[ARM] Automation RestoMod Chapter 27: Who you gonna call? (FINALS!)


OK, it is autumn, mabon was a week ago and we’re on our way to samhain, so what could be better fitting now than a little spooky twist on ARM?

Valtteri Ojala, Sofia Kivistö and Ville Toivonen, all in their mid twenties, are together running the youtube channel “Paranormal Finland”. The contents of it is more or less what you could expect, they are visiting places around the country that is said to be haunted, or where other paranormal activities is said to be taking place, filming and investigating. Now, the channel may have its origins in Finland, but already from the start, they have tried to take an international approach with it, posting most of the material in English, and so on. By now, the channel is actually somewhat successful, even outside Finland.

Now, to be completely honest, going ghost hunting in a 1997 Toyota Carina is not only far from hip, they had also outgrown it by far with all the filming equipment and stuff that needs to go with them. Somehow, the idea emerged to get a cool, vintage hearse as a vehicle for their excursions, both for the sake of style and roominess, but they could not find the right one, and settled for the second best thing, an ambulance.

So, time to look at…


What they found was this 1970 Mercedes-Benz 230. On the positive side, it is structurally sound, most of the important stuff actually still works, and it seems to not be infected with too many lethal diseases after all. But on the negative side, well…it is tired to say the least after years of service, and the previous owner’s attempt to start on a “restoration” consisted mostly of putting in some mouldy plywood sheets in the back and sawzalling out the centre divider. Now, our crew aren’t exactly gearheads either, and they start to realize that it needs more than some rattlecans and little tree air freshners to get back to its former glory again, and Sofia’s uncle Teuvo that promised to help them with the ambulance, well… Long story short, but let’s just say that he got a little bit too drunk and didn’t manage to do much more than breaking the windshield.

In their last video they made a promise, that if they would get enough new subscribers before their next video comes out, they will send the ambulance to a professional to fix it up. If not, they will scrap it. And since we are here, you probably already know the outcome, and here is where your restomod company will take over.

(OOC info: this is not an exact representation of any existing ambulance body for the W114, they were done by a number of different coachbuilders, and I kind of mashed all of them together to be as easy as possible to build in Automation, also, it is a little bit shorter than the extended wheelbase chassis that Daimler-Benz sold to the coachbuilders, a far bit longer than the normal wheelbase cars, well, this is how it is to work with Automation bodies sometimes, so with that said, how about having fun instead of doing rivet counting?)

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AESTHETICS: It is supposed to look cool on the screen, and to be fitting to the image of a crew running a paranormal channel. After all, this is why they settled for a vintage ambulance rather than just some normal, modern “white van” that would have been a lot more sensible.

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PRESTIGE: They promised their viewers to have it done by professionals, something that seems to have been built by a 17 year old in a shed is not exactly what they want to show then.

COMFORT: It will be used for rather long trips sometimes. They need to be relaxed enough to start filming at the arrival.

FUEL ECONOMY: Not to mention that they want to be able to afford the long trips, too!

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RELIABILITY: Cool or not, this is actually a tool for them to make it able to do their work, unnecessary breakdowns is less optimal.

PERFORMANCE: It needs to be able to catch up with the pace of modern traffic, and a little more than that would of course not hurt, either.

SERVICE COSTS: It would be a shame if the car had to be parked behind the wall again, just because serviceing requires exotic parts they can’t afford, right?

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DRIVEABILITY: Eh. It is an old behemoth, but it still needs to be considered after all.

SAFETY: Chasing ghosts is more fun than becoming one.

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PURCHASE PRICE: Not that important, they have a budget for this for channel (don’t ask me where they got all the money from, this is a fictive universe or something), with that said, a cheaper car with the same stats is of course no drawback, cheapening out just to save money is probably not worth it.

OFFROAD: It seems like paranormal activities more often than not is taking place outside the most well-paved roads. With that said, they aren’t looking for a rock crawler. Just good enough for normal use even outside the highways.

SPORTINESS: “Sports ambulance” is an oxymoron, just putting it as somewhat of a priority so it won’t be completely cheesed away.

AUTHENTICITY: They were looking for a cool old hearse or ambulance for their youtube channel. Ending up with a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 230 was more out of a coincidence than any love for the model in itself. Just go wild and crazy if you feel like it. However, they want the base vehicle somewhat recognizable.

INTERIOR STYLING: Just some bonus points. I have provided an interior somewhat close to stock, you are free to completely throw it out and make a new one, modify the existing one, or leave it as it is, since I know that not everyone likes to make them. To put it like this, since I see this mostly as bonus points, an interior that looks terrible will never score worse than the original, so no need to fear doing an attempt. A good looking interior, however, may earn you a small bonus. Chassis can be hidden if that makes interior making easier!


