The Kinda Grand Tour [FINALE]

The Kinda Grand Tour

Again we gather, gearhead friends! This time, we have a new special event: The Kinda Grand Tour. Time to roll up your sleeves, get your wrenches, and prepare to hit the road.

What do you have to do? That’s easy. Just grab a junker, get it running, throw some tires on it… pile a couple buddies, snacks, and maps in the car and go with us! Survival is tough, winning? Well… that’s even harder.

(Explanation/Rules follow)

This is a twist on the Roulette Runner that I recently wrapped up. Basically, you buy a car for roughly (doesn’t have to be exactly) $500 USD, get it running, and take it on an extended road trip lasting about 2 days. This version is entirely on public, paved highways. While it may seem eay, this presents its own set of challenges. Old junker cars don’t always do good on sustained highway runs, and the significant length (1600+ miles) and short timespan (48 hours) means that pace is important. As with the previous challenge, your imagination is the only limit for your car. But remember, it has to be reasonably purchased for about $500 USD today.

This may seem a bit nebulous and vague. That’s on purpose; these actual events are kept vague, and the creativity of the participants combined with the challenge of crap hardware and a limited budget being pushed to their absolute limits.

Build rules are as follows:

Model/Trim year: No later than 2005

Engine year does NOT necessarily have to be the same as the model/trim (simulating engine swaps). The greater the age difference between body and engine, the larger the difficulty penalty will be applied (simulating the time/cost/technical knowledge to perform the swap)

Body style: Whatever your little heart desires. Must have at least 2 seats, though. Uber tiny trunks don’t have quite the same penalty as last time; there are plenty of food and lodging facilities.

Engine: V12 and Flatplane V8 engines will be limited to exotics and luxury cars only. No race intakes. Due to fuel availability at the stops along the way, 98 and 100 RON are not allowed. Leaded fuels ARE allowed; lead substitute additives are readily available at auto parts stores.

Tires: No semi-slicks (R compound tires are not DOT legal). DO NOT touch the quality slider! This will be manually adjusted by me before the start, simulating new, modern tires being mounted.

Aero tab: Off-road skidplates only allowed on trucks and utes (reflecting their general OEM availability)

Suspension: Off-road swaybars only allowed on trucks and utes (reflecting their aftermarket availability)

Costs: Not restricted, but age and type of vehicle will be considered for bonuses/penalties for the run, because this has to be “purchased” in the year 2017 for $500. (Ex: a 2005 4WD pickup will have significant drivability and reliability penalties, simulating high mileage, accidents, and/or mechanical failures that brought the price down that far, where as a basic 1980’s vehicle might just have high mileage, but been maintained impeccably)

Sliders: As mentioned, Tires tab must remain at 0. Number of slider points allowed is based on decade of the vehicle.
2000-2005: Max of 3 negative and 4 positive (counted separately)
1990’s: Max of 4 negative and 7 positive points (counted separately)
1980’s: Max of 5 negative and 9 positive points (counted separately)
1970’s: Max 5 negative and 10 positive points (counted separately)
Pre-1970: Max 6 negative and 13 positive points (counted separately)

Mods: Pyrlix’s High Quality Mod pack. If you have mods that crash my game, I’ll allow you to revise your entry to remove/replace them.

Your car build is only part of how this whole thing will go down. You never know what will happen on the course. In fact, as each team has its own strengths and weaknesses, and things they may not know about the car, there is a HUGE margin for error and randomness. What does that mean?

Team factor: Your team will have two basic stats, Mechanical Ability and Trail Experience. Both of these are randomized, as well as based on a parabolic curve determined by your car’s year. (In essence, if your car is extremely new or extremely old, your team is likely to have a higher mechanical ability. Trail experience is inverse – if your team has low mechanical skill, it’s more likely to be run by someone very cautious on the actual trail, who is more likely to keep the car intact). The value for both of these will be between 1 and 6.

Mechanical condition: Also randomized along a bell curve, and accounting for your team’s Mechanical Ability. This is how well your car runs at the start of the event. It’s subject to degradation based on trail conditions and the Trail Experience of your team.

Team condition: Your MA and TE scores can fluctuate during the event based on how much fun their having and how cramped they are/how much in the way of supplies they are carrying. Cars with 4 or more seats can have 2-4 team members (specify how many team members when you submit, otherwise you will be assumed to have 2). More team members increases the amount of supplies you need to carry, but decreases the chance of negative buffs and even forced rest stops due to fatigue and crankiness.

