[ARM] Automation RestoMod Chapter 12: Caddy-Shag Dune-Rat (results posted)



Welcome back to ARM, where your boring stock-car is given new life as a magnificent modded masterpiece! For a more in-depth description of the ARM vision and to get a feeling for the flavour the series so far, please read through the previous Chapters and also read the ARM General Rules and Guidelines. Welcome to Chapter 12.

ARM General Rules and Guidelines (note, currently still WIP)

Link to previous Chapter


Please meet Mr. Sami Farooq! Mr. Farooq is a 25 year old young man living in Saudi Arabia. He just finished his MBA at KAUST, and is now back living with his family in their Red Sea coast mansion near Jeddah. They are a rich business family with petroleum, petrochemical, and banking interests. Sami is slowly integrating into the upper echelons of his dad's business empire, and is slowly amassing his own wealth. This leaves little personal time for Sami, but he does still have plenty of time to enjoy away from work. Sami shares his father's passion for everything automotive, and their large 25-car garage is full of rare and exotic cars. In their free time the Farooqs like to get out on the road, racetrack, or even out in the dunes for a drive, and have gotten quite skilled at driving in various conditions.


For this round you will be working on this:

1935 Cadillac V-16
1946-esque Cadillac V-12-ish...

Allright, this needs some explanation. You see, the Cadillac V-16 is an exceedingly rare car, especially since each one was custom built by hand to the clients’ specifications. Therefore, no two Cadillac V-16s are alike. The Cadillac V-16 was the pinnacle of automotive luxury in the '30s, a true status symbol, and is now recognized as one of the fines automobiles of the pre-war era.

Sami’s father has a real 1936 Cadillac V-16 in the garage which he bought for nearly half a million dollars. To modify (or even extensively use) that car would be automotive sacrilege. Sami, however, loved that car so much growing up with its shiny paint and chrome accents, that he wanted it as a daily driver to show off to his friends. Sami’s father, ever trying to please his son’s whims, thought of a solution: he commissioned a replica for Sami’s 21st birthday. The replica uses retro technologies, but it is more akin to a 40’s car in engineering sophistication.

Fast forward a few years, and as it usually goes, the novelty wore off and the young man got bored of the slow retro car, and now wants something more exciting…


Hi, my name is Sami! I have this replica Cadillac V-16 sitting in the garage, but I have grown quite bored with it. I mean, it's flashy and all, but there is no excitement to be had! It was built as a true replica, old-school tech and all. But it's slow and uncomfortable. The looks are cool, but now that I'm older, I do realize that it is nothing more than a knock-off, a huge fraud. So I want you, dear custom builders, to take this worthless replica and rebuild it into something exciting! Something (retro)modern! Something that is actually capable and comfortable! I want to take the car into the dunes for some overland trips and do some rock and dune crawling. And I want it to look apocalyptic and mean! I'm not sure how else to describe my vision.... but feel free to ask a few questions! - Sami


For this challenge I provide both a V12 version and the original V16 version of the car. So for those that have the V16 DLC, feel free to use it. For everyone else, don't worry; given the rule-set, it is not going to be an advantage to use the V16.

Download one of these .car files:

ARM12_-yournamehere-CLONE_THE_MODEL-_v12.car|attachment (59.2 KB)

ARM12_-yournamehere-CLONE_THE_MODEL-_v16.car|attachment (59.3 KB)

  • Import the car into Automation.
  • Clone both the CAR MODEL and ENGINE FAMILY.
  • Open the car model, and swap the engine to the cloned one if you plan to use the original engine. Otherwise start new engine project for the car.
  • Forward year on both car model and engine family to 2020.
  • Set the names according to this standard:

Engine Family: ARM12 – [forum name]
Engine Variant: [engine name]
Car Model: ARM12 – [forum name]
Car Trim: [car name]

  • Start modding.
  • When finished, export car and PM your cloned and modded .car file back to me.
  • Sit back and wait for results.

If you have trouble with cloning or don’t know how to do it, please watch this tutorial video. It will save me headaches when importing your car, and will save you getting binned:


