from a darker time in her world’s history. The two haven’t made things official yet, but they are definitely partners.

Sariya Rahmuran-Valdiya

Race: Aetheriian Jaguar Valraadi
Age: 104 Earth Years old. (69 Aetheriian years)
Height: 6’10" (208.2 cm)
Weight: 252 pounds (114.3 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

Escaping from the Second War of Magic was always Sariya’s plan. Her ability to “open-rift” (Opening the Rift without use of a doorway or frame) with large vehicles made her incredibly important to the Valraadi Air-Force. When her morals clashed with her orders, she escaped to Earth, sadly without her plane. There, she ran into Kayden and his family, and quickly became one of the family.

Lauren Grayson

Race: Panthirian Tigrilan
Age: 62 Earth Years old. (42 Panthirian years)
Height: 6’0" (182.8 cm)
Weight: 175 pounds (79.3 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

The cute-yet-fiesty younger sister to the twins, Kayden and Kaylie, Lauren showed up one day and just got involved in Twin Suns Towing & Garage. You need a car painted, she’ll whip something up. Just… Don’t ask her to surprise you - It will surprise you, and you probably won’t like it. Also amusingly the smallest person in the house, playing with a much larger partner in the same house.

Manikihali Timberfeld

Race: Gray Aetheriian + Dyre Wolf Hybrid
Age: 50 Earth Years old (33 Aetheriian Years)
Height: 8’8" (264.2 cm)
Weight: 625 pounds (272.1 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

Manikihali, otherwise called Mani by his friends, stepped right out of the same Rift gate we’re all planning to use to go to Holsia this time. He’s way out of his depth as a battlemage from the First War of Magic, making him roughly equivalent to a Roman Legionary stumbling into today’s world. Given his past, questions of the bedroom nature shouldn’t be asked around him - He will give you advice… It’s no surprise, then, why Lauren gets along well with him.

Malavera Caller-of-the-Moons

Race: Orthrian Khalan
Age: 359 Earth Years old (51 Khalara-5 Years)
Height: 8’2" (249.3 cm)
Weight: 519 pounds (235.4 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

“Weren’t you… shorter last year?” Yes, Malavera was. Then he got himself into a bit of trouble, some of his past caught up to him (Turns out, being a notorious gangster in the 1920’s through the 1960’s is fine, but being the infamous hacker was what almost got him caught), and the ERA (Extraterrestrial Resettlement Agency) offered him a deal he couldn’t refuse. Now he’s their “Information Management Specialist” as well as Kaylie’s tow-rig dispatcher, and the owner of Mooncaller Mining Company. The extra height isn’t the only thing new in his life - Meeting his Daughter was also an… experience.

Kivenaal Khakrin-Marinseien

Race: Light Aetheriian + Valraadi (Post-Fall) Hybrid
Age: 63 Earth Years old (41 Aetheriian Years)
Height: 8’6" (259.0 cm)
Weight: 538 pounds (244 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

The infamous prankster really hasn’t changed much - He’s still Mal’s partner, still works at Twin Suns, and still pulls pranks. However, he’s a little more comfortable with who he is. The orange markings on his wrists are the result of Malavera getting annoyed when their household hosted a couple of deities on vacation. After Malavera had mistaken Xelth for Kivenaal one too many times, the decision was made to give one of the two some distinctive markings. Kiva doesn’t mind - He thinks they look cool.

Takaraya Wintermoon

Race: Khalan (Khalara 5, Genetically Altered)
Age: 176 Earth Years old (25 Khalara-5 Years)
Height: 8’10" (269.2 cm)
Weight: 659 pounds (298.9 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

One of the ones who experienced the most changes this year, Takaraya has gone from a mechanic at Twin Suns to a Captain in the Khalan Royal Navy, in command of his own Super Star Destroyer, Last Shadow. He helped in a couple of missions for ERA, and he ended up with a partner, Natalia, as a result. Natalia isn’t here because her idea of fun doesn’t include sitting in a car for hours on end.

