By on September 2, 2006

26fordsnyder.jpgSince the Model T, car owners have paid good money to make their rides stand out from the crowd. A brass radiator cap, special head lights, a steering wheel that pivoted out of the way– these are just a few of the hundreds of mods that could turn a Tin Lizzie into your Tin Lizzie. Today, the trend continues with an even wider (and wilder) array of goodies lining the aisles of automotive parts emporia, tempting whoever wanders past with the promise of aesthetic liberation. With a few exceptions, the only thing that results from these efforts is a 9-1-1 to the taste police.

I know taste is subjective. I realize that we live in a society that guarantees its citizens’ freedom of expression. But there should be limits to what someone can do to a perfectly good car. On what grounds can you defend putting a vinyl coating on your car’s roof so it looks like a convertible when it clearly isn’t?  Although vinyl roofs had their heyday in the 70’s and early 80’s, along with platform shoes with fish in the heels, this unconscionable vulgarity refuses to disappear. The Chrysler 300 is the current favorite for this abomination but anything with wheels seems to be fair game. Anyone ever see an Aztec with a fake convertible top? I have. I still have nightmares about it.

honda-crx-rear-spoilerbodykit.jpg Most of the cosmetic accessories sold today do little more than identify their owner as a world-class poseur. Can anyone tell me the logic of slapping air dams and wings onto a car that’s never driven anywhere but the streets at speeds that require no aerodynamic addenda? Air dams and side skirts are one thing on an M3 prepped for a race course. They’re something else entirely on a Honda CRX being driven back and forth to work. And they fool no one. Nine times out of ten, the only thing they’re good for is hanging up on speed bumps, curbs and car washes.

The bright chrome wheels that look like an attachment for a Cuisinart are equally ludicrous. Adding spinners to the wheels only heightens the impression they are better suited for slicing salami than supporting a set of tires.  Most cars are styled for specific wheel sizes; adding dubs or double dubs makes them look like something that ended-up in Big Daddy Roth’s waste basket. When you see a $2k car with $4k wheels and spinners, it’s all show and no go.  Sometimes you have to wonder if the engine can produce enough torque to turn over those monstrosities.

caprice008.jpg Special mention goes to that category of modifications known as donks, bubbles and boxes. For those of you who haven’t kept up with the latest in urban transportation, these are 70’s and 80’s era GM rear wheel-drivers that have been jacked-up to fit the largest set of wheels possible (26-inchers are the most common size), sporting paint jobs that cost more than the book value of the vehicle. Lambo-style doors are optional, but highly desired.  These sick cars (in the classic meaning of the word, not the urban vernacular) bring to mind Back to the Future III. You know; the scene where Dr. Emmett Brown retrofits the Delorean with stagecoach wheels.  I can’t imagine what it must be like to try to turn a corner in one of these tipsy-looking hoopties-– which may explain why you see them driven slowly on city streets and never on the highways.

Thankfully, some customizers limit their forays to their car’s interior (instead of assaulting the sensibilities of innocent bystanders). Once upon a time, automotive interior decorating was limited to some new seat covers and a pair of fuzzy dice. Today, there are almost as many ways to screw-up the inside of a car as there are people willing to do it.  You can cover your chairs, dashboard, headliner and doors with everything from cow spots to urine-colored leather. Steering wheel covers range from the patently faux (petrochemical leather), to what the fo’ (fake fur). Neon lights can appear everywhere from the ash trays to the cupholders.

fr019.jpgI’m not picking on America’s automotive underclass. I know there are dozens of tuners who inflict massive taste failures on box fresh, world-class sports cars: Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and yes, Aston Martins. I also know that most owners who individualize their rides have good intentions– in the same sense that a teenage girl with a Mohawk haircut only wants to draw a little attention to herself (so she can tell onlookers to f-off). Unfortunately, they have no taste. They don’t understand the subtle joys of owning the right car perfectly specced-up at the factory, unmolested. Luckily for us, rappers and sports stars do.  More and more of the cars I see in Celebrity Rides are just that. Thank God.

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49 Comments on “A Matter of Taste...”


  • avatar

    While I shake my head at a lot of the riced-out monstrousities I see in my neck of the woods in Northern Virginia, most of the damage inflicted on cars is OK with me. It’s all a matter of personal taste or lack thereof.

