The Buyer's Club - Pre Challenge Discussions

Those who have been around the Automation forums for a while may remember the early days of CSR (Car Shopping Round). Back then, rounds would last a week, with maybe a week to share results. Furthermore, although the previous rounds winner would host the next. We had a person who would enforce the overall challenge rules, to stop things getting out of hand, potentially putting off etrants.

In my opinion, deviation from the original premise of the challenge has lead to the slow decline of CSR to a point where it feels like a popularity fest. Hence why I’ve not been seen around much myself recently. But let’s not let this get pollitical. Although this challenge series is inspired by CSR, it will be its own series.

The Lore
The Buyers Club is an imaginary Facebook group where members who are seeking to purchase a new or used car will make a post discussing their needs. This could be the type of car, performance requirements, budgetary constraints or even if they want the car to be used or new. Other useful members of the group will then post links to used car sales adverts or links to dealership posts of brand new cars that may fit the requirements.
The Basics
  • Each Round, a Buyer will post a list of requirements for what sort of car they are looking to buy.
  • The list of requirements must take into account the overall challenge ruleset (More Further Down).
  • The Buyer will be the winner of the previous round. If the previous winner is unable, a runner up will take their place.
  • The entrants will then post their ads like a comment on Facebook, referencing a marketplace advert for a used car, or a link to a dealership advert for a brand new car.
  • Once the Deadline has been reached, the Buyer will assess all entries fairly and will first post the insta bins - these will be entries that failed to meet the round requirements or that broke a challenge rule.
  • The next post will talk about each entry and whether the Buyer likes it or not. Ultimately at the end of the post the buyer will list their top 5.
  • The final post will see the top 5 judged more closely to select the winner.
  • The winner will act as the next Buyer and ultimately will decide the next rounds requirements.

Challenge Ruleset
The Challenge Ruleset is a list of rules that are in place to ensure that each round remains fair for all entries. I will enforce this ruleset, along with the Automation Forum Moderators should they seek fit. Therefore, although I will enter rounds, I will never host to ensure that I remain impartial.

These rules are open to discussion should they impede the challenge, however can always be expanded upon should the need arise.

For now the rules are:

  • Before a rule can be added, it must be voted on.
  • Techpool will be set to 0 in all categories.
  • Interiors cannot be a judged aspect.
  • The Challenge will use Stable Builds only.
  • Should a Major Update hit whilst a round is open, the round will reset to allow entrants to fix their cars if necessary and the buyer to update any requirements.
  • Each Entrant is limited to 1 entry.
  • Once the rounds requirements are set and final, the deadline will be set for no more than 2 weeks.
  • Once the deadline has been reached, the Buyer or Host will have 1 week to decide on the winner.
  • The Winner will have 1 week to decide upon the Requirements for the next round.
  • Should the Winner be unnable to host, the next runner up will take the responsibility.
  • Should the Round Host or Buyer go AWOL, the round will be forfeit and the next runner up from the previous round will take over.

For now the ruleset will stay as is, although until the first round is open, feel free to discuss, question or suggest rules that may make the challenger fairer. Rules that will not change however are:

The New Rule Vote - To ensure that any new rules are widely accepted, I don’t want to simply be a dictator and add rules without people agreeing that it would improve the challenge. The same goes for removing rules.

The Interior Rule - Not everyone is good at making interiors in automation, therefore, by making them a non judged element should open the challenge up a little to those who struggle.

The Stable Build Rule - Although Open Beta offers the latest features, it may be significantly buggy or change characteristics of your cars. Therefore the challenge will always use stable builds. The reset rule also helps ensure that should an update break things, everyone will have time to fix their cars.

The First Host
Since I will not be hosting any rounds of The Buyer's Club, I will need to find someone willing to host the first round. I ask that you wait until I post asking for interested parties to host before you DM me saying that you are willing as I'd like to first discuss the overall rules and take any suggestions from people.

