@mm54 Now I'll use this website to waste time and money...
I've written more bios in the past three days than I have in my entire life making new accounts to keep up with Oppo.
Best posts made by Taylor Martin
RE: Introducing: Hyphen's List - the Oppo Classifieds
I'm No Longer A Teenager...
20 years ago today I was born, which is either the best or worst thing to happen depending on who you ask.
Spending the day camping on top of my car/recording another episode of Gearslip with the personal hell I call my best pal, who came all the way from Maryland to crash in my apartment, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Send cool/odd wagons!
Oppo Automation Challenge #3 Results (sorry for the delays)
Welcome to the post you've all been waiting for! Three weeks ago, I announced the criteria for this challenge: muscle cars. And now I have 15 entries, each putting their own spin on the criteria, ready to be judged and ranked.
But before we get started, let's talk about how this post will be organized, because it's going to be a LONG one, and a couple of things have been tweaked from the last round.
We'll start by introducing all 15 burly beasts, but rather than me tying out a short blurb about each one, the car's creator has conjured up something like an advertisement. They each give basic details about the car, and have their own unique tone and voice... plus, it means I no longer have to write 15 different summaries on 15 different cars. Makes my life worlds easier. Though, I may still add a detail or two if need be.
Then, I'll explain how the points system works, before ranking the cars in 10 different categories. Those categories are as follows:
- Fuel Economy
- 0-60 Times
- Power to Weight Ratio
- Visual Aesthetics Poll (as voted by Oppo)
The attentive participant will notice one of two things: first of all, I decided to keep Fuel Economy in simply because it gave people with decent gas mileage a step up, and balance out the power-hungry loonies with the more conservative designs. I say decent, however, since only one person managed to crack 10.
I also opted to add the Power to Weight Ratio section because I was curious, and the results were interesting. You'd think the better the 0-60 time, the better the power to ratio would be... but you'd be wrong...
And then, after all the results are in and points are scored, I'll go through the rankings, say thank you to every participant, and announce our winner. Excited? Hopefully so, because I certainly am!
So, after a plethora of photographs, monumental amounts of math, and my delicious egg and bacon breakfast, may I present to you the 15 competitors (in no particular order).
The 1970 Lansing Gazelle 342 Presented by @Essextee
Who says high performance can't be refined? We took the high-prestige Gazelle you know and love and fitted it with our NEW Powercam 342 V8. That number is both the displacement and the power output! The PowerCam's patented Overhead Cam Advantage means you can keep revving long after the competition has floated their valves, and standard radial tires and Auto-Lok (TM) rear end help you put that 358lb-ft of torque down. All this can be yours for a price that will leave your neighbor wondering you got that big promotion.
The 1965 Pacific Vortex Sport 444 Presented by @CivicWagonEngineer
The 1965 Vortex Sport 444 with premium interior and sporting exceptional exterior styling. With Pacific's own XL 444 V8 engine producing a class-leading 358 horsepower paired to our ultra-smooth 4-speed manual transmission, and double-wishbone front suspension makes driving the Vortex a breeze. Pacific Vortex: Perfect for date night...and the drag strip.
The 1969 TSV Stryker 336 GT Presented by @t0ast
Introducing the brand-new 1969 TSV Stryker - An action car for action people! It may look small, but it’s big where it counts: The top-of-the-line 336 GT version features our Little Giant V8 (336 CID, 348hp/352lb-ft), SuperShift 4-speed transmission, the latest aerodynamic technology, a luxurious interior with a premium sound system, and striking paint colors like “Electric Green” as shown here with optional racing stripes. It’s ready to hit the road, or the track! Stop by your local TSV dealer today and get started on your own Stryker adventure!
The 1970 Tigre B 4.4 HO Presented by @Longtime-Lurker
New for 1970 The SK Motors Tigre featuring the revised 4.4 HO B-block V8 that makes a punchy 257 horsepower. This lightweight 2+2 muscle car weighs in at just over 3000lbs, and will be the center of attention on the street and on the track.
The 1970 Oppocar Wombat 628 Presented by @MM54
Introducing the new Oppocar Wombat 628! The latest addition to the top of the Wombat line of midsize cars, this machine comes with the largest and most powerful engine we've ever put into production - a 628 cubic inch V8, with enough power to make you the undisputed king of the street. A four-speed floor shift transmission is standard, along with a limited-slip rear axle, and the widest tires we could find to get that pavement-tearing ferocity to the ground. Inside, you'll find the comfort you know from the rest of our lineup - with seating for five, and the safety you deserve - seat belts for all passengers, a padded dashboard, and a collapsible steering column. But you'll forget all about that - and all the other cars on the street - every time you put your foot down.
The 1970 Ascender Jupiter Presented by @Zenith2455
The 1969 Ascender Jupiter, Ascender's first attempt at a faster more muscle car. The Jupiter is a 4 door 6 seater easily capable of 210kph/130mph+. Powering the Jupiter to such blistering speeds is an, made inhouse and very unique, 5238cc/320ci V6 making 231hp at redline (which is at 3800rpm) and 326lb-ft of torque at 2700rpm. With the 6 seats and a good size trunk, and a reasonable price tag, it's a practical muscle car that the whole family can enjoy. Come and pick yours up today. (Editor's note: also comes standard with light-up door handles, which can be used in place of faulty side blinkers).