  • Body morphs are free to change.
  • Do NOT change chassis type, chassis material, engine placement or chassis quality.
  • You may change panel material for face-value cost.
  • As this is just a worthless replica anyway, you may change to a different trim body for just $2000*.
  • You are allowed body moldings and 2D/3D fixtures to alter body shape. However, if you change the body significantly (i.e. something that resembles a full body swap), you will incur the same $2000 cost as if you swapped for a different trim body. When in doubt, feel free to ask before submission and I’ll tell you if yours will incur this cost or not. Use common sense - if you have negataped a solid-body sedan into an open-top convertible and rebuilt the body so that it looks like a modern roadster, then you have incurred this cost…
  • You may change suspension for $1000 per axle.
  • You may change the engine block for $2000.
  • You may change the engine head and valvetrain (leave original block) for $1000 (note that VVT is considered altering the head and valvetrain!). This cost does not stack with the engine block swap (i.e. a full engine swap is $2000, regardless what head is on it).
  • Do NOT exceed a final cost of $65,000 (Approximate Cost shown in Detail Stats). Make sure to factor in the above costs, if any.
  • Do NOT have any aero fixtures on the car.
  • Do make sure to use unleaded fuel, 95 RON or lower.
  • Do have ESC installed.
  • Do have two full seats.
  • Do have a 3-way catalytic converter.
  • The car does need to be road legal, so make sure you have front and rear lights, turn signals, brake lights, mirrors etc.
  • An interior is not mandatory, but making something nice will boost your score.**
  • No obvious Min/Max; limit quality sliders to ±3 or less.
  • Do make sure to forward the year on everything to 2020.
  • Do make sure that you have adhered to the naming conventions above.
  • And again, please please please make sure everything is cloned properly, and cloned or new engine swapped in (see above).
  • Do post an ad with at least one picture of the car on this thread.
  • Last but not least, you are allowed to send me five questions relating to this build challenge to up to 48 hrs before the submission deadline. Do always allow for 48hrs response time! One of the questions may include a pre-render of the car. I will answer questions within reason.

*Note regarding trim body swaps: feel free to change to any other trim body except the two wagon types (see image blow). Those two have broken window textures and I don’t want to see them!

**Note regarding interiors: the soft-top convertibles have partially pre-made interiors. I don’t expect you to get rid of these (would be virtually impossible), but you can still build something nice on top - like a dash and such. The closed-cabin bodies have normal empty interiors to work with. Your choice.

***Note regarding 3D modelling: you are allowed to 3D model any part of the car, HOWEVER do keep things realistic to your actual engineering choices. So you can 3D model functional parts of the car (e.g. suspensions and wheels), but if you have a DW suspension and bicycle tires, but 3D model a raised solid axle and monster truck tires, I will call you out on it. Non-functional parts can be modelled more freely, but again, keep things within the realm of reality.



:star: :star: :star:

AESTHETICS The car will have to look cool! It’ll have to look apocalyptic and exude an aura of threat… like it could conquer the world, chew up the desert and spit it out. A mean dune-eating machine! Sami doesn’t have a fixed idea in mind, but something like a cross between a Rat-Rod, a Mad-Max dune buggy, a monster truck, the Munster’s truck… you get the idea.

UNIQUENESS The original Cadillac V-16s were certainly unique, as each one was tailor built for a specific customer. Same should be true for this one. Although the overall aesthetics are completely different, the uniqueness factor must be there. And although Sami outlined a rough idea of what kind of aesthetic he is looking for, if you can surprise him with something unique, that is guaranteed to give you a leg up on the competition!

OFFROAD: The car will be used regularly as a dune-crawler and overland car, so it does have to have real capability in this area. The rougher the terrain it can handle, the better!

:star: :star:

DRIVABILITY: If the car is difficult to control and is a handful, then it is not that much fun out in the desert. This is not going to be a drift-car or track-car (Sami has other sports cars for that), so having a car that handles well and is easy to drive would be much appreciated!

RELIABILITY: As mentioned, the car will be used in extreme conditions far away from civilization. Sami could call in a helicopter crew to rescue him if he gets stranded, but it wouldn’t make him very happy now, would it.

COMFORT: Sami is used to comfortable transportation and doesn’t like to sit on a bare wooden bench. While he doesn’t expect this car to be comparable to his Maybach, he does expect significant gains compared to the original.


SAFETY: Obviously Sami wants to do some mildly dangerous things with the car, involving potential (low speed) roll-overs (steep rock-crawls, steep dunes etc). So safety needs to be good enough to keep him alive if something does go wrong.

UPFRONT AND MAINTENANCE COSTS: While Sami is rich, he has better things to spend his money on than toys and maintaining said toys. Cost is more of a nuisance, but an annoying one for a business and value-minded individual.

OTHER STATS: Use common sense, and don’t make it worse than the original! They all can be used as tiebreakers, and some might tie in more to the brief than others and be desirable. Pay attention.

Rules will be open for debate until 23:59 (11:59 PM) EST November 16.

Submission deadline is 23:59 (11:59 PM) EST December 4.


Will fuel costs be included in “upfront and maintenance costs”? The description of the priority implies that he will care about that, as he doesn’t want to spend too much money on fuel. However, as strictly written, it’s not a priority.

Edit: Also, the base engines both have at least one quality slider outside of the allowed range. I assume this is an exception to the rule on quality sliders?

Final Edit, I swear: If I keep the original block but 3D fixture it into a flat-12, will that avoid the head swap cost? Or will I need to pay for it anyway?

I expect launch control to be optional, as are the fitment of rear seats (whether full-sized or not) and a high-flow cat for more power.

Fuel consumption is essentially non-consequential. Fuel is almost cheaper than tap water and plentiful.

No, the engines should get a rebuild with fresh components/internals, so the quality sliders should adhere to the stated range.

