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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. 
49 REPLIES 49
Intermediate Driver

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...

Technician

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.

New Driver

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.

Technician

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.

Pit Crew

"Heartbeat" anything.

"Lightning" pinstriping on tinted windows.  

Tweed interiors.

Curb feelers.

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.

Intermediate Driver

Cosmetic lowering.

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.

Intermediate Driver

Car bras or masks can be very practical. I cruise the canyons in southern California. Lots of stones ready to "pit" the front end and side mirrors. I prefer the bras (masks) over 3M plastic wrap applications. The plastics last about 5 years, yellow over time, have a distinct "line" that shows badly, they are expensive, real big stones will still damage the car's surface (the padded backing on well made bras prevent this.) The bras (masks) downfall is when they experience rain; moisture gets under the material causing paint damage. The key is removing the bra and getting the surfaces and the bra dry. This has worked for me for 15 years on a concours winning car.
New Driver

1. dual rally wipers

2. fake dual exhaust tips

3. body colored wheels (?) - i guess depends on your style, but that was an 80s euro look.

Intermediate Driver

Anything that is not “period correct” for the vehicle. 

Pit Crew

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. 🙂