Lawrence sat down at his office desk in high spirits. Looking out the window he could see that the construction on the raceway was coming along nicely - making the deadline for the 30th anniversary race would not be a problem. Ever since the jubilee race was announced, there has been a festive mood around the office and people seemed extra motivated.
Despite the rare dreary weather, this promised to be a fun day for Lawrence. Today he will be the first to see the proposals for next year’s safety car. With great anticipation he looked at the four large envelopes his secretary brought in earlier in the morning, and started looking for his engraved silver letter opener.
After opening each of the envelopes, Lawrence took a quick glance at each proposal to get a feel for what he was dealing with. To his delight, each proposal seemed to be quite different from the other. From the base colours of the cars to their engineering, there was a lot of diversity in this small line-up. He could immediately see that this will not be an easy choice. Each car had some important strengths, but he could also see that they were each also flawed in their own ways. He’ll have to weigh the pros and cons carefully. He fired up his brand new Commodore PC 60-III and started taking some notes. He was dreading it, but he also made use of Quattro Pro, the latest in spreadsheet software technology recently installed on most company computers.
This car comes in a very nice dark blueish-purple flake paint that suits the build well. It is not exactly high-vis, so cannot give full points for that. The front fascia of the car was changed subtly: more modern light fixtures take the place of the original recessed units, the front grille is replaced by a similar looking replica, but it has a subtly different shape and the grille bars now run horizontally vs the Celer’s characteristic vertical bars. The chrome bumper is painted over with the purple paint, but the nudge bars are left chrome. The required auxiliary light is a tacked on rectangular unit. The hood features two extra vents on either side. Overall, the changes are quite tastefully done, and the car only loses minor authenticity points here.
The side of the car also receives minor changes. The fender flares look aggressive and sporty, but aren’t over-cooked and add to the overall aesthetics. The chrome around the original side vent is removed, leaving only the central bar, which suits the more modern look quite well. The door handle is golden - the only golden accents on the car aside from a few leftover screws on the front fascia, which makes them look out of place. The rims are modern, yet suit the car well.
Looking at the rear, some of the taillights have been reworked, but retain their original aesthetic. Here too much of the original chrome has been removed, lending the car a more modern look. The curved spoiler is very tastefully incorporated into the design. The square exhaust tips are a minor change from the original, and not necessarily one that suits the overall design in this case.
This car is commended for a creative implementation of the rooftop safety car light bar and the extra set of red lights mounted to the roll cage in the rear window. Visibility will not be an issue.
The decals on the car are a mixed bunch. The “Official Safety Car” decals on the side of the car and the beacon, and the “Fictional & Legendary Racetrack” both on the side and windshield are brilliant. The large “30” on the hood and rear quarter - although it is easily understandable why they are there - could also be confused with a racing number, and are not desirable. The “flame squiggle” or whatever that sticker is on the rear of the car is outright offensive and doesn’t suit the build and purpose of the car at all.
The interior of the car is subtly updated. The original dash is retained, but the wood panelling is covered by blue leather and certain panels are replaced by lightweight carbon fibre. A modern dash with digital gauges is mounted into the centre of the dash, so the original gauges in front of the driver are retained. It is not quite clear where the radio and communications equipment will be housed. The steering wheel is replaced with a very futuristic unit. Similarly, the seats are hyper-modern. The roll-cage and provided fire extinguisher is very nice.
Quick notes: The subtle, but important changes to the front fascia were probably not worth it. The rear spoiler is fantastic. Colour and decals are a mixed bag. The interior has some nice touches, but also some anachronistic touches. Overall, changes are minor and subtle. Looks a bit like a souped-up police car from the movies.
This car is immediately striking with a beautiful two (three?) tone paint job. The gold and blue play off each other really well and the gold paint is bright enough to have some of the desired high-vis characteristic. The red stripes hearken back to the original Celer’s colour and add a nice accent to the car. The front auxiliary lights match the overall aesthetic of the mostly untouched original aesthetic of the car, which is much appreciated. In fact, this car changes very little about the original car - it adds
to it with a quite aggressive aero package. The modern front spoiler i s nicely integrated into the old design with a retro-looking vent/grille separating the old and the new. On the side the fender flares are more subtle, yet are highlighted by a chrome strip, adding to the car’s original chrome details. The side skirt equally adds a more sporty look to the car. The rear diffuser, however, is perhaps a little too much in its current iteration, and doesn’t quite suit the car. It indeed feels less integrated into the design; rather it feels forced and tacked-on. The lack of cutout or space for the exhaust is also cause for concern - is this a fire danger perhaps? The large rear wing is perhaps a divisive choice too. It is not outright offensive, but does it suite the car? Its upright is rather thick and bulky, yet the wing seems thin and flimsy. It certainly feels very after-market. So while the front and sides of the car are very tastefully done, the rear is more controversial.
The rooftop beacons are well crafted and integrate well into the overall design. The single and simple “Safety car” decal on the doors of the car are tastefully implemented and are clear without being intrusive. Lastly, the chosen rims are modern and suit this car quite well.
The interior of this car looks at first glance quite stock. The original wood-panel dash is retained, even the old radio is still present. The main gauges in the dash are replaced however with a digital display unit. The centre console now houses a large box saying that it is a radio, but also functions as the air heater control. The front seats are replaced by hyper-modern race bucket seats, and the rear seats are retained.