Kasiya Wintermoon

Race: Gray Aetheriian + Khalan (20% Khalara 5, 20% Khalara 3, 10% Khalara 9) Hybrid
Age: 71 Earth Years old (10 Khalara-5 Years)
Height: 10’0" (304.8 cm)
Weight: 1378 pounds (625 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

Easily the most changed person here from last year. Between switching from a job at Twin Suns to a job at ERA, and then many changes happening over many missions, he’s changed a lot. The “Cliff Notes” version? Went to post-fall Aetherii to help revive the planet, died, and returned to life with magic. Studied magic at Tendragon Academy, blew a potion up in his face, and got four arms out of the deal. Blessed by his patron deity at the time to heal a lot faster and be a lot stronger in his time of recovery. Went to another world to evacuate a population before a nuclear winter could wipe them out, and partially ascended. Now, he’s the Neo-Aetheriian God of Peace and Renewal, and he’s having a bit of a hard time with accepting that. Thankfully, one of the other changes is that he’s recently married to someone who tries to help level him out.

Inaelus Scorched-Root

Race: Light Aetheriian + Orthrian Khalan (Khalara 5) Hybrid
Age: 52 Earth Years old (Ship Born, No Homeworld)
Height: 8’7" (261.6 cm)
Weight: 661 pounds (300 kg)

Appearance by Hero Forge

It’s bad enough knowing you were conceived in a one-night-stand 52 years ago… It’s worse when you find out that your father would have actually loved to know you existed. Inaelus arrived with fury and venom, and now has mellowed out regarding her father - She understands now that he really didn’t know. She partnered up with Kasiya, and she joined up with ERA as an agent, but what really, really made her “Whole fraggin’ solar year” was when her magic awakened and she found out how to use it.


The Vehicle

2004 MHI/AMCW City Shuttle

Big people need a big vehicle. This bus really was picked up for less than $2,000, mostly because it’s a city shuttle bus and thereby it’s geared for city use. Oh, it can do highway speed… With the engine howling at redline. Their trailer is a “box of holding,” but it’s mostly full of food, camping supplies, and tools.

Of course, the big thing notable about it is, well… The declaration that the bus has an AI onboard. Takaraya and Malavera worked together for half a year to write the code, and have been training it ever since. It speaks in beeps, dings, and emoticons on a display in the cab… And is likely to spend much of its time displaying !? :( on the main display on the tight, twisty roads we’re driving this year.

4 Likes

Team Highway Hooligans


The Crew:

Cody Acorne

Race: Human
Age: 40 Years Old
Height: 5’9" (175 cm)
Weight: 280 pounds (127 kg)

Appearance by Sims 4

Far from the brains of the operation, Cody is mainly here because he’s Trevor’s and Jake’s friend, and a decent driver. He’s also a decent mechanic, and understands a little about camping even if he does hate it. And he’s probably the best cook of the trio.

Jake Storm

Race: Human
Age: 36 Years Old
Height: 5’7" (170 cm)
Weight: 300 pounds (136 kg)

Appearance by Sims 4

If there’s anyone who could be considered the brains of the operation, it’s Jake. Having recently quit his job at Storm Automotive after his Engine Design job turned into a soul-sucking shit-storm, Jake’s bounced back remarkably well. He’s happier now, he’s in a better mood, he moved out of Chicago to Nevada, and he met a partner there. Rowan just… Wasn’t interested in playing contortionist to fit in a midsize shoebox just to ride along with Jake.

Trevor Wright

Race: Human
Age: 51 Years Old
Height: 6’0" (183 cm)
Weight: 264 pounds (120 kg)

Appearance by Sims 4

Trevor’s the guy who actually figured out their shitbox for this year. Owning a junkyard might not make you a lot of money, but Trevor’s a bit proud of “A Wright Wreck” and the amount of shit he can get his hands on. Like their current vehicle, for example.


The Car

2005 Ishu Astrion

What happens when you find a station wagon that’s been murdered-up-the-ass by an SUV in a rear end collision, a shitty You-Haul trailer with no axle, and the rear axle out of some cheap German hatchback?

You chop the rest of the bashed backside off of the wagon, you create a frame to mount the trailer to the back, fabricobble a truck’s fuel tank onto the car, stuff a rack of gas cans on the other side, and slide the unpowered rear axle under the back end of this crime against automobiles.

