Automation RestoMod (ARM) - Chapter 1: The Re-Hatching (Final results posted)

General ARM Rules

I’m going to see if I can get a new challenge series going here – Automation RestoModding (ARM). I don’t think I’ve seen something similar before, and I hope that this is of interest to the community. My vision is that for each challenge the winner of the previous round recreates (kinda-sorta-to the best of their abilities) a real-world car - this can be an iconic car, their favourite car, whatever - and then the challenge is for the community to restomod this car. It’ll be up to the OP to determine how much they will allow to be modded on their original car.

So in short, I’m going to try something different with this one. The fun part is that everyone can do as much or as little to the original car (i.e. effort can vary widely), with fun trade-offs between keeping the car more or less original (with perks and drawbacks for each decision). I think it’ll work (I hope that it’ll work!), but no guarantees. It’ll also depend on your enthusiastic participation and willingness to try something different. :slight_smile:

Last round

This is the first round. If this series gains interest and takes off, then we can add a link to the previous round here.

ARM1 – the re-hatching

Historical perspective*:

In 1974 the VW Golf Mk1 was introduced to the world. It was an instant hit with its two-box construction and hatchback design, and eventually led to the hot-hatch boom of the 80s. The car did extremely well in Europe, and was also licensed for sale in the East Block. It slowly gained popularity in North America and elsewhere in the world. Currently the 7th generation of the model is still being produced and has a dedicated following.

*based on true-ish facts

The car for this challenge

The client

It is the year 2020 and Nathaniel Gottfrid has a small collection of ten slightly worn ’75 VW Golf Mk1s sitting in his garage. Unfortunately, the units have engine issues and the interiors are falling apart. He loves these cars, but they are really not road-worthy anymore. He’d like to get the cars fixed up, but he doesn’t have skills to do a proper restomod of these units himself. He has decided that he doesn’t want to restore the cars with original components. Instead, he wants to bring the cars into the 21st century and put them back on the road as “new” – as such, the cars have to adhere to modern safety and emissions rules. He does value some original components (as much as is allowed by modern law), but also fancies exotic materials and large engines with many pistons, so the sky is the limit when rebuilding his Golfs. He has decided to ask experienced restomodders to help him out by providing restomod designs and proofs of concept. He has decided to rank these designs and then contract his ten Golfs to be built by the top ten concept submissions. He will then road test the ten cars and decide which is the best. He’ll sell off nine of the cars, and will keep the best for himself.
Potential inspiration

The challenge

The challenge is, of course, that these units will have to be sold as new cars. Before the cars can be sold, they will have to adhere to the rules and regulations of the modern world. Your task is to strip the cars down to the last bolt, re-engineer them to modern safety and emissions standards, and to rebuild them. You may not change the car’s chassis. You may change the body panels, engine header, engine block, and look of the car (fixtures), but remember that such changes will come with a prestige penalty (collectors’ items are always worth more if they have original components!). Everything else – the suspension, engine’s internals, adding a turbo, and the car’s internals are fair game. Oh, and the cars really need a new interior!

How this will work:

  1. You must download the following car file, as your starting point is the VW Golf Mk1, as it rolled off the assembly line in 1975. (34.0 KB)
  2. Your first real task is to import the car into Automation.
  3. Then clone both the car model and engine family (can be done in the list view of the car designer and engine designer). Make sure you clone both the model and family! You should end up with a clone of both.
  4. Open the cloned car model for editing and under engine selection click “select existing engine”. Load the cloned engine (otherwise you’ll be changing the original).
  5. Forward time to 2020 on the car model and engine family (this will automatically forward the variant and trim as well). Check that all four are set to 2020. If you return the file to me with them not at 2020, it’ll be an insta-bin. Setting everything to 2020 ensures that you have access to all tech available for your rebuild.
  6. At the top I’ve already conveniently set up the naming system, just fill it in – should be self-explanatory. Delete the word “clone” from the names.
  7. Now you’re ready to rebuild the car!
  8. After you’re done and are satisfied with your rebuild, save the car and send the .car file back to me in a PM.


  • Do NOT change:
    o Do not change the model body and no morphing (except I will allow wheel arches to be extended for wider wheels - but nothing else).
    o Do not change the chassis type and material.

