Speedworld: The Big Six
Background material for a Novel based around street racing, drug culture, and a tyrannical state. The Big Six represent the six most influential groups in the underground culture of Speedworld.
Incidental Background Information:
Speedworld is a slightly futuristic dystopian (but not post-apoc) setting that features a powerful and corrupt police state, large organized criminal syndicates, huge swaths of ganglands, and a culture steeped in performance automobiles, guns, drugs, violence, and sex. The Big Six represent the largest and most influential bastions of the automotive aspect of the setting. What they do, others follow, and they exist as almost feudal baronies of their own, studded in the blighted, massive, urban sprawl.
Not so much a performance garage, or tuner shop, Yeheyuan-Corso is an Italian-Chinese import syndicate, and they make most of their money from bulk container shipping, banking, and the drug trade, especially heroin and Chinese sourced pills. They are a player in the car scene because of Shanzhai, counterfeit culture. Yeheyuan-Corso is connected to the Chinese manufacturer underground and they import fake luxury, super, and hypercars. This has created a bizarre situation where there are more fake super high end cars than real ones. There are dozens of tuner import shops and even dealerships that pad their inventory with shanzhai sports cars, and the level of counterfeit quality often comes down to requiring engineers from the original factory inspecting the vehicles and even accessing the onboard computer systems. Most are lower in build quality, and have substandard drive trains compared the real versions, but few people who own the multi-million dollar hypercars never actually use them, so a faux Ferarri might have less horsepower and a different engine, but it still looks like said car, and is still going to be fast.
The biggest thing Yeheyuan-Corso has pulled off is the facilitation of a super and hyper car race culture, where big stakes races are profitable enough against the relatively modest cost of the fake cars for them to be raced. Anywhere else and no one would be loony enough to super up and do highly illegal racing in cars that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. What they import of often the new hotness, and can drive attitudes in the high end consumer market.
Rival: the largest rival to Yeheyuan-Corso is the state customs and border control units who are always looking for contraband and counterfeit goods.
Close to Yeheyuan-Corse, AutoModellista is the premiere super car and hyper car import and tuner garage, and sports a motif that is more Apple Store, or Pandora Jewelry than car lot. Gleaming white, chrome, tasteful lighting, expensive watches, exquisitely manicured hosts and car models who rival professional models for poise and glamour. One of AutoModellista's hallmarks is the marketing of authentic and flawless vehicles and accessories that mark them as simply the best in the field without peer or equal.
AutoModellista is the playground for the ultra-wealthy and their spoiled children, and despite their claims of authenticity, AM does brisk business with Yeheyuan-Corso for discretely importing and moving shanzhai cars across the country. While the street racers and mafiosi and gangland nobility are buying the elite imports, AutoModellista tunes and customizes them, while shipping mid and entry level exclusive cars out across the country, through a network of vetted consignors and middle men.
Rival: AutoModellista's largest rival is the decentralized network of carjackers, chop shops, and nameless, faceless garages that fill out the bottom of the Speedworld economic pyramid. These groups tend to cause collateral damage and will steal a car just to part it out, leaving behind a worthless shell to sit abandoned on the side of the street or in a canal.
Uncle Sam Motors
Uncle Sam Motors is the largest non-manufacturer car dealer in the state of Speedworld and deal in depth and volume. They are known for patriotic motifs, large car lots, loud commercials, and endorsement through the seedier parts of Speedworld including gentlemen's clubs, and similar establishments. They have a large budget, and when it comes to the underground and semi-legal tournament scene, Uncle Sam backs multiple teams, with multiple cars. For customers, they are the Wal-Mart tuner shop, and seldom do more than bolt on work, and basic maintenance or repairs. They don't do any serious customizing other than for their competitive teams.
In Speedworld, Uncle Sam is the sell-out option, and signing to drive for them is considered a punk move. The corp only keeps drivers with good PR, and who dont make the corp look bad on the streets. Its about winning, and being seen, and making sure the kids keep coming in to get bolt on spoilers, body kits, and exhaust tips at well above market price.
Rival: Tuner Performance Garages. Overall the large tuner garages turn out better performance vehicles, but when push comes to shove, they are limited in the material support they can provide, the number of cars they can bring, and driver talent. Like a superstar team, USM has serious drivers, professional motor sport pedigree, and the boots on the ground to maintain multiple race teams across multiple platforms, where most tuner garages struggle to keep three or four cars performance ready, and a small garage might have all of its eggs in a single car and driver.