The 1970 Vulcan Motors Banshee Presented by @Snuze
Nice boys don't play rock 'n roll. They don't stay out late. And they definitely don't drive fast cars. In other words, they don't have any fun. But the 1970 Vulkan Banshee offers fun in spades thanks to its patented Thunder Power V8 engine. With two 4 barrel carburetors feeding the narrow 60-degree cylinder banks, and overhead camshafts providing rock-solid valvetrain stability, it pumps out an impressive 352 HP at a screaming 5,700 RPMs. Couple that with a close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission and 3.48 rear and you have the recipe for a zero to sixty in a blistering 5.8 seconds. The Banshee also features 4 wheel disc brakes, radial tires, and an AM radio to play that rock 'n roll loud. So go ahead, show everybody that you're not a nice boy.
The 1965 Cocher El Quemador Presented by @awa54
The Cocher (pronounced "koshay", though some still erroneously believe it to be "Kosher") El Quemador is a flaming hot drag car, even "box stock"! Tuned to deliver the exhilarating performance you've come to expect from the Cocher Cars Competition Program. As with previous CCCP tuned vehicles, engine parts have been reinforced, intake and exhaust systems optimized and chassis dynamics are tuned for the track. Heck, you could probably paint a number on the side and start winning races tomorrow!*
Exᴄᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴘᴏsᴛᴇᴅ sᴘᴇᴇᴅ ʟɪᴍɪᴛs ɪs ɴᴏᴛ sᴜɢɢᴇsᴛᴇᴅ ɴᴏʀ ᴇɴᴅᴏʀsᴇᴅ ʙʏ Cᴏᴄʜᴇʀ Mᴏᴛᴏʀs. Cᴏᴄʜᴇʀ Mᴏᴛᴏʀs ɪɴ ɴᴏ ᴡᴀʏ ᴇɴᴅᴏʀsᴇs ᴀɴʏ ꜰᴏʀᴍs ᴏꜰ ʀᴀᴄɪɴɢ ɴᴏᴛ ᴏꜰꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟʟʏ sᴀɴᴄᴛɪᴏɴᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴀ ᴍᴏᴛᴏʀsᴘᴏʀᴛ ᴏꜰꜰɪᴄɪᴀᴛɪɴɢ ʙᴏᴅʏ. Tʜᴇ Eʟ Qᴜᴇᴍᴀᴅᴏʀ S/E, ᴅᴏᴇs ɴᴏᴛ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴇǫᴜɪᴘᴘᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʀᴀᴄᴇ ᴀᴘᴘʀᴏᴠᴇᴅ sᴀꜰᴇᴛʏ ꜰᴇᴀᴛᴜʀᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴏᴇs ɴᴏᴛ ᴍᴇᴇᴛ SCCA ᴏʀ NASCAR ʀᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴs. Dʀɪᴠɪɴɢ ᴀɴʏ Cᴏᴄʜᴇʀ Mᴏᴛᴏʀs ᴠᴇʜɪᴄʟᴇ ɪɴ ᴀ ʀᴀᴄᴇ, sᴀɴᴄᴛɪᴏɴᴇᴅ ᴏʀ ᴜɴsᴀɴᴄᴛɪᴏɴᴇᴅ ᴠᴏɪᴅs ᴀʟʟ ᴡᴀʀʀᴀɴᴛɪᴇs, ᴇxᴘʀᴇss ᴏʀ ɪᴍᴘʟɪᴇᴅ.
The 1970 Sunsatar Spectre Presented by @CB
Sunstar, the Glorious Republic of Squandish's sovereign car brand, has heard your cries for fancy American muscle and have built the 1970 Spectre! A large engine and four-speed manual transmission connect you to the road, while the bench seats allow for you and five comrades to go and count trees together. Unlike spiteful America, we are more than glad to export this car through our compatriot K-Mart and their catalog. Buy today and be the talk of the block! But not too much talk. That will get you sent to the beet fields.
The 1969 Inmahday Grandpaa Presented by @CarsOfFortLangley
This.... is the 1969 Inmahday Grandpaa. The last year for this generation which debuted in 1965, Inmahday saved the best for last. Relive the glory of the 60’s as we enter the 70’s in this classic two-door liftback muscle car with sports car influences. The Grandpaa gets 295hp and 310lb feet of torque from its 5.0L Boomer SuperDeluxe V8 engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Keeping that power in check is the race-tuned suspension, sport tires, and large vented disc brakes on all four corners. The Grandpaa’s last production year brings a number of special additions, including an upgraded AM/FM radio and special copper paint with a black stripe that enhances the lines of the car.
The 1966 Beckerman Hauler Presented by @Jawzx2
What do you get when you combine a traditional large family sedan with plenty of room in the back seat and trunk with the most modern metallurgy and engine technology available in America? The 1966 Beckerman Hauler. The Hauler is the no-compromises family car you've been searching for. Comfortable accommodations for 5 (or more!) people and a trunk large enough to swallow those passengers' luggage for a week long road trip, powered by a surprisingly efficient and brutally powerful 6-liter flat-plane-crank Ve ate-8 V8 engine. The Beckerman Hauler is sure to let your neighbors in the suburbs know you're a man of taste every morning as you leave for work. And when it's time to take the family on a trip to see the Grand Canyon the Hauler will eat up the miles at rates considered highly illegal in all 50 states of this Great Country, effortlessly. The Beckerman Hauler: Compromise is for the weak.
The 1969 Leopard Coupe Presented by @CaptDale-is-secretly-British
Do you ever feel the need to overcompensate? Do you feel lacking in certain departments, whether socially or…. Physically? Well, we have the car for you! The all-new 1969 Leopard Coupe will tell everyone you are simultaneously more wealthy than them and better in bed than them without you actually being so. Leopard is the world’s leading aphrodisiac and with its rigid shape, everyone will know how big a … connoisseur of fine automobiles you are today. So stop by in your local Leopard dealership and see how you measure up, we WILL have the right car for you.
