Wizard Seeking Car [JUDGING]

Wizard Seeking Car
The Blue Beetle hadn't been blue in a very long time. It was an old Volkswagen Bug, and every door was a different color- including the hood. In my line of work, it tended to get pretty beat up. Not even the seats had been safe- a bunch of mold demons ate them.

Yeah, mold demons. Did I mention that I’m a wizard?

On a typical simple-job-gone-wrong, the old Bug saved my life from a rampaging chlorofiend, and I had to have it towed to my mechanic. When I heard there was a problem with it, I should have known. Mike was never one to call me up and complain that he wasn’t able to fix something.

I’d had that car for a damned long time. See, tech newer than the forties, maybe the fifties, tends to fall apart around me. The Blue Beetle had been made later than that, but it was so simple there really wasn’t anything to fail in the first place. It had protected me from zombies, gotten me away from literal demons, and even managed to outrun the bad guys once or twice. But I’d finally killed it, its long crusade coming to a rather unsatisfying, bitter end.

So here I am, replacing my oldest friend. I don’t like spending big money, and I don’t need much. That old Bug had everything I could ever need. But since I have to replace it anyways, here’s the short of it…

That’s right- it’s January of 2012 and Chicago’s local wizard, Harry Dresden, is in need of a car.

Harry’s magic shorts out anything made after the circuit board… mostly. There’s a little wiggle room for plot convenience, and the older something is, the tougher.

But, money is key here. Harry’s on a tight budget, so he’s shopping used. Used cars are cheaper, due to depreciation - time is a big factor in cost reduction. However, sportiness, reliability, prestige, service costs (well cared for examples being rarer), and environmental resistance all contribute to appreciation instead. It’s a delicate balance.

Drop downs will be used from here on.

Use this to determine the cost of your car after depreciation by going to File → Save a Copy.

Nerd Stuff

Depreciation Formula
C = Cost of your car in AMD
R = Reliability
P = Prestige
S = Sportiness
E = Environmental Resistance
Y = Years since your car was made
V = service costs
D = Value of your car after depreciation

D = (C·(R/100)·(V/1000))+100((R+P+S+E)/4) - 10·Y

For an example, if your 2002 car costs 10000 AMD, 600 SVC, with 60 reliability, and 30 in every other stat, it runs 7250 AMD. We’re assuming the car is in decent shape, low rust, etc- used, not garbage. Yes, I know that is kind of a wonky formula. Cry about it or suggest something better.

Cost of Ownership formula will be recycled from my Family Car Challenge.

So, what is Harry looking for?

In order from most important to least:

  1. Cost. It must be cheap- both to own and operate, and fuel economy is part of that.
  2. Reliability. This car must be able to run whenever Harry needs it, wherever Harry needs it.
  3. Simplicity. The more high tech, the worse. Cars with computers are instant bin- cars from after the carbureted era highly scrutinized. A good rule of thumb is no newer than '75, and by '75 h
    Harry can’t fully trust it. In short, the older, the better. Avoid automatic transmissions.
  4. Performance. It cannot be worse in any way than a classic '65 VW Beetle. Being agile is very critical, but power never hurts either.
  5. Style. Harry is interested in cars ranging from tiny to midsize at most. Roadsters, MPVs, SUVs, pickups need not apply… utes are welcome, as are 2-door sedans and other unusual commuter layouts. A really good van would possibly work as a wildcard. And one more note. It should look… weird. Wizardly in the kooky tower dweller sense. Not magical, but quirky, unusual.
  6. Comfort. No race cars.
  7. Practicality. Magic and legs do a lot for Harry, but it needs to occasionally fit passengers. Sometimes of the large and furry sort.
Rules, Submissions, Requirements, Misc
  • Cars should be sent to me in a DM thread called “WSC-[your username here]” with the car’s model name and engine family name following the same format.
  • Given how complex this challenge already is, techpool is a simple net 35, maximum of 5 in any one area.
  • USE LEADED FUEL. Harry will add it on his own later on. Yes, that’s definitely illegal. No, he doesn’t care.
  • USE CROSS PLY TIRES. Harry will buy some radials later- for my sanity all cars will be compared with their stats on cross-ply tires. Unless you’re ignoring the premise, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Cars will be judged relative to one another, not to their era. Harry doesn’t care if you get good fuel economy for a 50s car- he cares if you’re beaten out by the 60s car that’s cheaper.
  • Don’t try to do some goofy shit like solid axles all around on a sedan to get the simplicity up.
  • Your Trim and Engine Variant years may match, or the engine may be older. No “engine swaps” where the engine is newer than the car.
  • Submissions close on Sunday Feb 19 at 11:59 PM EST.

