[ARM] Automation RestoMod Chapter 21: The Tale of Two Brothers [CLOSED - COMPLETED]

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Automation RestoMod Chapter 21: The Tale of Two Brothers

Jason had always looked out for his little brother Gavin for as long as Gav could remember; it didn’t matter that they had different fathers and a 10 year age difference, Jason was always Gav’s role model and the two were inseperable. They both shared a love of sports, girls, and cool cars, which made it all the more difficult for Gav when, out of the blue, Jason was involved in an accident at work and ended up in a wheelchair. While the doctors had told Jason that it wasn’t permanent, it was going to be a long time before he could walk properly again and there was a significant risk that he would lose significant dexterity in his legs.

Shortly after this, on the morning of Gav’s 25th birthday, Jason led Gav out of the house and to the front yard where his present for his little brother was waiting in the driveway.

“You know that car I bought for almost nothing just before my accident?” said Jason, “Well it’s going to be a while before I can think about driving again, so happy birthday bro! It’s going to need quite some work to get looking good, but if we pool our money I bet we can make this thing beautiful…”

The project car

I really shouldn’t be hosting this round, but as fate would have it, I ended up being the ‘winner’ by default. As @Ludvig was kind enough to provide his ~90% complete vehicle (a real barn find E21), I have decided to use his car as a base instead of my own.

That being said… Apologies to @Ludvig for taking his 90% complete vehicle and “tastefully modifying” it to represent something that might have been sold for cheap by some young dude. :rofl:


Clone both the imported model and engine family before you start modding. Nowadays this can all be done with one button of the Car Designer tab in Automation - the one circled red in the photo below. It is highly recommended to exit the game and reopen it after cloning it and before updating any trim/model dates.

If there are any mods used in the car model, the game should tell you what is missing. If you have any issues let me know, but I’m not expecting any.

GENERAL RULES (preliminary draft)

  • Maximum Budget (as shown in the Testing tab, Detail Stats section) is $27,500
  • Car model date should remain unchanged (1975).
  • Engine model date should remain unchanged (1975) unless you are opting for an engine swap (see below under penalties).
  • Set car trim and engine variant dates to 2020.
  • All tech-pool must be set to zero.
  • Quality sliders must not be set above +4 or below -2.
  • Chassis type & chassis material cannot be changed.
  • Chassis quality and body quality must be zero.
  • No V16s or race parts (race intake, race tubular exhaust, semi-slicks).
  • You must post an ad with at least 1 picture of your car on this thread.
  • Interiors aren’t mandatory but encouraged. These don’t need to be amazing or super detailed, however a well thought out interior will give some small bonus points.
  • You get 3 questions to in terms of Jason & Gav’s likes and preferences (noting if you are vague, you will probably receive a vague answer) - Both Jason & Gav will answer each question.
  • You get unlimited rule questions (such as “Does this incur the body modification cost”) as you need, unless you are a super annoying troll, in which case you get -100 points.


  • Wheel concavity, rim centre offset, lip thickness can be changed freely.
  • Tyre tread width, wall curve and thread curve allowed in moderation (OK for adjustments, not to make the tyres look like something they are not, if you’re unsure, ask!).
  • A (+/-3) ride height adjustment is allowed
  • Chassis tunnel size and firewall position can be changed freely.
  • Exhaust and intake sportiness can be altered freely.
  • Engine X, Y, Z coordinates & rotation can be altered to make the engine fit better & more realistically if required.
  • Everything else needs to be set to 0 (Preliminarily, open for discussion)


  • NOTE! Some morphs can cause unexpected issues & mess up the front and rear fixtures. You have been warned…
  • A-Pillar, B-Pillar, C-Pillar, sill and overhang morphs should stay untouched. Other morphs allowed (noting applicable cost penalties below).
  • The only body variant change allowed is to the convertible version, which will get the applicable cost penalty for extensive body mods.
  • Using 3D/Patch/morphs (the legal ones) to make the car look like something it is not is allowed, however, but will incur the same price penalty as other extensive body mods.