I’d like to direct your attention tho this:

In other words: flat-12 engines do not exist in game, so if you 3D model one and say that you have a flat-12 then I’ll call your bluff. Only 3D model functional (engineered) parts that are in game to make them look prettier, not something what they are not. If you have a V12, but want to 3D model a prettier V12, be my guest. But don’t model a flat-12 when you don’t have one in the car. If there is a discrepancy between the renders and the actual engineering, then :hammer: and :wastebasket:.

Yes, correct, and indeed.

Allright! Rules are fixed, the challenge is open for submissions.

1 Like

Folks, I’m extending the deadline for this challenge to December 4th 11:59 PM EST. There are a few who cannot work on this project due to US Thanksgiving or other commitments, but would like to complete their submission. I’d rather have a few more quality cars than be too strict with the deadline.

Don’t forget to send Sami your questions if you have any!


The Sparky T’s Customs "Vicious V16"

Hello Sami, here is our proposal for your Cadillac from Sparky T’s Customs. We decided to go with a '30’s gangster meets hot rod meets offroader with this build. As you can see, we have channeled and sectioned the body, reworked the fenders, louvered the hood, and gave it a custom chopped top. We really wanted to emphasize the cars size and give it a long, lean, sinister look. Then is all topped off with a matte finished black on dark red paint job.

Inside, we have completely redone the interior, mixing modern conveniences with vintage design. Now a two seat coupe, you’ll find brown and creme leather upholstery covering the seats and door panels. There’s a luxury infotainment system with a retro inspired overlay, similar themed HVAC controls, and a ratchet style shifter.

On the mechanical size, we have retained the car’s original V16 engine, though it has been tweaked a “bit”, to say the least. Now sporting forged internals, a twin direct injection fuel management system, and twin turbos, it should provide plenty of get up and go. It produces 614 horsepower and 761 pound feet of torque. This oomph is directed through an eight speed ZF automatic transmission and geared LSD four wheel drive system. 0 to 60 is estimated to be 6.4 seconds, the quarter mile in 14.23, and a top speed of 143mph.

While the chassis itself has been unaltered, we have taken the liberty of swapping the suspension, with front dual wishbones and rear coil sprung solid axle. A hydroneumatic setup allows for improved offroad capabilities and an uncompromised ride. Tires are chunky 19 inch all terrain units, a staggered set with 205s in the lead and 245s in back. Fifteen 2 piston disc brakes slow the whole beast down.

The estimate the cost for this proposal to come out to $64200AMU. We at Sparky T’s would like to thank you for your consideration for your V16 Cadillac.


Gentle reminder that the revised due date is in two days - 49 hours to go to get your entries in!


Oxborn 12-12 Marauder

Limitless. That was our main goal for this project. To be able to reach further than anyone else, the fastest way possible.

The Marauder is an extensive retrofit of a 1940s Cadillac V12, specialized for dune raiding and desert competition, although it can be easily noticed by it’s huge tyres, full offroad undertray and raised suspension. Speaking of which, The Marauder is fitted with DW suspension both on the front and the back, minimizing the drivability compromise of driving a car like this on the road. It’s old spring suspension has been replaced with gas cylinders, allowing the driver to adjust the ride height for clearing obtsacles.

In an attempt to keep the soul and spirit of the original car, we have fit a new V12 under the bonnet, albeit a 12L one, making up to 1100Nm of Torque as well as 800hp. The transmission has been replaced with a 8-speed AT and 4x4 drive. The complete performance package pushes the car from 0 to 100km/h in 6.7s, and keeps pushing up to 300km/h. Impressive numbers given the car weights more than 2 tons. Still, it is recommended to avoid going at such high speeds with the set of tyres given.

The Marauder is prepared to defy the harsh conditions of the inmense deserts of Saudi Arabia. The front grille of the car is now closed, and the engine intakes are now installed at the sides, sharing placement with the headlights. This allowed us to use special air filters to keep the sand away from the engine’s internals. Radiators are now placed right under the bonnet, where the sand won’t get so easily.

We also made sure the desert stays ouside the cabin (or should we say, the cockpit?). The original leather removable roof has been taken out and replaced with a fully enclosed ambient, which itself has beenreduced to allow only the driver and a special guest. The roof glass, inspired by late WW2 fighter aircrafts, is surrounded by three impact resistant steel arches, that will prevent any serious harm to the ones inside. The dual canopy is also removable, so you can take a breath of fresh air… while climbing 50° dunes… at 140kph…

We hope Mr Sami takes into consideration our proposal to turn his Cadillac replica into an unique, Oxborn original

