Post-Apocalypse Vehicles

#1
When the topic of "Post-Apocalypse" comes up, it's easy to imagine yourself (because I've done it too), romping through the lawless countryside in your own personal Abrams MBT. Yeehaw! What I can't smash, I'll just shoot!

This is not intended to be that thread.

The cheapest, most reliable means of transport in the event of some catastrophe, is there inside your shoes.

A horse would be next. Much faster, requires a little more work, but still less than a car. They're mostly self-repairing, and fuel is wondrous cheap!

But let's be honest: we're gear geeks. Shiny metal is cool.

So the point of this thread is to have an at least somewhat serious discussion of the practical difficulties of maintaining a motor vehicle without a support infrastructure.

Most of them, we never think of. Fuel stations, pumping stations and refineries would be either destroyed in the riots, or become strongholds. Mad Max got that one right. Likewise for tires, tools, engine coolant, oil, and never mind the expertise and computer diagnostic tools that modern cars need! An automotive technician would be worth his weight in gold!

Now, understand, I'm not specifically advocating for or against cars, trucks, and tanks, in the event of a civilization-ending disaster. I'm just interesting in hearing the community's thoughts on the subject.
 

mctacticool

Apocalypse Ready
#2
I would probably go for something like an old toyota hilux diesel, just take a look at the beating those trucks take in the hands of various terrorist and militant organisations around africa and the middle east, even BBCs Top Gear tried to destroy one without succes, no matter what they did to it, it would keep starting up...

But then again i'm an certified automechanic, so i can probably fix most things with a set of handtools and a couple of rolls of duct-tape...
 

BOOM!

EDC Master
#3
The Hilux seems to be a very safe bet, those things really are build like tanks.

I'm a motorcycle guy myself and a loner too boot (no passengers) so I would probably go for a 2 stroke 250 to 500cc road-legal (so it'll have lights) dirt bike, probably a Honda XR or something like that since I have a soft spot for those. I'd prefer a 2-stroke because I have the most experience with keeping those running. I tend to make a mess when cam-shafts and valves are added to the mix...
 

ManVsLawn

EDC Grand Master
#4
from what I've read, an older vehicle with a diesel engine would fair the best....

The fewer the bells/whistles/electronics, the longer the battery will last and the less can go wrong, electrically. this would also be a plus if the disaster involved an EMP.

Diesel engines because diesel fuel lasts longer (more stable = more life of gas, etc). Also, and I don't know if this is true, I read diesel engines can burn old engine oil if filtered properly.
 
#5
from what I've read, an older vehicle with a diesel engine would fair the best....

The fewer the bells/whistles/electronics, the longer the battery will last and the less can go wrong, electrically. this would also be a plus if the disaster involved an EMP.

Diesel engines because diesel fuel lasts longer (more stable = more life of gas, etc). Also, and I don't know if this is true, I read diesel engines can burn old engine oil if filtered properly.
Yes, but conditionally. You need to adjust the fuel/air ratio, and possibly the timing. A diesel engine will burn almost anything that can be burnt, including most any oil you can think of, although at the cost of fuel mileage, because cooking oils and motor oils have fewer BTUs per unit of volume. True story. A garage I used to work at, this fella had an old diesel Jetta he ran on cooking oil. Smelled like french fries and burgers, and made me hungry every time he stopped by to pass the time with the owner.

This is a further argument for older trucks, since you can manually change timing and carburetor settings.

Here in the States, isn't the Hilux called the "Tacoma"? Or are they different enough to be separate machines?
 

dmak

into the wild i go, let fortune assist the daring
Staff member
Global Mod
#6
from what I've read, an older vehicle with a diesel engine would fair the best....

The fewer the bells/whistles/electronics, the longer the battery will last and the less can go wrong, electrically. this would also be a plus if the disaster involved an EMP.

Diesel engines because diesel fuel lasts longer (more stable = more life of gas, etc). Also, and I don't know if this is true, I read diesel engines can burn old engine oil if filtered properly.
A diesel would be the way to go for sure. I would want an old Mercedes diesel power train in a Chevy 4wd Astro Van.

Luck is the by-product of preparation and opportunity colliding. Stay Lucky!
 