  • The general rule of ARM is to not make a car worse. A small drop (up to 10% maximum) in one single stat if it really bumps up the others will not disqualify your entry, however if you have multiple stats that are worse, then I’ll reserve the right to instabin. Exception to the rule: “Footprint & Offroad” stats - I don’t care about these.
  • 3 way cat (any kind) is required.
  • Unleaded fuel is required.
  • The car should still appear street legal and have all the major equipment needed for that (Of course, small details will not bin your car, but anything significant missing or incorrect then it is likely to be disqualified.)
  • I won’t judge colour usage unless it’s completely terrible (and even then it would only count as a minor negative). I have a degree of colour-blindness, so unless I role-play the brothers as also having it… it’s not really fair :stuck_out_tongue:


  • Suspension type swap will give a $1000 penalty per axle.
  • A cylinder head change (keeping same bore/stroke) will give a $1000 penalty.
  • Panel material swap will give a $1500 penalty.
  • Changing engine orientation will give a $2000 penalty.
  • Patch/3D/Morphs that radically is altering the looks of the car will give a $2500 penalty (if you’re unsure, just ask).
  • A complete engine swap will give a $3000 penalty.
  • Changing from RWD to FWD/AWD/4x4 will give a $3500 penalty. However, it will also give a $500 discount on engine orientation change.


Jason and Gav have slightly different tastes, so your final score will be the combination of 2 separate scores.


Jason: Exterior Aesthetics
Gav: Exterior Aesthetics


Jason: Drivability, Safety
Gav: Sportiness & Performance, Prestige


Jason: Comfort, Utility, Practicality
Gav: Running costs (Fuel econ, service costs), Drivability


Jason: Sportiness & Performance, Reliability
Gav: Comfort, Practicality, Reliability


Jason: Prestige, Running costs (Fuel econ, service costs)
Gav: Safety, Utility

Zero Stars: Offroad

Bonus Points: Interior Aesthetics (note that I will judge on intent, rather than perfection of execution - I have trouble with interiors, so I’m giving everyone the benefit of the doubt :))


Base car file:
Bayerische_Doener_Werke_E21_-_316.car (59.9 KB)

  • Set Car Model and Engine Family names to “ARM21 - [Your Forum Username Here]”.
  • Set Car Trim and Engine Variant names to whatever you wish.
  • Post the advert for your restomod proposal in this thread, remembering that there must be at least one picture of your car included.
  • While it won’t affect judging scores, feel free to add more photos and any relevant bit of lore too.
  • Send me a direct message in this forum with your .car file attached.


  • ARM21 open for discussion, rules deliberation, and feedback from Wednesday March 22nd (GMT). Please give me any suggestions you might have in terms of rules refinement and clarification.
  • Rules finalisation by Friday March 24th 23:59 (GMT)
  • Submissions open on Saturday March 25th, 00:00 (GMT)
  • Submissions close on Saturday April 8th, 23:59 (GMT)


The period from the time this is posted until submissions are open is a period of rules discussion and deliberation. Please give me any suggestions you might have in terms of rules refinement and clarification where you think it is unclear, doesn’t make sense, or could be improved.


I will probably have more questions later on :rofl: But regarding the “questions”, let’s say that I wonder which colours (to take an easy example) Jason and Gav likes. Will I get an answer from both of them, and have two questions left, or do I have to ask them that question separately, and only have one question left?

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Ah good point - each question will be answered by both (and count as 1 question) :slight_smile:


Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there a .car anywhere in the post?

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No you need to first make the base project car :sweat_smile:

Hahaha, no .car file yet - finishing touches being applied, but will be posted soon.


What kinds of exterior colors do the brothers like the most, and what colors do they like the least?

Updated rules. I won’t really judge colour combinations unless it looks like a complete garbage clown-car, so feel free to use whatever you like and think looks good :slight_smile:

I’m glad you could take it on (in a timely and well done fashion as well), and endorse the use of “my” halfassed E21. The “tasteful modifications” are good to make people want to save the poor thing :wink:

Just a PSA for everyone: DON’T TOUCH the Roof Height Morph unless you mean it - there is a decent chance it will mess up your front & rear fixtures, which is a bad time. I wouldn’t trust the other morphs either

Another (minor) error: Submissions should close on april the 8th I guess and not march the 8th.

imagine not being dedicated enough to invent time travel to submit to the challenge


Fixed & base .car file uploaded :slight_smile:

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I just found out inline 6s with 76 mm bore diameter or more, won’t fit. Devs pls fix
Oh well, there are plenty of good engines that do, original M10 included.

When you say unleaded fuel required, do you mean regular unleaded? Or is another type allowed?

Oh, also - wheel offset is one of the advanced trim settings you used to make the car look like a barn find. Can we reset it to 0?

unleaded = any of regular, premium, ultimate (91/95/98 RON) etc.

Oh, yes good point. I’ll update w.r.t. wheel trim settings

Alrighty then! Rules finalised and submissions open! :slight_smile:

Note that after a few test-runs, i’ve dropped the budget slightly to make a bit more of a trade-off required.