The 1970 Luxo Barge MKIV Presented by @kgman
The all-new 1970 Luxo Barge MKIV caters to the needs of the enthusiast who is ready for the best of the best. With state-of-the-art front disk brakes, 2 sporty doors, a fuel-sipping 4 barrel carburetor, and 5 seats so that the family can enjoy the fun too, the Barge MKIV will let you have your cake and eat it too. With a 7.5 liter V8 and a responsive 4-speed manual, you can be sure that you'll get to where you are going faster than the next guy. (Editors note: This thing is fricking huge)
The 1970 Madillac Mharger Presented by @ItalianJobR53
410 hp @ 4400 RPM, 505 lbft @ 4200 RPM from a 500ci (8.2L) cast iron V8!
Its got Aluminum heads, forged internals AND front disc brakes which are essential to stop this 140+ mph muscle car. Heavy-duty brake pads ensure no brake fade and sport tires help to keep this brute on the road! (Editor's note: this is the most powerful car on the grid, and the only one to crack 400hp. Impressive, to say the least).
The 1970 XMA 380 Presented by @save_the_milanos
For 1970 Car Makers of America (CMA) present their greatest motoring achievement yet, the 1970 XMA, or eXtreme Metaphor for America. This monstrously overpowered and wasteful pile of pure awesome is powered by an all-aluminum 8-liter V8 engine making nearly 400 horsepower, and enough torque to start the earth’s rotation! Because a car like this can only exist in the good old USA, the XMA only comes in a red, white, and blue paint job. With a 0-60 time only limited by the traction of the 275mm wide rear tires, and a top speed limited by your nerves, no one messes with the XMA! Designed only for Speed, Power, and Pleasure, the XMA has the minimum federal safety equipment and only comes as a two-seat coupe. But the XMA is more than just a straight-line performer, its 4 wheel disk brakes, independent front suspension, and a semi-trailing arm rear make for a car that’s just as fast in the twisties as on the drag strip. Are you American enough for the XMA? Stop by your local CMA dealer to find out!
And there they are! All 15 of our wonderful cars, some from the states, and some from abroad (surprisingly). Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty math!
As previously mentioned, there are 10 categories, and points will be awarded depending on where someone places in that particular category. For now, let's just say that category is Drivability.
- 1st place will receive 100 points
- 2nd place will receive 80 points
- 3rd place will receive 65 points
- 4th place will receive 55 points
- 5th place will receive 50 points
- points continue to decrease by increments of 5
- 13th place will receive 10 points
- 14th place will receive 5 points
- 15th place will receive 0 points (tough luck)
But there's one other factor to consider... me.
Feast your faces on the 1970 Angler Queens presented by yours truly. Powered by one of two V6s in the lineup, yet still manages to churn out 372 horsepower and 414lb/ft of torque. Since I knew what this challenge was going to be before you all did, and I can see all your stats the moment you submit your car, it'd be wildly unfair for me to participate. But, naturally, I still wanted to make a car and judge it, to see where it stacks up against all of you.
In short: anyone who can Beat the Queens in a certain stat will receive +5 bonus points. Consider it a reward for beating me at my own game.
Right! I think that covers all the formalities and introductions. Now it's time to show off each cars stats, award points, and reveal the top three cars in each different category, starting with:
No matter what kind of car it is, being able to drive it without breaking your back is important. Muscle cars, even with their hardcore appeal, are no exception to the rule. Though, none of these cars are going to handle like a feather even on their best days.
Coming in third place with a score of 33.9 is the XMA 380, followed by a tie for second: The TSV Stryker and the Vulcan Motors Banshee, each with a 34.5 score. But the Cocher El Quemador ends up most drivable of this undrivable bunch, with a 35.6 Drivability score! Well done!
Final Drivability Scores (provided by Google Sheets since I don't feel like copying and pasting every single number):
Now we're getting into the true bread and butter of the muscle car. However, the Sportiness statistic is determined by a ton of things, including the suspension tuning... but the real sportiness killer is wheelspin, making cars uncontrollable. The top three managed to keep their power in check, keeping their cars immensely fun while staying somewhat controlled.
In third place is the TSV Stryker with a Sportiness Score of 34, and in second, the XMA 380 with a score of 34.9. But in first place, with a score of 39.1, is the Inmahday Grandpaa. Reliving the past never felt so cool
Final Sportiness Scores:
A staple of the era is soft, squishy suspension. Like riding on a fluffy cloud, or a marshmallow. So even aggressively powerful muscle cars ought to be somewhat comfy if they want people to buy them... keyword "somewhat."
In third place, with a score of 14.3, is the XMA 380. In second, with a score of 15.4, is the TSV Stryker. And in first, with a score of 15.9, the Tigre B 4.4 HO... it's a good thing low comfort isn't a huge issue among muscle car buyers.
Final Comfort Scores:
While Comfort may not be a big deal, Prestige is vital to a muscle car's success. it's okay to break your back if you look ridiculously cool doing it (with a flashy interior or a high-quality engine), which explains why a ton of these scores are very high.
The TSV Stryker and the Luxo Barge tie for third, each with a score of 39.7 (the Luxo has lots of room for luxury features, that's for sure). And in second, with a score of 40.1, is the Pacific Vortex Sport. But those are no mate for the 49.9 Prestige Score boasted by the ultra-luxurious XMA 380.