Quick notes: Kept most authentic elements intact, and only added to the car rather than changed. Front and side are great, rear is questionable. The interior is a mixed bag: good attempt at modernizing the old dash and incorporating a radio, but the seats are anachronistic, and a lack of roll-bar is detrimental. Looks a bit like a jet fighter meets zamboni.
OOC: I will add that I super appreciate the nod to the Letaran flag with your colour scheme. On a personal level I want to say it was noted and super well done! But as much as I love it, in fairness to those who are not intimately familiar with all LHC lore, I need to keep ARM and LHC at arms length when it comes to scoring. There was a reason why Letara/Lerance Raceway were not directly mentioned in the brief, as I could not assume prior knowledge for all potential participants. So I could not take your car’s hint to LHC into account for scoring.
This car really pops with its bright yellow paint! When it comes to high-vis, a car cannot get any more conspicuous and prominent than this. The colour might not suit the car that well, but it certainly will be noticed at the front of the pack, which is ultimately the main purpose of this car. LMJ made numerous changes to the bodywork of the car. Starting at the front, the secondary reflector is replaced by a vent, and a new sleek light is installed under the repainted and thinned bumper; the nudge bar is removed. There are numerous vents on the hood. There are new small vents in between the old c-pillar vents, and a large vent is in front of the rear wheel arches. There are even small vents built into the trunk lid under the small spoiler. Indeed, this car has so many vents and holes that it feels more like Swiss cheese.
Other changes include aerodynamic mirrors that suit the car well. The car has minor fender flares, just enough to be noticeable, but functional nevertheless. The exhaust tips are replaced with smaller rectangular ones integrated into the body work in line with the repainted and thinned bumpers.
The blackout racing rims certainly suit this car well as they add to the overall bumblebee colour scheme. The decals are quite tasteful with the large “Safety” decal on the trunk and rear quarter of the car, the double racing stripes, and smaller font for the venue and event. One gripe is that the racing stripes do not cover the front brake vents, leaving an awkward gap in the continuous stripe. And perhaps the front of the stripes could have been finished a bit more elegantly, but that is a minor gripe.
The rooftop beacon light has all requisite light modes, but it would have benefited from being symmetric. Having the red light in the middle is fine, but yellow on one side and green on the other seems a little odd.
Looking at the inside, it seems like LMJ didn’t put much effort into modernizing the interior. It is mostly stock with the exception of era-appropriate sports seats and a roll-cage. There is no hint as to where the radio and other safety car related electronics would go.
Quick Notes: Not the most pretty paint, but very high-vis as requested. Too many vents, but mostly coherent design front to back, even if not the most pleasing to the eye. Lack of interior design is a let-down. Looks a bit like a surprised yet angry bee.
Last but not least is the largely pink design by Sparky Tognetti. The base colour of this car is certainly eye-catching in hot pink, but perhaps it is not the most suitable as a safety car. The pink covers many old chrome surfaces too: bumpers and nudge bars are all painted pink. The car does have a lively livery with a thick white stripe down the side, and lines and swoops made from grey, teal, orange, and gold. A similar pattern is repeated on the hood of the car. While it certainly looks good, it would have been great to know the meaning behind the colour choices (if there is any). Does the gold-orange-teal pattern perhaps represent the yellow-red-green lights? The text decals on the side of the door certainly get the message across what this car is, but the font somehow does not suit the car nor the design.
This car made some significant changes to the looks of the original. Gone are the original round headlights and are replaced by modern rectangular units. They look surprisingly very good, but are certainly not authentic. The hood receives a large scoop. Further on the front there is a very stylish and well-integrated front splitter and rectangular auxiliary lights, which make much sense with the replaced headlights. The mirrors are replaced with sleek modern units. The chrome around the side vent is retained, but the centre chrome bar is removed. Perhaps removing or painting the whole chrome surround would have been a good idea, as the chrome does clash with the paint job. The fender flares are quite subtle on this car. Some elements have been removed or made almost invisible. The gas cap is replaced with a sleek modern door and the vents on the C-pillar are gone. This is all fine, but the door handle is gone too - are drivers supposed to enter through the window? Looking at the roof, the beacon is well crafted and will do a great job for safety car purposes.
Moving to the rear of the car is a little bit of a disappointment. The only major change here is the replacement of the original round tail light cluster with a squinty modern unit that unfortunately does not suit the car. Other than that, very little seems to have been changed. But looking lower the overly wide rear tires are very apparent.
Moving to the inside, the modernization theme continues. This car completely rips out the original interior, and replaces it with a modern black plastic unit. Indeed, the whole interior is replaced: dash, centre console, shifter, parking brake lever, door cards, seats - everything. There is even a modern CD player installed in the dash. Although not authentic, this is certainly something drivers would feel instantly comfortable in. One questions remains with this car too: where does the safety car radio go?
Quick notes: The most radical re-design of the car. Pink is questionable, but the stripes are fantastic. Front looks great, but the rear is ugly. Interior is fully modernized. Looks like a cotton-candy drag racer.
After compiling his notes, Lawrence hit <save> for the thousandth time and leaned back in his chair. Glancing out the window he noticed that the rain had stopped and the sun was peeking out between the clouds. He needed to clear his head for a bit, so decided to take a walk around the lake in the infield of the track.