I will admit to watching some television, but I generally detest “reality shows” that involve competition and avoid them at all costs. The granddaddy of the genre is Survivor, a show that seems to have been on the air for some number of seasons that is more than I can remember but refuse to take the time to look up. Let’s just go with “a lot”.
The automotive version of Survivor is played a little differently. I think this is a show worth watching.
First we take cars and put them in a hostile climate. High summer heat, frigid winters and plenty of rain, ice and snow. And salt thrown with great abandon in order to melt the ice and snow.
Next we add a series of relationships – the first is often the best but then one partner (and isn’t it always the other one) has a wandering eye and moves on to another automotive relationship. The poor car is left to weather a series of deteriorating domestic situations with a steady downward spiral into poor health.
When cars are left to more-or-less fend for themselves with nothing more given them beyond a daily quaff of their favorite amber beverage, this is where the tough ones really separate themselves from the others.
There are the high-maintenance drama queens or the beautiful but high-strung types, but not out on these mean streets. The ones who lounge frequently on a flat bed will not make it to old age in this environment.
So some cars weather these storms better than others and prove themselves to be true survivors – cars that continue to start each morning and ambulate under their own power. So here we are with this season’s contestants – cars that have survived the brutal tryouts and are ready for the big time.
This one comes from good stock and has a genetic predisposition to longevity. But there is also some attitude, courtesy of tats and piercings. Although raised to be unobtrusive and a hard worker, this contestant has seen no reason that one cannot be both a hard worker and a little in your face about it. This one will not back down from confrontation and has led a rough enough life that it just doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks. What’s one more scar, more or less?
Next come a pair of twins. These were frumpy and not terribly popular in their youth, but had some tricks to get by. They are highly intelligent, figuring out early that an accommodating demeanor could come in really handy as a way to be versatile. And where good looks may fade, versatility does not. Power is not their forte but they have good DNA which they count on using to outlast everyone else in the field.
They don’t drink a lot but have no problem with the occasional big party. Their strategy is to work together for most of the contest but to then break away. One thinks a light attitude will win the day, the other is counting on a darker outlook for an edge. Either way, it looks to be significant odyssey for each.
Next up is this guy. He may look like a big dumb ol’ midwestern boy but he knows a thing or two about making things happen. There are no tricks about this guy, he just counts on a sturdy constitution and a blue-collar work ethic he was born with. And he has the strength to tote a lot of stuff, a skill that can come in handy when the competition gets tight.
And he is not as dumb as he might look, but has earned some credentials that have helped him get fairly far in life – an EEC IV and an AOD, both of which were earned with a stellar 5.0 GPA. Or is that EPA – I need to refer back to the press kit. He is not one to boast, but he cryptically says that he has 150 reasons that he will come out of this competition without a hitch.
Finally, we have the bad boy, the lightning rod that viewers will either love or hate with no middle ground. This Swede has lived fast and hard. It figures to power past the competition, hoping that its sometimes uncontrollable urges of self-destruction don’t get the upper hand.
This one hopes for some time in cold conditions, as it has trained extensively for this contingency. “Ice and snow? Ja, bring it” said this guy when interviewed.
It hopes that its middle-weight frame gives it a combination of power and maneuverability the others lack. It believes that it will be capable of sustaining a 9000% effort from start to finish (but acknowledges that such effort brings the risk of a physical breakdown that could cost it a place in the winner’s circle, as well as an emotional crisis that might leave it a sobbing mess along the berm of the final stretch. Stockholm syndrome can be an ugly thing.
Each of these contestants has made the grade up to now, handling all that life and other contestants have been able to throw at them. Which do you think has the stuff to win it all as the Ultimate Indiana Survivor 2019?
All photos taken between August 12 and October 22 in the same parking lot in Fishers, Indiana.