Automation RestoMod Chapter 2: New Mexico, Classic Muscle


Automation RestoMod is a challenge made by @cake_ape . The aim of the challenge is to take a real-ish car, and modify it in several ways, to make it more modern and unique. This is the second running of the challenge, and will have some scoring tweaks to incentivise unconventional builds. There will still be some tradeoffs to be had from radical changes, but they will be tweaked. In addition, this challenge will have not one but three cars to choose from. This challenge will open for entries on the 24th of January, and will stay open until 11:59 PM UTC on the 7th of February (due to my existing ACDC commitments). Please make any rules comments before entries open.


The first round can be found here.

ARM2: New Mexico, Classic Muscle

Muscle cars hold a special place in the hearts of many auto enthusiasts. They exist in a rarified air, many having come before efficiency regulations came about - and thus, existing in a design space where anything could happen. Even the mere mention of certain numbers can excite the most dedicated - talk about a Mark 3 Cobra with an original 427, and many will be rather interested.

In 1964, Chevrolet introduced the Chevelle. It was a mid-sized car, introduced right at the birth of the muscle car. In 1968, however, it was given an updated styling, with a streamlined, flowing roofline closer to a fastback than an ordinary sedan. The 68 model year is arguably when the Chevelle “found its muscle”.

It was offered in a wide variety of shapes, from 4-door wagons to 2-door coupes, and even the 2-door “coupe utility” El Camino. There was a variety of engines to choose from as well, from small inline-sixes to the enormous 454 Big-Block V8. In this challenge, entrants will be allowed to choose one of three variants: The classic hard-topped two-door coupe, its dreamlike soft-topped convertable sibling and the rather unique El Camino.

(From left to right: An El Camino, a Coupe and a Convertible)


Our client for today is one Joseph Black, an Albuquerque resident who has recently come into a substantial amount of money. With his recent windfall, he purchased a consignment of classic Chevrolets - a mixture of Coupes, Convertibles and even some El Caminos. They were all outfitted with proper, 327 CID V8 engines. Joseph dreamed of cruising around the city in his classic cars, maybe even taking them down to the local drag strip and showing everyone just how good American ingenuity still is.

On his first time driving the cars, however, Joseph came to a startling revelation. The cars hadn’t been kept too well - but even if they had, they still weren’t perfect. These performance muscle cars could barely beat a Ford FIesta, let alone a properly decent car! The ride was atrocious, the engine was rough and loud, the 3-speed slushbox was miserable, and the thing just felt like a deathrap. Worse still, the car absolutely devoured his fuel, and was lucky to eke out 4 kilometers per liter. They were rather undrivable. Luckily for Joseph, there was a hope - Restomodding. Joseph wasn’t the most mechanically minded, but he could always get someone to improve these classic cars for him…


So, our client wants classic muscle prestige and looks, but with the creature comforts of a more modern car. Your task is to completely rebuild these cars, from the ground up. New tyres, new suspension, new everything. They need to adhere to modern safety and emissions settings, and the client is also interested in some qualities more than others.

How this works:

  1. Download one of the three cars at the bottom of this post, or all three,
  2. Import the car into Automation.
  3. Clone both the car model and the engine family. Any entries which have not cloned these two items will have their scores reduced by 20%.
  4. Open up your cloned trim(s) in the new model, and switch the engine to your existing cloned engine family.
  5. Forward time to 2020 on the car model and engine family. Check that your Family, Variant, Model and Trim are all set to 2020.
  6. Rebuild the car.
  7. Change the model and family name to ARM2 - [your forum name].
  8. Save the .car file and send it to me as a PM when you are done.

Changes to make, and changes to avoid:

  • Do NOT change the model body.
  • Do NOT change any morphs except the wheel wells.
  • Do NOT change the chassis type or material.
  • Do NOT use more than 120 Engineering Time on the chassis.
  • Do NOT use more than 140 Engineering Time on the engine.
  • Do NOT submit a car costing more than 50 thousand dollars.
  • DO change the engine so it uses 95 RON fuel.
  • DO add a 3-way catalytic converter of some sort.
  • DO add a muffler of some form.
  • DO add ESC.
  • DO make sure your fuel efficiency is 12.5 L/100km or better.
  • DO make sure to include at least 4 seats if you are using the coupe or convertible, and at least 2 seats if you are using the El Camino.
Failing any of these requirements will lead to an instabin.


All entries will be judged upon several objective, in-game criteria as well as several subjective ones.

The objective criteria are:

  • 0-60 time. Joseph wants to take this car to the drag strip, he wants to perform with it. If the car can go from standing still to flying through the air nice and quickly? All the better for Joseph.
  • Quarter mile time. What's the point of going to a drag strip with a car that doesn't go fast? Make it get from here to their nice and quick for him.
  • Comfort. Joseph is spending a decent amount of money on this car, so he wants to enjoy being in it.
  • Prestige. These cars aren't cheap, and Joseph wants people to know they are good, just at a glance.
  • Drivability and Sportiness. These are less important, but the car should not be a pain to drive.
  • Safety, Fuel Efficiency, Reliability. These are tie-breakers more than anything.