  • Several changes are allowed (even encouraged), but will incur penalties:
    o 10% penalty to prestige for changing the panel material or altering the body panels significantly (e.g. adding vents or body molding fixtures).
    o 5% penalty to prestige for any change to the engine head or adding a turbo (but leaving the block original).
    o 10% penalty to prestige for changing the whole engine, or changing the engine placement.
    o Changing the look (fixtures) of the car will incur varying levels of penalties:
    – If it’s a retro-modern look (i.e. there is a clear and recognizable throwback vibe to the original, but it’s made with modern materials), then that’s a 5% penalty to prestige.
    – If it’s a completely different look, then that’s a 15% penalty to prestige.
    o Fuel type 95 RON will incur a 5% penalty to the price index, and 98 RON will incur a 15% penalty to the price index.
    o Everything else is fair game to change without penalties.

  • To adhere to modern road laws and to Nathaniel’s deadlines, the following criteria MUST also be met:
    o Fuel economy must be 10.0 L/100 km or better.
    o Fuel type must be unleaded 91, 95, or 98 RON.
    o Safety must be 45.0 or higher.
    o Trim emissions must be 200 or lower (the one from the trim summary page, not the variant summary page).
    o 3-way catalytic converter is required (high flow or regular is OK).
    o At least one reverse-flow muffler required.
    o ESC is required.
    o ET Engine: 120.0 or less.
    o ET Trim: 120.0 or less.
    o Seats: at least four.


The aesthetics of the car is very important. This will be the only subjective judging criterion for this round (and salt be damned, I will judge this subjectively according to my taste). Although the original look of the car won’t incur penalties (as it is a classic), it is rather… bland. Spice it up, repaint it, modernize it, or change it altogether to something futuristic (according to 2020 standards) and you’ll probably get marked up for aesthetics. So it’s a trade-off… make the changes worth it! The car doesn’t come with a functional interior, so it is up to you to include one. The interior will be judged for aesthetics – no interior, no points.

Of the objective criteria, the most important aspect of this round is prestige – Nathaniel does love to brag about his prestigious (although sometimes impractical) possessions. Make the re-built car as prestigious as possible, while keeping in mind the above penalty system. Make sure that your changes are worth it!

Second importance is comfort. If Nathaniel goes for a ride, it has to be comfortable. But…

Occasionally, he wants to do some track driving on the weekends. He lives close to two famous race tracks (Automation Test Track and the Nurburgring) so he’ll also look at drivability and sportiness. But these are not a major concern for the majority of the time.

Price and safety are really minor concerns, but all else being equal, might just give you an edge.

The first round of judging will look at all of the above in a weighted average system, where individual submissions are ranked based on the average of all submissions in each metric. Ten cars will progress to the second round. The ten lucky finalists will get their cars field tested before a final verdict is made.

The second round of judging will consist of a reliability test, a road test run on two test tracks, and the final build quality will be judged (Killrob OCD style). So more points are to be gained here if you have a reliable and good handling car that has a high attention to detail (which will stand in for excellent manufacturing processes).

I will use an excel sheet for my judging. The final results will be released at the end of this round. Note that the cars are judged based on the average of the submitted results, so if you’d like to use this excel spreadsheet effectively, the more variations you try out, the better you get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Just putting in a single model (or just a few even), will probably not be representative of the scores you might expect once I input all of the submissions.


Don’t forget to change the naming system to:

Family (engine) name: ARM1 – [forum name]
Engine variant: [engine name]
Model (car) name: ARM1 – [forum name]
Trim name: Golf - [car name]

Send me a PM containing your .car file on the Discourse (I have Discord, but don’t use it very often).


Make sure you adhere to all the rules above. Even a 0.1 deviation in the metrics is an insta-bin; so is using the wrong fuel or the wrong year.

Mods are allowed, but no furries or meme cars, please (well, you can, but aesthetics will take a hit).
Contract proposals (your ads posted to this thread) are required to be considered for the contract.

Submissions are now open!
Deadline is January 10 midnight EST.
Countdown clock here

Final thoughts

That was a lot of text to get through. I am trying something different here. It may completely backfire… but I hope not. We’ll see. I am an ambitious person.

If you’ve read all of that, you might realize that you can be lazy in this ARM competition and get away with the absolute bare minimum of work. You have an already made car, for the bare minimum all you have to do is change the Model and Family year, re-tune the engine, plop in an interior and make sure that you meet all the requirements. Or, you can go all out and re-do the whole car inside and out (aside from the chassis and morphs of course)…. The sky is the limit!

Good luck to all, and most of all, have fun!!