Road condition: This is variable, and will be determined by actual weather conditions at the time I run each leg.

Defect: Every car in the competition will have something either that you couldn’t address before the start of the event, or overlooked during mechanical inspection. Everyone will know at least one fault with their car at the start… but you won’t know if this is the Defect or not! This defect will be limited to one system, but even if you know what it is, you won’t know the exact severity of it. Could be a minor annoyance, could be a fatal flaw, and it’s not guaranteed to show up. That depends on most of the above factors.

Ah, but there are new twists!

Aggressiveness Factor: This is how aggressive you want your team to push yourselves, whether it be speed, rest, food stops, etc. With your entry, you will specify an Aggressiveness factor from 1-6 (1 being most conservative and 6 being most aggressive). This will be your AF from the start. You are allowed to change this up to 4 times throughout the competition by PMing me. After I receive your PM, your AF will be the new value starting with the next leg I process.

Cargo Loading Factor: This is the mix of cargo that you choose to carry. All teams will, be considered as having basic tools and a 2.5 gallon spare fuel canister. The rest is split between food/comfort items and spare parts. It is a scale from 1-6, with 1 being maximum food/comfort and minimal parts, and 6 being the other way around. This can affect you out on the road; having better and more food/comfort means that rest stops can be fewer and shorter, and can mitigate fatigue, while having more parts makes it more likely you can stay on the road if you have a failure, or spend less time repairing an issue instead of hunting down a junkyard/parts store. This number CANNOT be changed during the challenge.


Negative points if you DON’T post an intro of your car/team, giving a brief background of them, the car (where you got it, how much, what condition it was in, etc.)

Note to those who participated in Roulette Runner: You may run with the same team as last time or a new team. You MUST specify at time of entry (same team gets the same MA and TE scores, new team rerolls them)

If your rig makes it to the end without a fatal failure, you’re in contention for the big prize. Which is a couple pistons welded to a flywheel, skull and crossbones style. (WOO!)

Scoring will be done by rolling a randomizer and factoring the Trail Experience, Team Condition, Mechanical Condition, Road Condition, and Aggressiveness Factor. This time around, “legs” are back-to-back (no official start/stop points) and each one lasts 2 hours. Your success will be measured in where you actually are along the road.

That said, there are going to be many POI along the way for teams to get out, stretch for a few minutes, and take in the scenery.

POI stops are done through RP. You will have a brief time penalty applied to your next leg, but you can remove negative buffs and get positive buffs from doing these. It is also not required for those RPing to do a POI on every leg (and actually might be detrimental to do so). Furthermore, POI don’t have to be specific types of landmarks; you can stop at any one in the area that fits YOUR team’s interest. While this may sound confusing right now, I will let you in on this; you will be able to find them on Google. The course will go through actual, real places on Earth.

I will also give out four awards. First, the “Ballsy” award for the, well, ballsiest entry, and second is the “Hard Luck” award for the participant that doesn’t make it that either gives the most valiant effort, or dammit, really should have made it. The third is the “RP” award for the person who roleplays their team/interactions the best during the thread, including introduction of their entry/team. Fourth, and new this time around, is the “Zen” award, for the best balance of everything; car, RP, and pace.

That said, I encourage ALL people who enter to chime in with blurbs about what their peeps are doing/thinking/saying after each stage, in response to what I post for the section and how it turned out. I will try to be “detailed but vague” so you guys can build your own story throughout all of this.

Have fun and be creative/silly!

Deadline: 5/5/2017 at 9am PDT, or 25 teams, whichever comes first.

Also, I will be entering my own vehicle again this time. UNLIKE last time, I am not guaranteed to fail (you already know what it looks like and how it works). While it’s possible for me to “win”, the actual winner(s) will be selected from the contestants.

I will create a car/team and post it later as an example of how I’d like to see introductions done. Any questions? (You may start work and submit teams, but please hold off posting your intro until I’ve posted mine later today)

Naming convention and submission.

