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Old November 20, 2000, 11:31 PM   #1
Viceroy808
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For the sake of throwing out topics while LASur5er et al remain silent, I wanted to ask everyone what steed *ahem* they think would be appropriate for the roads of America (read: continental United States.)

Now I've read enough threads on carjacking in this forum to think on what I'd like ... having driven narrow city roads, thought about multiple situations (being run off the road, having to ram through roadblocks, go over sidewalks and gravel) I've decided:

(1) Low-slung racers are NOT a good idea.
(2) Off-road capability, small turning radius are good.
(3) Impact-resistant bumpers/body are a must.

I've come to the conclusion that a jeep wrangler might be the answer ... or a volvo, if needs be ... I mean no car is really bullet resistant (esp. through the doors argh) ... what is your idea of an ideal "ride"? KITT from Knight Rider notwithstanding. What mods would you make to it? Would you prefer to have a weapon other than your regular CCW (say, cruiser-config shotgun, wrench, rabid weasel) in the car? And be reasonable ... if I wanted an armored car I'd get a secondhand BMP-2 from the UK.

Opinions, please.
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Old November 21, 2000, 12:25 AM   #2
Christopher II
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There's supposed to be a company out in Arizona that will drop a Chevy 350 small-block and assorted other mods into a Volvo 240 (sedan or wagon.) They claimed that the finished product would go 0-60 in under six seconds, top out over 150, and still have the famous Volvo reliablity. If it's as advertised, this would be the ultimate urban "Q-ship."

As for weapons, I'd just go with whatever your usual CCW piece is. Maybe add a big can of OC spray for repelling boarders.

For a trunk gun, I'd think about a surplus Enfield or Yugo Mauser, Century Arms FAL or AK clone, or a used 12 gauge pump gun with a mix of slugs, buckshot, and target loads. Don't forget blankets, rain gear, food, water, a flashlight with extra batteries, tools (including Fix-A-Flat and jumper cables,) a good first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher. A cell phone is also a good idea.

Later,
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Old November 21, 2000, 12:36 AM   #3
Art Eatman
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My first choice would be a pre-computer critter, with a carburetor. Easier to do all my own maintenance and rebuilds.

Living in the boonies, and in an area where the majority of roads are unpaved, 4WD is a must. And given how much hauling of "stuff" I do, a truck is also a must.

I like my Toyota, since it's narrow enough for some of the back-country tight spots. Also, it "survives" better than any other vehicle to travel the Terlingua back country. The gas mileage is better than full-size. But, a full-size is better for trailer-pulling and there's more "living-room" inside a camper...Grumble, grumble.

If I had to do it all over again, (Darlin', I'd do it all over you.) I'd probably get a late '70s Chevy full-size 4WD with a 350 and put a five-speed OD tranny in it. I'd rig a belly pan and a quick-detachable front air-dam, for gas mileage. It's easy enough to put Kevlar "boards" inside the outer skin of the doors, and in the head/shoulders protection area. After-market imitation Recaro-style seats. Spacious console between the seats.

Go-bang self-defense? They make some good roof-mount gun-holders which are fairly "quick-detachable", to grab a 20" 870 in a hurry. And, whaddaya think lives in the console?

, Art
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Old November 21, 2000, 01:22 AM   #4
Viceroy808
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I should have known that there would be a substantial number of car nuts out there ... why do I get the feeling I just opened a can of worms?

Speaking of the Jeep Wrangler, I hear that the 3-speed automatic is worthless ... too bad since I like having at least one hand free. Maybe a Range Rover ... but where is the $$$ going to come from *sigh*

I think I like the idea of having a short 12-gauge in easy reach ... OC Spray sounds great. I just read some book on "how to turn your car into a tank" like 6 months ago and it recommended reinforced bumpers/mega floodlights/external speakers ... kind of like Mad Max ...

Christopher II, what is a Q-ship/Q-tip?

