The Shift guide to building your own VIP ride
What you need:
1) A car. Long, wide, preferably not beat up beyond measure. Toyotas make the most sense, and rear-wheel drive models like the Mark II, Crown, Cressida and Chaser are the expensive to build and maintain options. If you want cheaper, go for older, front-wheel drive Vistas and Camrys. The expensive FWD option would be the Windom, which looks amazing if built properly. If budget isn't an issue, check out Shanin-Al-Nasir's VIP styled Mark X (above). If you want stuff from other makes, Honda Inspires and older Accords are good but expensive options.
2) Parts. You need lowering springs and exterior styling bits. RP customs and Racetige (look them up on Facebook) will bring in application specific parts for your car, and if you can afford the prices, you will get genuine quality parts. For rims and tires, Nippon auto near Bashundhara has a very good collection of VIP worthy rims, other than that, Bijoy Nagar is full of rim and tire shops, so check them out. Bodykit wise, you'd have to make a judgment call and find a source you like. Our recommendation? Avoid bodykits if you can, since lowering the car and adding a nice set of wheels is more than enough for Dhaka's streets (unless you want to take on the pain of owning a bodykitted and lowered car).
3) Paint. The paint has to be very high quality, so don't paint your car cheaply. Workshops that use heated booths to paint cars is a good bet, and the big workshops employ professionals who will ensure a good finish for the sizeable amount they charge. For buying the paint itself, we recommend Berger's Nexa Auto Colour and the premium paint catalog. It's worth it.
Don't try to do a VIP build on a tight budget, because the results are usually less than satisfactory. In fact, if you plan on using the car daily and driving it properly, a full on VIP build on Dhaka's streets might not be a great idea. Go for this only if you want a weekend cruiser, which looks cool and is comfortable only on smooth roads. Good luck.
Words: Shaer Reaz
Illustration: Ehsanur Raza Ronny