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Automation RestoMod Chapter 9: A Personal Touch

“Where I come from isn’t all that great
My automobile is a piece of crap
My fashion sense is a little whack
And my friends are just as screwy as me”

- Weezer, “Beverly Hills”

“Why won’t my CSS space evenly?
Why is this so inconsistent?”

- AMuteCrypt, “ARM9”

“CSS Suuuuuuucks”

- Ldub (Seriously, thanks a ton for doing all the CSS here, you’re great)

Hello, and welcome to ARM9!

For more of an idea on the challenge, feel free to check out the last round. The basic idea is that you take a pre-made car, and you modify it for a client. For this round, you will be modding a 1992 Ford Festiva. For more, scroll down to that section. the client is none other than…


You aren’t designing for a made-up client this time, you’re modding my car. Well, sorta. The real car is a second-gen, not the first generation one you have gotten. It’s an old, beat-up one, lacking any sort of power steering, automatic gearbox or modern comforts - but with a slow engine, already-worn paint and plenty of damage, it’s a good first car. Add in the fact that I didn’t have to pay anything for it, and it ends up being pretty good (but the only thing it makes me feel is a little cramped).

The Car

I have chosen to make a first-generation festiva for a pretty simple reason - it was easier.

There is a vanilla body which matches it pretty well, and I have made it with nothing but vanilla fixtures. Between the simple base and the use of vanilla fixtures, the end result is something I can get out nice and quick before 4.2 comes out, so that things hopefully run nice and quick. The car is honestly bad in well… almost every aspect. With the engine putting out just 60 horsepower, an incredibly basic interior and a near-total lack of safety, it has a lot of improvements. If it weren’t for the fact I got it for free from a (car-obsessed) relative, I would be disappointed.

The .car file can be found in the “Rules” section of this post.

The Client

As previously mentioned, the client is me. Almost. In reality, something like this wouldn’t happen for a variety of reasons - I don’t have the money to do it, I would probably swap an electric engine in if I did, and so on. So, let’s step into fantasy land then. Let’s say I have won a substantial sum in the lottery of something similar, and I’ve allocated some of the money to a restomod.

Want to get some more ideas of what our client likes? Feel free to take some looks at my posts here on the forum, and on the discord. In addition, I will be allowing 3 questions in DMs for some more specifics - one should be car-related, one should not be car-related, and the third can be either. Please note that I may opt not to answer any overly-personal questions, or any which are likely to dox myself; I may allow re-attempts if a question was asked in good faith and were reasonable, but don’t count on it.



ARM9_-yournamehere-_CLONE_THE_MODEL.car (30.7 KB)

  • Clone your stuff properly. Please, check the tutorial if you don’t know how.

  • Set the model and family year to 2020, and please set your Model and Family name to “ARM9 - Your Forum Name”.

  • No V16s, to ensure a level playing field.

  • Catalytic converters and mufflers are required.

  • AUGUST 7 UPDATE: All morphs are completely free. Due to a persistent morph reset bug, I am changing the rules and allowing entrants to make as many morph changes as they like, rather than using the standard rule and only allowing wheel morphs.

  • Engine and suspension swaps are free; panel and engine orientation swaps will carry a small fee, and trim body can be changed for a larger fee - the specifics can be found below.

  • Do not change the chassis type or material

  • 91, 95 or 98 RON fuel should be used - but this choice will have other impacts.

  • 120k budget - including running costs, see below.

  • 180 ET for both trim and engine.

  • All builds will have to submit an advert, and they will also be required to select a “usage band” - more on that below.

  • Interiors are not mandatory. They will be considered, but it will be entirely possible to win without one.

  • If your car does worse in a high-priority stat, stop and think about what you have done. There is no reason why a modern restomod should do worse in any of the top stats.

The Priorities

3 Stars: Comfort, Prestige, Uniqueness.

This is designed as a showpiece, a way to flaunt the newfound wealth. Make it cool, make it one of a kind, make this boring economy hatchback stand out, and make the uncomfortable interior worth being in. Prestige is a mixture of the in-game statistic and also the the aesthetic and appearance.

2 Stars: Sportiness, Drivability, Performance.

While it may not be purpose-built from the ground up, the existing car is sluggish, and incredibly intensive to drive. Between the manual steering and the manual gearbox, it takes the entirety of your attention. Make it easy to drive, make it fun to drive. Bonus points if you can makeit good for Mount Panorama (found here).

1 Star: Reliability, Practicality (subjective, not the stat),

Offroad, Value. Ideally, this will be something actually useful - and not something that requires more repairs and attention than the current state! I live in a city, but being able to take it on a long trip - which will reqire a decent amount of dependability and off-road capability - will be useful. Practicality will depend on your usage band, and also factors such as seats, interior spacing (if present), and such. I will also consider the overall value inclusive of modifiers such as fuel and servicing.

Not considered: Authenticity.

I do not care about the base car. This is a cheap old beater, and I have very little interest or attachment to the model line. Feel free to make it completely unrecogniseable as a Festiva. Whatever changes you want to make to overhaul the Festiva are fair game - and if it looks nothing like the original, that’s fine. On a similar note, I will not consider fuel economy and servicing costs - only their impacts on value and usage band.