So do I get it right now? Almost any change to the looks will result in penalties? Keeping the looks stock will not result in any penalty but will probably not score any aesthetic points? So it’s about finding a balance how it should be modified wisely?

Yes, essentially you got it right, but there is a bit more nuance.

As far as the looks (aesthetics) go, this is a separate value for both the exterior and interior, and is not affected by anything else, except how much I like the looks on their own merit. I set a base value of 4/10 for the stock look, and is 0/10 for the interior - so you can increase your score in this category significantly by making a pretty looking car.

The penalties will ONLY affect the prestige value of the car (I will calculate the effective or adjusted prestige based on the prestige value given by Automation minus any penalties). So if you enhance the looks of the car, then there will be a penalty to prestige (but a higher aesthetic value). If you change from the stock engine to say a V12, then there will be a small change to the effective prestige of the car (the raw prestige will go up due to the V12 being more prestigious in the game than the I4, but there will be a penalty for changing the engine).

So yes, there will be interesting trade-offs to be made here. :grinning:

Sounds like a fun concept to me, I will try to join.


Is the buyer in a LHD or RHD market?

Also, does the car need to retain any of it’s practicality, or is the interior 100% free?

EDIT: I would also suggest that you get each entrant to clone the original model (not the trim) so that they can freely modify such things as suspension and body materials without interfering with other entrants submissions, or your baseline car’s setup.

LHD - he’s in Germany close to the Nurburgring :slight_smile:

As per the rules, the car needs 4 seats. Other than that, you’re free to do whatever you want - keeping in mind the judging criteria and what’s important for the client.

I don’t think you can clone a model, unfortunately. This is a feature asked for several times, but to the best of my knowledge, not implemented, nor is it on the horizon. (If someone knows otherwise, let me know!).

The best way to keep the reference trim is to put the downloaded file in your export folder as well as the import folder. The one in the export folder will stay there as your “base level”. Then forward time on the downloaded car in-game after it’s been imported (don’t do anything else), rename the model/trim and family/variant according to the rules (and add a trial # if you want to experiment with multiple set-ups), and immediately export the car file. You’ll now have multiple of the same car model in the export folder, but you can only have one actively in the game. This is a shortcoming of the game, but to keep many versions of the same model, you have to keep renaming them in-game and export them. It’s a bit of an export/import headache to go back and forth between the different experiments, I admit… but no good way around it.

EDIT: yes, I realize that this will also mean a lot of importing on my end for judging, as each submission will override the previous one… I can only have one active at a time. If anything, this might be the Achilles heel of this challenge. But I think it’ll be manageable, as the file names will be all different.

Just to check, are there any ET or PU limits on the Chassis, or any hard price limits? Or are we allowed to go all-out, with carbon everything, hand-made interior, luxury entertainment etc? It seems somewhat odd to limit engine but not Chassis.

As for the price limit: there is no hard price limit. The price will be factored into the final calculation (cheaper = always better), but not hard limit. It is a factor, but not a huge one. Again, make it worth it. You can do carbon fibre, luxury, hand made etc… as long as you’re under 120 ET. There are no PU limits.

Oops, I can’t read.

I’ve successfully done it, as has @Marcus_gt500. It’s been implemented since maybe October and works well.

I’m not talking about a hack either; 100% in-game legitimate operation!

EDIT: I’ll copy the model file then PM it to you, so you can see for yourself that it can be done… Without breaking the game!


Apologies, I missed that detail, I’m gonna go get my eyes checked, hahaha!!!


How to clone the model…

1: Highlight the model you’d like to clone in the list…


2: Select the “Clone Model” option at the bottom of the screen. This is the same button that allows a trim to be cloned when a trim is selected.


3: ???

4: Run a successful Restomod competition!!!

@cake_ape, the body supplied is very long for the Golf. Mk1 had a wheelbase of 2.4m and the supplied body is 2.7.

There is a mod body of 2.5 which may be better suited? Never mind it’s year is 75. :frowning:

@HighOctaneLove I stand corrected, thanks for the info! I swear I looked to find this option once you mentioned it, but still couldn’t find it (I never went to look in the list view, just grid or tag view - oops!). User error… I’ll update the instructions momentarily. You just made the whole enterprise of this challenge infinitely easier. Thanks!!

PS: would've been good to know when I was building the many test cars for this challenge... would've saved a lot of importing/exporting hassle!