The end result? A front-wheel-drive, V6-powered, 5-speed fun-stick shifted shitbox with more storage than is reasonable, a slightly extended wheelbase, and a few problems to work out.

The dead horn? Air compressor, car battery, solar charging panel, and two air horns on the roof will fix it. The mysterious ticking noise in the DOHC engine? 20w50 in the engine that wanted 10w30 before to shut it up. That malodorous reeking stink? “Felony tree” of Black Ice Little Trees thrown around the interior rear view mirror.

Then they asked Lauren for a loud-as-fuck paint job. The Orange-that-is-also-Purple was what Lauren whipped up.

Be prepared for loud engines revving through the camp, lots of beer and charcoal grilling, and some light chaos. The Highway Hooligans are Back at last!

6 Likes

This is mostly copy pasted from the team submission for the 24h. Some of the information has been mentioned in more detail on the discord, but I really don’t see a need to revise it here for now. However, the vehicle has been largely modified since the previous appearance, so that has been updated to reflect. I’ve also updated the history under ‘Entrant Number 17’ a bit. This should be final, but there may be an edit if I realize I screwed something up majorly : P

Edit: Aaaaand Discourse has updated and screwed my formatting practices. Fuck. Have a raw doc I guess.

Transporttjäns Eriksson Aktiebolag Eslöv

The Car
The Sceptre Automotive Company Note: This information is not necessary to understand the state of this vehicle; I'm simply including it for flavour, and to elaborate on the history. Reader Beware.

The Sceptre Automotive Company traces its roots back to the mid-1950s when Canadian entrepreneur Harold MacNeill founded the company with the intention of creating innovative and reliable vehicles. MacNeill's passion for automobiles and his belief in pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering laid the foundation for what would become the Sceptre legacy.

In the early years, Sceptre gained recognition for producing cutting-edge vehicles that were ahead of their time. Their commitment to quality and innovation led to the introduction of the Sceptre Caducus series in the mid-60s. During this era, Sceptre vans were considered top-of-the-line and known for their durability and advanced features.

However, as the automotive landscape evolved, Sceptre faced challenges in adapting to changing market demands. By the 1980s, the company struggled to maintain its competitive edge against formidable rivals like the larger Ford E-Series vans. Despite their pioneering history, Sceptre's designs were perceived as increasingly out of touch with modern trends.

The 1999-2001 Caducus marked a crucial juncture in Sceptre's history. Despite its ambitious engineering and robust build, the van suffered from a reputation for overengineering that paradoxically resulted in poor overall quality. The Caducus symbolized the company's attempt to regain its former glory, blending a compact design comparable to a Renault Kangoo with a powerful engine more fitting for a half-ton pickup. Combined with a suspension rated for a ridiculous tonne and a half of cargo, this reputation for overengineering was certainly deserved.

Sceptre made a strategic move to expand its market presence by introducing the 1999 Caducus to the European theatre. Unfortunately, the timing proved unfortunate. The early 2000s witnessed a severe economic downturn in Canada and the United States, causing a significant decline in automotive sales. Sceptre, already struggling with financial losses, found itself unable to weather the storm.

As the recession deepened, Sceptre faced insurmountable challenges, and in June 2001, the company folded, marking the end of an era. The demise of Sceptre was not only a consequence of economic hardship but also reflective of the company's inability to reconcile its ambitious engineering with the practical demands of the market. The Caducus, once as a flagship product, became a symbol of Sceptre's frailty in the face of evolving automotive landscapes.


The Eriksson’s Company, and Associated Van

In 2001, as the dark clouds of Sceptre's imminent collapse loomed on the horizon, the four Eriksson siblings, Aatto, Elin, Sven, and Linnéa, embarked on a venture that would test both their entrepreneurial spirit and the limits of their trusty Sceptre Caducus. With aspirations to establish their own delivery company, Transporttjäns Eriksson Aktiebolag Eslöv, the siblings pooled their resources to acquire a Sceptre Caducus just before the automotive company met its untimely demise.

