Brothers in Control Arms
Korea ended seven years ago. Companies disbanded, platoons split apart. The Army changed, too. Gone were the mud-stained boots, and in were the spit-shined shoes. The weight of bureaucracy was heavy on the heads and hearts of the old guard, and a lot of stripes and bars got turned in.
That was the case for Sergeant Murphy and Lieutenant Bronson. They both quit the Army in 1958, and each went into his own business. For Bronson, who’d been a college boy before the war, things went pretty smoothly. But Murphy didn’t quite meet with the same success at first. Upon hearing of Murphy’s struggles, Bronson hired him on.
Now it’s 1961, and their real estate business is booming. Bronson’s better head for numbers, budgets, and the paperwork side of things keeps the business smooth. Murphy’s more personable nature brings in the customers, and he heads the sales department.
But all work and no play makes Johnny a dull, dull boy. Bronson and Murphy have heard about rallying, and want to do a sort of rally of their own, doing a long form spirited drive through a large chunk of the East Coast- including the famed Blue Ridge Parkway! They want to see the sights, and since they were both divorced in the last five or six years, perhaps just spend some time together.
There’s a problem.
On leave in '53, they both bought matching Hudson Hornets.
Not feeling comfortable doing long drives in totally unsupported cars, especially such old ones, they agreed that the Chevrolet Corvette would be a suitable replacement. Until they saw the pricetag.
See, Murphy was still recovering from the debts his old business had racked up before shaking hands with Bronson. So, they decided to shop around…
In short, two ex-Army men are looking for low-cost sports cars. One has a bit more free cash on hand. Make two trims of the same car, meeting the two buyers’ needs!
Rules and Regulations - Click Me!
- Default: +5 in all categories
- 1961 Model Year or older
- Must be Ladder or Monocoque chassis. The idea is it’s an inexpensive production car, after all.
- On rear suspension: Using Solid Axle will give your car a 10% reduction to final price. Using Double Wishbone will give you a 10% increase in final price and service costs.
- Must be identical between cars!
- Legacy bodies are allowed with the caveat that if something is overly jank, I may hand adjust its scoring.
- Family Year 1961 or older
- Variant Year 1961
- Must run Leaded Regular fuel
- Maximum octane not to exceed 92 (do not advance Ignition Timing)
- No race parts (if it says race, it’s race)
- Trim Year 1961
- No Manual Locker or Automatic Locker differential
- Cross Ply tires are mandatory (I know some cars had radial, but this is the US in the 60s)
- Must seat at least 2
- No semi-slick tires
- Final cost not to exceed 10,000 AMD for Murphy.
- Final cost not to exceed 14,000 AMD for Bronson.
Repeating The Weird Stuff
- Solid Axle Rear Suspension = 10% cost reduction
- Double Wishbone Rear Suspension = 10% cost and service cost increase.
- All selections and quality must be identical in the Model screen.
- Leaded Regular fuel, not to exceed 92 octane.
- No Manual Locker or Automatic Locker differential.
- Cross Ply tires are mandatory.
For clarity, Murphy will have his priorities in Bold, while Bronson will have his Italicized. If a priority is neither bold nor italicized, it is identically important to both cars. This only applies to the priorities as listed under the stars- anywhere else, they are simply used for clarity or emphasis.
Value - Bang for your buck. How close do you get to cars in terms of stats, and for how much less money?
Design - Is this car a looker? Bronson really wants people to know he is a successful man, and his car should reflect that.
Reliability - This is a long road trip. Breakdowns are not welcome.
Realism - If you send me a fuel injected inline-three and then wonder why you got binned, this is why.
Sportiness - These should be fun to drive, as that’s the whole point of the trip.
Service Costs - Murph can do some work himself, but parts are still parts.
Comfort - Bronson wants to cruise in relative quiet, enjoying nature rather than the rattle of cheap plastics.
Drivability - Some parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway can get a little hairy. Neither of these guys is an expert driver.
Performance - These should still be sports cars. They ought to handle decently well, given the mountain roads in question. A little oomph in the motor for the uphills is nice, too.
Comfort - Murphy isn’t sweating it as much, understanding the reality of his budget… but a man can dream.
Design - Important! Murphy doesn’t want to show up Bronson! The cheap trim should look cheaper- Murphy really doesn’t care, but he cares about Bronson’s feelings.
Value and Service Costs - Bronson doesn’t want to completely waste his cash.
Fuel Economy - It’s a long trip!
Trunk Space - Having a trunk for luggage is really nice when you’re hotel hopping.
Daily Drivability - This is an abstraction for, will this be useful after the road trip?
Safety - Best not to die, if they do get into an accident.
Wild Card - If you decide to do something daring, it will be noted. Murph and Bronson are both pragmatic people, but if you can get pretty close to a conventional car with something weird and cool, they might pick it for being “plucky.”
Schedule and Procedures
Rules Deliberation: Now until 7/29
Entries Open: 7/27
Entries Close: 8/12
I need a .car. Ads are optional but welcomed. Your car should be named as such:
- Model: TTC2 - [Murphy or Bronson, pick the one the car is for] - [forum username]
- Family: TTC2 - [forum username]
Scoring will be done with the CSV exporter. Cars will be rated in comparison to each other and real cars.
Rather than a completely arbitrary determination, each category will be compared and cars will receive points based on the category. 4-star categories are worth up to 20, 3 star 15, 2 star 10, and 1 star 5. Some of these, like 0-60 and the 1/4 mile, will have real cars such as the Sprite or Corvette as benchmarks. Others, like comfort and reliability, will be graded on a bell curve of the entrants. Of course, Design has to remain arbitrary.
The Wild Card and Daily Drivability are essentially “editor’s choice” categories, and only one car will get each.
The Wild Card is the car I personally think Murph and Bronson would find plucky. That doesn’t mean they are looking for an offroader- this is, after all, only five points.
The Daily Drivability is there to make the car that’s a bit more boring and safe, but still fun to drive, work even when performance and sportiness are so critical. It’s only five points, but if you can get close to a 2 seat coupe in your 5 seat sedan, it might break the difference.
These cars are visual inspiration only.
1961 Austin-Healey Sprite
1961 Chevrolet Corvette
1961 Datsun Bluebird
1961 BMW 700 Sport Coupe
1961 Auto Union 1000 Sp
1961 Lancia Flaminia GT
7/22/23 - added budget, Changelog, and Inspiration, fixed CSS, etc. Thanks Ldub lol.
7/23/22 - Clarified and added some priorities.
7/25/22 - Explained scoring.
7/27/22 - Changed schedule- opening submissions early.