December 7th, 2014

Prototype Car Manufacture Costs and Timeframe

I am trying to find out how long it would take to build a production intent prototype car and what the likely cost would be.

The scenario is that a car manufacturer wants to produce a new design of vehicle that hasn't been done before. He has existing plant, factory and manufacturing process, and engineers that he can use, but the car will look and work significantly differently to his current models. He wants to build a prototype to see if it will work - with the aim of putting it into production. How long would building the prototype take? Is 6 months realistic? Too long, too short? And what would the likely cost be? (ballpark figure is fine).

I don't need to go into huge detail as long as people reading the story don't go "HUH? It took one week and cost ten pounds? I don't think so!" - I'm exaggerating, but that's the kind of thing I want to avoid!!!

I'm not talking about building a non-working concept car. This is supposed to be a production intent prototype.

The book is set in the UK, 80 years in the future, after an environmental catastrophe that has changed the face of the planet. I don't think any of that has any bearing on the question - I'll adjust for what I think is likely inflation/deflation in cost. I just want to know what's likely now and can extrapolate the rest to suit my story.

I've done quite a bit of reading and research online but it's such a specific enquiry, it's hard to find out for sure. I have searched 'building a prototype car' and 'cost of building a prototype car' but beyond some background reading, I haven't found anything that comes close to answering the question.


Late Victorian Evening Gown-fabrics and colors

Hullo, all.
I'm having a little trouble outfitting a character for a small-ish dinner party in the late Victorian era, roughly the 1890's. Things can be hand-wavy since it's an AU, but ideally I'd like to have a preserved gown, or less ideally, a fashion plate to work from.

The character in question is the daughter of a marquess, and needs to be all kinds of fashionable (and lording it over the less well to do guests just a bit-she's not a particularly pleasant guest). I was hoping for shot-silk/taffeta or watered silk, but while I've found references to those fabrics being used, I can't seem to find any information on how popular they were, or what sort of trim or jewelry might be used with 'em. More importantly, I'd like her to be dressed in a darker violet or red or berry color, or a medium/sky blue, and I just can't seem to find these colors outside of day dresses and costumes. (She's not a young woman, and doesn't need to be in pastels, at this point, but I'd like her to at least wear something other than black, white, or gold.)

I've used Worth gowns, 1890s Worth gown, 1890's gowns, Victorian evening gowns (&) dresses, shot silk (&) taffeta evening gowns, 1890's evening fashion so far. Any information on what would be the height of fashion as far as materials and colors go would be awesome, so if she's more likely to be in velvet, or anything else, that works too.

Thanks!