The Eriksson family's Caducus became an integral part of their budding business, navigating the streets of Eslöv and beyond as it ferried goods from one location to another. The van, however, was not without its quirks and challenges. Aatto, the eldest sibling and de facto leader of the business, quickly became acquainted with the van's idiosyncrasies, particularly its engine and transmission.

Over the years, the Erikssons engaged in a series of engine and transmission replacements. The 1999-2001 Caducus, despite its robust exterior, seemed to struggle with the demands of the delivery business. Yet, the Erikssons, determined to make the best of their investment, tirelessly kept the van in working order, swapping out engines and transmissions every few hundred kilos as needed.

One incident that left a lasting impression was Sven's (first) rollover in early 2002. The Caducus, burdened with a heavily underloaded suspension, proved to be less stable than anticipated. In response to the mishap, Aatto, always the problem solver, took it upon herself to address the van's precarious handling. Recognizing the need for a solution that went beyond conventional measures, Aatto made the bold decision to fit a custom-made Tungsten roll cage.

This roll cage, although unconventional and notably heavy, served a dual purpose. Aatto believed the added weight would help settle the underloaded suspension, providing a more stable ride for future deliveries. The Tungsten construction also ensured unprecedented durability, a crucial factor in the siblings' determination to make their Sceptre Caducus a reliable workhorse.

Despite the challenges and the collapse of Sceptre, the Eriksson family's van became a symbol of resilience and adaptability. The modified Caducus continued to serve Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv faithfully, a testament to the Erikssons' commitment to their business and their innovative approach to overcoming the shortcomings of their trusted but beleaguered delivery vehicle.


Entrant Number 17

In October 2023, amidst an unexpected slump in business, the Eriksson siblings faced an unexpected bout of boredom. Seeking an escape from the monotony, they decided: why not break the routine by entering a race? Despite their limited racing experience, the notion of a thrilling challenge ignited their collective enthusiasm, setting the stage for an impromptu racing venture.

The family's reliable workhorse, the Sceptre Caducus, became the focal point of their newfound endeavour. Aatto, the manager and mechanic, took charge of the minimalistic preparations. The van, already boasting a custom-made roll cage for added durability, required only modest adjustments like a few hastily installed racing seats - and a walkie-talkie taped to the dashboard that served as their rudimentary team radio - meant the family's approach was refreshingly uncomplicated, reflecting their belief that the true strength lay in their familial bond and the enduring capabilities of their trusty delivery van.

In the weeks leading up to the race, the Erikssons shifted their focus to preparation and anticipation. Aatto's mechanical expertise ensured the Caducus received meticulous maintenance, ensuring it was in prime condition - or, as much as could be expected of a delivery van with 999794 kilometres on the odo - for the upcoming challenge. Elin, the family's accountant, managed the logistics, securing the necessary permits and coordinating the entry details. Meanwhile, Sven and Linnea, the energetic duo, immersed themselves in researching basic racing techniques and strategies, eager to make the most of their limited experience on the track.

As the days passed and the race date drew near, the race became more than a diversion from the Business lull; it evolved into a shared adventure that would test their mettle and celebrate their familial unity. Little did they know the true challenge awaiting them on the race day itself, where their unorthodox approach and the unyielding spirit of the Eriksson family would be put to the ultimate test.

Although they may have come 6th, they enjoyed it immensely. A friend referred them to the Shitbox Rally totally not discord and thus, here we are.


The Team
Aatto (She/Her) Aatto Eriksson

Aatto Eriksson is the Manager and Mechanic of Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv.

Born in 1980, she is the resilient and innovative leader of the Eriksson siblings, bringing a unique blend of determination and practicality to the helm. Aatto's age manifests as a wealth of experience, an asset she leverages to navigate the challenges of running a delivery company. Aatto's leadership style is characterized by a hands-on approach, a trait honed during her years as the family's de facto mechanic.

Aatto's personality is a mosaic of pragmatism and adaptability, forged through the trials of managing the family business and keeping their trusty but temperamental Sceptre Caducus on the road. Her role as both manager and mechanic has imbued her with a keen sense of problem-solving and an unyielding commitment to the success of their venture. Aatto's siblings find inspiration in her unwavering optimism, even in the face of the van's numerous quirks. Aatto's leadership is not just about steering the family business; it's about fostering resilience and resourcefulness within the Eriksson clan.