1935 Cadillac V16 "Terrestre Mondaine" by Aether

Thank you Mr. Farooq for considering Aether for the conversion process of your 1935 Cadillac V16 replica into an overland excursion ready vehicle and for being so prompt with your responses to the few questions we had about the intentions of the build. As you can see in the design renders we have included below, Aether prides itself in crafting the finest quality automobiles to fit the exacting tastes of our customers. Taking your desire to use your car as a “dune crawler” and overland vehicle into account, our proposed conversion of the V16 turns it into a rugged, land hungry dakar ready vehicle. The body on frame construction of the original car has been kept, as you requested, but the open top, rather plebian body has been replaced with a coach built 2 door sedan body that looks much more aggressive in addition to keeping you fully protected for the harsh Arabian sun. Custom firestone white wall dune tyres have been specially fitted to help you traverse the desert swiftly and confidently while still being rated for 155 mph on tarmac surfaces. The lights use a vintage cover system to keep excess light pollution down so you can focus on what’s in front of you as well as the majesty of the desert sky at night. The overall exterior is meant to have a utilitarian elegance while keeping the elements out of moving parts of the car. The specifics of these off-roading modifications were developed in collaboration with Cometbar, and Australian brand well known for the ruggedness and durability of their designs.

While the exterior might be in keeping with the original flavour of a art deco era sedan, the interior, engine, and running gear are purely modern Aether engineering knowledge. The engine is still an approximately 7.4 L V16, but has been tuned and extensively reworked to be up to the task of being modern levels of performance while still, at a glance, looking like something that could’ve originally been from the '30s. It sends 480 hp to all 4 wheels with Aether"s advanced awd geometry specifically tailored to work with the solid front and rear axels needed in this off-road application. This is all managed through a 9 speed automatic gearbox with a manual differential lock out. Why manual in a car that has so many high tech and electrified features? We here at Aether understand the need for redundancy and manual control in this electrified age. All functions on this car can be triggered manually without the use of the sweeping touch screen control unit in the cabin. This is to allow for complete control of the car even in the most adverse conditions and on very little resources (if the needs arise). With the addition of Aether’s engineering prowess comes what can only be described as a magic carpet like ride over the roughest terrain. This is courtesy of the hydropneumatic suspension on the car, allowing you to adjust the ride height of the car drastically for any and all obstacles. It also allows for distinct ride comfort advantages from your wood, leather, and aluminium lined interior. We did our best to follow your preference for a slightly more minimalistic interior, though we did include some more traditional Aether touches such as the trio of instruments in the center console, quilting on the door cards and seats, and the ambient lighting strip around the cabin.

We hope that you are fully satisfied with the conversion package we have outlined, which is only $59.5k. If anything is not up to your discerning standards, do not hesitate to contact us.




On a quiet Saturday night Sami sits on the upper deck of the mansion and slowly sips his hibiscus tea. As he watches the Sun set over the Red Sea, he reflects on how his life has changed in the past months. He has taken on more responsibilities in the family company and his workload has significantly increased... to the detriment of his free time to have some fun.

“I need to find an outlet; some way to get away from all the stress and disconnect, unwind” - he muses. “Even if it is just for a little while.”

Sami is excited by the prospect of getting his Caddy replica rebuilt into something to do just that. He dreams of getting away from the city, away from his cellphone… and just go trek through the desert. He wants to challenge himself in the dunes, do some real off-roading, camp out overnight and totally unwind without the distractions of daily life.

Today is the day… he has all the proposals from the best custom car shops in his inbox.

He pours himself another cup of tea, opens his laptop and starts taking notes of his first impressions. Let’s see what Sami’s notes have to say.

Sparky T's Customs - Vicious V16


Engine: All-right, let’s see what is under the hood of this beast. This car kept the original V16 engine with the push-rod head, that is a nice touch. The direct injection conversion is nice, but I wonder why it is a twin intake - the engine doesn’t seem to lose anything with a single intake. Ditto the performance intake? The engine doesn’t seem to lose any significant performance with a standard intake, and it’d be much cheaper to maintain… Looks like they added a relatively small and mild-tuned turbo with small intercooler and narrow exhausts. Hmm… speaking of the exhausts, I wonder why the first muffler is reverse flow and the second straight-through? Shouldn’t the second muffler be the main one? Anyway, with the turbo the engine seems a little jerky at 2400 RPM. 614 HP is a decent figure, however, but I wonder if it is maybe too much for what I need? With the mild turbo I’d also expect a better fuel economy than 25 L/100 km. Sure, gasoline is cheap here, but still…

Suspension and drivetrain: The car has double-wishbone front and solid-axle coil rear suspension. It is a little unconventional, but could potentially be OK. Let’s carry on. The car is a true 4x4 with adv. automatic gearbox, which is nice, but I wonder why it has a geared LSD? That doesn’t make much sense for an off-roader. The hydropneumatic suspension with disconnecting sway bars are very nice though, but the ride height of 411 mm is a bit low for the real off-road work. I wonder how much it could be raised with the hydraulics?

Performance: The car promises to scream off the line with a 0-100 in 6.4 s… and literally scream too with 10% wheelspin! This seems a little excessive to me. It is probably partially the result of the off-road tires (which are nice!), but they are very narrow indeed (205F and 245R)! The tire diameter could’ve also been larger for an off-roader (825 mm here with 19" rims)… Braking seems to be on-point though, so there won’t be any problems stopping this beast. The skid-tray adds a good element of off-road protection. In terms of other equipment, the variable hydraulic power steering and standard 10s safety seem very outdated. The nicely put-together two-seat luxury interior with luxury infotainment suits my needs just fine.