These are mostly visual examples based on what Harry and other wizards have driven.
The Blue Beetle

The Blue Beetle (real)



All of the cars you cited for inspiration originally ran on leaded fuel, but I’m expecting Harry to require unleaded fuel anyway.

Since it’s the US (right?), what’s the expectations on cats (no, not the wizard ones), depending on trim / engine year?

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Putting together the formula in excel (firstly doesn’t work) gives me 12830 for the example car, assuming you add together RPSE rather than times. Otherwise it comes out as like 40million.

so… it could be this? But I still don’t get the 8900
(C * (R/100) * (V/1000))+(100(R+P+S+E/4) - 10 * Y)

Cross ply tyres cost more than their radial equivalents. If someone’s using CP, in 2012, then it’s going to be a vintage car, for showing, so it’s not going to be cheap to buy…or is this an alternative reality challenge?

I don’t get the rules tbh. What era of cars should they be? Are we making 2000’s cars with cross ply tyres?

I don’t see much of any restrictions unless I’m missing them, and I’ve looked in the drop-down menus

The cars cited as inspiration are from the 50s, 60s or 70s, and not from any later decade.

I have seen the inspirations but it doesn’t answer the question. The beetle was made until 2000 and the alfasud is an 70’s into 80’s car. The text reads like a 60’s or previous car is actually required with simple engineering. A range of years to use would be very helpful


Range you are looking for is likely 1946-2000s or whereabouts, but using really old technology
Inspirations are there mostly for engineering reasons and also shows what kind of design (more precisely fixtures) your entry might use

As im obviously not Doot, feel free to disregard my opinion on matter

Agh! Discourse ate my edit! There was supposed to be a range. Until I can get to it it’s mid seventies and back that don’t blow up under their own electronics, fuel is supposed to be regular or premium leaded (I believe there’s a scene where harry adds lead to the bug), tires must be cross-ply so that the cars can be compared even if one of you makes a car that physically cannot have radial tires.

As for the formula, that’s on me. Changed the maths but not the example. new one is done with addition Riley mentioned (yes, i accidentally wrote times instead of +. joys of google sheets rotting my brain), though my example uses 600 SVC as 30 would be extremely low.

Should all be up to date.


Riley, looks like there might by a syntax error. My post is wrong because I accidentally used 30 for R in one place instead of 60- should read 7250. Here should spit out the correct answer. You use reliability twice or it gets weird (counterintuitive i know)
Assuming top left is A1:

Added an automatic spreadsheet for determining your car’s cost.

Count me in. I’ve got a certain crazy idea in mind, though it probably won’t go well.


Maybe I have this right: Does net 35 mean 35 for engine, 35 car, starting with all set to 0?

35 total, spread between engine and car.


Okay, got it! Thanks.



Only one owner before me, all original condition, no rust, low mileage, light green metallic with spotless dark green interior. 1.4 litre twin carb engine with 4 speed manual, runs great. One of few wagons still on the road. If you find a better one, buy that one instead. $7025, no lowballers!


People seem content with these rules and it seems like making a car isn’t too hard. I’m probably gonna do a one-week instead of two, so submissions open now and close at 11:59 PM EST Sun Feb 19.

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In 1973 ABC were looking to make a new supernatural sitcon with aWizard as the main character. They were hoping that it would be as successful as Bewitched.

He drove a car from the Mythic Motorised Corporation…the Rincewind.

Of course, you haven’t heard about this TV programme because it was beset by multiple problems…Main characters died in mysterious circumstances…which has NOTHING to do with the car…

Anyway…I’m selling the car… $6900 ono.


1956 Keosaqua Metronome

You may have found that quirky midcentury! It’s from a company nobody remembers and even fewer can pronounce. I’m up in New Hampshire now, but when I used to be out by Yellowstone, tell ya what - set your clock by the Metronome before Old Faithful any day! An I4 with 80 ponies, dead simple. Yeah, she follows her own tune, but damn reliable and turns on the flick of a wand’s wrist.

$3113 to come pick her up today so I can get back on my Tik Tok.

($3113, I believe is the deprecated cost, please correct me when the time comes if my math is wrong.)
(This was my first effort at fitting out an interior, so hopefully not too critical to the judgement. The idea is minimalism IC anyway)