Aatto's abilities extend beyond her managerial role, as her mechanical prowess plays a crucial part in the continued operation of their aging but beloved delivery van. Her hands are adept at navigating the intricacies of the Sceptre Caducus, whether orchestrating engine and transmission replacements or, in a moment of ingenuity, deciding to outfit the van with a custom-made roll cage so Sven wouldn’t kill himself. Aatto's multifaceted skills have become the backbone of Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv, ensuring that the family's business survives and thrives.


Elin (He/Him) Elin Eriksson

Elin Eriksson, one year younger than his older sister, embodies versatility within the Eriksson family enterprise, serving as one of the drivers and the meticulous accountant for Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv. Elin's personality exudes a calm and collected demeanour, reflecting his pragmatic approach to the varied responsibilities he undertakes. Despite the inherent unpredictability of the delivery industry, Elin maintains a level-headed disposition, contributing a stabilizing presence to the Eriksson team. His innate attention to detail and organizational skills make him an ideal fit for the dual roles of driver and accountant, ensuring that both the family's deliveries and financial matters are managed with precision.

Elin's personality extends beyond his professional capacities, reflecting a genuine camaraderie with his siblings. As the middle child, he plays a crucial role in maintaining familial harmony, balancing Aatto's ingenuity with Sven's adventurous spirit and Linnea's exuberance. Elin's quiet determination and adaptability provide a steady hand in navigating the challenges faced by Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv, making him an indispensable pillar of support within the family and the business.

In addition to his driving duties and financial acumen, Elin possesses a keen analytical mind that proves invaluable in managing the company's accounts. His ability to sift through complex financial data, coupled with a keen understanding of the delivery industry's economic dynamics, allows Elin to offer strategic insights to Aatto, aiding in the family business's decision-making processes. Elin's multifaceted abilities contribute to the cohesive functioning of Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv, reinforcing the family's collective effort to overcome challenges and thrive in their chosen enterprise.


Sven (He/Him) Sven Eriksson

Sven Eriksson, at 40, injects an unmistakable dose of energy into the dynamic landscape of Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv. Renowned as the alternate driver for the family's delivery company and the (fraternal) twin brother of Linnea, Sven is a whirlwind of chaotic enthusiasm, infusing a spirited and lively atmosphere into daily operations. Sven's personality is characterized by an irrepressible exuberance and a penchant for speed, making him a magnetic force within the Eriksson family and a favourite among colleagues. His daring approach to life, while occasionally challenging the norms, adds a vibrant and adventurous dimension to the family business.

As Linnea's twin, Sven shares a unique and unbreakable bond with the younger sister. Their fraternal connection creates a dynamic synergy within the Eriksson family, balancing Sven's energetic impulsiveness with Linnea's youthful exuberance. Together, they embody a spirited duo that brings joy and liveliness to the family and the workplace. While Sven's zest for life might occasionally clash with Aatto's pragmatism, the twins' boundless enthusiasm often serves as a catalyst for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking within Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv.

Behind the wheel, Sven's abilities shine through as a skilled and daring driver. His penchant for speed, though occasionally earning him a reputation for driving a bit too fast, becomes an asset in the world of deliveries. Sven's agility and quick reflexes, honed through years of navigating the roads with an adventurous spirit, allow him to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the delivery business. While his driving style might raise an occasional eyebrow, Sven's abilities contribute a dynamic edge to Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv, making him an indispensable part of the family's journey through the challenging terrains of the delivery industry.


Linnéa (She/Her) Linnea Eriksson

Linnéa Eriksson, Sven's fraternal twin, shares a chronological and emotional bond with her exuberant brother. She stands as the most energetic and physically robust member of the Eriksson family, serving as the formidable muscle of Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv. Linnéa's personality, while not as overtly exuberant as Sven's, exudes a quiet strength and determination that complements the family dynamic. Her unwavering commitment to the success of the delivery company is evident in her role as the powerhouse and occasional backup driver should the brothers be otherwise engaged.