Design: The design of the Vicious V16 is top-notch. Both the exterior and interior are exquisitely detailed. As for the exterior, the design nails the retro look, which I commend the designer for. However, it does miss the mark for what I was looking for. The design is clearly a nod to Cruella DeVille’s car. Sure, she’s a Disney villain… but it’s still Disney. I am not a cartoon character. So the car is not really menacing. In terms of practicality, I question the huge sharp spikes on the bumpers. Those might be great in a cartoon, but in the real world they would impale anyone who comes into contact with them, and would likely not be road legal in any way. The rear overhand of the car has been extended, which reduces its departure angle and reduces its off-road capability. The interior of the car is also beautifully made. It features all modern creature-comforts, but disguised in a retro facade, which is just perfect. Yes, the interior is absolutely gorgeous! So, it is a very cool looking car with beautiful detailing, but just misses the mark here in terms of design.

Oxborn Marauder 12-12


Engine: The Oxborn Marauder 12-12 has a… 12L V12 under the hood. That is a… huge engine! I now get the 12-12 name. Well, let’s see what this engine has to offer. It’s a naturally aspirated DOHC4 engine also with twin-performance direct injection. Again, I am not sure why, as a single-standard intake would’ve sufficed and would’ve been much cheaper. In any case, the internals are nice too - the billet crank might be overkill here, but it is nice. The exhaust seems very narrow for the car, and with the regular 3-way cat the flow is very restricted. The car promises to put out 800 HP, which seems… quite excessive to me.

Suspension and drivetrain: This car has double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension. It is probably good for tarmac driving, but not very off-roady. Feels a bit like… a mall-crawler SUV instead. On the other hand, the car does have a true 4x4 drivetrain with manual locker, and 9-speed advanced automatic gearbox, which is fantastic! The air suspension is quite nice with the disconnecting sway bars. Ride height is a bit low at 489 mm, and the positive camber on the rear tires is very questionable…

Performance: I said the gearbox is nice? Yeah, at first glance it was… The 9.4% wheelspin, despite the 0-spaced gearbox, on the other hand, seems less fine. The tires of this car too are rather narrow (215 front and 245 rear) and small (825 mm diameter with 19" rims). The car manages 0-100 in 6.7 s, not that that figure really matters. Brake set-up is a lot more important, and on this car seems a little dodgy. The disks are nowhere near large enough, but have an overabundance of pistons. Definitely could’ve gone with larger disks and fewer pistons to bring down that 6.2% utility brake fade to a more manageable figure. The offroad skid tray is a nice addition, as is the hand-made two-seat interior with premium HUD. In terms of driver aids and safety, this car has enough to satisfy my needs, but nothing extra.

Design: The design of the Oxborn Marauder is superb. The engine block is nicely painted and the header/intakes are beautifully colour-chromed. Very nice work on that. The side exhausts are looking nice and menacing. The overall WW2 fighter aesthetic really works for my taste here and there is plenty of detail everywhere you look… the construction of the headlights and air filters looks fantastic with how they emerge from under the hood. The canopy looks great! I do wonder a little about safety during a roll-over… On the exterior my only two gripes are the checker-board firewall (why?!), and that the rear looks a little… empty. Otherwise, it is simply gorgeous. As for the interior, I have no words. It is drop-dead gorgeous! It is styled as a fighter cock-pit, but still has all the creature comforts of the 21st century. The way it is shaped, it looks like it’ll perfectly envelope my body so that I can become one with the machine.

Cadillac V16 Terrestre Mondaine by Aether


Engine: Well, this car had me almost fooled! It has a naturally aspirated 7.4L V16, just like the original, but it is NOT the original block! The bore and stroke are not exactly the same, but very close to the original… I seriously wonder why Aether chose to swap the engine for something that is almost the same as the original? Seems like a large cost item for no real gain… In any case, the strangeness doesn’t quite end there. The OHC 2V head seems pretty outdated, ditto the MPEFI. This car too opted for a twin intake for no significant benefit, but has a standard version keeping maintenance costs in check. The engine promises a reasonable 480 HP and a fairly flat torque curve due to its VVL valvetrain. The exhaust of this car too seems a little too restrictive. So far, despite the outdated mechanicals, it does seem like a promising start.

Suspension and drivetrain: The Terrestre Mondaine opted to keep the solid-axle leaf springs front and rear. This will likely sacrifice comfort and drivability, but will be bomb-proof. I wonder how the leafs will handle articulation though, and I am not sure how they will interact with the hydropneumatic springs… seems like some sort of voo-doo engineering to me to combine them! Once again, the disconnecting sway bars are great touch though. The 542 mm ride height is OK, although it could’ve certainly been higher for more clearance. As for the drivetrain, the car has an AWD system with manual locker - not a true 4x4, but still decent for off-roading, bar the most gnarly stuff.