    I only get upset and actually angry when I see a hacked up Porsche or, worse, Ferrari. When I see one of those with dub or double dub wheels, it almost makes me cry, particularly on a Porsche. Can you imagine the number of man-years of fine German engineering that have been negated by barely educated morons in automotive bling-bling emporiums?

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    What? Not even a mention of stereos?

    C’mon! We’ve all seen guys with $5000 worth of stereo gear in a $2000 Cavalier. That powerful “THOOMP-THOOMP” noise only attracting attention to how crappy the car responsible for it.

    How about fart-can exhaust pipes?

    Or those idiots with company logos festooned all over their ride? Hey buddy, something tell me that Kia ain’t sponsered.

  • avatar

    I loves me the whoompa-whoompa wagons! Nothing like a clapped out Civic farting out 100 dB of distorted, crappy rap music. Sometimes I wonder what that racket is doing to the brain of the driver, then I remember that there’s not much more damage it can do.

    Doya think any of these guys will look back in 20 years and wonder what they were thinking? For example, does anybody here look back at regret at having thought their ’77 Trans Am with screaming chicken decal, “back off” Yosemite Sam mudflaps and Roadrunner (I think that was the brand) tailpipe was cool?

  • avatar
    temecula

    Temecula, California is ground zero for the cottage industry of jacking up pick-up’s and SUV’s. There are streets lined with shops devoted to this whimsical endeavor. When complete, you have made a dangerous roll over prone monstrosity which won’t fit into a parking spot, requires ladder entry and has a useless 5 foot high bed height.
    Why, why, why?

  • avatar

    Bad taste isn’t timeless, it’s just forever.

    This article reminded me back in the 70’s of all those four door sedans with two barrel V-8 (or straight sixes), and the back end jacked up a foot or more on spring shackles. And half of them squeaked because it never occurred to the owner to use a grease gun.

    Worst of all was a college buddy who do it to a 70 Opel Kadette wagom.

    Syke
    Deranged Few M/C

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Frank,

    When you come out to LA I’ll take you to a couple of places in Compton that would make your head explode.

    26″ Dubs on FWD Buick Regals — I’m not kidding.

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    Uh, thanks Jonny, but I see enough automotive strangeness here in the Atlanta area. This is the nexus where donk interesects with bubba and we get metal flake purple Dodge Rams with spinners, 30″ chrome wheels and tires that look like they stretched rubber bands over the rims. Oh… can’t leave out the Lambo doors.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    You should be happy, Frank, the feds and police agree with you! I saw part of a police training video for CA, they pointed out that legal regulations bar all but the most subtle modding of a car – headlight height restrictions, emissions laws, anti-spoiler laws and other such things exist so that the fuzz can bust you for bad taste.

    Personally I’ll take bad taste as the price of freedom.

    As far as I’m concerned, almost anything beats a beige mobile. Most cars are boring stock, even the 911 in my opinion (every rich white guy seems to have one, it’s pretty but not shocking or beautiful).

    The only mods I can’t stand are ones that assault me in a physical way, like subwoofers (no car EVER needs a subwoofer) and very loud exhausts. Super jacked up trucks and cars can be somewhat threatening as well but I’m not sure they infringe on me enough that I should tell them they can’t do it. I only want laws that are truly necessary.

    Oh, cars over 20 years old are exempt from what I understand, so old guys who like classics can build their hot-rod and not fear the popo. Too bad for the kid down the street in his civic though.

  • avatar
    mikey

    How about the guy that buys the top of the line pick up,loaded with all the toys.First thing he does he puts on the cheapest running boards and splash
    guards he can find YUUCH!

  • avatar
    mongoose

    I had to give a jump start to a chick with an old, broken down Neon. Oversized chrome wheels and tires….on the Rear! For the Love of God!

  • avatar

    oh please. how many of those tasteful Porsches, Astons, and M5s ever see a track? I like to laugh at a crapped-out Civic as much as anyone, but why is it inherently more ridiculous to put a giant wing on a Cavalier that rarely sees more than 70mph than to boast about your 500hp supercar that you only ever drive to the country club and back?

    I’m with Adamatari, bad taste is a small price to pay for a bit of freedom and a lot of variety. I see plenty of crap cars, but every so often I see some tricked out piece of nothing that looks totally sweet. it may not be my taste, but it’s cool too. lighten up.