Final Prestige Scores:
The careful reader will have noticed that the same three cars have been running away with the competition, snagging top three spots almost every time... this is where things may start evening out. More things in a car mean more things that can go wrong. More power in the engine means more gas that needs to be guzzled, and more features packed inside means a larger price tag. We're now entering the great equalizer... zone...
In third place is the Madillac Mharger with a score of 57, which is impressive since the Madillac also boasts the most powerful engine. In second, you'll find that the commies and their Sunstar Spectre beat out most of the 'muricans , with a score of 58 (not quite as high as the Sunstar Hatchy's 64.3 score, but still up there). But the muscle car that'll last the longest, with a score of 57.8, is the Ascender Jupiter. A car for families that may very well outlive the family.
Final Reliability Scores:
Sidenote: shoutout to @CarsOfFortLangley for managing to make the least reliable car the past two competitions. That's an achievement in and of itself.
Make no mistake, none of these are fuel sippers. They all guzzle gas faster than... something that guzzles... I'm not great with metaphors or similes. The point is, this category is also included as an equalizer, and I feel obligated to reward anyone who managed to make their beefy engines somewhat sensible... somewhat.
In third, getting 9.3mpg is the Beckerman Hauler, which accurately advertised its surprisingly economical engine. In second, the Ascender Jupiter manages 9.9mpg. But the real winner here is the one car that managed to crack 10mpg, the incredibly economical (not really) Cocher El Quemador (which I'm just now learning translates to "The Burner" which is very cool! Good thing it burns fuel less than the rest).
Final Fuel Economy Scores:
Everyone wants power, but power often comes at a cost. Good muscle cars thrive on being able to provide loads of power without breaking the buyer's bank. Any rich punk can go and buy a big expensive engine, but real muscle is about the working people behind the wheel.
In third place, costing only $17,900 and providing over 400hp, is the powerful Madillac Mharger. For anyone simply looking for horses under their hood, this is an exceptional choice. Second place goes to the Beckerman Hauler, at $17,300. Perfect for growing families in need of a fun vehicle! And in first, with a price tag of $16,500, is the Inmahday Grandpaa.
And now we'll hop back into what makes a muscle car a muscle car: straight-line speed. Who needs to be comfortable or even take a corner if you can simply plow past your rivals at every stoplight? That being said, there were a ton of ties, including a three-way tie for first. And since I didn't want to award 3 people 100 points, I broke those ties by using Automation's Estimated Top Speed calculation when needed. After all, someone would eventually pull ahead.
In third, with a 0-60 time of 5.59, is the Lansing Gazelle. Not too far behind the three-way tie for first between the Pacific Vortex Sport, Luxo Barge (shockingly), and the Oppocar Wombat. However, the Pacific Vortex and the Luxo Barge only manage to get up to 169mph, while the Oppocar can hit 174mph, making it the fastest car out the gate (on paper, that is. I know someone tested every car, so we'll see how these numbers line up with their experimentation... I simply didn't have time to do that. If anyone wants to be my Stig and can perfectly drive around a specified BeamNG track please let me know).
Final 0-60 Times:
Power to Weight Ratio
Another category with some surprising results. You'd think this category would have similar results to the 0-60 times. Cars with better Power/Weight Ratios are better off the line... right? Well, while flat-out power is important, it's more about how that power is used.
Coming in third, with a P/W ratio of .1088, is the TSV Stryker, which only misses the XMA 380 by roughly .0004, which managed a .1091 P/W ratio. But coming in on top is the Vulcan Motors Banshee, which managed to get the P/W ratio up to .12, an incredibly respectable number. Well done to anyone who managed to get their P/W ratio over .1, that's pretty good all things considered.
Final Power To Weight Ratios:
Visual Aestetics Poll
Lastly, and arguably most importantly, the looks. Everyone did a phenomenal job with their designs, truly. There was only one car I thought looked ugly, and that was done partially on purpose. But my vote isn't the only one. 32 Oppos shared their opinions, so whether you participated or are simply spectating, thank you for your input and participation.
The placement is determined by where your car was on average. If someone said your car was the 1st best looking, another person said it was the 2nd best looking, and another person said it was the 3rd best looking, your average would be 2. There weren't any cars that truly ran away with this, which means all of them were fantastic, but now, may I present the best looking cars according to you:
In third place, with an average position of 5.84, is the Pacific Vortex Sport. In second, the TSV Stryker, with an average position of 5.69... though it was only .3 short of stealing the victory from the XMA 380, with an average position of 5.66.
Final Visual Aesthetics Results:
No bonus points were awarded since my car wasn't submitted to this category, though I don't think it was any match for some of these... Well done to all the cars in this category.
And well done to all the cars in every category, because that was the last one. All the points have been awarded, all the math has been done, all the results are in and now... it's time to reveal the standings:
15th - The Leopard Coupe: 245pts
While it is a beautiful car, the design sparked some controversy among Oppos who claimed it wasn't a true muscle car, and it had a hard time competing against the other cars, particularly in power. You brought a knife to a gun fight, and now it's no secret that you're secretly British
14th - The Madillac Mharger: 260pts
While the engine and power produced is absolutely phenomenal, the Madillac simply couldn't drive, was unbearable to sit in, and chugged fuel. I was surprised and double-checked the math, but it checks out. Three last-place finishes certainly did a number on your score. Maybe all power isn't the answer after all.