Naming: Car Model and Engine Family name should be “KGT - (username)”. Trim names should be the names of the cars/engines themselves (for flavor).
PM me the .zip export file, and state how many people are in your team (and if you are colluding with any other board members on this)
Also remember to include your Aggressiveness Factor (can be changed up to 4 times after the start) and Cargo Loading Factor (cannot be changed after submission)

Competitors approved so far:
@JohnWaldock / @Sillyducky
@koolkei / @FrankNSTein
@Nomade0013 / @ramthecowy


I lurked on the Roulette challenge and am contemplating joining this challenge. I am a bit confused at how we get a car for $500, do we just need a plausible story for why its so cheap, or do we need to drop a bunch of sliders on a car to make it “shit”? Love the role playing aspect of this!

Just a plausible story as to why it’s so cheap. That could be any number of things. Read some of the backstories from the Roulette Runner for ideas.


Team Greasy Lightning

The team -
Rick - A software engineer in his late 20’s, he’s enjoyed the outdoors but never really had a crazy streak growing up. He heard about this challenge and, easily having the cash to come up with something, decided to enlist his partners in crime.
Jen - Personal trainer, fitness instructor, and wife of Rick. She’s the kind who eats mountains for breakfast (figuratively… there’s a little too much dirt and rocks to actually do it)
“Fuzz” - Jen’s “little” 25 year old brother Ted, a rookie on the local police force. Energetic to the point of stupidity sometimes, with his past it was pure irony that he ended up in his current profession.

After their misfortune in the Roulette Runner, Rick realized that half the fun was the risk of failure, and the other half was the journey with friends.

The car -

Jen and Fuzz’s uncle picked up a few cars from the same estate that they got the Kaminari last time. He was more than willing to help out by offloading one of the “projects” that he, frankly, would never have gotten around to. All three of them were excited about this particular “gem”.

The top-trim 1975 Ardent Chancellor GL was touted as a “every-man’s luxury car”. It was a little too small and funky for traditional luxury buyers, and too expensive for most family buyers. As such, they never really gained a large following.

This particular car was missing its Taurus-series V8, a problem that was solved over a beer-and-pizza fueled weekend with Fuzz and a couple of the city mechanics with whom he was friends. The donor vehicle? None other than the Ishi turbo-6 from the Suzume Kaminari GS-R that so recently was hauled off the side of a mountain. Team Greasy Lightning salvaged the engine and had a custom trans adapter made to fit the engine to the Chancellor’s RWD automatic, and had an exhaust shop cram the Suzume’s cat and a custom exhaust under the Ardent.

Other than the engine, the Chancellor is actually in overall good condition for its age. Its Deep Merlot paint is faded and mostly devoid of clearcoat. Little dings and scratches mar every body panel. The headliner had to be removed because it was sagging badly, and the leather of the driver’s seat has a few rips in it. Plus it smells of both mustiness and cigarettes at the same time.
Unusual at the time for its 6-digit odometer, the Chancellor has only 132,500 miles on it. Prior to Rick and Jen getting their hands on it, it was last registered in 2001.

Rick is determined to make it all the way this time, come hell or high water. Fuzz’s pride in the work he put in to make it roadworthy again drives him to join the fun again, and this time he’s not worried about the legroom in the back seat. And Jen has promised not to break the car this time.


I plan for Team Outriders to make a return, I’ll set up the back story after I’ve gotten some sleep.


#The Apex Predators

##The Team:

Ash: Simulacrum CEO of Vinson Dynamics. Very used to fixing cars, and herself. Quite unsettling to be around, but one hell of a Mechanic.

Viper: Head Test Driver at Vinson Dynamics, and Former Fighter Pilot with the US Navy. As he’s the best driver at Vinson, has been elected as driver. Fair Warning: He will want to go fast.

Blisk: Chief of Engineering and Construction, This South African hard-ass will bark his orders as he pleases. He’s mostly here to keep everything in line.

Slone: Close Friend of Ash, and Chief of Staff at Vinson Dynamics. Only other person who can Repair Ash, and well rounded Navigator. Quite reserved in herself, and quite used to being bossed around.

##The Car:

Ash: What I’ve found here, is a 1969 Bushell Tasman Wagon, with the GTO Extras package. This old V8 monster is made for cruising. However, this Australian beast has us worried, as we picked it up from a crazy old man for a hair under $500. Me and Slone had a check over, and couldn’t seem to find much wrong with her. It seems to be fitted with the Optional 6966V8MFi engine, which is worth about $1,000 on its own. Slone’s worried, I’m not. We think that maybe packing enough spares, and fuel, should be enough. It’s not the fastest thing, but it is unique. It’s been fixed up over the past few weeks, and we should be ready to go.