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(Yes, I couldn’t keep my hands off it, so here is an early entry :rofl:)


In the 70s and early 80s, the Baur targa conversion of the E21 was seen as the perfect compromise. The open air feeling of a convertible, but with a solid, rigid, safe body like a coupé. At LMJ design, we still feel that it holds true in modern days. That’s why we recreated the concept from Baur.

Given that your budget was a bit tight, we will mostly focus on fine tuning it to meet modern day expectations, and improving the looks so much that you probably will not recognize the battered old base car anymore.

To start with, we will change to the twin headlight grille, which also means that there is no need for the aftermarket spotlights cluttering down the front anymore. Clear lenses on the turn signals gives a fresh and modern look. The bumpers from god knows what is replaced with a pair of stock bumpers, and at the same time, we replaced the missing side trim and the odd windshield wiper. A BBS spoiler and a pair of subtle sideskirts not only looks good - they also help somewhat with high speed stability. Slightly flared arches (all metalwork, no stick on fiberglass parts here) further enhances the look.

A racing filler cap and modern flush type door handles, as well as a pair of classic bullet type mirrors are subtle changes that enhances the looks rather than clutters it down on this beautiful old BMW. Even in the rear, there are now clear turn signals, as well as the classic “heckblende” as the Germans calls it. Speaking of heckblende, there is where we have placed the LMJ design logo, to keep the clean look. Clever, huh?

The fart can has no place on a BMW and we replaced it with a more classic stainless twin tailpipe. 16 inch wheels with 45 profile rubber gives a nice balance between cornering grip, comfort and looks. To top it off, we finished it in pearlescent white, a choice that is clean, elegant and will never go out of style.

The iconic E21 dashboard with its curved centre console is more or less stock. But we added cupholders and a touchscreen headunit. Other touches are a mahogany steering wheel and mahogany gearknob. Leather seats are both beautiful and practical in this semi-open-top car, and the red colour complements the exterior well.

Some additions for comfort is a simple A/C, electric windows and a power steering rack. Under the hood there is a little surprise, though. We sourced a M42 engine from an E30 318is, a car that wasn’t called “the baby brother of the M3” for nothing. A slight retuning bumped up the power even more, and even if you won’t challenge a GT3 at the redlight, it’s still enough to make the car frisky and fun to drive - and that’s what counts, right? It is mated to a modern 6 speed manual, and of course we upgraded the brakes, meaning that using the power of the M42 is by no means unsafe.

An enjoyable driving experience, elegant looks and most important of it all, sunshine and fresh air. What more could you possibly ask for?


The budget drop seems a little harsh to me. It restricts engine swaps to 4-cylinder or very cheap 6-cylinder swaps, which can still be worth it but is a little disappointing. In the original budget i was just barely able to squeeze a 90s LT1 (as in Corvette engine) with substantially lowered fuel system quality, but now it seems like you’d have to put in a carbureted small block if you want a V8, which is kind of weird for 2020. Just my two cents as that’s rather unfortunately timed drop in budget right before opening subs.

note: this is all being done under the assumption you don’t want to have some übercheese F1 v8 under the hood, which i believe would be possible to do but seems a tad unbelievable.


Oh, crap…

I am going to be completely honest now, yes, I know that this is my fault. I should have double checked stuff… Going by the old 30K budget I presumed that it was unchanged, considering that budget was never mentioned here. I will absolutely have to do some adjustments to my entry now…

However, it was challenging to improve the car already on the old budget. Challenging in a good way maybe, since you really had to be careful with your picks. I agree that the new one was a little bit too harsh. But if you want to keep it there, sure, it is up to you as a host.

However, I think that for clarity, if you as a host feels that the original budget is too generous, it could be an idea to at least put up a mention about it for discussion in the thread. It is…maybe a bit sneaky to put up a budget change in the last minute with nobody even having a chance to give an opinion. That’s after all, IMO, what the rules deliberation are good for.

I fully respect that it is your right as a host in the end, I am just not sure that I like changes in the preliminary ruleset without any discussion at all, though.


Yeah the budget is tight for any engine swap, putting a B38 or S14 is out without putting dumb amounts of negative quality.
But all they technically do is make higher/lower numbers. The visual part is free, like @Knugcab demonstrates with excellence (except converting to convertible costs 2500 extra or something)

Note: not maxing out “optimize weight” to “heavier” like I did in the OG carfile saves some $.