13th - The Sunstar Spectre: 265pts
So, at the end of the day, commies can't do muscle cars quite like Americans can. That being said, it's incredibly reliable, but ended up being average or awful at everything else. Still, was quite pleased to see the Sunstar badge return. Soon I'll have a collection of the most eclectic Russian cars out there.
12th - The Luxo Barge MKIV: 330pts
Big. That's the only word that runs through my head. Yet it's also surprisingly fast and remarkably luxurious. But the lack of any sort of practicality, and the low Drivability/Sportiness scores ended up putting you closer to the bottom... bigger may not always be better... but I'll never get over how big that thing is... big...
11th - The Ascender Jupiter: 345pts
The Ascender isn't exactly a powerhouse, taking last place in the 0-60 and P/W Ratio categories... but it is one of the most practical and reasonable vehicles on the roster by far. If I wasn't looking for power, just a simple A-B with a larger engine, the Jupiter would make a wonderful choice.
10th - The Beckerman Hauler: 365pts
The top 10 begins with Beckerman, another incredibly large boat of a car with a lovely interior (though the interior fixtures don't exactly translate to in-game prestige). It's not great at anything, with the exception of Fuel Economy, but it's acceptable. It'll always do what it needs to do. And you can take pride in knowing your car had the coolest color scheme.
9th - The Inmahday Grandpa: 370pts
Vintage and beige, the Inmahday dug itself into a deep hole after coming last in the Comfort and Prestige categories, but clawed out with decent power scores and remarkable Sportiness. All at an incredibly low price! The Inmahday was one of three cars that managed to take first place in 2 different categories, but its ridiculously low Reliability Score kept it from pulling any further ahead (23.3 is just... wow... That's almost as bad as the Crappo).
8th - The Oppocar Wombat: 435pts
Statistically, the Wombat is the fastest off the line and, therefore, is the best drag car here... that doesn't take into account the driver or the wheelspin, but you should be pleased that the algorithm and math of Automation deemed you worthy of such power. And the Wombat performed adequately in almost every other category. A little more Sportiness, and some extra MPGs would've done this car wonders, but it's still a wonderful machine.
7th - The Lansing Gazelle: 445pts
First of all, this is my favorite-looking car. The details are stunning and the color palette is subtle yet sublime. Incredible work. The Gazelle held its own in the 0-60 times and power categories, but didn't excel at anything else. In short: it's a very reasonable muscle car... in fact, it placed 7th, which makes it the average. Neither good, nor bad (though I think this leans towards good).
6th - The Tigre B 4.4 HO: 455pts
While not exactly the most powerful, the Tigre was the class leader in comfort. Granted, that's not a stat most power-craving muscle car enthusiasts care about, but I think that's still commendable. It's reasonably practical/affordable and above average when it comes to Sportiness/Drivability, and makes a very appropriate pick.
5th - The Pacific Vortex Sport 444: 465pts
We now enter the top 5 with the Pacific (one of the many dark green muscle cars in this challenge), which makes up for its low low Sportiness Score with good looks and strong performance figures, as well as an uber-luxurious interior. Likely an issue with the suspension tuning, but if that Sportiness Score had been high, this car could've very well managed a top 3 spot. Still, well done!
4th - The Cocher El Quemador: 470pts
You joke in your ad that people call it "Kosher," but I've been pronouncing it "Cocker" from the start... though it's certainly not a car that dicks around (pun absolutely intended). The Cocher is the leader in Drivability and Fuel Economy, which are two massive areas buyers would look at. Though muscle car buyers are all about that power, and while your car wasn't slow, it wasn't fast either. This is one of the few cars on this list that isn't actually bad at anything. It's just less good.
The Top 3...
I'm getting all excited...
Here they are:
3rd - The TSV Stryker 336 GT: 535pts
Out of the 10 categories judged, the TSV took 6 top-three finishes, 2 second place spots and 4 third place spots... wow... It's kryptonite was the expensive price tag that all those podium places would cost, and the Fuel Economy of the 5.5L V8. Still, with excellent marks in almost every category, and lovely looks (though I'm personally not a huge fan of the vomit green color), the TSV absolutely deserves a spot on the podium.
2rd - The Vulcan Motors Banshee: 540pts
Unlike the TSV, the Banshee only took 2 top three positions, but this car stands as a testament that being good at everything is better than being excellent at some things and awful at others... a jack of all trades but master of none is better than a master of one. Trimming some dollars off the price tag would've helped widen the gap between the TSV and the Banshee... but it likely wouldn't have been enough to snag first...
May I present to you...
And the ultimate champion of the universe...
The XMA 380: 590pts
It doesn't need to act as a metaphor for the American dream, it is the American dream. With 5 podium finishes out of the 10 categories (2 first, 2 second, 1, third), the XMA dominated the competition. It's powerful, it's drivable, it's downright beautiful. It's also remarkably expensive, the most expensive car in the competition, but with looks like that... the price tag might just be worth it.
Give me a second, I've been typing/taking photos for...
I told you this is a process, but it truly is a labor of love. To the 15 people who participated, the 32 people who voted, and the folks reading this now, thank you for making this all worthwhile. Here, have the three cars I used to test out this ruleset the Angler Queens (left), the Angler Bronx (middle) and the Angler Brooklyn (right):
And, as an added treat, our very own @EssExTee snapped some wonderful pictures of the cars on the track during the unofficial Beam NG Race yesterday. Next time I hope to actually get a video of it... but that would tack on an extra week to the whole process soooo... probably not.