Art Eatman, what is that song you were quoting? Darlin' I'd do it ...?" as for what "lives between the console" ... your very own drunken armadillo?
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Old November 21, 2000, 02:40 AM   #5
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Q ships were heavily-armed ships deployed by the Allies during World War 1. They had plywood sheathing over the gun mounts and would drift in shipping lanes, basically looking fat, dumb and happy. A target no self-respecting U-boat commander could pass up. Enemy U-boats would surface to finish off this dinky little merchantman with cheap deck gun ammo instead of the expensive torpedoes, and wind up with one heck of a shock.

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Old November 21, 2000, 07:00 AM   #6
Ivanhoe
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I think you want a full-sized Bronco or Blazer, with a V-8 and plenty of power. Basically you want to be able to go over curbs with abandon, drive down the sidewalk if needed, ram blocking vehicles to and fro without busting your radiator or gas tank. Plus, that sort of vehicle looks normal when you add welded steel tube bumpers, interior racks (for your umbrella, of course), roll cage etc. I think you might lose some resale value on that Volvo with the grill guard, drop hitch, and pintle mount on the roof...

If you want to go high-tech and have the scratch to do it, go for run-flat truck tires, armor panels in the doors, polycarbonate windows, etc.

Just to state the obvious for the record, the best feature of a protection vehicle is geography. Move it and the rest of your belongings to a safe town, and you've solved 95% of your problems right there.



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Old November 21, 2000, 08:31 AM   #7
David Scott
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Get a Subaru Legacy sedan for urban environments. Here's why:

1. All-wheel drive for traction when evading goons.

2. Reliable as death and taxes. Mine has 130,000 and is still mechanically tight.

3. Low profile. Honda owners think it's a Toyota, Toyota owners think it's a Nissan. Even cops can't ID it on sight.

4. Best anti-theft system on Earth -- it's a Subaru. Nobody steals Subarus.

5. Much more maneuverable, practical and easy to park than those mechano-pig Snob Utility Vehicles.

6. The standard stereo kicks butt.
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Old November 21, 2000, 09:48 AM   #8
sedwards
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I've always had a soft spot for Jeep Wagoneers (the real Wagoneers, not the Cherokees that they hung a Wagoneer badge on).

I've owned two -- a '78 Wagoneer, and an '88 Grand Wagoneer, both with Chrysler 360s and Ford carbs (AMC was shameless, eh? ;^). Lots of steel (again, real steel, not this composite aluminum crap they're using these days), and driving around downtown Baltimore the only thing that didn't jump outa my way were the dump trucks.

Unfortunately, my wife doesn't share my interest in old steel... hence I'm now running around in a '99 Grand Cherokee (less truck, more car). Something of a step back from the "Urban Assault Vehicle" concept, but I don't work downtown any more (traded downtown traffic for highway... lots of highway).

Have already found a good home for the '78... will part with the '88 upon satisfactory arbitration of visitation rights.
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Old November 21, 2000, 10:50 AM   #9
Morgan
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Well, if the mission is to get the hell away, right now, nothing beats a bike or a Z-28. Cheap (for the performance, anyway), fast, and fun - just the way I like 'em!

Now if you throw in those boring real world considerations like off-roading, snow, etc., things may change a little.
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Old November 21, 2000, 12:15 PM   #10
M1911
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Can't say as I'd recommend a Jeep. Sure, they're great off-road. But that narrow track and short wheelbase makes them tippy. Poor handling. Poor acceleration.

Here in Boston, I'll skip the 4wd and take handling and power to weight ratio instead...

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Old November 21, 2000, 05:44 PM   #11
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If I had a teenager, they'd get a mid-seventies Chevy Suburban with the fenders spray-lined with chickenwire and cement. And a job to pay for the gas...

Here's my truck - Being as I live in the center of a major urban area, people tend to stare... But I get quite a few smiles and waves...

http://bogie.users3.50megs.com/Home.htm

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Old November 21, 2000, 06:00 PM   #12
Art Eatman
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Car Fun

God created acetylene wrenches and pop-rivet tools so you can put any engine in any car. Heck, I built up four Corvette-powered Austin Healeys. The one I built for me was 2,350 pounds with hard top, roll bar and full tank of gas--and 350 hp.

Mr. Jeep doesn't care *what* transmission the engine wears. That's why adapter-plates were invented. Quality trasmissions are unconcerned as to what they're hiding behind, as well. The possibilities are endless.