Viper: Having taken the Tasman for a drive, after getting her up to scratch has me worried. The 5 speed box is sluggish, and the brakes have quite a tendency to fade. Suspension is too soft, but I should be able to get around it. I hope Ash has made the right choice picking this, and not one of our own cars… Maybe her programming’s off…


Team Twin-Snail

The Crew:

Luke Light: Storm Automotive’s president, head of the Raceworks Division, and lover of fast and crazy cars. He’s never let being an android keep him down or hold him back.

Amy Storm: Her great-grandfather, John Storm, founded the company. She’s part of the Engine Design Team and also a member of the Raceworks Division, and is addicted to fast cars and big engines.

Scott Regale: Storm Automotive’s head of Interior Design. He’s here because of his help in the Roulette Runner off-road rally. His mechanical expertise stops at changing tires, but he’s a master electrician.

Linda Regale: Scott’s sister and Storm Automotive’s accountant. You’d be forgiven for believing she’s only here because her brother’s here, but she’s a great navigator. Give someone else a GPS unit and give her a map and compass, she’ll find a way to get there first. However, while her navigational skills are exceptional, her driving needs work.

The Car:

A 1998 Minerva Midnight, sadly not as optioned up as they’d like. This one doesn’t have the optional sunroof, but it does have the Longitudinally mounted 3.6L DOHC V6, and it’s FWD.

The car wasn’t purchased with cash, but instead was traded for a 1977 Sinistra Savage that had run out of fuel after running the Roulette Runner. Luke’s thought is that a $500 car makes for a $500 car, even taking into consideration that the Midnight’s a newer car.

With a 5 speed automatic and an open differential, and not very much power, Team Twin-Snail isn’t living up to their team name this time. But… They are going to drive the hell out of this car.

Things Fixed since we got the car:

  • Cylinder 5 misfire.
    Luke’s Note: I thought it was cylinder 4 when we ‘bought’ it, but turns out it was 5. Turned out to be insufficient spark due to damaged wiring. Simple fix was to replace the spark plug wires, but I went out of my way to replace the coil packs just to be safe.

  • Lifter Tick.
    Amy’s Note: These old Minerva’s are all the same. Typical cheap DOHC design with oil squirters that clog up the first time someone fails to change the oil on time. Just replaced the squirters with some from the parts bin. They’re not perfect, but they’ll work. Surprisingly uses similar squirters to our old AluStar V6.

  • Broken Radio.
    Scott’s Note: Had to replace a bunch of exploded capacitors in here. Really hoping they weren’t the same kind used in the ECU or we’re likely to have ‘fun’ and I don’t mean the good kind. Also, there was a mangled tape in the cassette deck, and I had to pull the radio apart again after Luke lost a blank ‘testing’ cassette to it.

  • Horn Non-Functional.
    Luke’s Note: Air horn installed. Should be a nice ‘surprise’ for anyone we happen to pass. Or when they pass us.

Known Issues:

  • Passenger side rear door just doesn’t open.
    Scott’s Note: Not anymore! We got it open.

  • New problem: Passenger side door won’t close. Latch jammed.
    Luke’s Note: Latch oiled. Door closes, and opens, just fine now.

  • Car reeks of cigarette smoke.
    Linda’s Note: I’ll bring air fresheners!

  • Check Engine light is on.
    *Occasional hesitation under acceleration.


  • No sunroof.
    Scott’s Note: I could put one in, but the team’s forbidden me from playing around with the angle grinder. Something about ‘structural integrity’ and ‘roof leaks’.

  • AM/FM/Cassette/CD radio does work. It will, however, eat any cassette that’s played in it.
    Linda’s Note: Well, we could just use one of those fancy cassette adapter things again.

  • Low power.
    Amy’s Note: Yeah, the old V6 isn’t particularly powerful. About 200-ish horsepower. I wanted to turbocharge it, but Luke wouldn’t let me take the turbo off of the Rally Knight.
    Luke’s Note: Because 40 PSI of boost is so good for reliability in a car with 152,000 miles on it?


