If everyone picks the same car to donate, it might make things easier for everyone. Here’s how.
[two_third last=”no”]10 teams are going to save “throw-away” cars, get them ready for daily driver duty, and give them away to 10 deserving people who really need their own wheels. Before we hand over the keys, though, we’re putting them through the ultimate test – a drive across Death Valley. I’m thinking it might be easier if everyone ended up with pretty much the same car. This post is a look at the reasons behind that – and some of the cars we’re considering for ultimate selection if we go this route.
Gearheads are telling me they like the idea of fixing up nicer vehicles for donation to people who really need them more than building beaters destined for scrap value donation to charity. What better gift can we gearheads give the world than reliable transportation for those in need? We’ll also be inspiring others to turn their own wrenches. Testing our skills, saving vehicles from the crusher, and taking an epic road trip in the process only sweetens the deal.
5 REASONS WHY EVERYONE HAVING THE SAME CAR IS A GOOD IDEA:
1. Easier for teams to pick a vehicle.
We gearheads love the intellectual challenge of finding automotive bargains. Narrowing the focus to a single model and generation saves us wading through hundreds of potential candidates online, allowing us to consider which mechanical obstacles we want to tackle for our donor wheels. (It’s also a fun challenge to apply our expertise to something we might have never touched before.)
2. Reduces the risk of someone being gifted a clever, yet difficult to maintain, vehicle.
Translation: Nobody “wins” a DSM. (haha) In all seriousness, the objective here is to give people generally worry-free wheels they can count on – and hopefully repair themselves with minimal automotive knowledge. The ideal vehicle will be easy to maintain with inexpensive, readily available parts.
3. Mitigates risk of catastrophic failure on-route.
We’re driving $1000 cars across Death Valley. It (probably) won’t be during summer, but there will be rough roads, mountain grades, all that. If everyone has pretty much the same vehicle, the chances any one of them will catastrophically fail along the way are greatly reduced. (Not that we expect it to come to that.)
4. Equality in the final donations.
All the cars being the same ensures no team feels out-classed, prevents our recipients getting their hopes up for something drastically different from what they actually get, and saves us having to figure out who gets the 4-door versus the pickup versus the minivan, etc. Assuming this event is a success, we’ll choose different vehicles (and different adventures) in the future.
5. Potential OEM/corporate sponsorship if all cars are same make/model?
I like to think, if we’ve got 40+ gearheads saving 10 cars from a single manufacturer, that manufacturer might be interested in helping us with the event. Maybe they cover the costs of our after-party and/or t-shirts. Then again, this is a serious feel-good story implying people see long term value in their products. Maybe they do a little more for us? Who knows.
A FUN CHALLENGE
We face relatively few surprises with our prefered performance-oriented platforms these days. Limiting vehicle selection like this seems a fun way to put our skills to the test. We’ll need to find good deals and correctly evaluate necessary repairs before resolving familiar issues with unfamiliar vehicles. How good is it going to feel to look someone in the eye, hand him or her the keys, and say, “We fixed this, this, and this, and drove it 500 miles over mountains and across Death Valley. This is a good car. Take care of it and it will take care of you.”
NOW WHICH CAR SHOULD WE PICK?
We need to come up with a short list of cars to consider for our inaugural event.
- target price: $1000 or less (before repairs)
- drive-it-away price: $1500 or less (closer to $1000 is ideal)
- platform: family-oriented (sedans, hatchbacks, minivans, etc.)
- condition: at least nice/safe enough to take the kids to school
- reliability: parts should be easy to come by and not cost a fortune
That’s what I think we should be looking for at this point. Got any suggestions? Am I missing anything? Leave a comment and help us show the world how much gearheads matter!