Performance: The car sprints 0-100 in 6.1 s, not a bad figure achieved due to the grip advantage of the AWD drivetrain that keeps wheelspin at a very acceptable 2.3%. The advanced automatic gearbox has massive overdrive and allows for a top speed of 323 km/h - mind-boggingly fast to me! The brakes are definitely overpowered on in this vehicle - both front and read would do just fine with just 2 pistons rather than 4. The tires are a tad small and narrow (235F and R, with a diameter of 915 mm and 20" rims). The alloys are probably not quite as suited for off-road use as the steelies of the other cars though. This car is also outfitted with a skid tray, which is always a nice touch. The interior features four nicely made luxury seats and luxury infotainment similar to that of the Vicious V16. Although the second row of seats is hard to access on this two-door body, they might come in handy at times - but I do wonder if more storage space would’ve been better instead. The driver aids and safety equipment is all top-notch with variable electric steering, ESC with LC (OK, the LC is probably a bit overkill on this particular car… would’ve fit the 800 HP of the Oxborn Marauder more), and advanced 20s safety gear.

Design: First thing to mention is that this is the only proposal to include a panel swap to treated steel. To me this seems a bit like a wasted effort for this car. It has no weight savings, and protects the garage-kept car from rust during dry desert excursions… Anyway… The Terrestre Mondaine is just as superbly designed as the other two cars. It has a similar old military design as the Oxborn Marauder, but instead of styling cues from a fighter plane, it is more reminiscent of an armoured vehicle. The detail is absolutely stunning on this car from the front to the back. Not a single inch of this car war overlooked and on the exterior fits the theme to a tee. The full-size spare tire is definitely a nice touch and will come in handy for longer desert trips. In short, it is a gorgeous beast. Jumping into the inside, the interior is just as detailed and wonderfully made with stitched leather, wood paneling, and a detailed analogue and digital instrument cluster. It looks like it would be a dream to sit in the plush seats… but at the same time, I feel like the exterior and the interior of the car tell two different stories. The exterior tells the story of the rugged armoured offroading beast, whereas the interior tells the story of the refined and pampered luxury sedan. In their own right both are fantastic and the workmanship cannot be denied, but they just don’t work well together…

Stats comparison

Well, I feel like all of these cars bring something nice to the table, but they all also have their flaws. With the initial glance there is not yet a clear winner and the final decision is going to be difficult... Well, let's compare their predicted statistics and see how they stack up.


Well, first things first, let's talk about money! Looks like that after factoring in all of the swap costs, they are very close in final purchase price, with the Oxborn Marauder slightly cheaper than the other two. The difference between the cars is not huge though. In terms of service cost, the Terrestre Mondaine edges out the other two (probably due to the standard intake on the car as opposed to the performance intake - easily a $100 difference!). Fuel is cheap here, so the difference in fuel consumption between the Oxborn Marauder and Terrestre Mondaine is not that drastic on the wallet - but the Vivious V16 is clearly all on its own. I'm not an environmentalist, but still... Lastly, reliability. The cars are roughly on the same footing here, but it does look like the Terrestre Mondaine will require more frequent servicing and replacement parts than the other two, driving its overall cost up a tad. Factoring in all of the above, in terms of cost, the Oxborn Marauder and Terrestre Mondaine seem to be on roughly equal terms (perhaps the Oxborn a little bit ahead), but the Vicious V16 clearly trails the other two.

In terms of offroad capability, the Terrestre Mondaine clearly sweeps the other two proposals. The car has a more off-road oriented suspension on all four corners, the greatest ride height, and the largest tires of the three. Only let down by the AWD (vs. 4x4) drivetrain, it promises to be a very capable off-roader. I am a little surprised that none of the cars went with solid-axle coils on all corners though, but you can’t have everything in life… I’ll mention reliability again, because that is a key element for off-roading. Nobody wants to get stuck in the middle of nowhere. In this category, the Terrestre Mondaine trails the other two a little with the Oxborn Marauder on top. It is not a huge difference, but it is noticeable.

Drivability for all three cars is decent; here the Terrestre Mondaine tops the chart again with the Vivious V16 in the last place. I must admit to a little surprise seeing the leaf-suspension car in the lead in terms of drivability, but the poorly controlled power of the other two cars and/or their suspension set-ups really seem to kill their drivability.

Comfort is a bit of a mixed bag here too. The hand-made interior of the Oxborn Marauder is tailor made and will fit like a glove to my body. The HUD is also a nice touch, and will allow me to keep my eye on the road (or rather, next obstacle when there is no road). Not only is it safe, but also comfortable. On the other hand, the luxury interiors of the Vicious V16 and Terrestre Mondaine provide much less comfort, as do their infotainment systems. By mo means are they bad, but just not as good as the Oxborn Marauder. For the Terrestre Mondaine the comfort is probably also significantly reduced by the leaf suspension; for the Vicious V16 by the torquey turbo.