  • avatar
    4runner

    My favorite experience with after market accesories was in Phoenix, AZ. Apparently, one enterprising owner of a Chevrolet Cavalier decided to make his own spoiler out of spare parts.

    Basically, the spoiler consisted of three metal snow shovel blades attached to each other at their sides, therby creating on “extra wide” snow shovel blade. This “extra wide” snow shovel blade then was attached to the trunk of the Cavilier using a system of brackets.

    Although I can’t exactly appreciate the spoiler, I can definately appreciate this genetleman’s ingenuity.

  • avatar

    I think that none of the modifications you’ve mentioned are for performance. They are mating plumage. Just like the big shiny tail of the peacock, and the massive antlers of an elk; these modifications are to get the attention of the fairer sex.

    And in a mass produced consumer society, who’s to chide anyone for wanting to stand out, be unique? Besides work and home, most people are ‘seen’ by other people in their cars. Why not look like you want to?

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    I actually love seeing pimped-out tuner rides. The more hideous the better. The automotive landscape has become so boring that these vehicles just make me smile.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Yah, I agree – I find it hugely entertaining. The more ridiculous, the better.
    That whole tuner culture leaves me cold though. I was once asked if I would cover Dark Nights (a big tuner show up here) for a performance site that I occasionally write for. Ummmm… I’d rather poke my eyes out with a fork thank you. Although it could hardly be worse than being stuck in the infield at a NASCAR race for four hours waiting to exit.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    “Anti-Spoiler Laws”?

    If I think I need a giant rear wing to hold the back end down, or a sprint-car wing over the front, I’d damn well better be able to put said wing on. That’s just plain ridiculous. Why would you ban these?

  • avatar
    GasGuzzler

    All these comments, and no mention of Bubb Rubb yet?!??!!!! “The whistles go Whooo!…Man, it’s just fo’ decoration.” If someone in my ‘hood had whistle tips on their car, I would make sure that the car didn’t start the next morning ;-)

    And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you MUST check out the video… http://www.ebaumsworld.com/bubbrubb.html

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    It’s not just the young kids doing the “ricer” thing, it’s the old farts, as well.

    I’ve always thought that the single best way that Cadillac, Lincoln and Chrysler could improve their image would be to IMMEDIATELY void the warranties of all cars that have added vinyl or “cabriolet” roofs, whitewall tires, fake wire wheels, continental kits or Rolls/Bentley grilles. Unfortunately, something tells me that some of these cars are victims of short-sighted dealers with horrible taste.

    The “SuperFly” era is over. May it rest in peace.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    chaparral (September 2nd, 2006 at 2:59 pm):
    If I think I need a giant rear wing to hold the back end down, or a sprint-car wing over the front, I’d damn well better be able to put said wing on. That’s just plain ridiculous. Why would you ban these?

    Because when I’m behind you on the Interstate going 75 mph, I don’t want that piece of crap blocking your view, or worse, flying off and impaling me or my loved ones.

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    Whistle tips?

    “Yeah I got ’em on mah car!”

    Whooo-Whoooooo!

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I agree optic, and I’d bet more modded sport compacts see the track than Porsches and BMWs.

    And between a world of crazy personalizations, and a world where everyone drives a silver Camry or Explorer… I’ll take the fun one. I WANT to see strange and colorful things while stuck in traffic.

    All I ask is for some quality in the bodywork.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I agree that there are a lot of really poorly executed attempts at accessorizing or upgrading out there. I hail from the “less is more” school of thought. I also have the ever restrictive mantra “so you think you know more than the mfgr’s engineers?” echoing in my head.

    I enjoy upgrading my cars mechanically more so than aesthetically. Body work rarely has any appreciable effect on how well a car drives. Dumping loads of cash into a bodykit is just not appealing especially when it takes so little misfortune ruin the effort. Remember how poorly most people drive right?…. well they aren’t going to be extra careful around your car because it looks “hooked up”.

    The first order of business on my current daily driver were the wheels, tires and brakes followed by suspension. Nothing aftermarket as to avoid drawing unwanted attention from unsavory individuals.

    My track car has a singular piece of aftermarket bodywork, a trunklid lip spoiler. Myabe in a few years my level of control and experience will warrant adjustable aero including an adjustable front splitter and rear wing with variable pitch/ height. Who cares what it looks like so long as I can take turns 2-5mph faster thanks to added downforce.

