Originally Posted by Xaviersx
Watching the oxen pulled car, I immediately had similar thoughts.
Maybe because we live in a world of rapid replacement of goods that 15 yrs seems way past what the manufacturers build them to last for. If the scene had been framed to show the hood removed and heavy engine, it wouldn't have been thought about further since it would be a much lighter husk. The advantages then would be it affords the driver better protection against the elements and mankind's crude projectile weapons, in comparison to a riding in a covered wooden cart/wagon. Also, if you get the car with the right options, you get the rich Corinthian leather seats. Bonus, if the brakes still work so you can get the ox to stop, turn radius on car wheels better than a cart, cup holder for your beverage, and a port to plug in your dead iphone/ipod for the day the electricity comes back.
As for the wheels, I'd guess a good number of bicycle pumps are out there that would keep air in them versus have to cut trees and shape into wheels for carts, so for the less skilled, the materials are there to keep cars. I'd gone with a truck for the flatbed, but maybe the car in the scene was the social town car, not the hauling supplies . . . same engine (oxen) different chassis. That I cared more about that than the characters, . . . kinda not a great reflection on the show.
Here are my thoughts:
- You can remove the engine and leave the hood on. With the engine removed, you could plank in a floor to add storage, including room for an extra couple of wheel and tire sets.
- A good solid wagon would likely yield better protection than the thin plastic or metal of a car body. A .45 bullet would rip right through both doors and keep going. The only really protective part of a car is the engine block and the wheels and brake mechanisms.
- The brakes would be pretty well useless on a car without engine power that never really gains any speed. First, you'd get no braking power without power brakes working and the rotors would be toast due to the lack of polishing you get from higher speed braking. You'd be better off taking them off so they don't seize up on you, other than for cars that still have mechanical e-brakes that would be like the brake on a wagon.
- The turning radious of most wagons is way tighter than any car. You can practically go 90 degress with them.
I do agree that a pickup would be a better choice for use as a wagon, though. Without an engine, there's not much to a pickup. Further, the beds are removable to make it into a flat bed or a panel truck or anything else you need it to be. Plus, the heavy duty suspension would be better for roads that wouldn't be improved and for using improvised wheels when tires might be scarce.
I'm pretty sure the F-150 would continue to be in high demand even after a massive loss of technology.
For the most part, though, the only practical reason why people would be using cars and pickups as wagons is because they're right there and could be modded for the use with minimal effort compared to building or finding an available wagon. If you have access to the real thing, you're better off.
Honestly, something like a pickup would be a perfect candidate for rigging up a steam engine. There's a ton of space under the hood on a full size model if you didn't want to waste space in the bed. You'd definitely have to run without the hood in that case, though.Edited by NetworkTV - 10/21/12 at 8:02am