Once I do post that Host Submissions are open, You will enter by DM to me here on the Forums. Names will be put into a random name draw app and then the name drawn will host. Should the first host go AWOL, I’ll simply redraw.

The Discussions Bit
For now, most things about this challenge series is set to change or be adapted. I'm really looking for ideas people may have about ways we can make this the go to car buying challenge. Therefore, please suggest away below.

I hope to have the first host and round up and running by the end of June, so we’ll set that as a soft deadline to finalise the OP of this challenge.


Apart from clearer and better-enforced rules - something BADLY needed, IMO - what’s the difference?

I like interiors, and wish they counted, but no ongoing challenge series seems to care. I struggle more with exteriors, though not as much as with opaque and capricious hosts.

To be brutally honest there isn’t too much difference. Infact the main real difference is that the buyer will always be in 2020. The main part is that the challenge would be Roleplayed as a Facebook group I guess.

But I’m creating this because in no offence to CSR, to which I used to be a regular. It has slowed down dramatically, and the original ruleset has long since been disregarded. To me it has lost the appeal. I’m hoping that adding a little schedule should help make this fun.

As for interiors, It could be changed to a Host Decided style ruleset, but I also want to make this challenge friendly to new time players and old timers alike. For me interiors shouldn’t be the defining reason why one person wins over another. It should be based on how well thought out the car is compared to the rounds requirements, with a small addition of how the car looks if the host want’s to focus on that.

But that’s why I want an open discussion before the first round even starts. I want to listen to ideas that will help seperate this from the current running of CSR so that may continue, yet keeps the inspiration of old CSR, aka pre round 100

IMO, there are so many challenge series that such a minor variation seems unnecessary. Can’t we fix CSR instead? I like the idea of more-system-less-BS, think it should apply to existing challenges regardless.

Neat idea to kind of re-do early CSRs, however QFC does fill that spot for the most part. Additionally a 2-week submission window and 1 week reviews pretty much is QFC at the moment (7-10 days submission).

I kind of doubt that would be possible, and even if it would be, it would probably start creeping up back in to ‘now’-CSR. I’m guilty of that, with my hosting of QFC23, going the stupid route and disregarding the limit on review length and skirting the 7-day review deadline. The competitive nature of challenges doesn’t just extend to the participants, it extends to the host as well.


QFC23 was my first challenge, and I had no idea it was meant to be a quickie. Clearer rules could’ve spelled that out. The novel I wrote for my advert surely didn’t encourage you to go light on reviews, either?

What’s to stop the next CSR host from saying “we’re going back to the original with the following changes from recent rounds…”?

We could fix CSR, but I think a lot of people who used to regularly enter CSR have kinda lost interest in it. I think ultimately CSR has outgrown itself.

I do understand what you mean about there being soo many similar challenge series tho. It can be hard to decide which feels like the right one to enter. Maybe some more categories in the challenges section to differentiate different types could help.

Ultimately I want to keep the original charm of CSR, but I don’t think CSR itself will be fixed.

QFC does seem pretty good tbh, although I haven’t entered myself yet. Although, I do think that it doesn’t harm to have two parallel challenges.

One thing that might help be a defining feature of TBC is making it more like a Used Car only challenge, like the group is for those seeking a used car with certain requirements. Sort of like those “Seekingf xyz” postrs you see on FB marketplace.

TBH, I feel like we are almost oversaturated with challenge series nowadays. CSR more or less became the challenge of the challenges, true. But I think the last year has given us CSRs with sane turnaround times, without harming the quality of the challenges. As I have said, if we want to go back to Kee era CSRs, we would have to play Kee era Automation again. The game is something totally different compared to what it was when CSR took off.

That’s more or less why QFC emerged, a simpler and faster challenge harking back to the old days of CSR, easier to jump into if you don’t have skills and ambitions that are top notch, call it CSR lite if you want. Yes, I think that has its place as long as it is kept strictly “simple” and “quick”.

