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Drivin’ in Style Through the Apocalypse

July 20, 2012

I’ve been car shopping lately.  Shopping, not buying.  I’m a bargain hunter, and when I say that I am car shopping it means that the thought has occurred to me that I should replace my current vehicle, so I am now monitoring websites like Craigslist or various auction sites for what might be the best deal.  So, the process has begun.

The last two vehicles I owned were purchased from public surplus auctions.  Between the two I paid about $1200 TOTAL.  The last one of these I later resold for $1100.  See why I like public surplus auctions?  The fact of the matter is this: few people watch the public surplus auction houses, therefore you are bidding against fewer people, thus you get a better deal.  At this point, some of you may be wondering, “what the hell is a public surplus auction?”  Well, to put it simply, it is an auction of goods owned by some public/governmental entity which is no longer needed.  Which means a lot of strange stuff comes up for auction.  Looking for a pallet with 50 computers from the local elementary school which has been out of date since the late 90’s?  There’s probably an auction for that.  Looking for a nice vintage VCR?  Yep, there’s an auction for that.  Want a well-used camera which was once used to take mug shots at the local police station until it was retired in 1968 and has recently been unearthed in the back of a storage warehouse?  Oh yeah, there’s an auction for that.

So, the vehicles which come up for auction are, to say the least, VERY hit and miss.  I tend to buy the police seized vehicles, which are nice normal vehicles that were impounded and never claimed.  But, if I were so inclined, I could buy a fire truck.  Or a city bus.  Or a garbage truck.  BUT WHY?!  Why are these things for sale to the public, and who in the name of Jesus Bungee Jumping Christ is buying them?

Recently, my head was turned as the Phoenix Police Department put a military truck up for auction.  What. The. Fuck?  Why does the Phoenix Police Department even HAVE a military truck?  Who is going to buy this thing?  And what, if not a military enthusiast or museum looking to expand their collection, would a person DO with this thing?  And then it hit me…

Zombie Preparedness

Are you ready for the zombie apocalypse?  REALLY?  Look at your vehicle.  Is it designed to cruise through traffic, or to withstand the horde?  Is it built to get the kids to school, or built to kill?   Frankly, I don’t think you’re ready.  I don’t think I am, either.  So, with this in mind, I set out to review 5 possible zombie survival vehicles currently up for auction on public surplus auctions.

1) Military Truck

The military truck is an interesting option, and could be yours for just north of $2500.  Unfortunately, it might make you look like much more of a badass than you actually are.  It is huge, but a lot of that space is open air.  Ouch.  On the plus side, it comes with the rails upon which the canvas cover is meant to be strung.  I figure, put those puppies in place, weld some animal fencing or even chain link to the framework, and you’re all set to have a pretty sweet position to pick off zombies, leaving nearly 360° in which to aim and shoot.  I only scored it one brain in the reliability category because it was built by AMC in 1985… alongside the Pacer I assume (just kidding, Pacer production ended in 1980).  It isn’t much on stealth, so I only scored it 1/2 a brain here; despite the nearly camouflage green color, it boasts a gigantic engine and air horns.  Overall, it earned 2.17 tasty brains as a vehicle for the zombie apocalypse.

2) City Bus

The perfect way to take an army of people to safety: the city bus.  It scores a perfect 5 brains for both size (at 30 feet in length) and seating (28 seats).  Then, things begin to fall apart.  Reliability?  Built in 1948.  Sure, it’s running now, but for how long? Better have a mechanic in the group.  Stealth?  Not much you can do to hide a 30 foot bus rolling down Zombie Lane.  Ease of use?  Better have your CDL… you’re gonna need it!  Apocalypse ready… currently yeah.  It’s about 1.5 brains ready.  But, here’s something to consider.  Due to it’s age, that ain’t safety glass on there.  When that breaks, someone WILL get cut.  Now you’re bleeding out… and now THEY smell blood.  Overall:  2.17 tasty brains.  YUM!

3) Modern Shuttle Bus

Here we have a VAST improvement over the previous bus.  The size is still nice (though not quite as clumsy as the 30 footer), but the seats have been greatly reduced (in large part to accommodate a wheel chair ramp). That’s okay, because bringing a WHOLE busload of people with you is more of a liability than anything.  NO tasty brains for stealth; not only is it a big fucking bus, but it’s a big YELLOW AND RED fucking bus.  Good luck with that.  It’s pretty new, which means it should be fairly reliable and easy to drive.  In the end, it scored a solid 2.75 tasty brains overall.  Zombietastic!

4) Eco-Friendly Transport

So, you want to save the world while saving yourself.  Well… okay.  Good for you, I guess.  I’m sure your yoga instructor will be proud that you decided to reduce your carbon footprint while civilization crumbles.  This is an interesting option, though.  The ZENN is a little two-seater, but it has a decent amount of cargo area.  2.5 brains for reliability based on the whole question of, well, where are you going to charge this thing?  I mean, yeah, you have a simple engine, and that should be easy to maintain, but if there is no reliable power grid, you’re in trouble.  It’s sneaky as hell, and as easy to drive as a golf cart, but in order to be apocalypse ready, you’re really going to need to cover this thing in solar panels.  Prepare to slowly, and silently, roll through the zombie apocalypse for a bit over $2000 in this 2 and 2/3 tasty brains rated electric hatchback.

