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Car Builder

DOS - 1982

Also available on: Apple II

Year 1982
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Educational, Simulation
Theme Science
Publisher Optimum Resource, Inc.
Developer Optimum Resource, Inc.
4.28 / 5 - 88 votes

Description of Car Builder

Car Builder is, as you may have guessed, a car design game. Created by "Optimum Resource, Inc.," a company with a rather reputable-sounding name, this game excels in giving the user control over the vehicle design process. A menu-driven interface allows even the very young to successfully manipulate the design of the car. Many different variations of engine placement, brake size and type, and even steering mechanism give the user the control to create their ideal car.

Car nuts will appreciate the details provided, such as the ability to aerodynamically sculpt the car, while those not fascinated by cars may find interest in the automated track testing feature. Refining your designs is accomplished by visiting the testing facility. In the facility you can run both track and wind tunnel tests, which are graphically presented with comments on the results.

As an educational tool, this game is excellent. Accompanied by an instructor who knows what he or she is talking about, a child can learn quite a lot about cars. This game was purchased for me as a five-year-old as a way to channel my interest in cars into a constructive environment. I obviously enjoyed it, preserving it through many disks, then many hard drives, and now I can share it with you. Give it a try. It is a small, simple, and fun game in a unique genre.

Though its chunky CGA graphics are a bit dated, it still shines with gameplay a-plenty. I've included some "recent" cars of my own, so that you may see what can be done with the game. Enjoy!

Note: the developer Optimum Resources is still very much alive, and updating new versions of Car Builder to boot! Check out the official game site for the most recent version you can buy :) [thanks to Marc J. for the info]

Review By HOTUD

External links

Captures and Snapshots

Comments and reviews

Gamernator.GX 2023-08-04 0 point

Oh, Thank Jesus, I finally found this! Back in the summer of 1991, when I was 13 between 7th and 8th grade, I was attending summer school, taking some voluntary elective classes. I remember every single one in elaborate detail. Computers, Slot Cars, Clay Crafts, Greek Mythology, Business And Investing, and Make Your Own Musical Instrument. In the computer class, my friend Dan and I played this game every single day. We both loved drawing cars and had our own made-up companies. His was called Utopia, and mine was Miura, based equally on my aunt's Japanese family's surname and the Lamborghini supercar. Each day, we would play this game and try to outdo one another on our designs and engineering ideas, to who could build the best cars according to the simulator testing results. I think we often tied, because both of us would make some great cars and other ones were terrible. I remember making one that looked similar to the Family Truckster in "National Lampoon's Vacation." I purposely made that car a piece of junk as a joke to show the rest of the class, because we always printed out pictures of our cars. In the Slot Car class, we built slot cars out of wood and then raced them. I made slot cars all the time when I was in the Cub / Boy Scouts in the 80s, so my experience allowed me to have the fastest car in the class. In the Business And Investing class, we learned how to start and run a business. We ran a car company together, and named it Quakemobile, since we had just experienced the June 28, 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake (5.6), Los Angeles County, California.

Joe Mama 2022-02-08 3 points

I had this one years ago back when I was running an 8088 and then a 286. It's a pretty simple "game," not really a game but more like a car design simulator. You don't actually get to drive the cars, you simply design them and read the feedback. It's fun for a little bit but it begins to get old fairly quickly. I think the most fun I had was designing car bodies and then testing them in the wind tunnel. But it's kind of fun to know that this software from 1982 is still being played with today 40 years later.

Vaskip55 2018-06-19 3 points

I had this program thought it was the bomb I spent hour trying to build a better car than my wife. Lol

BippyTheGuy 2017-07-27 2 points

How do you save your designs? It tells me the disk is full and I don't know what directory to change to.

Reyce 2016-08-10 3 points


You add a part you don’t know anything about and test your vehicle on the road or in the wind tunnel, rinse and repeat. Your enjoyment will pend solely on how much you can enjoy doing that and checking the wind resistance and aerodynamics of crude shapes because we’re all 12 at heart. If this doesn’t sound like something you’d enjoy then avoid Car Builder like you’d avoid calling Mike Tyson a chud.

Full review:

frankie 2015-07-12 2 points DOS version

I remember playing this game in 7th Grade in my computer class. We thought this game was awesome!!! Glad I found it. Now time for a little nostalgia.

Paperinik77pk 2015-05-15 3 points DOS version

Nice one!!! I've never managed to create a good car! I'm not a good engineer... :(

Reelphresh 2015-03-23 2 points DOS version

Crazy you have this is so old, my god . . . nostalgic memory would give this a 5/5 as it was fun to play in middle school. Got to like the wind tunnel sequence.

just 2015-02-18 0 point DOS version

i like it

Baldy Old Fart 2014-09-01 -2 points DOS version

READ THE HOW TO PLAY ABANDONWARES just below the "Send Comment" Button - It will send you to:
Where you will discover that DOS Games DO NOT RUN IN WINDOWS! - You MUST have a DOS Emulator such as DOSBOX - which is linked to from the page above.

19 2014-04-18 -2 points DOS version

DDD your running windows 8 right?

mo 2013-12-22 0 point DOS version

He dit is echt een leuk spel hoor maar hij cool

DDD 2013-09-28 0 point DOS version

shit.. i apologize. i didnt realize that the file was made for a different operating system.. my bad folks.. Will comment later if a problem arises later on.. Carry on

DDD 2013-09-28 -1 point DOS version

so i downloaded it and the application: CAR. opens a window that cannot be full screen and i get 3 errors on just that alone and then nothing happens after that.. what do i do?. I extracted the file and then tried to open it, am i missing something? please help.


stacey 2013-06-25 0 point DOS version

what is the game like

CJR 2013-06-10 0 point DOS version

Works on a BBC Master 512

notbenh 2012-08-17 0 point DOS version

Thanks works great via DOSbox on OSX 10.7.

paperbrain 2012-07-16 0 point DOS version

Are you for real? Unzip the file with a archive decompressing program such as winzip, winrar, or 7zip. There IS a program file in this archive, just unzip it before you try to play it.

Me 2012-05-08 0 point DOS version

I downloaded it and all it gave me was a .zip file. what do i do with it? there is no program in the .zip file
email me at

µA 2011-06-27 0 point DOS version

Used DOS Box, 0.74, worked fine. Thanks, been looking for this for a while but for Apple IIe, didn't think there was a PC version until AutoDuel didn't work on VirtualApple.

JFS3 2011-03-02 0 point DOS version

Yes it does work I have it running on Windows 7 using D-Fend Reloaded. it is a dos emulator that lets you play our old dos games in the newer versions of windows. Just google search "D-Fend Reloaded"

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