On top of that we also have JOC, started by me after an idea by @BannedByAndroid . I thought the idea was fun, and I don’t want JOC to “die off” as long as people keeps enjoying it. Yet, I don’t know if I feel like I did the right thing by starting it, because even if the idea of a continous ownership by the same buyer seemed fun, it meant giving the board what was more or less yet another continous CSR style challenge. I feel like it contributed to the saturation, and I am not gonna lie now, JOC is fun, but I am doubtful that it really was what the board needed now when looking back at it…

On top of that, we have other continous challenges. ARM, AGC, TMCC, CSC, etc. - sure, at least they are kind of different from CSR in many ways.

Is what we need to add here really a fourth CSR style challenge? I also feel like you’re jumping on a discussion that felt relevant 1-2 years ago, because yes, CSR had some troubles back then. Lately, I feel like most people have been rather satisfied with CSR. Salt and endless rules discussions are almost as old as CSR itself and they will emerge in all challenges sooner or later, starting a new one won’t really solve that.

Just my five cents, if everyone else disagrees I might as well be wrong, but this is how I feel about it.


Honsetly you’re thoughts are appreciated. I started this with the idea of starting a new but nostalgic challenge that harkened back to the days of old CSR, but so far it’s seeming that this challenge series isn’t needed.

Maybe it’s one to put on the ideas shelf in the case other challenges die down and it becomes needed. I don’t like the idea of abandoning before it even starts, but if the common thought is it’s not needed, then I will listen. Ultimately that’s why I started discussions before even starting a round.

Note: I’ll give it a day or so before I mark this as abandoned. If enough call for it to start comes before then, I’ll let it start.

I’ve long been of the mindset that people who want to do CSR or QFC or any of the serial challenges really ought to just borrow the ruleset and run it themselves.

One, you’ll get to do things quicker. Two, you then don’t have the pressure of having to get things done in a hurry so the next guy can go onward. And finally, Three, because it’s not a serial challenge, it’s giving people the chance to enter a challenge at a time like now, where QFC wants 2000’s light trucks/SUVs, CSR wants 50’s landships, and yet, if someone wanted 2010’s sports coupes, there’s nothing for it. (For the record, NO, I don’t want that, but I know a lot of people might.)

I’ve been around long enough to remember this. Before CSR we had the opposite problem: There were dozens of concurrently-running challenges. Now, granted, in Kee era, you could bang out a good car in a few hours, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but… Once CSR came out, people backed way off on doing one-shot challenges. Everyone was saving their good ideas for “when I win CSR.” It very quickly went from 20-ish challenges running to one challenge running (discounting races for this - They’re appealing to a different group of people), and if you didn’t like the CSR theme, wait a week or two, it’ll be a new round.

These days, however, CSR and QFC and JOC cover a lot of ground, but move at slower paces.

If there’s one thing that the community could be said to need… It’s more one-shot challenges. Run something with the intent that it’s just one round, the prize is “I had fun and made an awesome car,” and it runs at your pace.


That said, I think this could work as a hybrid between it.

Here’s my proposition on it:

If Buyer’s Club is like Facebook Marketplace… Why not have Buyer’s Club be like FB Market? Give it a core set of rules. Let people know that anyone can start up a round, even while others are running. It doesn’t pass on from one to another, but it becomes a different type of serial challenge. One ruleset, many one-shot challenges.

After all, people are trying to buy and sell all sorts of vehicles there. Why not embrace the idea that people who want a truck can be browsing for a truck, while people who need to replace their crusty, worn out family car may want a nice used family sedan. Or someone’s looking for a project car, so give us a round full of old rusty beaters to turn into a real mean sleeper.


