Turning Tricks: Tricked Out Cars
It’s not what you think…VroomGirls gives you the skinny on tricked out rides
By Holly Reich
Just a Little Touch Up
Ladies, you don’t need to know how to wield a wrench or get your hands covered in grease to personalize your new or used car. Tricking out your ride can be as easy and low-cost as covering your seats in tiger print.
But if you’re looking to do a more dramatic restoration, Nick Prague, Automotive Expert from AutoLab Radio Show, suggests this:
Establish your intent Is it your desire to keep the car until it hits antique status, or is it to simply extend your car’s life? If you’re looking long-term, you’ll need to decide whether it’s smarter to customize your car or keep it original. Collectors often value original condition over new parts, so if you’re planning on making your wheels a show queen, better stop right here.
Get your car evaluated by a qualified mechanic before beginning any rehab Make sure that your vehicle is in good enough repair to handle what you’ve got in mind. Current and projected value of the car must be considered, as well as availability of parts. Some cars make for better restoration candidates than others, meaning some are worth the cost of repairs while others are not. Find a qualified automotive restoration shop in your area for big tricking out jobs.
The skinny on custom wheels
One of the biggest mistakes people make is in their choice of custom wheels. Low profile tires are easily damaged on city streets. They also transfer the force to the suspension system, causing premature wear and damage to many costly components. Custom wheels should be the same diameter as the original factory wheels to prevent such problems. Make sure you check with a professional and don’t choose on looks alone.
Beware of high intensity aftermarket headlamps
These usually draw much more electric current than the vehicle’s original headlights and can damage the electrical system. Fog lights and driving lights, which can be kept isolated from the majority of the car’s electrical system, are a much safer alternative.
And Now For The Easy Stuff…
If you’re like me, you’re a sap for home renovation. You love prowling the nooks and crannies of little stores to find something cool that no one else has. If this describes you, head to your local car dealership or aftermarket shop. Here’s what you can do for the interior of your ride:
Jazzing up the cabin in your car can range from low-key, to “kitch”, to more classy selections. Seat covers are easy to install and make an exciting impact on the interior of your vehicle. You can drop some coin on custom designed and hand-measured hand-stitched leather (or sheepskin) seats, or find inexpensive slip-on tiger covers, camouflage, vinyl, and even Hawaiian themed prints. There’s an abundance of choices if your seating fabric is no longer up to the job.
Dashboard covers can follow the design of your seats. Your aftermarket store probably sells leather, vinyl, “carbon fiber,” and “wood” kits to dash up your dash. Don’t forget to wrap your wheel too.
Floor mats can be as modern as aluminum or as plush as sheepskin carpets.
For interior embellishments, check out sites including: amazon.com, ebay.com, seatcoversunlimited.com.
If you drive a luxury car that’s in great shape but whose leather seating has seen better days, check out Katzkin Leather. The 28-year-old company based in Montebello, California, has over 3,000 patterns of handcrafted leather to choose from. Want to match your seat covers to your taupe cowgirl boot, install hand-stitched red leather seats embedded with your logo, or outfit your car with the softest cushions ever? With prices starting at $2,000, the company will revamp your interior in a swift 24-48 hours. Visit: www.katzkin.com
Pump up your sound system. Before going all out, check with your local car audio store to see how much sound your vehicle is wired for. From there, the possibilities are endless: amp up the volume, upgrade the speakers, or add components like Bluetooth, subwoofers, and even lights that pulse with the music.
Since this is a job for an electrician, it’s best to ask your mechanic where to shop for sound equipment.
Show The World Your Tricked-Out Ride
For the exterior of your vehicle, there are plenty of options to make your ride a one-off.
Tint Your Windows There’s a whole range of colors to reflect your personal style. This is especially great in the summer because tinted windows keep the car cool. (And you’ll look cool,too). Visit: www.windowtint.com
Show Off Additions include spoilers (those arched parts snapped on the rear hood), skirts (extensions below the door panels), chins (extensions below the bumpers), and even crazy colored neon lights under the car. Visit: www.streetsideauto.com
Apply Moonbeams These are oval stick-ons that you attach to the edge of your hood just above the headlights that provide a glimmer in the dark. Visit: www.streetsideauto.com
Bespoke In An Instant
Vinyl Stickers. Want to tattoo your car? Why not add a few subtle butterflies on the doors or go all out with see-through artwork on the windows. Get some help with these–they may not be as easy to apply as it looks. And go for quality stickers from a known brand, so you can easily remove them when you want. Visit:www.carstickers.com
For the new Toyota Prius plug-in, the company invited four artists to come up with one-of-a-kind design decals. Check out the videos of the artists’ process and place your order at: www.toyotapriusprojects.com/#/014
If you are driving a Ford, check out Ford Custom Graphics, a site, which offers hundreds of vinyl designs, created especially for Ford vehicles. Choose from art to match your personality, or graphics to advertise your business. The vinyl designs are all removable, residue free, durable and scratch resistant. Visit: www.fordcustomgraphics.com
Update your wheels and tires
New wheels and tires are an easy way to modernize the look of a used car. Sure, this will cost you more than some other upgrades, but you can’t beat the look of white walled tires or aluminum alloy wheels. Visit: TireRack.com