  • 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.
  • Set all dates (model year, trim year, engine family/variant year) to 2020. It is highly recommended to exit the game and reopen it after cloning it and before updating the dates.
  • Maximum price (as shown in the Testing tab, Detail Stats section): $48,000
  • No V16s or race parts (race intake, race tubular exhaust, semi-slicks).
  • This car was made with no TP, and there (at 0) it should stay. It is 2020 anyway and everything is already unlocked. No positive TP allowed.
  • You must post an ad with at least 1 picture of your car on this thread.
  • Quality sliders should not be set above +4 or below -2.
  • This challenge is held in the open beta version of the game.
  • You’re of course allowed to ask an unlimited number of questions regarding the challenge in itself and its rules etc. - but also, you’re allowed to ask (privately, via DM) the crew three personal questions about preferences that might affect how you want to build your car. Just keep in mind that you’re asking three people and that their opinions MAY clash sometimes…


  • The general rule of ARM is to not make a car worse. Now, a very marginal drop in one single stat if it really bumps up the others will not instabin the car, so this is a very soft rule indeed, but still, try to avoid it at all costs.
  • Unleaded premium fuel
  • The car should still appear street legal and have all the major equipment needed for that. Now, I am really not going to school myself in finnish car modification laws, I just want to have it somewhat believable looking. If you, for example, make the headlights red just because it looks spooky, you’re heading straight to the bin.
  • They are 3 people in the crew. You need to upgrade to at least 3 full seats. Now, if you want to do this by replacing the front seats by a bench, or add a second seat row, is up to you.
  • You are NOT allowed to touch the weight slider, it is where it is for the sake of compensation, since this vehicle is still just a regular wagon in the eyes of Automation, and still is way too light.
  • The “Viewtube” sticker and “Paranormal Finland” text needs to be present and visible. You are allowed to scale it, change text font, change text colour, placement etc. - but they want people be able to take notice about the channel.
  • Emissions in itself would not be taken into account, but a 3-way cat of any variety should be added to please some polar bear loving followers, or something. Not much of a reason not to do it in 2023 I guess.
  • There was a question about if manual or automatic gearbox is a thing that will be judged. No. It is purely a matter of stats, if an auto gives you better stats, use an auto, if a manual gives you better stats, use a manual, the actual choice of gearbox will not be looked upon.


  • Chassis tunnel size and firewall position can be changed freely.
  • Tyre thread width, tyre wall curve and tyre thread curve allowed in moderation (OK for adjustments, not to make the tyres look like something they are not, if you’re unsure, ask, this has worked in earlier challenges so it should probably do it now too)
  • A (+/-3) ride height adjustment is allowed
  • Engine position is allowed in moderation. Pure silliness like making the engine poke out of the grille is not, though.
  • Everything else is banned, since there was no objections…


  • The following morphs can be touched freely: Rearbumperlower, R_Fender, R_FenderLip, R_Quarter, R_Quarter lip, R_QuarterDetail, R_FenderDetail.
  • The following morphs can’t be touched at all: Any morph with “pillar” in its name.
  • Other morphs will put it in the “heavy modifications” penalty category.
  • Body swaps not allowed.


  • Chassis type can not be changed
  • Chassis material can not be changed
  • Panel material swap will give a $2000 penalty
  • Changing engine orientation will give a $5000 penalty
  • Suspension type swap will give a $1500 penalty per axle
  • A complete engine swap will give a $2500 penalty. (Engine size may be increased within the limits of the possible capacity of the original block.
  • Only a cylinder head change will give a $1000 penalty.
  • Patch/3D/Morphs that radically is altering the looks of the car will give a $5000 penalty (if you’re unsure, just ask)
  • Changing from RWD to FWD/AWD/4x4 will give a $4000 penalty.

We are indeed in the weirdest possible situation for starting challenges now, so this is important to solve with as little struggle as possible.

SUBMISSIONS START: 3rd of October 2023, 5 PM CEST (Rules delib until that)
SUBMISSIONS CLOSE: 3rd of November 2023, 5 PM CET (Yes, this is unusually long, for multiple reasons. I want everyone to have time to swap to the beta, I know how unstable betas can be in their early periods, so the time might also be needed to sort out some bugs, and to learn what Ellisbury has to offer.

Due to the questionable stability of the game state ATM, RESUBS ARE ALLOWED.

In case a stats changing update drops during the last 7 days of this challenge, DEADLINE WILL BE POSTPONED BY A WEEK.

ARM27_-YOURNAMEHERE-PLEASECLONE-_Mercedes_230_Ambulance.car|attachment (95.7 KB)
(Yes, it uses mods, but since the game nowadays tells you which ones to download, I don’t see that as a problem.)

Phew. This was a lot, and I am fresh to Ellisbury, so if I have missed something important, please tell me. I feel that the rules delib period is even more important now than ever, and I hope I haven’t done anything more stupid than usual now…


As the first ARM held using the 4.3 version of the game (which is in open beta as we speak), this is a great way to test the water for all future ARMs that use 4.3.