This. Perhaps a Marketplace subforum? Whoever wants to run their buy can just make a thread at any time in the format: (brief description) (deadline). For example, “1950’s GT for 30-40k. 6/12” or “I need wheels and have $10300. Surprise me. 6/6/23”

I like the idea, I don’t think a subforum would work. But having a General Lore thread, aka this one and then allowing people to stem off and do their own one shots with essentially unlimited rules, other than maybe a core simple set. I’m gonna post a new premise shortly, no fancy formatting for now since it’ll be an expansion of the idea.

The New Premise:

Buyer’s Club is a FaceBook Group by Lore. It’s members normally join when they seek a specific type of vehicle that they want to buy from the used market.

They will state The age range, type and budget for the vehicle and stipulate any requirements for the challenge they have.

Entrants will then post a responce that shows a vehicle for sale on Marketplace that may meet the requirements of the buyer.

The buyer will then pick whatever meets their requirements the best

In essence, keep it simple and quick. Anyone can host a round at any time. Winners just get the bragging rights of winning.

If we could get a subforum for this, that would be amazing - but I see this as unlikely for now


Because that’s not really the expectation for a CSR anymore. We hear all the time from various people in the forums about how long and ponderous CSR (along with other challenge series) supposedly is, but on the Discord groups, nobody really complains because we realize the simple fact that both the game and the community have moved on. Engineering is now more complex; Design can now be more intricate, with 3D smashing through many limitations existing prior even if you discount the advent of interiors; and the community itself has not only heightened its design standards, but many people have also matured, with many real-life commitments meaning that many days, you can’t devote any time to Automation at all.

We can’t regularly make cars we are truly satisfied with in a week. Hosts can’t guarantee that they’ll be ready to type out walls of text and compare stats thoroughly enough to be done with submissions in a week. And we now have several more challenges in the peripheral.

I hosted the most recent finished CSR - CSR154 - and it did take a while. But the first half of that while saw 50 contestants throw their hat in the ring in cars of considerable quality, and I processed those 50 entries in the second half, writing detailed reviews for more than half of them - the non-bins. I’d much rather CSR be in that state than in a state of mandated simplicity and constraint, especially with such draconian fundamental rules as 0 techpool. There’s QFC for that.


It’s all well and good that the veterans have moved on and the challenge has evolved and changed, but what few rules and guidelines exist have not. When a newbie comes in expecting, among other things, for this to be followed:

The golden rule is: If the rule is not written, it does not exist, and any entry that doesn’t violate a written rule is legal.

… and it isn’t, drama happens. I may have been more vocal about it than most, but it’s a systematic problem. The portion of OP’s suggestion that amounts to better and clearer rules is a much-needed step in the right direction (the rest has merit, too). Whether we keep calling it CSR or something else, or whether we have mandated simplicity or freer reign doesn’t matter so much as for expectations, whatever they are - including written rules and guidelines that establish expectations - to conform to reality.

Wasnt this how QFC was born?


This is tiring more than it could ever be constructive with you. I grouped you with the other boxer violators, but you were binned regardless of that realism-based decision as your engine was not named properly, as stated with the deed was done. You were not deceived or screwed, so stop pretending you were.


This reply should have been in DM; please do that, if you care, and let’s not pollute this thread with off-topic.

Yes, please don’t bring the pollitics of other challenges in here. Otherwise, I’ll just ask the mods to delete the thread.

The former helps balance things out; the latter helps simplify the design aspect.

1 Like

QFC was born out of a desire for faster CSR rounds, after a string of them lasting more than 2 weeks between rounds. It solves a similar, yet different problem, by offering a similar experience (Build a car for a buyer, winner gets to host the next round) to CSR, but with a faster turnaround time and a generally-lower skill ceiling that leads to being more new player friendly.

This, with the revised idea, gives a rule set for hosting Buyer’s Club rounds. It solves a problem in a different way, by making it possible for more than one challenge to run at the same time. It’s a hybrid between serial challenges and the old school one-shots. Multiple rounds can be running at the same time, all bound by an overarching ruleset that keeps them feeling “similar” to each other.