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Community Manager

Community Question: Modifications that lose luster over time?

Let's start off by saying that "losing luster" has more to do with what other people think of a modification, and not why the owner did it. Some ideas are great in the moment but attitudes change over time, especially in our world of one upmanship at the car show: what have you seen that you felt did not stand the test of time? 


Here are a few of modifications that might not impress people anymore, even if they are cool


  1. Tune Port Injected (TPI) 350s in Street Rods
  2. Modular 4.6L swaps in any Ford (especially Mustangs)
  3. Just about every touch screen/computer added to cars in the 2000s.
  4. Adding game consoles (Sony Playstation 1 and 2s) in the dash. 

80's paint graphics.  Not many held up well over time. 


The florescent lights under the car


The day glow wipers. 

The Lambo doors will get old fast once the fad is over. 


There are a number of trends that have limited lives and often they are easy to see. I resisted many after being tempted. Today I am glad I did. 


Yet I see cars that have interiors that look like someone threw up Crayola's all over it and wonder if the owner is really regretting the move. 


Pro Street was all the rage but today you see few. I like these but so many were poorly constructed they killed the resale unless it was well documented. 


Often if I made a change it was always where I could undo it if I changed my mind later. This has left me with few regrets. Also along the way I made a ton of wise choices. Not sure if I am just that good at making choices or just lucky..... I will take either. 


Yet today if I do something I try to look into the future and decide is this something ten years from now I will not regret. 


FYI my neighbor has a 47 Jeepster Panel. It is done up as a lowered surf wagon with boards and all on the top. Yes there is surf in Cleveland before a storm. LOL. Anyways he has a TPI 350 Chevy in it. To be honest it fits well, runs well and still looks good under the hood.  That was one engine that in the right application still can fit the bill. 


He did not do it for looks, he did it for ease of install and reliable. No issues like with many Carbs. Hit the key and drive it anywhere. 

Advanced Driver

Color shifting paint came and went, specially that purple color.

Monochromatic paint schemes. I remember seeing cars with the ugly NTSA bumpers painted the body color in Hot Rod and Popular Hotrodding. 

Advanced Driver

Well even at my advanced age half of my car soul is import. So that really broadens the pallet. But you guys seem to have hit the major ones.
* I second the under-body lighting.
* Another vote for color-shifting paint
* Bolt-on park-bench rear spoilers
* Undersized and reversed low-pro wheels and tires...unless you’re in East L.A.
* “Fart can” mufflers, though they still seem to show-up now and herpes.
* Limo-tint on windows
*Those aftermarket sunroofs

For domestic muscle...
*A vote for long shackled leaf springs and orange under-body paint of the 70’s.
* Side exit exhaust
* Deleting bumpers


Anyone remember the fake Cell Phone antennas back in the 80’s? 

Then the dangerous trend of wheels sticking out from under the car with negative offset. 

Spinning hub caps? 

One we still have are what we call Lund Guys. Trucks with every stick on and bolt on item Lund sold. 

CB radios! 

Car Bra’s. Many put them on and could not remove them as they were left on so long they damaged the paint. People thought they were cool but did not understand they were short term use only. 


I always liked the look of the TPI intake. Even though it is kind of a cork in stock form, that "tunnel ram" look just screams HOT ROD.

I second the dayglo wipers. My friend's little sister had a '66 Galaxie (don't ask me where they found an unmolested '66 in 1990 in ILLINOIS with zero rust but they did), with pink dayglo wipers on a beautiful stock '66 with flawless sky blue paint. Just looked like a screen door on a submarine.
New Driver

J. C. Whitney after-market, “wolf whistle” horn...

Pit Crew

There was a guy in my home town in Indiana that had a '58 Chevy with 4x4 wood blocks rammed between the axels and frame to jack up the rear. I think side-exit exhaust was mainly a function of economy!! Poor people have poor ways. 🙂