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I do see one slight rules ambiguity: Emissions. You haven’t set a required level (which is normal) and you haven’t explicitly mandated a catalytic converter. Maybe it counts under “must have all the equipment to be street legal”, maybe it doesn’t - that rule is often aesthetic only.

Do we need cats? Or is the vehicle old enough not to need one? Do the clients or their audience care about their vehicle belching smog?

TBH, I don’t know what the rules does look like there if doing an engine swap in an older vehicle in Finland. I may throw in that “we need one since some of our followers might like polar bears too much”, I’ll think it over (and I gladly take opinions there too).

OK, added a cat requirement, because yeah, it might give off a better image. No measuring of the actual emissions, though.

Question re light rules in Finland: are DRLs allowed to be amber? In North America they can be amber of white, but I’m not sure about over there.

I think they need to be white.


OK, added a clarification about gearbox type, and since there has been no other objections or suggestions, round is open since some minutes!

Though, with the current state of the game, my suggestion is to avoid early submissions if you can. A wild guess is that at least one patch will drop during the round…

the vehicle seems to be crashing my game. it’s not telling me to download any mods that I don’t have, so I don’t know if there are some mods missing, but it’s not working.

UPDATE: my game seems to be crashing with different cars, too, so I dont know what to do

Are you on OB or stable?

The beta. launching in safe mode seems to fix it…

A little less than four weeks remaining now (forgot reminder yesterday, but still plenty of time).

Though, I want to adress two brainfarts I had when making this car.

I wrongfully listed the engine as a M114. It is not, the M114 was in the 250, the 230 has the M180. So that’s what you should look at if you’re looking for original specs of the engine. Sorry, but Mercedes 6 cylinders of the era is a jungle, since fairly identical engines have lots of designations. However, I left some space for enlargening the engine for free, if someone wants to simulate putting a larger, period correct Mercedes 6 cylinder from the era in it (that is a direct fit anyway).

The small bumperettes under the front bumper was on all 6 cylinder models, except for the 230. When making it I forgot the exception for the 230. On the other hand, they did a good job of hiding that the front pan was a bit narrow at the top to look good. So, let’s just say some previous owner retrofitted them. If you want to keep them or not is of course up to you.

Both those things might imply that this is a 250 and not a 230, however, it is supposed to be a 230 (as the engine volume also indicates), since AFAIK, the 230 was the only gasoline powered version of the long wheelbase chassis, that the ambulances were built on.

Just a little bit over 3 weeks left now. :slightly_smiling_face: Still plenty of time, but maybe worth looking into what you want to do at least. :slightly_smiling_face:

They’re the ones afraid of you.


The car that really can handle everything.

Maybe that’s an overstatement. It’s not quite possible for a car to do “everything.” But “everything you could ever need?” This build passes with distinction. Rest assured, with all the hurdles and problems and complications that come with being independent content creatures, you can trust this car will never be one of them.

First off: yes, the light guards, wheel guards, ram bar, rock sliders, and all the other armor is real. These steel bars and structures will protect the more valuable parts of your car. Sure, it’s no Abrams tank (and a century-old supernatural spirit certainly isn’t gonna be stopped by a steel bar), but when passing over tough terrain, some good insurance against slips and knocks couldn’t hurt.

And over rough terrain you can go. Our helical AWD system pairs with an LSD to grant stability and competence on uneven dirt, with rock sliders and splash guards* to control stray pebbles, and a revamped VVL motor with the torque to climb. And like the armor, that snorkel* is 100% functional; the ghosts can’t hide out across the river, that’s for sure.

The Mercedes was always a refined vehicle, but back then they didn’t have modern engine tech. The care we put into the quality of our build gives us a car that’s reliable even by modern standards. And practical too; if by some unholy phenomenon you manage to run out of space in the back of that wagon, the roof rack will handle the overflow.

And the best part is, underneath all that flashy kit, it is a modern vehicle underneath. It has a 7 speed auto, getting the acceleration and economy of a standard crossover. It’s controllable, comfortable, and civilized on dirt and road. The interior is minimally modified to keep style and creature comforts, but boosted with the addition of a modern infotainment system (stylized like an old CRT) plus upgraded speakers, A/C parts and seats. As flashy and over-the-top as it looks, underneath its as good as any other modern crew van.

But a modern crew van is not what the phantoms will see when this turns up. As this effortlessly crawls over the rough, grassy hill, they see a rough, indestructible, and unstoppable beast.

They know they’re the ones that’ll be screaming today.

-Generic Tuning Company With A Very Long Name That Isn’t Just Long Because I Can’t Be Bothered To Invent A Proper One Because Of Course Not Silly That Would Be Weird No This Is A Perfectly Mundane And Professional Name For A Company To Have I Think It’s Basque Or Something But Don’t Quote Me On That Because I’m Not A Professional Linguist.