Linnéa's relationship with her siblings, particularly Sven, is marked by a harmonious synergy. Their shared age and experiences have fostered a deep understanding, allowing them to collaborate seamlessly within the family business. Linnéa's calm and steady demeanour provides a grounding force, balancing the vibrant energy of her twin brother and contributing to the cohesive unity of the Eriksson family. Her willingness to occasionally take the driver's seat showcases a versatility that further reinforces the family's adaptability in the face of challenges.

Beyond her role as the family's muscle, Linnéa's physical strength is a notable asset within the context of the delivery industry. Whether loading and unloading cargo or handling unexpected challenges on the road, Linnéa's robust capabilities ensure the smooth execution of daily operations. Her ability to seamlessly step into the driver's role when needed adds an extra layer of flexibility to Transporttjäns Eriksson AB Eslöv, showcasing Linnéa's indispensable contribution to the family's success in navigating the demanding terrains of the delivery business.


The Stats Entrant 17

To the untrained eye, the van may appear to be the same as was brought to the 24H event in Sweden a few months prior. To even the untrained ear, though, it's unmistakable. A high revving (see statcard above) 4.3 Litre V8 ripped out of Linnea's 20 year old daily driver and a suspension modified to not be *quite* so overspec'd should mean it stands a much bigger chance than it did before. Of course, a new transmission came with the engine, and the fact that it's been tuned for what is effectively low quality (leaded) avgas means that it needed custom halfshafts and a new tailpipe to bypass the catalytic converter. It's also got a new rear seat stolen from the same place as the engine.

On a non mechanical look through, one might also notice the retrofitted rear seats rather than the previous two seat configuration.

Regardless, though, without the context that the newest part on this vehicle save for the coilovers is the brakes and even those have a few thousand kilometers on them, with the body itself having easily enough to roll over the odometer, it will certainly raise eyebrows at the tech inspection.


WoodenPlankGames

3 Likes

You might want to fix your formatting - Black text on dark gray boxes is very hard to read, and I’m not highlighting everything just to see it.

Oop - I think I mentioned an edit if I screwed something up, it seems I am once again prophetic in my writing. give me a few (I can’t fathom why it’s done that.)

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@Madrias Better now? I cannot fathom what’s changed but removing like 60% of my formatting seems to have ‘fixed’ it…

1 Like

Not as pretty, but very readable, which matters more in my opinion.

well then, might as well submit my. submission

The Argonites

The Team

Sienna Garrison
Race: Human
Age: 35
Height: 5’9"

Appearance

Sienna is the team’s driver. Having been an instructor for six years, she knows her way around a car better than Alec and Kiara combined (in the driving aspect, at least. mechanically, not so much).

Alec Pierce
Race: Human
Age: 34
Height: 5’10"

Appearance

Alec is the co-driver and one of the team’s two mechanics, the other being Kiara. He used to restore old cars for fun, and it turns out that skill transfers to new cars as well. He’s decent at cooking, too.

Kiara Baxter
Race: Human
Age: 37
Height: 6’0"

Appearance

Kiara is the team’s other mechanic. She’s mostly self-taught, and has worked with Alec on a couple cars. She focuses more on the electronics and interior of the car, unlike Alec, who only really repairs the car’s performance.

The Car

2003 Paladin Mace 2.8L

Kiara picked this up from someone selling it on eBay for $900 (obviously not in the state shown above) and boy did it not disappoint. But also simultaneously did disappoint. There were several things wrong with the car; one of the wheels was missing, the boot was completely rusted and the back left door just wouldn’t open for some reason, to name a few. Nothing Alec and Kiara couldn’t fix, though.

They spent the remaining $1,100 replacing broken and rusted parts, getting some new tires and generally making the car more offroad-ready. What they had after all that is what you see here.

(might suck, lmk if there’s anything else i need to add)

5 Likes

Team Firulais

After they failed to even register for the very last stage last year, a rather curious team of “5” humans (some of them are humanoid descendants) makes their first entry to the Shitbox Rally…!..and hopefully, it shouldn’t be their last.