In case your curious, the TSV Stryker (presented by @t0ast) ended up being the fastest car on the track, which was determined over two different races. Followed by @EssExTee in his Lansing Gazelle, and then @ItalianJobR53 in the 410hp Madillac Mharger. Was a fun set of races, and to those who were there, I'm very sorry there were so many technical difficulties...
But with that... it's all over...
Remember, the next challenge will be released on April 1st! You won't want to miss it, I think it'll be an absolute hoot! But until then, congratulations to the winners. Go bask in the glory. And thanks again
I Drew A Sentra
My buddy has a 2011 Nissan Sentra in half decent condition (he's no mechanic). But he loves the car and he loves power washing stuff, I think he and Svend would get along quite nicely. Well, his birthday rolled in around Christmas so I decided to doodle his car:
He's a huge Raven's fan, actually works as a groundskeeper at the stadium, hence the purple background, but the car itself is named Rey after the player Rey Lewis. That's the "Rey" part of the player's signature. Pretty happy with how it turned out, though you'd all get a kick out of it too.
Other than seeing this pal and racing him at an indoor speedway (there were less than 10 people in the building on a Friday morning), today was pretty meh. I just woke up from a 7-hour nap and now I'm pretty sure I've ruined my sleep schedule and am now nocturnal. I've done everything in my power to put off schoolwork, and now I have no choice but to do it. And I think I'm getting ghosted by the one person I matched with, though that may just be me overthinking.
Goodnight... or in my case, Goodmorning!
I'm Going Through A Software Update...
As an unemployed 20-year-old with a near-flawless immune system, this may come as a surprise, but I have one ace up my sleeve: I live in Florida where half the population doesn't believe in Covid.
I walked into my local Walmart a couple of weeks ago and said "if anyone misses their appointment/doesn't come to get one/you have a spare dose you need to get rid of, stick it in me." Well, today they had an opening, and now I'm updating my software to prevent viruses.
Taking the next few days to myself. Fully expecting to run a fever. Making shrimp. Happy happy day!
Pro Tip: Don't wear a long sleeve shirt on the day of your shot.
Photos From Todays Camping Adventures
As I've made you all aware, I'm camping for my birthday today with my best buddy Bob. We're recording an episode of Gearslip based on our adventure, so you'll see the whole trip at some point (so far we lit a stove on fire 3 times in a row, met some chickens/goats/pigs, and have been bitten by bugs. A grand day out).
Anyways, these are all the photos I've got so far. Lots of videos to sort through. Not many pictures. But the ones we have are darn good, so here you go:
(Photos in backward chronological order)
Tomorrow we ride horses at 9:30am, so that should be fun.
Maryland-Florida: A Long And Legendary Four Day Road Trip (Big Post With Many Photos)
This is going to be a real beefy post, but I'll try to scatter as many photos as I can to make up for the reading. Buckle in.
Just a few days before Christmas, I made the 13h straight shot from FL to MD to spend the holidays with those I hold dear. It'd been a lovely month-long trip, safely spending time with friends and family, and also getting a much-needed break from Florida heat.
But for my dad, the cool crisp air wasn't ideal for him. You see, a few months before he invested in a rooftop tent, intending to camp in it for days at a time... but MD is friggin cold at night, especially in January... so he pitched an idea. We go on a father-son camping trip, and then I take it all back to FL with me.
So I spent the day before packing the car.
And when I say packed, I do mean packed. The quickest way to slam your car is to fill it with stuff. Some of the goodies included a 12v fridge, an electric generator, a propane stove with 2 burners, cookware, chairs, a canopy, and a ton of other camping goodies. We had everything we needed to make sure the trip was enjoyable and nothing went wrong...
That being said, a lot of stuff could've gone catastrophically wrong...
It started when I woke up on day 1 of the trip, a 7-hour stilt to Asheville NC. I'd gotten 4 hours of non-consecutive sleep on a very small couch and then started dry heaving for literally no reason. Bad cramps maybe. That passed quick enough where I could safely get on the road... That is, until I heard my brakes squeak.
With 600lbs of stuff in the rear and 130lbs of tent on the roof, bad brakes are no joke. I was breaking on a hill when I heard it, and it only happened one time (my brakes were actually pretty good considering the added weight), but it was a good wake-up call to make sure I was well aware of the state of my car. After all, rugged roads and packed trunks aren't exactly what the SportWagon was built for (though Iris tackled it like a champ).
So, we set off. I had to tail my dad because he had the faster route on his GPS, but he loves chilling in the middle lane... It got tedious at some points, like consistently being stuck behind a slow driver... but oh well.
The drive to Asheville wasn't all that thrilling. Lots of music and phone calls. And a gas stop where we ate leftover Papa Johns that'd been sitting in our minifridge.
We arrived at campsite 1 just before sundown, which wasn't a campsite at all.
My dad's old colleagues, who are richer than I'll ever be in my life, bought and live in the Rumbough House in NC, a historic home that was built in 1892.
It was in shambles when they got to it and have spent the past 2 years, and a lot of quarantine, getting the thing show-ready. We were some of the first to see it, as one of the hosts is immunocompromised
And what do these uber-rich home renovators drive you may ask?
A 15-year-old Mercedes G-Wagon with just 80k miles on it. They don't drive much anymore, not just because of the pandemic, but because they... don't. They used that car to get from their home in FL to their home in NC before they sold the home in FL, which is how most of the miles racked up.
A very cute, small, and horny dog also lives in the house. Picture for perspective:
Fun fact: see these stained glass windows?
On homes built long ago, stained glass was used on the outside. However, that big door leads to the master bedroom, which indicates that wasn't a part of the original build. I thought that was neat!
