This city is full of people
who greatly care about style and fashion. The contents of this website can be submitted as evidence to support this theory. Personally, I’m not one to take these things too seriously — unless, people are messing about with the style of their cars. Then, things get serious. And certainly from my perspective, those same people who are so good at dressing themselves tend to make some catastrophic mistakes.
A car is a tool. It’s not a Chihuahua dog, don’t give it a haircut or dress it in pink. Also, anything you do to your car that makes it look or drive worse than standard is a crime in the automotive design lawbook.
You might think I’m taking this too seriously, and you may be right, but think about it: when you are building a house in a nice street in southern France, you need to submit your plans for approval. They will be approved only if your plans do not create a visual «clash» with the rest of the houses in the street. They won’t let you build a bright yellow Pyramid shaped house in the middle of a street full of classical houses. In the same way, driving a ridiculous looking car spoils the view just the same!
So, I suppose some of you are asking, what should we do to our cars? I would like to answer you with «nothing, preferably». However, I understand that making your car a bit more unique and personal has its appeal. So I’ll try and point out which pitfalls to avoid.
Rule #1: No shiny paint.
No chrome, and certainly no gold. The only person who gets away with driving a gold car is Usain Bolt. I’ll give him a break, especially because his gold edition GT-R was custom made by Nissan themselves. For everyone else, the chrome just hurts our eyes. And you look silly sitting in a mirror with 4 wheels, no matter how much you spent on it I am not impressed.
Rule #2: No matte paint.
This might sound silly considering the previous rule, but having your car wrapped in a matte film stopped being cool in the previous decade. It was overused and it will only become cool again when most people have forgotten it ever existed.
Rule #3: No paintings, either.
You might like dogs, or dolphins, or deer....or even a nice mountain with snow on top. I like those things, too. But I don’t have them plastered all over my car. Put it on your wall at home and leave your poor car alone.
Rule #4: Don’t ruin the handling.
If you make your car so low, or fit wheels so large that your tires look like rubber bands, you are making it worse. Making your car worse at driving is like asking the chef to make your food from plastic because it looks better: it defeats the point entirely.
Rule #5: Do not fit LEDs where they do not belong.
Car manufacturers are increasingly using LED lights in modern cars, because of the advantages they offer. Unfortunately, almost all of the LED lights you can fit to your car afterwards look plain terrible and degrade the value of your car.
Rule #6: Be subtle.
You want to make your car look cool without making it too obvious what kind of style you are going for. If you like rally cars and happen to own a model of car that was actually used in rallies, you can get away with the pretty big spoiler on the back. But you don’t need the stickers, really. Neither do you need an exhaust so big I can stick my head in it, because the real racing cars aren’t like that.
Here’s those rally cars I talked about. Notice how the red one would struggle to drive over a speed bump, never mind a rally stage? And even though it is at risk of scraping the ground, there is a huge gap between the wheels and the body which makes no sense at all. The black car is done much better, not only does it look like you can drive it normally, the wheels fill the bodywork nicely and it looks like it means business.
Next we have 2 BMW M5’s. One of them is very...orange. Which clashes entirely with the philosophy of the M5 as an understated surprisingly fast family car. They also completely ruined the looks by giving it Arnold Schwartzenegger specification wheel arches and awful looking exhausts. The BMW M cars all have 4 exhaust tips, 2 on each side. To change that simply looks wrong. If you want a sports exhaust on this car, get one which looks more or less the same as standard except that it’s a bit bigger and louder. Which is pretty much what the owner of the nice and white M5 has done. He also added a subtle little spoiler on the boot, lowered the suspension not too much and gave it a black/white theme which is not too screamy.
Did somebody say money can’t buy you taste? If they did, looks like they were right. Take a look at this poor gold coloured (yep) Bentley over here. We’ve got gold, chrome, and some lovely flowers painted all over the front of the car. And then they proceeded to put agressive looking «race» vents in the bonnet Yes, right next to those peaceful FLOWERS. Unless you want to look like an oil sheikh with a rap obsession you might want to do things a bit differently. Like our second Bentley for example, which has some lovely red flames painted over the... wait, what?!? Maybe the lesson here is that you really shouldn't try and modify a Bentley. Because inevitably you will end up looking like you have more money than taste.
As it turns out, a lot can go wrong when you start messing with cars. So I'll finish by paraphrasing Pink Floyd: drivers, leave your cars alone.