Last, but not least, safety. All three cars are closed cockpits, but none offer a built-in rollcage (which would be key for any possible slow-speed roll-overs. I will still have to be uber-careful with any steep dune or rock climbs! However, the advanced 20s safety features of the Terrestre Mondaine do put it ahead of the competition. The Vicious V16, on the other hand, uses rather outdated technology, and I’d feel less safe in it…

Final Deliberation

Sami thinks for a moment about the proposals, and makes the decision to scratch the Vicious V16 off his list. It is the most expensive offering with the lowest stats. Although the car is very well detailed and carefully designed, and would certainly be the pride and joy of many owners - perhaps even winning some awards at car shows, it just doesn't really speak to him.

Now comes the harder task, to choose a winner… Sami has a very hard time deciding between the two remaining cars. On one hand, they are both gorgeous beasts that he’d love to have in his garage. On the other hand, neither really hits the nail on the head in terms of what he really wants… but he has to choose! The Oxborn Marauder tugs on his heart-strings with its design both inside and out, its price is very attractive, it promises to be quite comfortable, but its 800 HP engine and resulting driving characteristics, and mall-crawler suspension do let it down. The Terrestre Mondaine has great design as well, but the synergy between the exterior and interior are quite jarring and hard to reconcile. It is quite capable and the cost isn’t too daunting either, but the lack of comfort would probably mean that long trips would cause a sore back. Also, the reliability is a bit of a concern when out in the desert…

The winner is....
Sami: "I had a truly hard time deciding on a winner. The Oxborn Marauder and the Terrestre Mondaine both pulled me in different directions. I wanted to choose both, and also wanted to choose neither. But in the end there must be one winner. And I choose..."

For real... the winner is....

Congratulations @Prium and the Oxborn Marauder! Your overall coherent design carried you over the threshold. The only major concern with the car is its off-road capability… The 4x4 is nice, but due to the suspension it is really more of a soft-roader rather than a true off-road beast.

2nd place goes to @Portalkat42 with the Terrestre Mondaine. Although in many aspects the Terrestre Mondaine is the superior car, in the end it is still more of a soft-roader with plenty of compromises (namely the leaf suspension and AWD). So if I have to make any compromises to the off-road capabilities, I might as well choose the car with superior comfort, is cheaper, and more reliable. Also, I couldn’t overlook the discrepancy in design language between the exterior and interior, giving it a much lower aesthetic score.

3rd place goes to @Maverick74 with the Vicious V16. This was a truly beautifully designed car, but unfortunately the design language missed the mark for this assignment. Also, its stats indisputably were the lowest of the bunch. I still very much thank you for submitting a great looking car that I know you put a lot of effort into!

Finally, thank you all for participating and reading. These were among the most detailed and best designed cars I’ve ever received. I cannot overstate enough that you all did a fantastic job with a difficult canvas. Well done, and thanks for sharing those works of art with me.

Epilogue to follow.


Congratulations on the Prium! Your design, as well as Poralkat’s, were on a whole another level! Really top quality stuff you two!

And thanks for hosting this round cake_ape. This was a fun round, even if it was a bit of a pain at times :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:



Thought I’d do a little de-brief and post-mortem of this challenge, just me OOC. I guess it’s almost tradition now for ARM to have something like this that discusses what worked and what didn’t…


The few times I've hosted ARM, I preceded the chapter with a poll to see what the community wanted to build in the upcoming round. I basically every case the poll garnered a fairly large turn-out, indicating a decent interest level. However, although interesting cars were chosen each time, in none of the cases did the people's choice actually convert into submissions. In fact, submission numbers were lower for these chapters. There are probably several reasons for this, but the overall conclusion is that letting the community decide on the next car build is not a good idea, and I will forego this method from now on.


For this chapter I allowed everyone to ask five questions before submission, one of which could be a pre-render of the build that I'd review and give feedback on. Of the three people that submitted, one asked one question, one asked four, and one asked five. None of the contenders submitted a photo/render to critique, which I think is a huge missed opportunity. Of course, the photo/render feedback only works if people are not putting their builds together last minute, but it could've been a huge help I think to steer people in the right direction. As for the written questions, I feel like maybe 50% of them were actually helpful for this build and steered the contestants in the right direction, some others were neutral, and there were some questions that probably served to steer people in the wrong direction. So yea, it is important to ask questions, but they have to be the right questions :). If any of the contestants wants feedback on their questions (this is getting very meta...), don't hesitate to ask and I will be happy to provide feedback.