This is shaping up to be a great sequel to Roulette Runner, which was won by @Dorifto_Dorito. And did you really reuse your CSR33 entry for this latest challenge? If so, hats off to you! Considering that you finished Roulette Runner in 7th place (of 8 finishers and 21 entrants) I am hoping for an improvement, especially when taking into account the fact that the Midnight is a newer (and hopefully more reliable) car than the Savage you entered previously.


Removed one sunroof and renamed it for this challenge. That is indeed the same car.

##Team Artiseros

#The Team:

Ernie Zast - Founder of Zast Automobiles,elected to be the driver.adaptive driver depending on conditions.

Ateri Asakura - Lead engineer of Zast,elected to be Mechanic.Of Japanese Origins.

Aldren Gustavo - Lead Designer of Zast,elected to be back mechanic and navigator.

one morning
(Ernie is in his office)

Ernie:“reads newspaper”

(door knocks)

Ernie:come in
Ernie:oh good morning Mr.Ateri.
Ateri: good morning to you sir,I have piece of information.
Ernie:That is?
Ateri:There is a certain well-known competition which is a road trip for 2 days.
Ernie:Seems interesting…
Ateri:We even have the perfect car,A 1974 Zast NR4
Ernie:It seems too expensive to be run on this kind of competition.
Ateri:Well,in a recent list of classified ads,it was sold for less than $500 USD
Ernie:It might seem to be in decent shape.Ateri,go buy it and we will inspect it.
Ateri: OK

##The Car

And so Ernie and Ateri did some inspection on the car and this is the list of faults:
Some loose interior trims (Not Severe)
The roof latching is loose and the roof sometimes opens(Not Severe)
The Suspension is a little soft (Questionable)
Rust started to appear at the engine bay
The engine started to lose power (This is a car with less than 100hp,so it might hamper our progress)

inspection over

Ateri:Well for a car of this budget,it is quite decent
Ernie:some of these problems could be fixed on the way.
Ateri:Can we invite Aldren in this competition?
Ernie:well it doesnt hurt to have an extra pair of hands,so ok

The car would be a really slow car but it might not cause too much problems and the Fuel mileage is sub-par to modern supercars with a mileage of 30 mpg so it might reduce fuel stops.


goddamn you guys are fast at making this a wall of text

i need someone to help me RP. team anybody?


Because I have funny schedules I was planning to enter solo with a screwball duo with some downtime. Team Flaming Fart Cannon inbound!


I wish I could join back in on this, sadly my PC is still out of service for the long term so I unfortunately have to sit this one out :c


Back from the Roulette challenge with a new attitude and a new member.

Blake Worden:
Age: 56
Role: Driver/Mechanic
Blake Worden was head of the Tatum Heights Motor Pool until his retirement last year, he now takes to amateur racing as a hobby. His driving is assertive but not overly aggressive.

Marc Levinstein:
Age: 53 (Happy birthday Marc)
Role: Driver/Navigator
Marc Levinstein is an officer in the Tatum Heights Police Department. On his days off he often goes out with Blake to track meets to use his police training to his advantage on the track. His driving is aggressive but efficient, far from his normally calm demeanor.

Luigi Fillipelli
Age: 49
Role: Mechanic/Backup Driver
Luigi Fillipelli is a newcomer to the team, he provided assistance over the phone during Team Outriders Roulette challenge which proved invaluable in keeping the team from elimination early on. His driving is skilled but not overly assertive, he tends to be more cautious behind the wheel.

The three men remain great friends despite the often heated banter between them, especially between Luigi and Marc. (In the interests of decorum I will not go into full detail regarding the dialogue between the two, but let’s just say they’re not things you would say about Italians or Jews in polite company)

The car: 1997 Petoskey Enforcer

Yup, the car returns for another round, this time with some changes. During the Roulette challenge the engine suffered from a rather catastrophic failure involving a valve dropping out of the head and rattling around in the cylinder. Miraculously, the car soldiered on to the finish line, hence why Blake was willing to stick with this car. Plans to overhaul the 301 TriForce V8 had to be put on hold due to a delay in parts delivery, knowing they would not meet the deadline for the challenge, Blake sought another solution. During a long weekend, Blake called city mechanic Luigi Fillipelli over and the two men set to work. Since they couldn’t get the parts to rebuild the engine in time, they resorted to swapping the motor out. In particular a 1995 Stag Big Chief which was sitting in his backyard. Working tirelessly through the weekend, the two men hoisted the engine and transmission out of both vehicles and put the truck powertrain in the car. With only 121,000 on the Odometer, the 432 Big Block is in superb mechanical shape along with the 4RE7 transmission. Filling new differential fluid and swapping out the wheels and brakes from a 2007 Enforcer, (Surplus auction as Tatum Heights just decommissioned its last Enforcer) Slapping on a push bar in the front, they had a new beast ready for the challenge.

