ca. 2000: Federal government moves to nationalize dwindling supplies of oil and natural gas production. Legislatures in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana react by seceding, and move to nationalize these resources themselves. Pitched battles with federal forces follow, resulting in the destruction of several oil field sites on both sides of the newly-established border.
2012: Grain blight breaks out in Nebraska, spreading rapidly to neighboring areas. A simultaneous blight seems to have taken root in the Ukraine. Accusations fly, charging deliberate biological warmongering, followed by nuclear warheads. To everyone's surprise, satellite defenses soak up virtually everything that can be dished out, dissipating most of the fallout above the atmosphere, and causing little resulting disturbance on the planet below. Meanwhile, the world's stock of grains, excluding barley and sesame, have been utterly devastated. Severe food shortage world-wide. The U.S. is in better short-term shape than most, since the blight apparently has no effect on foods with preservatives in them.
2013: The newly convened Congress abandons nuclear warfare appropriations.
2016: The Food Riots. "Fortress" towns develop. National government fails to keep order throughout much of the U.S.
2018: Cycle gangs rule most of the U.S. outside fortress towns. Country real estate becomes nearly worthless; algae farming makes up lost food production.
2020: Many large cities totally abandoned. National government regains authority, but enforcement decentralized. Economy weak but stable, with food rationed and unemployment at 37%.
2030: Statistics show "smash-and-grab" cycle and car gangs much reduced. Country real estate begins to rise in value. Law-enforcement officials credit vehicular weaponry of private citizens, but point out that "the gangs that are left are now better-armed than we are..." Autoduelling now legal in 39 states.
2031: Car Wars released to the general public.
2032: July - National attention focuses on Midville, Ohio, when the events detailed in Sunday Drivers occur. November - "Massacre at Midville" takes place (related in TSG 58).
The Army has ordered 80 fast attack vehicles (FAV's) from Emerson Electric Company for the
9th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade. Based on the Chenoweth off-road racing vehicles and fitted
with a Volkswagen Rabbit engine, the FAV can achieve cross-country speeds on the order of 70 mph.
The vehicle can be fitted with a heavy machine gun, automatic grenade launcher, or antitank
- Army Magazine, 1/83
For $240-300, you can add a jacket to your wardrobe that will deflect rain, bullets, knives,
and fire. Each garment comes with a $500,000 insurance policy that will be paid if the jacket or
vest is penetrated and the wearer killed.
- AP, Los Angeles, 3/15/82
Fights, assaults, and shootings on Houston's freeways have increased up to 400% in less than
a year. Houston motorists are so angry about minor traffic accidents and people pulling in front
of each other that they are resorting to firearms and to using their cars as battering rams
on the automobiles of their fellow citizens.
- Austin American-Statesman, 1/14/83