This was a difficult but interesting one for me. All three cars that were submitted are superbly made and are works art. Especially the Oxborn Marauder and Terrestre Mondaine - they are among the best designed and most detailed cars I’ve ever seen! The Vicious V16 wasn’t far behind either in terms of looks. What made this really difficult was that none of the three really hit the mark for what Sami was looking for - a stripped-down mean-looking Rat Rod Offroader with true hard-core off-road capabilities. Something like these:

Pics of real rat rod off-roaders used for inspiration

I had made a (well, several, but this is the one I settled on as the best) test-build and made preliminary visuals for what Sami would’ve wanted:

With the stats and visuals of my test-mule as a benchmark, I was faced with the dilemma of how to judge the submissions? As gorgeous as they were, none of them hit the mark both in terms of looks or engineering.

In the story I built for Sami, he is a no-compromise kind of person. He always wants the right tool for the job, and wants that tool to do the job right (I basically said this same thing to answer one of Prium’s questions). So in the end I felt like Sami had to make a compromise, as none of the builds really filled the need for the one thing he wanted.


So with all cars missing the mark by a fairly wide margin, I wonder (and I truly mean this and want feedback), was the brief too vague? What could I, as host, have done better or differently to steer the contestants more toward the desired outcome?


Jeez, I like to type a lot... congratulations if you made it this far, and thank you for bearing with me. Despite not getting the envisioned entries, this was still a very fun chapter to run. I am truly grateful for the (I've run out of superlatives - amazing, gorgeous, tasteful, artful...) submissions. It was a challenge to judge, and I hope I succeeded to make it fun for everyone. Thanks again everyone. See you all in the next Chapter of ARM!


To put it simply, these sorts of builds take tons of hours to complete. I know I put in at least 15+ hours on my submission alone and suspect that my fellow entrants took similar timeframes. These were definitely not being put together last minute. Getting a build to the point that you can send in a render of the vehicle to get critique on takes quite a bit of time, and then what if the client hates it? You’ve sunk that time in for practically nothing and probably don’t have enough time to fully flesh out a secondary build.

Why didn’t you include these in your original challenge post? If Sami had these in mind at the beginning, why not show them to us like in the majority of other challenges? Were you expecting us to ask for them in the questions? They would’ve helped massively in informing us as to what Sami actually wanted, which as it turns out is very much not road legal, at least that first one isn’t.


That’s fair, but even without a full rebuild you could make quick modifications to make it align more to what the client wants. Even a simple paint job might do wonders. The feedback I envisioned at this stage was certainly not “this is crap, start over”, but more of a “if you tweaked this a little, it’d be better”. I would’ve been very conscious of how much work it would take and provide feedback accordingly. And yea, I am very much aware how much work went into each of these builds.

I did indeed anticipate someone to ask. That no-one did might’ve been a miscalculation on my part. As for the first inspiration pic, it does seem not road legal, but is nonetheless driven on the road. However, it is an inspiration, not meant to be replicated 100% - it is meant to inspire to build something like this.


I’ll copypaste my commentaries written on Discord:

About sending render screenshots: Idk how I didn’t notice, as my car was almost ready 1 week before deadline. I think it’s not a bad idea honestly, but it could work against competitors that may have to rebuild their car from the ground up.

About missing the target for this round: I thought the mad-max styled cars would be plenty on this round, since it was clearly stated. I thought I should try something a little bit off that general topic, but still close enough to the overal theme. It wasn’t until I had already finished the design that I noticed very few people working on this round.

And finally, I don’t think the brief was vague. I just had a misconception about what kind of guy the supposed client was.

All in all it was an enjoyable and interesting round. Sadly there were few submitters to compete with (and probably lose to lol)

Next ARM round is coming soon! Stay tuned :smiley:


My opinion on polls is simple. Cool cars do not always make for cool challenges.

I personally voted for the caddy, both times. I also came to loathe the body while working on it; it had various issues which are a mix of weird engine issues around fixtures and un-hideable portions like the steering wheel. The body also has really odd suspension placement and chassis issues, especially when you start applying morphs. These all make the body hard to use, and sapped some of my initial enthusiasm. The same thing happened with the previous round, with the Alpine. When I voted, of course, I had no idea that the body had these various issues. I wasn’t checking the body in advance. As a host, if you are going to run a poll, make sure you check all of the bodies.

You are completely right on using polls to judge interest though. I was sure that there would be a lot more entries to BDC2 given the poll numbers… nope. It’s just how stuff works.

I doubt this applies to everyone, but I genuinely did plan on doing this challenge when it originally came out. But the end of the year also happened to be a busy time of year for me, and I didn’t end up having the time to do anything.

So maybe the timing of the challenge could be somewhat related to the low turnout?

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I also originally planned to enter this round because the car was interesting and I thought it would be fun to work with, but through a combination of A. ) it being clarified to me that no, a quad track Cadillac would not in fact be legal for this round and B. ) school, I found that I didn’t really have the time or inspiration to do a car for this one.

re: the brief
If I did end up participating in this round (without making a tractor) I almost certainly would have ended up with something closer to what the other contestants have than a rat rod - I imagine the lack of inspiration in the post contributed. In general I can see what he wants in the stats, but other than “make it look cool and imposing,” there’s not really a huge amount to go off of for the styling.

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