It’s got cop tires, cop brakes, and a truck motor.

P.S. The team possesses a Petoskey XGV Scan tool which would be capable of scanning basic codes on any vehicle 1996 or newer (Very basic, anything manufacturer specific would not be listed) The team would be willing to assist anyone with mechanical issues.


sure, why not

Can I join?

Triple team @JohnWaldock ?

And does this mean our RPs all fit and we use 3 separate cars or only one car? I would assume 3, or I hope

While their trusty if very noisy Erin Berlose will not be making a return, Team ‘Southend Or Bust’ will be back - in a different Erin…


Next Post

EDIT: not sure why this posted as a reply to Sillyducky…

TEAM: Clutch Droppers
A bunch of friends starting college in the fall that want one last hoorah before they split up to different colleges. (The following RP is based on true events. Names, places, and events have been altered to protect the identity of those involved CSI dun dun sound)

Ryan - Early 20’s, software developer, and hobbiest mechanic. He enjoys the outdoors and spent most of his life in the Boy Scouts. He is pretty handy with most anything mechanical or involving rope or fire, but he is piss poor at following written instructions without constant intervention due to his ADHD. Must have a constant supply of water and beef jerky to survive. Currently drives a 1992 Jeep he restored and lifted, manual of course.

Jason - 19 (his birthday and early schooling makes him stupid young), mechanical engineer, and almost completely inept with vehicles. He knows the basic bits of a car, but no clue how to diagnose or fix anything on a car, included simple things like light bulbs. He just takes his car in for service for everything. However, he can follow instructions really well, so he can help as long as you tell him what to do… step by step. Will die without a Mountain Dew every 8 hours. Drives a beat-to-hell Chrysler.

Bob - “me, for this challenge”. Mid 20’s, network engineer, hobbiest mechanic, and all around handy-man. If it is mechanical or electrical, he can fix it… given enough time and the internet. Although a bit fat and out of shape, Bob is as comfortable squeezing under a jacked up car to replace an alternator as he is sitting in front of a computer for 20 hours straight. Must have food and a bathroom break roughly every 5 hours. Currently drives a 2004 Volvo that has had nearly every servicable part replaced by Bob, but its Automatic because Bob destroys clutches.

After hearing about this challenge they decided to pool their money and join in on the fun before they all split up for college. After scouring the classifieds they found the following car for sale within a reasonable distance:

They decided to head over to the guy’s house to give the car a once-over and try to haggle the price down to about $500.

After pulling up at the dude’s house it was clear this was not just a car guy (I mean, look at all those cars in his driveway), but this was some stupid “racer” kid. This meant haggling the price down should be easy! While Bob was talking with the kid about the car’s history, Ryan was under the car checking for leaks, rust, damage, etc., and Jason was checking out the interior of the car.

Bob - Talking with the kid revealed both a lot of information… and very little at the same time. He had bought the car about 3 years ago from an old lady with about 310,000 miles on it and it was in pretty good condition. Now, this kid is a self-proclaimed “racer” and mechanic, he told me that he drove the car hard for the first few months to see how it still performed after all these years and miles. He decided to visit the junkyard to transplant a turbo into this car to give it some pep. Its a fairly lightweight car and adding some more power to it would make it fun, he said. in the process of installing the turbo he messed up the fog lights, they now turn on and off with the turn signals. He also said he had a few minor bumps in the front and rear, but only it only caused cosmetic issues. To cover up the dented and scrapped bumpers he decided to spray paint the whole thing in matte camo-green (because kids have trash taste). Additionally, when installing the turbo he had to swap out the exhaust with one from another car, making the car louder, as well as swapping in a performance intake to make room for the intercooler and turbo piping. Outside of the work he had done on the car, he really did not know anything out the previous 310,000 miles the thing had driven. All of this info was making it easier and easier for me to haggle the price down.

