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.
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:
- Cost. It must be cheap- both to own and operate, and fuel economy is part of that.
- Reliability. This car must be able to run whenever Harry needs it, wherever Harry needs it.
- 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.
- Performance. It cannot be worse in any way than a classic '65 VW Beetle. Being agile is very critical, but power never hurts either.
- 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.
- Comfort. No race cars.
- 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.