The Budget Rules

  • The overall budget is 120k. However, this will not just include your cost at the end. Several modifiers will be applied.
  • As previously mentioned, engine swaps are free here. Changing orientation costs 2000 dollars, and panel swaps will also incur an additional 2000 dollar penalty. Changing the trim body will carry a 15000 dollar premium - completely reshaping the car like that isn’t easy, but if you can make it worthwhile…
  • We also include fuel and servicing costs over 10 years. Servicing is simple as it is listed by the game, but fuel depends on 3 factors - fuel economy, fuel type, and usage band.
    – Fuel economy is simple. Just take the value in L/100km and note it down.
    – Fuel type will impact the price paid for the fuel in the car. Across the cities, 91 octane has a rough price of 150 cents per litre, 95 has a rough price of 160 c/L, and 98 has a rough price of 170 c/L. This will impact your costs.
    – Usage band will impact the distance travelled in a year. Daily drivers can expect to see 12,500 km in a year, occasional cars can expect 6,000 in a year while special vehicles can expect 400 km in a year.
    – To help with all of this, I have made a handy calculator here. Make a copy of the calculator, and use that to track your cost.

Usage Bands

Different builds will end up being used differently. Something designed with race parts (or a literal tank) is cool, but not a practical daily driver. Here, there will be 3 different usage bands to choose from - each with benefits and drawbacks.

  • The “most used” category is a daily driver. This is the sort of car you can drive to most of the stuff you need to do, it’s practical. Enough seats to give your friends a lift, or carry stuff back from the hardware store. It’ll probably fit in most parking spots, and it’s not using any special race parts that make it less likely to survive constant use.
  • One step below this is the occasional car. You probably take this out a few times per month, but you [probably] aren’t using it to grab your groceries. It’s less practical, but you can still use it in a pinch - and you hopefully want to use it.
  • At the bottom, we get the special vehicles. These get taken out very rarely when you want to make a real splash. Chucked a bunch of race parts in, or made a literal tank that won’t fit in a parking space? Yeah, that goes here.

Please be realistic with your band as well. If your car is a little borderline (or in a lower band than it could be), you’ll get a pass. If it’s clearly not fit for purpose, however, it won’t help your case.


  • Set Car Model and Engine Family to “ARM9 - (Your Username Here)”.
  • Post your advert here in the thread.
  • DM me through the Forum DMs, with your completed .car file for judging and your chosen usage band.

Submissions Close August 22nd, 23:59 GMT

Want to get started?

You can download the car posted in the “Rules” - and please, please, check the tutorial as well.


Oh man, this is going to be so much fun! I’ve owned a second gen Festiva Trio and they’re actually a super fun little car!

WF Festiva Trio, 1.3L MPFI engine, 5 speed factory close ratio manual gearbox (compared to the superior 1.5L anyway, hahaha), tonnes of fun to drive w/ decent tyres installed!

The 1st generation Festiva differs from it’s son in that it has a carburettored version of the 1.3 and is much boxier. Check out how the RL version of the supplied car looks here:

WA Festiva Trio, 1.3L carbied engine, 5 speed manual, by all accounts an amusing car to drive

The Festiva is actually a Kia Pride; a Mazda 121 built by Kia and on-sold to Ford. Mazda developed this l’il cutie from the 1st gen 121:

Mazda 121 “Bubble”, 1.3L SPFI engine and 5 speed gearbox, also ver fun to drive w/ good tyres and shocks installed.

I also owned one of these and they’re just as fun as the WF Festiva, despite the older engine tech, but it’s interesting to see parallel evolution resulted in two distinct, yet amusingly similar, lsub-compact cars!

So yeah, this car is a relation of a couple of favourite cars of mine, I hope to do this round justice with something that’ll prove to be interesting to read about, irregardless of it’s overall success in the competition!

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And the gen 2 Festiva was a Kia Avella basically, so there is Kia genes there too. Don’t know how related it is to the Pride though.

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Wow! The Kia Avella IS the Kia Pride, just with a different badge!

Wiki article on the Ford Festiva

This sort of stuff is why I got into cars… So many weird and interesting little sub-plots that contribute to the mainstream story of our local domestic market!

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The post has been updated with brand new CSS (and also a couple of new sections) courtesy of @ldub0775 - massive thanks for all that work.

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No problem. If I’m gonna complain about something I might as well try to help improve it as well

So the Festiva imported a bit weird on my end.

Should I use morphs to fix it, or is there another way to fix it?

you should probably try re-importing it first

Good idea, but the issue is still there on the new one. I was able to fix it with morphs though.

@AMuteCrypt Although morphs aren’t allowed, is it okay if I do the minimum amount of morphing necessary to fix the car before working on it?

I’ve learned of so many different cars since joining this site alone.


Dear oh dear, I was worried about this - I’ve encountered a handful of morph resets here and there, and haven’t been able to work out what the cause was.

I can see a handful of solutions here; the best, in my opinion, is to break with ARM tradition and allow for unlimited morph editing, rather than getting a bunch of cars based on what people think it was. Does anyone have opinions against that?

Nope, no issues with that! I do find it strange though- I downloaded the original .car you had with no issues whatsoever. Definitely an odd glitch

Morph editing might just be more fun! At least, I think I could get a lot of mileage out of it with my in-progress design…


You could try including morphing in the “panel swap cost,” since technically, you’d be replacing the panels by morphing.

This. Or you could include it in the body swap cost, as I imagine remolding a whole ass body would be more difficult than remolding a couple panels


In short, “Morphing alone costs $2000, but it’s free if you also do a panel swap or body swap.”

On second thought, though, it might get difficult to tell what is an edited morph and what isn’t; I wonder if a cost for morphing is too hard to enforce?

That’s exactly why I haven’t gone with a fee for morphing, as it’ll be hard to enforce (until we get the list of sliders for morphs which I believe is coming for 4.2?)

Given how long has passed, I feel comfortable making this rule change.



@AMuteCrypt, do you drive on the left hand or right hand side of the road?

I thought I had mentioned this in the post, but I seem to have missed it. I live in Australia, so I drive on the left, but I won’t punish cars built for RHD.