5) Go Bold … Kill Anything in Your Way

If there’s one thing I learned by watching Zombieland, it’s that the Hummer is the perfect vehicle for the zombie apocalypse.  Who am I to argue?  Seriously, though, this is one BADASS Hummer.  It features tons of cargo space, with a utility bed designed to carry tools for fighting wildfires, but it only seats 2 which is a bit of a bummer considering the size of the thing.  Is it reliable?  Let’s see: designed for warfare, redesigned for fighting forest fires.  Yeah.  It’s pretty reliable.  And it not only has 4 new tires, but it comes with the 6 spares (4 already mounted on rims) in case you get a flat (or 6) along the way.  Nice!  In the area of noise and stealth, it is a lot less noticeable than a military truck or a yellow and red shuttle bus, if you want it to be.  BUT it does still have the light bar and siren in case you really don’t give a shit.  Ease of use?  Easier than everything short of a two seat electric vehicle.  And talk about apocalypse ready!  CB radio? Check.  300 gallon water (or, if you prefer, gasoline) tank?  Check.  AND it has a water pump to either blast the water from a hose which is mounted on the rear on a reel, OR it can blast water (or, I guess, gasoline) from a water cannon on the front bumper which is operated by a goddamn joystick and view screen from the comfort of the inside of the vehicle.  That’s right.  Turn blasting zombies into a video game.  Or… I guess… BACK into a video game.  This beast was BUILT to survive the impending end of civilization.  No wonder some smart investor is willing to fork over $21000 on this baby.  With an overall score of 3 and 1/3 tasty brains, it’s SO worth it!

Is That All There Is?

Well, actually, no.  There are, frankly, a number of vehicles for sale with little possible purpose OTHER than surviving in a world overrun by zombies.  The best of these vehicles, though, never made my list.  It was on Craig’s List and it was taken down by the seller before I could feature it on my blog.  Damn him!  But, he was probably inundated with people emailing and calling with rabid desire to buy his sweet ride, so I can sort of understand taking it down.  It was a conversion van with… well… FUCKING EVERYTHING you could ever put in a van.  Gas engine AND hydrogen cell engine under the hood, refrigerator, seven television screens, a Nintendo Wii, a PS3, and a laptop in the cabin. And it had solar panels to run all the electronic gadgetry therein.  It was absolutely apocalypse ready.

Sadly, I’m still not ready.  But I’m looking.  CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

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19 Comments
  1. This is pure genius. I have nothing else to say.

    Actually that’s not true. I have a real question rather than something snarky and witty to say. How do you search for this stuff on Craigslist? When I want to do a wide sweep (no matter where the area) I can never figure out how to do it. How do you find these surplus auction houses? I’m serious. The hubs and I just bought a house and I’m looking for some stuff and have been stalking craigslist but those people think their crap is worth way more than I’m willing to pay! DAMN YOU PINTEREST! You are giving people the idea that others will buy your crap and repurpose it! Not if it’s laminate you idiot! Anyway. Share your actual way you do your search? K Thanks.

    • First of all, I’m with you on Craig’s List. For every remotely interesting item I come across, I have to wade through endless piles of overpriced crap. And I have no search suggestions for Craig’s … it’s just the way it is.

      As for auctions… I have done it a few different ways. 1) Almost every major college or university has an auction house for surplus property. I know where both the University of Arizona and Arizona State University have their auctions. 2) Run a Google search for “auction” for whatever you’re looking to buy (like “furniture” or “auto”) in your area. What you’re looking for here is a local auction company which specializes in liquidating property at closing businesses. In my area, Sierra Auctions does this… they go into a business on a specified day and sell everything from the company vehicles down to the small office supplies. 3) All the vehicles above come from http://www.publicsurplus.com which is a clearing house for thousands of government agencies. It’s also the site where I picked up my last 2 vehicles. On the main page, you can click the “Select Region” option under where it says “Browse Auctions Within Area” and select your state. BUT take note that every different government agency has its own auction rules, which will be stated on each item’s auction.

  2. I can’t believe I have never heard about these auctions…. I feel like I’ve somehow failed as a human being….

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    • They’re not necessarily for you, Val. They’re for those of us who DON’T know how to hotwire a car. So, never fear. You already have a contingency plan in place.

      • Oh… good! WHEW!!! I thought I was missing out. And here I was all ready to buy one like some kind of newbie. I’ll just steal it!

        YAY APOCALYPSE!!!!

  3. GET THE BUSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    • LOL… wait, which busssssssssssss did you meannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn?

      • Sorry, the city bus. Also, I was drunk when I wrote that comment, hence all the esses. Oops. Sober now… not for long…

  4. I want to have an opinion about which vehicle would best serve you in the inevitable coming doom, but I don’t. I’m deeply conflicted over the cool factor (obviously the city bus), the safety factor (military vehicle), and the fact that I’d love to see a vombie attack outrun in a miniscule electric car.

  5. Haha… yeah the tiny electric car just seemed too funny not to include.

    “HONEY! THEY’RE GAINING ON US!!”

    “I know, but the SUN WENT BEHIND A CLOUD!!! We’re DOOMED!!”

  6. This was awesome. i love the bus, but even in the apocalypse, people will still stick gum under the seats.

    • I know, right?! Wait, that bus has been in service since 1948. Think of the HISTORIC layers of gum which have built up over the decades. Wow. Gross, yet fascinating!

  7. SHUTTLE BUS FTW. Even though it’s yellow. It would look pretty awesome with a grill made out of machete blades.

    • Yeah, I gotta agree that he front end of that shuttle bus looks MEAN. I could totally see Mad Maxing out that bad boy.

  8. OMFG! This is hilarious! I laughed so hard I almost peed! And, I kind of like the bus. Oh, btw I’m Lucy. 😉

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