A variation on David Scott's theme is that *nobody* car-jacks old stuff. "Great car!" doesn't necessarily mean a high-dollar shiny look.

"The only substitute for cubic inches is cubic money."

, Art
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Old November 22, 2000, 03:17 AM   #13
Mort
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Depends...if you've got the skills, I think a dual-purpose bike like a BMW R1100GS would serve handily. It will certainly evade any car with the greatest of ease.

If one must drive a car, I argue for a beat-up mid-seventies Impala with one of those new 545 crate motors.

Of course, I live in an urban area, so this affects my considerations. I tend to think more in terms of camouflage rather than armament. Last weekend, some thugs attempted to follow my M-B 560 SL driving stepmother home. Two large men (Dad and I) standing in the front yard prevented further unpleasantness, but you see what high visibility gets you. Who's going to mess with an old Impala?
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Old November 23, 2000, 03:14 PM   #14
zanthope
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An Urban Bradley

Read about a smaller stock BMW offered with "light armor" for urban threats like car jacking....said to be able to stop pistol slugs. It came with a microphone and external speaker to debate/assess the situation with.
I don't remember the model number.....sold for about 90k.
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Old November 24, 2000, 01:22 AM   #15
PaladinX13
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Is this over the top?

Com'on! It flies!

http://www.moller.com/skycar/m400/
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Old November 25, 2000, 08:18 PM   #16
Jake 98c/11b
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http://www.CARLIVING.NET

Havent seen the book but it might be worth a read.

Strange things out there
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Old November 29, 2000, 02:01 AM   #17
MPower
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Audi S4/A4 Quattro

I bought an Audi Quattro for my girlfriend last year and love it.

The S4 will do 60 in 6 secs. 8 secs for the A4 2.8.
4 wheel drive. It WILL go off road, but can still do 150 on the interstate.

It is still comfortable, and it handles and sticks like a sportscar, nothing like a truck. Loves wet weather

With a Tiptronic you can instantly exit a 90 degree turn in first gear. In the city this capability will burn 90% of the cars out there.

I have a wagon, so lots of space. Looks good, OK to go on dates with it . Lots of engine tuning mods available. S4 can easily top 300 bhp with a a couple hundred $$.

LEO do not give it a second look.

There is a co. in S. Africa that can fit cars with Butane jets under the doors. At a push of a button they shoot out a jet of flame 8' wide. This is an anti-carjacking device That with some light armor on an RS4 (400hp) Avant would be my ideal car.

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Old November 30, 2000, 07:38 PM   #18
Westtexas
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I have a Volvo S70. Why, do you ask? Here are the reasons:

1. Safety
2. Camoflage: everyone knows that Volvo owners want to save the whales, destroy all guns, become one with the universe, etc. I draw a lot less attention from the LEO's than bubbba with the gun rack, etc.
3. Range: The car goes 540 miles without stopping for fuel. 18 gal gas capacity.
4. Excellent place for CCW: Center console. Black velvet lining makes G27 disappear even with console open.
5. Creature comforts, great seats, and quick
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Old November 30, 2000, 08:53 PM   #19
George Hill
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Any car that is competitive in the Club and Pro Rally series.

As a Rally guy my self - I know what works and what doesnt.
Galant VR-4 is good. The Sube Impreza rocks...
as do many others... http://www.vtcar.com/photoimg/download/rally96-12.mov
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Old November 30, 2000, 08:54 PM   #20
Jody Hudson
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OLD Suburban (heavy metal and BIG wheel wells) ; with a newer Suburban or better yet a Quadratrack full size Wagoneer 4WD. Add to that the big Cadillac 500 plus CID engine and the 4 speed automatic Oldsmobile Touring Sedan transmission with the lock-up overdrive. Yeah... they all can be bolted together.

Strip the Caddy engine down to basics ala 1965 except for a new hot rod electronic ignition. Put an LP gas carb. on it and bolt a bunch of slim and long LP tanks under the Suburban to lower the center of gravity. Put 14 inch wide rims on it and 16 inch wide rain-ice-snow tires; fill the tires with puncture proof foam and still carry a spare on the back door. Add the heaviest anti-sway bars you can find front and rear and add on the double shock package which is on later Suburbans (it takes a little customizing) which will give you a total of 8 shocks.