We also had a delicious pot roast. I would've taken pictures, but I hate being that guy who photographs their meals. We scoffed it down and went right to bed.
Night 1 in the tent was alright. It was windy as hell, 30mph gusts. My dad kept reassuring me the tent would hold up, and it did, but boy was it loud. The good news is that was the worst night's sleep I got on the trip (with the exception of the night before on the couch, if you consider that part of the trip).
We woke up to delicious eggs, warm cocoa, and Peugeot salt shakers (as previously posted) before starting the day's activities.
Now, the original plan was to drive 4 hours to the border of TN and take "The Tail Of The Dragon." It's on my bucket list, and because we didn't actually go, it still is. I know, can I claim to love driving if I didn't take the opportunity to go. Well, there are a few reasons:
- Gas is expensive in Asheville, and I didn't want to burn a bunch to go out of the way.
- It's winter, the trees are dead, and because my dad was with me and I had a tent on the car, I wasn't going to try and put in a fast time.
- A bunch of school assignments loomed in the distance, so I needed to get that work done instead.
I'll get around to it another time. Instead, we spent what time I had that day exploring Asheville NC, a place where more people wear masks outside than not... it was pretty surreal.
And by "explore Asheville," I mean we parked, walked into an Art Gallery, and spent time looking at a ton of weird, high society crap...
If you can't tell by my general demeanor, dinged-up car, and long hair, I'm not that classy. So spending thousands of dollars on art makes absolutely no sense to me. That being said, there were beautiful pieces. Landscapes are my favorite, art that doesn't make you think about what it is.
There were also mugs, one of which I bought for 45 bucks... it's now the most expensive mug in my growing collection.
And there were a few automotive pieces as well:
I think that's either a Lancia or an Alfa... I'm not good at pinning cars to names. The title doesn't say either, it's just A Pack Of Wolves And The Smell Of Gasoline. This was the largest piece in the gallery too. Pretty neat.
And then there's this whale. Unsuspecting at first, but if you look closer...
We finished being bourgeois, packed up the tent, and got back on the road. Because we nixed The Tail Of The Dragon from the itinerary, we only spent 2 hours on the road, and I made it with 50 miles of gas to spare.
Our next stop was an actual campground, Twin Lakes in SC... and golly was it nice...
We arrived, again, just before sundown. I set up the tent and climbed in to do schoolwork while dad whipped up dinner. If you're interested in food subscription services, Hello Fresh is wonderful. Brings ingredients to your door, you put it all together and presto! Perfect portions too.
And not too long after we scoffed down some spaghetti, we went to bed.
Day 3 arrives. I spent most of the morning making a proper fire... ooga booga...
And after sitting, relaxing, and slowing down, me and my dad finally part ways. Hugs are exchanged, and then he set off, as I was about to when I notice something quite disturbing...
My driver's side back tire lost 7psi overnight, from 33 down to 26.
Luckily, we were pretty close to a town with junk car dealerships and auto parts. You know, our view of paradise. Drove about 10 miles, viciously studying the digital tire pressure gauge on my dash. Because I drove the car, the air heated up and expanded, so my PSI went up even in the tire with a puncture. Bought a small, 12V air compressor and filled up the tire a bit more than usual, then set off for my third stop: Atlanta GA. Another quick 2-hour drive.
This wasn't just any typical trip to Atlanta though, this was special because it was an Oppo Meet. Me and @WhoIsTheLeader got together, though not without a few hiccups. For starters, there was an accident just before the last intersection I had to cross to get where we were meeting, which left me stuck... kind of...
You see, I could've just pulled around like all the other crazy Atlanta drivers were, but I didn't. Instead, me and Who teamed up to get the car out of the road. She didn't want to start it, and I don't blame her. The front was crumpled and the airbags deployed, but we could get it into neutral with the override lock and push it down the hill, which worked well enough. Call it a good deed for the day to mask the fact that I'm a ridiculously bad person...
After dealing with that, Who gave me a guided tour of the city, starting at a cemetery (a fine place to meet a stranger), passing by some legendary street art, and accidentlying ourselves to Ponce City Market.
One of the restaurants had some real good steak quesadillas... yum.
If you ever get around to it, you ought to safely meet your fellow Oppo... they're pretty cool. You can read Who's side of the story here, but we soon parted ways, and I drove 1 more hour to my final campsite: my aunt and uncle's driveway.
One of these days I'll do a writeup on their place, because it's legendary, but here's all you need to know:
- My uncle is a Delta pilot, and also stupid rich.
- They live on a grass airstrip and have their own hangar.
- He built a kit plane.
- He restored a Chevelle (oh my god it's pretty).
- They have a big driveway.
I slept like a rock that night, though it had been the busiest day (did a lot of stuff, didn't do a lot of driving).
And I wake up the next morning, ready to complete the final leg of the journey from GA to FL, a 6.5-hour drive I'd done many times before... well... almost.
I checked the pressure in the tire and, much to my dismay, it'd gone down again. I inspected the tire and sprayed soapy water and found no holes, but I knew there was one... somewhere... So, I whipped out the perfect tool for this very predicament: the space-saving tire repair kit that came with the car!
It's a hose that also sprays sealant, that way it'd patch up the hole and fill it with air at the same time. Wonderful! Or so I thought...
I punctured my tire 4 years too late, as the sealant had long since expired. I filled it up with enough air to get me to Discount Tire in hopes they'd inspect it... and they would... at 3:15pm. By the time I arrived it was 10:00, which meant I had a couple of options:
- Play the waiting game and bring the car back in the afternoon.