    Just imagine if most people made their own clothes… I’m willing to wager that we would see a parallel between cars and clothes. I love to point and laugh at the indiscretions of the ricer crowd. You can always tell how cool the driver thinks his or her car is by how poorly seated they are. Overly obtuse seat angles don’t make for high levels of control. Unknowingly hindering driver control and vehicle performance is what all of the cool kids are doing these days.

  • avatar
    Darrencardinal

    The other day in traffic, I saw a Ford Aerostar with one (1)! of those spinning chrome wheels. The other 3 wheels were the normal variety. And do I need to add that this thing was a total beater that looked like it was ready for the dump?

    Still, it was kind of amusing. To each his own, I guess.

    What I really hate are super loud car stereos. Why do people have to blare their music and force bystanders to listen to it? And why does it always seem to be rap music, with the bass pumping so loud it sounds like it will shatter the windshield?

  • avatar
    skor

    My father bought a new 1979 Ford Granada 2 door with the “ESS” option because it DIDN’T have a fake vinyl roof. The car also came with blacked-out grill and some other styling cues which were supposed to make it look “European”. When I drove the car to high school during my senior year the other kids called it the “Fed-mobile” because it didn’t have a fake vinyl roof!

    BTW, the car came with a 250 straight six with single barrel carb that made about 90hp, got 14mpg, and never did run right — no one could get the shakes out of it. I will be glad to see Ford go tits up.

  • avatar
    chanman

    It’s not always rap – the oddest ones are the ones where they have the windows open, and there is nothing audible besides bass vibrations. What the hey?

  • avatar
    noley

    The old ‘you pays your money and you takes your choices’ seems to apply to the extremely lame things people do to their cars. And even the things that make sense.

    In Nashua, NH there’s a guy who has sunk $100 Large into… his Honda Civic. “There’s nothing on the street that can touch it,” he said in an interview that ran in a local paper (maybe he doesnt’ get out much). I havent’ had the chance to see the car up close but it looks as if the mods are well done and primarily tasteful. But he is an exception, since is a partner in a car stereo and accessory business. A write off it may be for him, but the article noted he can’t buy a house because he has so much sunk into his Civic.

    But he’s an exception. Most people who do all the “hey look at me” stuff to their cars have no clue about how their car works or how to actually make it better. Poseurs to the last, they rumble about with their fart can exhausts, overstyled (and heavy) wheels and tires, vinyl decals and shopping cart handle rear wings, trying desperately to impress each other.

    And speaking of the shopping cart handles, it’s a shame that those atrocities come on otherwise good cars like Mitsu’s Evo or Suby’s WRX and STi. They scream “Boy Racer!” and seem to guarantee a ticket if/when you’re pulled over. I know the companies are marketing to their audience, but there are other options.

    What bugs me, other than the requiste 50 Megawatt stereos the ricer-boyz all have, is how the cops seem to ignore statutes about noise and headlight heights, enabling the dweebs in 4x4s with 2 feet of ground clearance to drive around on 4′ diameter tires.

    But I’d really like to hear is how all these various poseurs and afficionados of bad taste view all of us.

  • avatar
    radimus

    The other day in traffic, I saw a Ford Aerostar with one (1)! of those spinning chrome wheels. The other 3 wheels were the normal variety. And do I need to add that this thing was a total beater that looked like it was ready for the dump?

    When you see stuff like that on a beater, I really doubt they are trying to be serious.

    At any rate, the only thing that goes through my mind when I see a riced-out Honda is “What a waste of what was probably a perfectly good used Honda.”

  • avatar
    ktm

    To each their own I say. Let them adorn their vehicles with every tasteless accessory they can find. I need a good laugh every day. In all seriousness though, while I agree with the premise of the editorial that some folks just don’t have any taste, they should be able to do as they please.

    I mentioned this once before in another editorial, but if the folks from the 60s and 70s had access to easily manufactured kits, you know they would have affixed them to their car. Modern materials and manufacturing techniques allow for the creation of the parts today moreso than in the 60s and 70s.

    People like to express themselves in the clothes they wear, their hair cut, and in the cars they drive.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Does anybody else recall legislation being introduced someplace in this country to outlaw Spinner wheels as being distracting and unsafe?