Get some off-road brush guards for the front that extend from below the bumper to above the hood. Add double stone guard lexan lens to the head lights and wire-guards over those. Put some super bright off-road lights on the roof and finish off with two huge batteries and the motor home double battery system which never lets the second battery go down. Then; the antenna roof-rack that allows you to use several radios with the same invisible system. Put in short wave which has CB and all other frequencies.

Torque is fantastic. Horsepower is great! That 4 speed auto will take serious torque and speed and the first three gears are like drag racers. The lock-up over drive will get you about 25 miles per gallon or more in this beast. Of course when you are sprinting around in this beast using the low gears the mileage drops to about 4 mpg.

The one we built up like this in the late 70s lasted to well over 350,000 miles (LP gas makes an engine last) and it was sold. It has somewhere around a 6,000 mile range with all the LP gas tank capacity!!!! My client took it to L.A. from Washington D.C. with a lot of high speed driving and used only about 40% of the fuel! She liked to take sports cars from the line at the toll booths.

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Old November 30, 2000, 11:48 PM   #21
George Hill
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Big vehicles cant get up and run...
I have a photo of a Dodge Neon BEATING a Ford Mustang GT in a drag... On a strip. By a car length.
My point? Big Iron doesnt mean big power. You can get a little 4 banger scooting just as hasty as a big block.

Its amazing what a stage 2 turbo can do...
Anyway...
The one thing about Rally cars... unlike other types of cars, they are "at home" any place, any time.
Street cars in mud? No. Off Road on the street? No...
A rally car? Its good everywhere accept rock climbing.
Seriously.
The motto of Rally is "Real cars, Real Roads, Real Fast."
They have to be street legal as they often venture onto public roads... many drivers go to and from rally events driving in the rally car.
Mitzu Evolution 5 is one of the BADEST cars you can get...
Followed by the Galant VR4, Impreza, and amazingly - the Hyundai Tiburon (***? Oh - 350 horses? That'll do it!)


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Old December 1, 2000, 12:33 PM   #22
Bogie
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So, on the LP gas - What does it cost, consumption-wise? Like, my beater truck costs about $0.10/mile (15 miles per $1.50/gallon gas) to drive...

The whole concept of the superburban sounds way cool.

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Old December 1, 2000, 04:31 PM   #23
Jody Hudson
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We found with the full set up we had that we got about 35% more miles per dollar than with gasoline. The real savings however becomes obvious when after 10,000 miles the oil is still crystal clear. We had an airport at the time and thus lots of test equipment... We checked the oil after 10,000 miles using aircraft test equipment and found NO proof that it had been used. After that we added some super-slippery "Slick 50" oil additive and picked up additional power and savings. The Slick 50 was washed out of our aircraft engine oil, after a while, as they used gasoline. It was not washed out of the LP gasoline engine. Thus EXTENDED engine life becomes the biggest savings of all.

The tuned 4 into one headers running into two very large exhaust pipes with low restriction mufflers also picked us up added torque, horsepower and mileage savings. When we were done we figured about 1/2 the cost per mile of a similar vehicle and when in the mountains the huge torque and horsepower allowed for VERY little change in cost per mile consumption.
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Old December 7, 2000, 08:39 PM   #24
Viceroy808
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Amazing

The volume of car know-how in here ...

PaladinX13, does that thing have room for a pintle-mounted machine gun somewhere? I love the thing already ... only problem with things that fly: SAMs and ack-ack.

Still trying to decide on a ride ... you guys are not making it easy.
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Old December 7, 2000, 09:31 PM   #25
Bogie
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Viceroydude...

When you get to a semi-permanent duty station, get together with some buds, and buy a decent $1,000 or less junker. DO NOT blow your entire paycheck on a new car. Or bike. It's tempting, but hey... When I was at Ft. Ben Harrison (great golf course!), there was a clapped out, no rear window, Ford Capri or something that sort of belonged to someone or something... The keys were generally left in it. You drove it, you filled the tank and checked the oil.

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