*Due to an error in the renderer, the splash guards and snorkel did not load in the final render. These elements are a part of the design, though, and fully functional.

As you might understand, any opinions on the car will have to wait, but I will sure tell you that you’re getting an “A” on presentation already now, this is among the best executions I have ever seen when it comes to ARM presentations I think. :+1:


Two weeks left today, still no hurry but it might be worth to start building if you haven’t already done so.

Full sub received from:


A little less than a week left, really time to get things together now.

Full subs recieved from:

Also, any stats-changing updates from now on will mean a deadline extension by a week.

plz don’t leave me alone is spooky in here D:

1 Like


Introducing the

Mercedes 230 “Ghost Hunter”

Dear Paranormal Finland crew,

Please accept this letter as our formal offer to restomod your '70 Mercedes 230 ambulance wagon. You asked for a reliable, capable, and comfortable vehicle that will not only get the job done, but will also represent and advertise your brand and program. It was a challenge we gladly took on - let the proposal speak for itself:


The basic concept of the restomod is a hearse. The Mercedes ambulance is particularly suited for such a conversion with its raised roof and utility-oriented rear end. The first order of business is to paint the car black of course, and add hearse-like visual elements such as the black-out rear window with the landau bars. But we felt that making the vehicle look like a hearse was only the start - this was not a hearse after all, but the showpiece of a paranormal channel. It needed to be more spooky and memorable, so we added many details to the exterior to reflect this image. But these are the skin-deep changes. Under the hood and on the inside we wanted to make the car a reliable, comfortable, and capable machine that is practical for your particular needs.


We opted to keep the original engine of the car, but bored it out to match the original engine’s larger cousin, the M130. We’ve also added a bunch of modern goodies and swapped out some parts, so that the engine is now a lot more reliable, a lot more powerful, but also a lot more fuel efficient! Overall, it is a mighty upgrade from the tired and sleepy original. To make use of the power of the upgraded engine, we also upgraded the entire drive-train. Starting with the gearbox, it is now a modern 7-speed automatic. Power is delivered to the wheels through an advanced AWD system that intelligently distributes power to any of the four wheels according to road and grip conditions. The final piece are the tires, upgraded to wider and grippier ones than the original. And when you encounter adverse conditions and need to swerve or stop, the modern ESC system and upgraded brakes should provide ample stability and stopping power to attack any road conditions with confidence.


The exterior is what everyone sees first, so it needs to be the what immediately catches the eye. At first glance the car is recognizably a hearse-replica, but the details indicate that it is so much more. From the angry-eye headlights, to the Mons Customs decal decorating the hearse landau bars, the centre brake lights disguised as light-up red eyes (yes, the lights light up, try them!), the ghost-Mercedes badge on the rear, the small indicator lights build into the mirrors, the upgraded light stack in the rear, the new black and red Mercedes inspired rims, the new tow bar for added utility, the front fog lights - the custom details are too many to mention. We also took extra care to design a tasteful banner to advertise your channel and brand: Paranormal Finland, only on ViewTube.


The interior received equal attention to detail. As you sit in the car, you immediately notice the high-quality materials used: the leather of the luxury seats, the decorative hardwood finishes, the soft surfaces. We retained the original base for the dashboard, but built a brand new system on top of it. There is a modern steering wheel with all convenience controls built-in, and of course it adheres to modern safety standards. The driver’s dash is a movable glass unit with a completely customizable HUD display. The centre console features an oversized screen where you can control all of the car’s many electronic features, climate, and navigation. You will notice that the starter and gearbox are also all electronically controlled in the center console. The passengers in the rear also have full-size HD screens at their disposal, which can be used for on-the-road productivity such as video editing. In the trunk we provide two special items. The more common one is the full-size spare wheel that matches the new rims on the car. The special item is the coffin-inspired giant equipment box made to fit perfectly into the car, easily slides in and out on custom rails, holds all your filming equipment safely - and of course matches the theme of the car perfectly. To round out the interior, we include fine cloth curtains on the rear window, which round out the theme of the car superbly!


Because this is such a special project, we include a special promotional video to showcase the restomodded Mercedes 230 “Ghost Hunter” for your enjoyment.

In summary, this car is exactly what you need: a reliable and comfortable workhorse under the hood, but with looks befitting the memorable spooky image you desire for your brand.

Paranormal Finland, we hope you find our proposal intriguing, and we at Mons Customs look forward to hearing from you.

Mons Customs


It’s scary. From such mysterious angles with similar ethereal picture, surreal thoughts immediately come to mind, which exist only in subtle spiritual matter, which is difficult to rationally explain, but which seems existing in our world. How interesting that this assignment came up for Halloween.