Well, today's scenic crisis seems to have gotten solved more easily than I thought it might at 2:00 a.m.
Basically the theater's stage is set so high above the auditorium floor (4'-0") that adding my rake, though it's a low one, created sight-line issues from house right. After debate, we ended up agreeing to drop only the first 4'-0" of the rake, turning it into a step, and thus easing the view angle for the worst seats. The carpenters have to be relieved! (I am.)
The broken car problem was even simpler to solve - all it took was throwing great huge unwieldy gobs of money at it. Easy. Painful. But easy.