Representative of the big performance tuner garage, McGregor racing is a large, slick operation with deep pockets and an established racing pedigree that goes back several generations. The garage specializes in mid to upper end import sports cars and does both tournament and professional racing, and the illegal street racing. While not the only garage in this category, the crew that runs it has an established record of winning, a trophy collection, and is a fixture at the local meets and tournaments. When they win, people start leaning towards import tuners.
Straight from the Fast and Furious series, McGregor Racing is a flagship large garage, and is known due to social media presence, charismatic drivers and crewmembers, and selling swag at the tournaments and even backing them as well. There are other more niche import tuners, but these tend to favor a specialization rather than a more general and broad appeal.
Rivals: friendly rivalry with the big block crowd, and the exotic crowd. Less than friendly rivalry with law enforcement, as their cars are more valuable, and they dont have the legal clout that the corporate backed or elite wealthy have. Most relationships with the large garages are neutral, as they flourish by not being tied to one specific organization and being independent.
8th Street Auto Salvage
An antique building dating back to the turn of the century, 8th Street is part junkyard, part auto-restoration shop, and part community center. The garage does a small amount of high profile performance tuning and specialize in older model big block domestic muscle cars. Where McGregor is all about customizing, 8th Street is restoration, and they take in rust, and turn out quarter million dollar muscle cars.
8th Street is old gangland money and its business is buoyed up by holding businesses like pawn shops, cash advance huts, gun shops, bodegas, and seedy venues like topless bars and pool halls. This keeps 8th Street and similar institutions wired into the street culture, and function almost like mercenary gangs inside of the city. Once you're part of the family...
Rivals: Law enforcement is a hostile rivalry, and most others are neutral to friendly. Depending on the situation, 8th Street and establishments like it can ally themselves with or against various gang factions, usually in a bid to keep the peace on the streets.
Sitting at the bottom of the pyramid are the chop shops, the one car garages, and the rent a stall installations like Christines. This establishment was a livestock handling facility decades ago, and the massive metal building has since be repurposed into a parking garage for gear heads who dont have their own garage or place to work. It mostly resembles a self store facility with locking gates, but there is a pool of tools that can be leased from the building owner, and there is often an almost communal respect for tools and talents. The cars held here are the rank and file of street racing, and they all aspire to be something more, and find their way to fame, or a spot in one of the bigger garages, or making their big break and getting out of the rental stall and on their own. A run of good luck or a buy out can take a kid out of a tenement and put them owning their own small business, or getting that chunk of change they need to net change their lives.
These are the tide of spoilers and fart can muffler cars, and fill out the ranks at the tournaments, and the underground scene. Their cars are only remarkable for the artwork and effort they put into them, and they are as easily replaced as they are forgotten.
Rivals: pretty much everything, from the pending breakdown, to police, to better equipped teams, to their own kind stealing or wrecking their cars.
The 7th Precinct
Also known as the Urban Patrol, the 7th is fittingly, the 7th unnamed big player in Speedworld. They are the branch of law enforcement that is tasked with maintaining control of Speedworld at the street level and they are the hunters who prey on the rest of the tuner culture. This would make them a serious threat, they have an ample budget, a large motorpool, and vigorous and zealous training and internal culture that gives them strength. This comes at the cost of being cops, and having the spread their influence against the street scene, against the gangs, and the drug syndicates.
Also known as the Blueshirt Mafia, the 7th is as corrupt as any gang, and the head of the precinct is rumored to be the masked 'Street King' of Speedworld. The 7th represents everything that is being protested across the US, police brutality, racial profiling, state issued murder, and even running their own internal criminal rackets fencing seized goods, evidence, extortion rackets, and worse.
Rivals: literally everyone else has a reason to oppose the 7th. Some wealthy car enthusiasts back bounties on smashing police cars, and damaging police goods. Gangs place prestige in the same, and stealing police gear and burning stations. The upper level drivers make sport of embarrassing the 7th, as even a tuned police cruiser cannot keep up with a high end tuner, the police cruiser has so much extra weight, and they can only increase the horse power so much.
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