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:
For shame, sir! Have you no soul?
I have one on my '66 El Camino, right where my late uncle installed it, and would not be without it. It turns heads -- and all the right sort of heads IYGWIM -- every time I take it out. Only thing better is the cable-controlled exhaust cutout into the lakes pipes...
I think vinyl tops look great on certain cars like my wife's pimp mobile of a '79 Tbird. I may change the whole "pimp mobile" thing. It just doesn't seem right referring to my wife and using the word pimp in the same sentence. Now I just feel dirty.
Can we get over the black wheels? Back in the day we used to take off our hubcaps and run with black wheels because chrome ones were too expensive. Now we are paying big bucks for the same effect. Knock it off, chrome is king in my book. Ditto with the trim and emblems.
My stepson paid extra for blacked out wheels on his Ecoboost stang. Now for him, a guy too lazy to clean his wheels often, there is a certain advantage. But for me at least, I like the look of grey aluminum if painted, or polished. The black just looks cheap to me.
"Lightning" pinstriping on tinted windows.
Aftermarket pop-up sunroofs.
And one of my biggest pet peeves, "Pep Boys" pencil tip exhaust tips. Nothing says "I have no sense of style or money" like those babies.
Looks really cool - like it would improve lap times. However car can no longer be driven, as driveways are all too steep, cross streets must be taken at a 45 degree angle at 2 MPH to avoid scraping off the exhaust system and/or causing bodywork damage, a pull-tab or frost heave may require dental repair, and somewhere around 55 MPH on the freeway a cyclic porpoising effect can cause collateral brain damage.
While looking good, though.
Maybe it's just where we live, but those aftermarket HUGE spoilers that look like an aircraft wing mounted on 12in struts. Whenever I get talking to one of those types, I always ask them if they are going to add "speed holes" at some point. 🙂