The Members of the Crew
Josué Mertsa (22 y/o, Earth Age, Human)
The first member of the crew, and, arguably, their leader. While not exactly a guy to mess with, due to a bit of a temper, Josué is still a rather chill guy. He had the idea of the car and after a short voting process to pick options, his choice was the one to go with. He also does some of the oily stuff in the crew as well.
Appearance (a drawing…):

Andrés Coop (23 y/o, Earth Age, Human)
While one of the least intelligent members in the crew, Andrés got in the team after showing “some” driving skill, which is gonna be useful, as the team didn’t want Ángel to drive them all way long. He’s a slightly more skilled mechanic than Josué however, and he’s also very, very friendly… Maybe a bit too friendly.
Appearance (a drawing…):

Ana Montoya (19 y/o, Earth Age, Human)
She gets easily into a temper, and has second to no driver skills. With that, you can already assume she’s a rather reckless and carefree girl. She’s also quite greedy, and also easy to get into a fight with. That being said, however, she’s good at driving fast on a straight line, so that may benefit the team. She’s also probably the most entertaining member to watch, due to her curious personality.
Appearance (yet another drawing… Don’t blame me, I feel like drawing the characters allows me some freedom…):

Tomás Tsu (18 y/o, Earth Age, Human [?])
This young boy is very creative. He got the name for the team and also can get the team to calm down, being in some way the morale booster of the team. He ain’t necessarily a bad driver, nor he’s a bad mechanic either, although he does know little about fixing things in an object as complicated as a car. He got in the team after the very last member here told him…
Appearance (another drawing, why not):

Ángel Yukobaiyaroslavl (25 y/o, Earth Age, Humanoid Descendant)
The oldest in the team is the smartest, and most capable, both at driving and at fixing. Sadly, he’s an absolute noob at cooking. Also, why does he look so sad ? Well… Let’s say he has some issues. Being someone with the power of Telepathy and also reading minds is good, until you realize that the latter isn’t necessarily controlled at your own will… This is just one of his many problems. Also, YES, that Surname WAS NOT a misprint. And also, yes, he can read minds, even if he doesn’t want to… He can also communicate telepathically, a power which he can actually control…
Appearance (the last drawing):

The Car: 1982 Aurora Aurinko 140
Josué proposed buying a car from a Finnish Brand, Aurora. Aurora had a good range of cars in the 70s, 80s and 90s, and it seemed like everyone agreed. For Josué, it was his car of choice. For Ana, it had sportiness, for Tomás, it had style, for Andrés, it had comfort, and for Ángel, it had reliability.

However, as soon as they began the bargain hunt, issues began almost immediately. The Smaller cars in the lineup weren’t that attractive, mainly due to unpracticality… So they started looking for a larger car. Sadly, the cars that were larger were going over their budget… They had to find a middle point. And they found it with the first generation Aurinko. Small, Cheap and Budget Friendly, but also Spacious enough to be comfortable and practical… Even with this perfect model, the search only complicated itself…

Until, one day, Josué found this 1982 example for $1,500. They immediately bought it, it was the only car that wouldn’t be a nightmare as of costs… But, sadly, the repairs would be a Nightmare… For Ángel, that is. The engine was barely functional, the Transmission was about as accurate as a Joy-Con with Drift, and the Interior was amongst the nastiest things they ever got to see.

Nevertheless, it was an all or nothing when buying this… And they did. It was this, or going back to the drawing board. With that, Ángel officially became the Team’s Workhorse, and got to work. In his words, he said: “I’ll rebuild the engine. After all, if we’ve got $500 to spare, why spend them in modifications and trash, when we can, you know, make the car work ? I want to spend time fixing the car here rather than fixing constant breakdowns down the road…”

Slowly, but surely, a vast majority of the Cash went on repairs… And guess what ? They worked ! The Transmission was now smooth and efficient, the Engine, while a tad noisy and running on way lower quality fuel than it was supposed to, did just fine. The only thing Ángel couldn’t fix was the interior, but I guess that shouldn’t be too much of an Issue later, right ?