The subjective criteria are:

  • Aesthetics. Does the car look pretty, or at least prettier than the originals? The stock versions are somewhat bland, so feel free to improve as you'd like. The car does not currently include a proper interior - including something there is a good way to improve your score.
  • Authenticity. Does the car feel like a muscle car? This can come from a variety of factors, from keeping the existing engine to keeping the original lines. As this is an engine-focussed change, several engine changes will incur penalties here - turbos, new valvetrains, engine swaps and the like will be particularly observed here. Not all swaps are equal, of course - a Big Block V8 will be viewed more generously than an Ecoboost i3. The existing 327 engine can have its bore and stroke increased, and this will not impact the authenticity.
  • Uniqueness. What's the point in restomodding a car if it's going to look the same as everyone else's car? Going with a crazy Mad Max-style restomod might not win you points for authenticity, but it will win a lot of points for being unique. Let your imagination run wild here, if you dare.


In case you missed anything:

Engine Family Name: ARM2 – [forum name]
Engine Variant Name: [engine name]
Car Model Name: ARM2 – [forum name]
Car Trim Name: [car name]

12.5 L/100km
95 RON
3-Way Catalytic Converter
2 or more seats per row
120 Chassis ET
140 Engine ET
50,000 maximum budget


Additional Photos


Car Files (32.0 KB)
ARM2 (32.0 KB)
ARM2 (31.9 KB)


Does galvanising the steel chassis count as a breach of this rule?

I seek clarification because rustproofing the original steel isn’t changing the material, but is more akin to giving the steel a sophisticated coat of paint, which would give more value to the restomod than adding an extra 100Kw, hahaha!!!

Sigh, no spaceframe conversion then… sigh

Then again, the original car wasn’t a spaceframe design… Besides, converting the cloned trim to a spaceframe would effectively create a silhouette car - and that’s not what our client wants, is it?

For the sake of my sanity, galvanising the chassis is a breach. If you click any options under chassis material, it’s a breach. It’s far easier to draw the line at “no doing this at all” than it is to assess and make a subjective judgement on each part.

As for the actual lore… Our client is in New Mexico. How valuable do you reckon rustproofing is going to be in a rather hot place, where they don’t salt the roads? Remember, this isn’t a car that he is planning to sell - it’s a car he wants to use and have fun with. If that 100kW translates to half a second off of his quarter mile? It just might be more valuable than rustproofing could ever hope to be.

1 Like

3-Way Catalytic Converter

Just a question tho, are we allowed to use the high-flow three-way catalytic converter?

I’m really confused as to if engine swaps are at all allowed. The rules say no, but the criteria implies yes :thinking:

I don’t see where is says that you’re not allowed to change the engine…

Oh, I see. Somehow I missed that 20% bit.

I’ll attempt to clarify things. There are two separate issues, one relating to how the logistics of the competition works, and the other to the rules dictated by the “client”.

The one about engine cloning is simply a mechanic that needs to be observed for this competition to work well and to save headaches for the host. See it as a similar requirement to the naming convention, it just prevents a lot of hassle on the judging side. Since you’re downloading a car from the host and sending it back, BOTH the car model and engine family need to be cloned, and the cloned engine put into the cloned car. Otherwise, when you send the car file back, it will overwrite the original car and/or engine. If multiple people do this, then only one can be present in the game at a time. If everyone clones both car and engine, then the host can import all cars into the game no problem without them interfering with each other. Of course, if you’re going to completely swap the engine out, then you could just forego the cloning of the engine and plop a completely different one (as that will not overwrite the original, as long as the car is cloned). The cloning is the most important for people wanting to keep the original block in the car.

Then, regarding replacement of the engine. Yes, this is allowed. In this iteration, the client wants to go as fast as possible and wants as much prestige as possible, so it is likely to be desirable to replace the engine (or some of its parts). But, just like in ARM1, replacing the engine (or some of its parts) will incur a small penalty to some other stats in the authenticity category (because a replacement engine does diminish the base value of a classic car). So, it’s a trade-off, and you have to make sure to make the change worth it.

Hope that clarifies the engine swap question.


High-flow 3 way is allowed, yes.

Engine swaps are allowed. The “clone the family” part is to make sure people don’t use the pre-existing family - if multiple people send in entries using the pre-existing entry, things start getting overwritten and it becomes far harder to judge.

1 Like

a little teaser from Copper Works


You say that the current engine can be bored, but it really can’t, it’s both bored and stroked to the maximum, and is no longer a 327, rather a 400 if my calculations are right.

I checked the variant displacement myself, and found it to be 6577 cc (400 ci) - right on the upper limit for the engine family.

I’ll need to double check. I could have sworn it was smaller, though… If I’ve made a mistake, I’ll have to make some corrections.

Seems I have indeed made a mistake. Well, feel free to make the engine smaller if you’d like to.

1 Like

I believe I mentioned on Discord that I wanna put the engine under a glass panel in the back of the El Camino? Well, someone did almost just that, and I kinda wanna do this now. Them’s some crazy Coors Light fuelled peeps in 'Murica!

Rather unfortunately, something like this will be difficult to do in Auto - there’s no rear-engined utes, for obvious reasons. Of course, if you put an engine there via fixtures, it’ll still be considered in the judging.

Reject tradition, embrace RB26

by TreadKillers


A small teaser of Sunset Garage’s entry, which isn’t quite completed yet:


As a slight update, all entrants will be allowed one resubmission if theire car has not been cloned, or breaks some rules. Additionally, I am now accepting early entries - but will withhold updates on submission legality until entries have officially opened.