Ben Rubinstein

Apocalypse Ready
#8
A scooter would make a lot of sense. Barely any petrol usage, can get through the inevitable and crippling gridlocks, doesn't look hugely inviting or threatening to hostile people (like a dirt bike might) and you can carry huge amounts on it (just ask the people in the far east!).
 

Ben Rubinstein

Apocalypse Ready
#9
I'd also wonder about the utility of a horse to be honest. In urban areas you're going to have a big feeding problem, outside of urban areas, depending on the disaster you might still have real problems. Disease, wounds, etc are going to be a problem. I just keep remembering historical accounts of war and the photos from the more recent conflicts in which horses were used. They seem to die relatively easily in tough situations and cause disease and misery as a result.
 
#11
I thought about this, too! Ariel Motors makes something similar now, called the "Nomad", essentially an updated version of the VW Dune Buggy kits. It uses a Honda engine, so probably the same ECU and computer controlled gobbelty-gook as nearly any other car.

@Ben Rubinstein , can you link me to some reading about the potential liabilities of horses?

One of the problems of any even vaguely preparedness-related thread is that there are huge variables between individual situations. I would like to see an accepted convention of making a distinction between "urban prep" and "rural prep".

Actually, inside a city or similar built-up area, I have my doubts that any vehicle would be of much use, at least until the "panic and riot" phase burned itself out.

To reduce confusion, it makes sense to me to think in terms of vehicles for being far away from civilization.
 

Ben Rubinstein

Apocalypse Ready
#12
I thought about this, too! Ariel Motors makes something similar now, called the "Nomad", essentially an updated version of the VW Dune Buggy kits. It uses a Honda engine, so probably the same ECU and computer controlled gobbelty-gook as nearly any other car.

@Ben Rubinstein , can you link me to some reading about the potential liabilities of horses?

One of the problems of any even vaguely preparedness-related thread is that there are huge variables between individual situations. I would like to see an accepted convention of making a distinction between "urban prep" and "rural prep".

Actually, inside a city or similar built-up area, I have my doubts that any vehicle would be of much use, at least until the "panic and riot" phase burned itself out.

To reduce confusion, it makes sense to me to think in terms of vehicles for being far away from civilization.
Um, no idea, sorry, horses are things in pictures right? :p Just from a historical perspective, during wars, the amount of horses dying, etc. Don't have any direct links, just lots of stuff I've read over the years. Bit of a history buff.
 

mctacticool

Apocalypse Ready
#13
I thought about this, too! Ariel Motors makes something similar now, called the "Nomad", essentially an updated version of the VW Dune Buggy kits. It uses a Honda engine, so probably the same ECU and computer controlled gobbelty-gook as nearly any other car.
Wich it probably why it wont work when SHTF, an emp-pulse and the ECU is out of play... Where as if you the time and skill to make something based on the old vw platform it is purely mechanic and will work under almost any circumstances, at least for as long as there is fuel available...
 
#14
Returning to BOOM!'s idea, for a minute, because it's worth discussing. A two-wheeler would be the way to go in cities for sure, and something light and easy to fix is always a good idea.

Rokon sells this monster, that I had forgotten about:



The "Trailbreaker", seen here with a WWII paint job, making it look very "Army Surplus".

The Rokon's low-pressure tires and two-wheel drive have some undeniable advantages, but I wonder about the chain drive for the front wheel after miles and miles of dust and vibration.

Another similar option is the "Motoped".



Seen here with the full "zombie apocalypse" package, including crossbow! :eek:

I don't know anything about this company, but the idea seems generally like a good one. You can pedal to save gas, then kick in the engine if you need to cover distance, or boost up a hill.

(Edit: I would disconnect the Rokon's front tire chain, and see if I could bash together a little compressor for filling the tires, to sit right there.)
 

ManVsLawn

EDC Grand Master
#19
Um, no idea, sorry, horses are things in pictures right? Just from a historical perspective, during wars, the amount of horses dying, etc. Don't have any direct links, just lots of stuff I've read over the years. Bit of a history buff.
Wasn't it in "All Quiet on the Western Front" that described the terrible sound of masses of horses dying from battle wounds throughout the nights?
 
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