With a rebuilt engine and transmission, some things did improve ! Mainly reliability concerns… But sadly, now the car had a pathetic fuel economy. Besides, it’s not a fast machine, so, yeah, don’t expect these guys to win… The last of the Cash (roughly $10, which they spent on paint and stickers) went on some decorations, like the Team’s Name, and Crew Member’s Name… Ángel was surprised his name could fit in that window.





As said before, don’t expect them to win…

But don’t expect them to come last ! And even if they do, the Quintet will be amongst one of the most interesting teams to watch at their debut.

4 Likes

Long Post, Ik…

Hey, just a reminder - Check to make sure your car meets the fixture rules before you submit it.

Seriously, this challenge does take a lot of effort to run, and we’re not doing resubmissions this year.

The Rhino Squad is back

Chanty is currently working in her father´s garage, as after their last adventure she decided to make something out of her life. When she takes a smoking break, her father Thomas Nilfert has something … special on the trailer.

Eh, what junk is that?

A Primus Legacy. Early model with the ancient engine and old automatic, ugly color, rusty, damaged. The cheapest large Primus I could get. It´s great for spares. You know that we make advert for service of classic Primus models? We need spares in stock.





The next day, Chanty used her smartphone to look for some distraction after a difficult job on a Primus Merit, and then found out something interessing.

Dad? Can we use this car for something before we rip it apart?

Why should I? Yes, it still runs and shifts and vaguely goes in the direction I steer, but… the value is almost zero, and decent ones are still cheap enough to not turn this junk into one.

How about another … rally event? This is even on another planet!

Thomas dropped his coffee and almost died from laughter.

PFHAHAHAHA WHAT? YOU MEAN SMALL GREEN ALIENS IN AN UFO KIDNAPP US? BWHAHAHAHA

No, dad. They teleport us and the car with a beam.

Yeah, sure. EH! MATEUSZ! TURN OFF THE DAMN ENGINE OF THAT IMPERATOR! MY DAUGHTER HAS HALLUCINATIONS FROM THE EXHAUST GASES!

A few days later, Chanty discusses with her boyfriend Jan.

And you think it works?

Sure! I talked to some teams we met in Sweden, and they say it does.

So, let´s do it then. But will your father hand us over the car?

I know where the keys are… come on, this will be fun. Be my Clyde, because I will be your Bonnie.

You sure?

Mostly… but me being the full responsible mechanic and not having the help of daddy will be… a challenge, I guess… but he thinks I am telling bullshit…

What if we persuade these weirdos from Eberswalde, if they go for it… then I guess, Thomas will believe us?

Well, then call @HermannMatern . Let´s see what they think.

THE RHINO SQUAD

Well, her last name “Nilfert” sounds like Nilpferd, which means hippo, but as Chanty is… not really smart, she mixed it up with rhino, which lead to the team name.

Chanty

Chantal, 20 year old, works in the garage of her grumpy father Thomas. From him she intherited being a petrolhead and therefore wants to join this challenge. She is both an extro- and introvert and can´t stop driving her father crazy by switching between her two personalities. Other than that, she is dumb as bread and acts before she thinks, but propably the most caring and lovely person you could imagine.

Jan

Jan, 22, is Chantys boyfriend. He isn´t that tough guy that Thomas wanted for his daughter. He is very gentle, mostly calm and works in a nursing home. To Thomas, Jan is a douchebag, but over time, they got used to each other and Thomas respects him as he treats his daughter well. Jan is maybe not a good driver, but he is needed to stop Thomas and Chanty from killing each other.

Thomas

The 60 year old Thomas is a man of the old stamp. Grumpy, chain-smoking, always open for a good whisky and dark beer. He owns a service garage and while he isn´t as good as MacGyver, its good enough to live from that. He owns some classic Primus, as he worked for this brand after the fall of the wall, before he was a mechanic for IFA in East Germany. The emotionally unavailable loner is often annoyed by his freaky daughter, but will always help her out in any situation. In fact, Thomas can be a very sensitive and warm person, but he tries not to show that.

The car

As described above, it´s a 1991 Primus Legacy 320. In questionable condition. But within a few days, it could be repaired to a point that it could manage to survive a rally event.

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