    I don’t think it should be illegal to accessorize a car but I also think that annual vehicle safety inspections should include checking the mounting of any exterior accessories.

    Lets not pretend like we are the only country with a problem in the area of tasteful alterations. Have you ever seen some of the stuff that turns up at places like treffen??? YIKES! Did you know its fashionable to tuck the tires in the fenders because in some places it is illegal for the tire to protrude from the wheel well… but not the wheels. This loophole gives way to narrow tires is mounted on a wide wheels resulting in a streatched look. Mounting a tire on a wheel size not deemed apropriate by a tire mfg is dangerous.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    An excessive concern for the tastes of others leads only liberalism and other delusions. I drive a 2003 Accord LX, dark gray with the smaller wheels (better ride). I am happy. Other folks drive what they want, they should make themselves happy, not me.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Forget about Whistle Tips ! That’s old school.

    Check out this. It’s off the hook. Triple dope !

    http://www.hornblasters.com/video.php

  • avatar
    zerogeek

    Frank, you’re from the Atlanta area? Hilarious. We just moved here and i’ve never seen more ridiculously modded vehicles in my life (‘more’ in terms of quality and quantity). I saw a super, super old suburban yesterday that at first glance appeared to be lowered, but actually, the owner had just put very, very small tires on it. And then there was the accord today with the giant wing, body panels in three different colors, and super wide tires. Oh, and the civic “si” yesterday that quite obviously wasn’t… or the several “type r” integras I see daily. It just ever ends, but in a city polluted with jags, benzes, and beemers, it does add an amount of color.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    I’ve spent the last couple of months being a casual reader, now I’m ready to jump into the ring.

    For some reason I don’t have too much of a problem with Japanese tuner cars, as long as they are somewhat tasteful, but it drives me up a wall whenever I see a classic Detroit model pimped out with rediculously oversized wheels and horrible colors. Whomever on earth thought that this was a good idea really needs to have their head examined, and then be taken out back and slapped around.

    But out of all this lunacy comes one interesting fact, a lot of people seem to still have an interest in older GM cars, especially GM rear drive cars from the seventies, eighties and early nineties. I used to have a 1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme Brougham (hence my user name) that I absolutely loved. It was everything that I percieved an Olds to be. I kept the car in showroom condition right up until I had to sell it in 2000. I saw it a few months ago. Whomever owns it now jacked it up and put a stupid set of dubs on it, it broke my heart.

    I created a bit of a tribute site to it, and classic GM and Chrysler iron. I call it my “Museum of Wholesome Automotive Goodness” , and while I included some questionable models in it, it still tells an interesting story about the nicer side of Detroit’s past, which leads me to ask this…..

    Despite all the problems from those years, there was something about GM cars from those years that spoke to, and still speaks to, a lot of people. Why can’t GM figure out a way to bring some of that magic back??? I currently have an ’04 Olds Alero, and while it’s not a bad car in my opinion, it’s no Cutlass Supreme Brougham. I too would love to support Detroit again, but I have decided that when either the Olds dies, or I am able to afford a second car, my next purchase will be either a Toyota or a Honda. I’ve owned my share of Fords, (An Escort and two Contours) and while I found them to be very nice driving cars, they spent way too much time in the shop, well, at least the Contours did. Oddly enough, I would consider a Buick if they weren’t so overpriced, because I percieve them as stylish and well made (and I’m only in my early thirties), but I realize that nostalgia alone isn’t going to make a great car.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Sorry about all the underlining in my above post, I guess I still have to get used to the editing tools on here :P

  • avatar

    Here’s how they do it up here in the Pacific Northwest.

    –chuck (on my way to the Going to the Sun vintage car rally)

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Simple rule: a car should never look faster than it is.

    With that, I don’t mind mods. In my neck of the woods, suburban Philly, there are so many people with money who make the safe, acceptable choice of BMW, Merc, etc., that a wing or spoiler here and there is a nice change. I prefer stealth though. My money-is-no-object dream would be to put something like a K car shell over the guts of a sick-fast car like a 911 Turbo or F430 and just drive around ruining the days of stockbrokers in 5-Series.

  • avatar
    John

    “But I’d really like to hear is how all these various poseurs and afficionados of bad taste view all of us.”

