One Car Apocalypse

Zombieland

Zombieland

As a fiction writer as well as an automotive scribbler, I’ve not only noticed the ubiquitous appearance of zombies, vampires and apocalyptic settings in film, TV and books over the past decade, I’ve had a few ideas myself.

Of course, cars always find themselves into the forefront of my imagination, which in turn led me here to Gargling Gas and an important question I’d like all you petrolheads to consider.

28 Days Later

If you were a character in film, TV or a novel set within the aforementioned genres, what would be your car of choice?

Would it be a car chosen for pragmatic reasons such as reliability, economy or its ability to traverse all terrains? Or would you throw caution to  the wind and go for something fast, aggressive and loud?

Mad Max

Mad Max

As the choice can be made within the realm of fiction and fantasy, where cars can miraculously jump like the General Lee and land with no mechanical issues, I’m going to go with something a little more interesting than the ‘real world’ solution to zombies and the apocalypse I penned a while back – Zombie Benz.

Bellflower

Bellflower

Bellflower isn’t strictly an apocalyptic film, although the car, Medusa is a creation built should the apocalypse ever occur. I think the protagonists had the right idea, though, a muscle car possessing flamethrowers.

My favourite protagonist in any story has to be “The Kid”, a twisted and psychotic greaser from Stephen King’s genius apocalyptic masterpiece, The Stand. He is short and boosts his height by six inches by means of a tall hairdo and high-heeled cowboy boots.

He drives a heavily customised 1932 Ford deuce coupe, which he drives dangerously fast, “speeds high enough to induce brain damage”, always with a beer or a whiskey chased with Pepsi in hand.

The Stand

The Stand

I think if I were to appear in film alongside the undead, bloodsuckers and a world ready to leave me alongside a handful of survivors, my main priority would be vanity – I’d need to look badass. People would need to hear me coming, fear me once they saw my ride, and either bow down or swoon as I rumbled by, slowing to throw a glance over my RayBans whilst flicking a cigarette butt out of the window.

A Prius? No. A Lamborghini? Hell no. What then?

Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious

If you follow Gargling Gas you’d expect me to say the Buick Grand National, but since it has made a fair amount of on-screen appearances, including Fast & Furious (2009), I’ll go for something nearly on par with its legendary sinister looks.

My car of choice has a good amount of power, killer looks, retro lines and nickname pertinent to the genres. It would look menacing from the front, great from the side, and simply amazing sliding around corners and splattered in buckets of blood and zombie brains.

BMW E24 635 CSi

BMW E24 635 CSi

Let me introduce The Shark-nose, the BMW E24  635 CSi. Oh yeah, it would without a doubt have to black, like my current Bimmer, HeLLga.

So what car would you choose to drive in a world void of life, a world wanting either your blood, your brains or ultimately your life?

 

 

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A Realistic Zombie Proof Car

Zombies-Run

Over the past decade, zombies and the apocalypse have saturated the fiction and film industry to the point of complete buggery. It has not only tested originality in spinning the yarn, but it has dealt with ways in which the living deal with the undead. Whether it’s weapons or armoured cars, they are very unrealistic – how many of you can weld? How many of you could turn the contents of your garage into a lethal killing machine like the A Team?

Forget the movies and the vehicles pictured like the monstrosities below – for a start, zombies will only die from having their heads removed, so why in God’s name would you want them skewered to your car like rotting kebabs? What exactly are those tin openers doing on the wheels? If anything they’ll just get caught on something and either A: snap off or B: bugger your wheel alignment.

These may look great as movie props, but in the real world you’ll need something a little more ordinary.

If the undead climbed out of their graves with rumbling bellies, you’d need a car you are familiar with, something easy to drive, something reliable yet a little sprightly.

Right, let’s get serious. I’ll go with German for build quality and reliability. I’ll select an auto transmission for ease and freeing up hands in case of any complications. A diesel engine because German diesels are like tanks and will always start in the cold weather. Diesel is less flammable too, preventing any potential accidents.

Okay, I have come to a decision and gone for a Mercedes Benz W124 estate chassis with the 2.5-L Diesel engine and auto box.

I have owned two W124s and a similar 190e, and despite their age (20 years), they never once failed me. They were smooth, easy to drive and spacious. All of the electrical features still worked (on all three cars), including the non-leaking sunroof – it’s well-known zi Germans over-engineered these models, as you’ll find them for sale with 300K+ miles on the clock.

The panels and doors are solid enough to withstand any damage made from a clumsy ham-fisted zombie – the windows too, although you could simply position some galvanised metal grating over them and bolt into place.

Once you have removed the rear seats, you are left with an enormous amount of space, perfect for storing weapons, supplies, spare wheel and fuel. The roof rack could also carry any extra fuel and spare wheels. Put some chunky wet weather tyres on to deal with any boggy areas you have to cross – I have dogs and the W124 is more than capable in dealing with rough terrain.

Before you suggest a 4X4, I didn’t choose one because should there be a zombie apocalypse (and I have thought hard on the subject), I’d stick to main roads, highways and open spaces, easy access to shops for supplies etc… To go into the countryside would just mean a tougher terrain, more obstacles and more places for those pesky zombies to suddenly appear from.

Tyreweld would also be very handy in any dangerous situations where you find yourself with a slow puncture with zombies wandering about. Simply fill your tyre with foam and it will allow you to drive to somewhere safe for a wheel change.

A little boring, but along with spare wheels, keep a backup battery, jump-leads, HT leads and spare spark-plugs to ensure you have the fundamentals in keeping your engine running.

Try and find a model with leather seats (you may as well travel in style and comfort), and if you are bored you can pretend the bonnet star is a WWI fighter plane gun sight before running zombies down.

Aesthetics wise, and if you have time before the apocalypse hits, you could spray the alloys flat black. Spray a skull onto the bonnet and then apply your lucky number to the door as if you are in a Death Race 2000 style rally. Oh, and you must give it a name, which in my case would be Matilda.

Matilda

As this is a car site, I’ll leave weapons of choice to you, but I will say avoid a flame-thrower (pointless, unreliable and likely to leave you with 3rd degree burns). My choice would have to be a shotgun – if you miss the head, it’s more than likely you’ve removed a limb or two.