@Jaimz The body selection was always going to be a compromise. I also considered the '71 2.3 m, the '74 2.3 m, and the '75 2.5 m, but settled on the current '74 2.7 m. There was the toss-up between a bit more realism and what I thought would be more fun gameplay, and chose the latter… this way I can provide a larger canvas for you all to work your magic :wink:


Here is my restomod.

Oettinger replica!

Once upon a time, a car brand found a niche market ! The Gti !! It sold a lot of cars a lived happy until the end of times…

Naaaah seriously !

In the 80’s, the GTi is the thing to have in your range. But Volkswagen only has a 8 valve model. Even if It was the best selling GTi in the market, the opposition is getting tougher !

Volkswagen France, seeing everyone wanting a part of the pie, decided to take the 1600cc engine and give it a 16 valve setup. Not being able to do it by themselves they gave it to Oettinger, a german tuner.

1981, Volkswagen France markets this car as a Golf Gti Oettinger 16s !

47% more expensive than the regular GTi, It featured, BBS widebody kit, Twin headlight,Large rear lights and ATS 14 inch wheels.

The engine was the major point of rework, the head has been rework totally featuring opposed rotation camshafts, larger valves, lightweight alloy cast and recentered and smaller sparkplugs.

The bottom end hasn’t been left apart, reinforced, the engine is now able to go over 7500 rpm !!

The gearbox has been geared rather toward acceleration rather than top speed.

Only 1250 ex have been made so it’s a real unicorn !!

Our car here, has been given the Oettinger treatment !

We’ve found a T-boned Oettinger Gti and stripped it to the bone to put all its particularities into our regular spec Golf.

Engine, gearbox, Body kit, everything has been transplanted and we added some new technology for the safety and the comfort of our customer.


Since no-one had any more objections to the rule-set, and it is December 31 in some parts of the world already, submission are open! Thanks to those who provided feedback, this challenge will be better for it :slight_smile:

Before you submit a car, please please please re-read the updated "how this will work" section in the OP, especially regarding cloning of the model and family, and forwarding time on everything to 2020. This is important to prevent import screw-ups and to avoid an insta-bin.

For those of you who (slightly) jumped the gun by already submitting a car, and didn’t quite follow these rules, I will give you one chance to rectify the situation.

Thanks, and happy building!


2021 GTi - By BbD

Fitting an interior is a nightmare!!! Please drop this requirement for next round, hahaha!!!

This entry is a simple vanilla refresh of the original car with a few quality of life improvements to make it more driveable and less dangerous if you crash it!

Please note the eye searing colour scheme is a vinyl wrap and thus optional; Bogliq by Design is happy to respray the car in a more suitable hue before delivery (yes the interior trim will match the paint, hahaha!!!).

Yours in Confidence,

The Bogliq by Design Resto-Mod Team

That is quite an understated design, but still distinct enough from the base car to look and feel like the restomod it is.

1975 Volkswagen Golf, 2020 update by LMJ Design

Helluva Black headlights (street legal, no aftermarket spray tint)
Smoked turn signals
Crystal clear/smoke taillights
Chrome bulbs with orange light in turning signals
Tinted windows
Chrome window trim
Chrome mirrors
Debadged foglight grille
GTI spoiler
Canvas sunroof
Retro-inspired “Golf” striping on the sills
O :b: el “Brilliantrot 529” paintjob
:b: orsche “Fuchs” alloy wheels

Ricardo sports bucket seats
Nerdy Classic wood steering wheel
Rear headrests
Modern infotainment system
Brushed aluminium finish handbrake lever and gearstick

Mega-squat EFI system
High-flow 3-way catalytic converter
Electronic stability control
Lowered suspension with gas shocks
6 speed manual transmission
4 wheel disc brakes
Electric variable power steering


Welcome to Copper Works LTD.

We are happy to introduce our GTi Resto Prototype:

The engine is wehere it all starts, we keep the original block but upgrade all other components, add turbo charging in order to offer contemporary perfomance at a touce of the pedal. We then present it in a way that will make you proud to show it off.

We then move on to the interior that gets more comfort and class, new leather seats, new colors and a brand new infotainment system that is compatible with most modern phones.

The exterior gets new fenders, new rims, new grills, new lights and indicators as well as copper accents.

the suspension, gearbox and brakes get an update also.

more shots


Golf 45

Not a lot has changed…on the surface anyway!

1 Like

I’ll take time to explain what an oettinger is if it’s needed!