    Plenty of bad taste to go around. I’d like to see a psychological profile of a person who camps out on message boards and criticizes people who actually accomplish something.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    I guess I’ll be unleashing my inner poseur shortly– I’ve got a month to get my truck ready for a Mopar day at the drag strip. Yah, I’m one of those losers who thinks their pickem-up is a race car…
    Up til now, most of its makeover has been internal: a rebuilt, very hot 360 and race built tranny, sure grip rear.
    It ain’t rolling on dubs, but it’s got 17″x10 Boyd rims with a custom front clip, roll pan and fender flares to be prepped and installed.
    I’ll be a rolling monument to someone’s idea of bad taste, I’m sure. :)))

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I feel most every mod Frank mentions is in bad taste. But in the end, I’m cool with anything that keeps older cars from dying in a junkyard. That’s the real tragedy.

  • avatar
    nino

    —I had to give a jump start to a chick with an old, broken down Neon. Oversized chrome wheels and tires….on the Rear! For the Love of God!—

    Seems to me she’d be easily convinced to do anything! ;)

  • avatar
    nino

    I’m more of the performance type of mod guy, but I do like well done subtle body mods as well. I feel they denote something just a little special.

    What I do object to are mods that make cars unsafe and illegal. A stupid mod in my opinion, is the use of blue lights as either a sidemarker light or as a backup or rear fog lights, or pretty much anywhere on the car that doesn’t normally have a light (washer nozzles, wheel wells, underbody, aerial antennas, etc.)

  • avatar
    Ryan

    I once saw a Civic (late ’90’s, IIRC) that some guy had modified to look like a BMW 3-series. And he’d done an excellent job of it (at least from a basic glance, it looked like a stock 3-series, I’m sure some BMW anorak could easily tell the difference). It was impressive and all, but what’s the point? For what the guy would’ve spend making one common car look like another common car, he could’ve just had the better car to begin with.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Bad taste is a personal preference. Just as people laugh about mod out civics, the same goes for the fake muscle cars they try to retro like Mustang, HHR, Charger, etc. I cannot understand why would people think those old fart cars are good looking either.

    And all those super car that is so expensive, the they are parked and bragged more than driven, and the owner never drive faster than speed limit because of the tickets they would get.

    It is all in the eye of the beholder.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    Re: Lifted trucks in Temecula…

    So that one can cop a feel when helping one’s “lady friends” into the vehicle!

    Riced-out Civics are hilarious. So are Cavaliers and Neons with “Type R” sticker. At least they are not causing me any personal danger. You can’t say the same about a lifted truck, especially if 1. one is behind you, or 2. one is trying to park next to you. At least the current gas prices are limiting their operation.

    I’m in SoCal so I see all manners of poseurs. The worse are people driving at or right below the speed limit in extremely capable (i.e. true performance)cars. E.g. the bald dude in a 911 cruising on PCH at the speed limit of 35mph WITH HIS REAR SPOILER UP trying to impress the bimbos in the next lane, and thus preventing me from getting down to the Peninsula to get my drink on.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    The Caprice pictured above is actually not a donk; it is a box. Peep this:
    http://rides-mag.com/DONK/cars.html

    word.

  • avatar
    kovachian

    SHAZAAAM!!!

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    It’s not just an American affectation… flip through the pictures at

    http://english.pravda.ru/photo/report/auto-827

    and see how it’s done Arabian style!

  • avatar
    Mike

    There are some modifications on small sport compacts that can be tasteful. Very few, but I have seen some.

    Indianapolis (where I reside) has plenty of the Civics, Accords, Neons, Cavaliers, etc. with the shower-door spoilers, unpainted body kits, and 6″ Exhaust tips. Those don’t really bother me. It’s when someone hacks up a BMW, Supra, 3KGT, 300ZX, something that could be a really tasteful street machine and turns it into a monstrosity is when I shake my head and think “it could’ve been so much better.”

    But oh well, to each his own.

  • avatar
    NickR

    Worst ever? This was actually a fews years ago on a white 5.0 Mustang. The guy had attached lower body cladding the whole way round. Then every couple of inches he’d drilled a whole, and suspended a half dozen links or so of white painted chain (like you’d use on a fence), with the tips a quarter inch of the ground. Even driving on a relatively smooth road, the chains swished and swooshed like a hula dancers skirt. It was beyond ridiculous. Resale value anyone?

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