Home » You Have Survived A Sci-Fi Apocalypse. What Modern Car Do You Choose To Wander The Wasteland, And How Will You Mod It?

You Have Survived A Sci-Fi Apocalypse. What Modern Car Do You Choose To Wander The Wasteland, And How Will You Mod It?

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The world, or at least modern civilization, has gotta end somehow. Zombie apocalypse? Maybe. Rogue virus? Sure, if by that you mean “even more rogue virus,” because Covid is still very much a thing. Global warming perhaps? Dear reader, we are soaking in it. But no matter how we get out butts kicked back a good 150 years or so, we’re still going to want to get around faster than a walking pace and get to our devastated destinations in a reasonable amount of time, and no one’s going to do it by bicycle. They should, but they won’t. And sorry, the Supercharger Network will be down. So unless you’ve got a Stanley steamer stashed away, you’re going to be burning some gas. But what are you gonna burn it in, ideally?

Herbie Baja Stoke Models

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

As we’re all aware, TV and movies have been chock full of ideas for post-apocalypse mobility ever since Mads Max I and II (or The Road Warrior, for US moviegoers) packed theaters in the 80s, and cash-ins from more dubious films such as Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn and Spacehunter: Adventures In The Forbidden Zone kept the vibe going, if less impressively (I do like Spacehunter‘s Scrambler though–there’s a Dodge Power Wagon under there!) Base-vehicle choices were all over the map, but all were robustly mechanical and could essentially run forever if you just kept replacing whatever wore out. If you want to tick all the boxes for apocalypse-proof transportation, I think you’d land on a Baja Bug, like the hotted-up Herbie above (incredibly, it’s a model, go look!). But good luck finding a legit old-school Beetle, Baja or otherwise, in 2023. Ditto any other all-steel, computer-free heaps you might conceivably get running after an EMP strike. Nope, you’re gonna have to figure out how to get yourself a set of reliable wheels from the pool of cars released in the last 30 years or so.

Walking Dead Hyundai Tucson

Maybe a Hyundai? The brand went in hard when The Walking Dead first hit the airwa … er, cables, as Rick and his family evaded walkers, rotters, and moaners in a Tucson. And honestly, you could do a lot worse in the immediate aftermath of a world-ending via zombies, but as the great undoing proceeds, one will want something more capable and rugged. And armed?

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Walking Dead Veloster

… which could still be a Hyundai, I suppose, with appropriate accoutrement. This one is a virtual model from the (now defunct) Walking Dead Chop Shop app that let you optimize Hyundais for dealing with the undead. But surely, we can come up with more interesting and thoughtful takes on reliable dailies for the end of days.

To the comments!

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Jack Elliott
Jack Elliott
9 months ago

Hovercraft with armored air bag alla William Gibson. I don’t remember which book. I think it burned veggie oil and had night vision. May have been Neal Stephenson

Myk El
Myk El
10 months ago

Modern vehicle? I’m thinking I’ll get a Jeep of some form, then find David Tracy and make sure he’s a part of my clan.

Eecher
Eecher
10 months ago

I’m just glad that The Lord Humongous was in the main image for this article. An underappreciated magnetic screen presence.

Elhigh
Elhigh
10 months ago

How modern are we talking?

My truck has survived over 30 years and is likely good to carry my dead carcass to the cemetery when the time comes. It’s completely analog with a manual transmission, so its exposure to debilitating electronic failure is not high. So that’s a first choice. For post-apocalyptic mods, I would:

Add a locking diff to the rear. The truck is 2WD which limits what it can do and where it can go, then again I’ve never been stuck even in 8″ of snow. A locking diff would significantly extend its capability while retaining its on-road manners and fuel economy. In a world where most of the oil workers have become zombies, being stingy with fuel is good.

Add an inch of ride height, and maybe a bit more tire. Not a lot. Fuel economy, remember. Keep the tires modest and it’s easy to throw in a couple of extra spares, in addition to the original under the bed. Just a dash more ride height to cope with excess debris on the road, though I don’t drive fast and tiptoeing around debris shouldn’t be hard.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
10 months ago

But good luck finding a legit old-school Beetle, Baja or otherwise, in 2023. Ditto any other all-steel, computer-free heaps you might conceivably get running after an EMP strike. Nope, you’re gonna have to figure out how to get yourself a set of reliable wheels from the pool of cars released in the last 30 years or so.

The problem with this question is that is assumes you won’t be able to find any classic cars easily and in good condition. I guess this is a regional. I can’t walk around my neighborhood without seeing at least a dozen classics in good condition. For example, my neighbor street parks a ’71 Mach 1.

But with that said, any pre-OBD2 90’s car should work. Just make sure it’s something that was known for reliability during that era.

Kuriti
Kuriti
10 months ago

Old ass Diesel engine with no electronics, converted to wood gas.

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