I turned back to Ryan and Jason to see what they had to say about the car.

Jason - The interior looks pretty good… but only in the back. Honestly, I don’t think anyone has ever sat in the back of this car… but the driver’s seat is worn down to almost nothing. The interior plastics have become discolored and there is a mystery stain in the trunk. Most of the internal lights seem to be out, but that should be easy to fix? The guages all work, but there is a guage I have never seen that says “boost” on it. Do you know what that is about? Anyway, I can’t see anything completely off about it… its about as nice on the inside as my crappy car.

Ryan - Where to start… the shocks are blown, the engine and turbo are leaking oil, the battery voltage is low, it should be replaced soon, I am going to assume the engine is also burning some oil based on the smell of the exhaust and the car’s age. The rear drum brakes definitely need adjusted and probably replaced, the A/C belt is missing, and the thing is painted in the most unholy of all paints… matte. These wheels are definitely not standard at 17" with sport compound tires, but aside from being some sort of really cheap rim, the paint is coming off, they look alright to drive on. O yeah, and the bumpers are from a completely different car… I assume to hide the fact that the front and rear bumper rails are smashed pretty good.

Bob - Turning back to the kid with a wide smile, I went about haggling the price down based on all these problems that he tried to gloss over and minimize in his ad. After a few minutes arguing over the car’s current condition and the work and money he had put into the car, he caved, admitting he really needed the money to enter some race coming up with one of his other cars. (just looking at the cars he had and their condition, I figured he was bound to loose, but whatever makes you happy). We settled on $500 and were ready to join the challenge. As we drove away with our new car we decided to take it into a local shop to get the car checked out to see how bad off it really was.

Bob - Driving off from the kid’s house it was immediately apparent that the car had some serious power for what it was. Normally with a cheap little eco-box from the 90’s you could not spin the wheels no matter how hard you hammered the gas, but this thing could do a burnout up to 60kmh, not bad. Before meeting my comrades at the tire shop I had to jump on the freeway to see what this thing could do. Hammering up the on-ramp the wheels squeeled a bit, but those sports tires definitely gave it some much needed grip at lower speeds. The The turbo kicked in pretty low at about 2400 rpm, ramping up the power hard until about 3200 rpm. The automatic tranny was showing its age however, taking almost a full second to switch from 2nd to 3rd and hesitating to downshift when punching the gas pedal in 4th. Flooring it along a straight section of freeway with almost no traffic, I was able to push the car to about 120mph, but it was still SLOWLY gaining speed. I can’t wait to put this thing on a dyno.

Pulling into the shop I got a lot of grossed-out faces from the mechanics at the styling and color of the car, but for $500, I was fully on-board with this little beater. While the staff rolled car onto the dyno I discussed my little test drive with Jason and Ryan, both seemed pretty impressed at what we got out hands on for the money.
After the dyno run finished we took a look at the results. About 253 NM of torque @ 3200 rpm and 189 hp @ 6100 rpm sounded fantastic for this little inline 4, maybe swapping in a turbo was just what it needed. Additionally, we now knew that the car did 0-100 kmh in 7s flat… it was time to research this car a bit further. Looking up the factory specs for the car online showed us that the engine originally only made 180 nm @ 3400 rpm, 133 hp @ 6200 rpm, and did 0-100 kmh in a staggeringly slow 9.2s. Even Ryan, a naturally aspirated purist, admitted those were some great gains, just from a slapped on turbo.

After going over the car with a fine comb at the shop, we came up with a list of all the problems with the car:
Rust… everywhere
Damaged front and rear bumper rails
Mismatched bumpers
Turbo and engine leak oil
Engine burns oil
Windshield wipers always on - pulled the fuse for now to stop them
Fog lights activate with turn signals
Blown shocks
Cheap after-market rims
Battery and rear drum brakes need replaced
Interior is heavily worn… but only in the front
Hood and trunk gas-pistons (for opening and holding them open) are completely blown
End-links need replaced
A/C needs a belt


Does this mean we choose another person if you Bob and buy our own car or do we all work on this together?

I am doing this on my own, I don’t know why the post went up as a reply to you. VicVictory says we have a “team” but its just each person role-playing as multiple people making up a team. I am sure real people can work together as a real team however.