- Buy a little sealant from the store and patch it myself.
- Fill it with just air and keep on trucking.
Because I don't trust myself with even the simplest of repairs, and I didn't want to chance a blowout at highway speeds with thousands of dollars worth of stuff in my car, I decided to leave it to the experts. Carefully drove back to my aunt and uncle's place and did a lot of school work... if you couldn't tell by my desktop, I really like my car.
Time ticked by, I ate a sandwich, and soon I left for good, heading for my 3:15 appointment at Discount Tire, where they'd inspect and, if they could, fix it for free! A couple of the service writers were chatting about stuff and passed by my car. I didn't hear much, but I did hear "didn't know Acura ever made wagons." Call me a narcissist, but owning a car that service writers and mechanics haven't seen before is pretty nifty to me...
Speaking of mechanics, shout out to Cam.
The environment of this place was very militaristic and very masculine. Tough guys making bad jokes about how tough they are, yelling and swearing and taunting. It didn't scream professionalism, nor did their work. Every car they worked on they absolutely blew through, doing what I can only assume was a half-baked job... and then there was Cam.
He must've been new, but he very methodically checked my tire, carefully used the machinery, didn't yell or chat with colleagues. He just did what he needed to do and he did a brilliant job. Found a massive nail in the tire I couldn't spot because 1.) my suspension was slammed and 2.) it was further back on the tread. Pulled it out, fixed it up, didn't bicker with me when I asked him to use 80lb/ft of torque instead of 90 (90 for the sedan, 80 for the wagon). He made my day, and eased my mind as I set off for one last drive.
Now, I get pretty tired when I drive because I use my brain. If you're not feeling a bit fatigued, you're not focusing enough. That being said, I definitely hit my limit on the way home and actually got exhausted.
I stopped for dinner at Waffle House, a tradition of mine, about halfway home. Also had to get gas, so I might as well have. But the rest of the trip from there felt like an eternity. Every minute that passed felt like 5 minutes, and I found myself constantly struggling to keep my mind off of the time (time goes by faster when you're not staring at a clock). Those were the signs I'd hit my limit, as was the constant blinking I had to do to keep my eyes from drying up. But I kept moving, cause if I stopped I likely wouldn't have gotten back on the road until the sun came up.
20 some hours of driving and 290 songs later (started in MD, ended in FL) , I pulled into my apartment complex, safe and sound, at 11pm and spent the next 2 hours unpacking the trunk/organizing all my goodies. I also met my roommate's new cat, named Kipo, based on a Dreamworks animated show that's actually really good called Kipo: Age Of Wonderbeasts. It's on Netflix.
So, after a long and comfy night's sleep, let's reflect. What exactly did I learn this trip... Well:
- I don't like taking pictures. Makes me feel like a tourist.
- Papa Johns is really good cold
- I'll never live in a mansion
- Abstract Art is just a fancy way of saying tax break
- I can make fire unga unga
- School sucks, but at least it's online so I can go wherever
- My tire repair kit is expired
- I don't hate cities, they're very cool, but city driving is hell
- I found my driving limit/the difference between tired and exhausted
- My dad snores
- An old freight elevator could lift my car
And above all else,
- I quite enjoy camping
Maybe it's not the most rugged form of camping, but it's still peaceful and solitary, both things I needed a little bit of.
So there you have it! A four-day legendary adventure summed up in this crappy post. I hope you enjoyed it.
Test Came Back Negative!
Me getting sick (or at least feeling funny) may have a simple explanation: I cranked up the heat. The vents in the apartment never get cleaned and shoot out dust and soot, and when I turned them on to try and crack my fever (which never was a fever, though it sure felt like one) I just blew dust into my room and clogged my brain. I've been in bed for the majority of the past three days, so my body may be sore from... well... sleeping.
Regardless, feeling better physically and mentally, though still have no plans on going out until the 23rd when I make the long haul from FL to MD (by car, the safest method of trave).
I'm Finally Home And My Secret Senna Is Here!
After many hours of driving, pushing the limit of what I can actually pull off in a day (I woke up at 7 but started driving around 3. 7 hours on the road meant I got home at 10, and have been awake for over 12 hours... not a winning combo).
I forget who my Senna was, they revealed themselves when they asked if I got a shirt, but I did get a shirt. A very minimalist design of my car. I love it! And even if people don't see the graphic, the color is great (though maybe I'm biased).
I'm unpacked, I'm tired, and I'm going to bed.
My First Shoppo Purchase Arrived!
Bought a Chevy Vega owners manual from @dtg11 for like 8 bucks, which is awesome since now I have something that goes with my little Chevy Vega car!
Fun fact I learned: my car has a bigger fuel tank. Also, it's recommended to use various different types of oil depending on the weather... didn't know that...
In other news, I got dumped today. Been very sad all day and went for a very long drive to cope, because there's nothing better than being in my car... I suppose that's life. Sucks dong. But this made my day much better!
Friendly reminder that there are only two weeks left for your Automation Challenge submissions. Still plenty of time, and I'll remind folks in an actual post in a week's time!
Latest posts made by Taylor Martin
RE: Testing the fastest fictional hatchback race car
@grindintosecond Big engines in small cars is a very fun thing to do in Automation, and I commend you for crashing it spectacularly!
RE: $90k Jeep Gladiator Trans Am Special Edition? What in the redneck hell is this?
@bandit Someone is going to buy this and absolutely love it...
Not me, and I never want to meet that person...