The car customisation scene has gone through many fads and changes of taste over the years. Car culture has been sorted into boxes—if you want to be recognised for your custom work, you build show cars; if you're a performance enthusiast, you build race cars; if you're a raving lunatic, you stance your Civic and make it undrivable. Whatever you build though, there are some tuner trends that are on their death-bed and we're super glad. Here’s our roundup.
Crazy trunk mounted stereos. And lots and lots of ugly neon.
There used to be a time when having the loudest stereo meant street cred, the theory being a loud stereo brings all manner of female attention to the yard. Over time, these “tuners” learned that no one is impressed by a stereo that warbles whatever sad music you decide to play through them—years of heartbreak and loneliness finally killed off the loud, neon-basked stereo systems for their disgruntled owners. Someone needs to let the Canibeat racers driving Allions and Premios in Dhanmondi know this. No one thinks you're cool if you blast The Weekend's Starboy over your obnoxious police horn. Absolutely no one.
Graphics. Anime (itasha), tribal, stripe, all of them.
The Japs love their anime enough to turn it into a whole automotive subculture. Americans love tattoos of tribal designs on their arms. Out in the real world, these look ridiculous to the point where you're in the green if you question the sanity of owners who drive around with excessive graphics on their cars. Games like Need For Speed popularised them, now they're dying a slow death as people realise their tastelessness. Good riddance.
Overly aggressive bodykits that ruin the shape of the car.
Veilside. Abflug. Wings West. Kaminari. These names used to be the bread and butter through which tuner magazines used to sell their issues. Once the hallmarks of a great project car, these names have all but faded from the collective consciousness of automotive enthusiasts. They've been replaced by Liberty Walk and Rocket Bunny, but there's a difference—while the visual tuners of old were hell-bent on making their bodykits as aggressive as possible, the new kids try to work with the lines of the car. Just take the Abflug Supra pictured. It has NOT aged well.
The shopping list of parts you (probably) don't have.
It's okay to have a few stickers that personalise the exterior of your car and hint at your allegiances for aftermarket parts manufacturers. By all means, show your love for your tyre manufacturer or the folks that made your super loud blow off valve. However, we have to draw a line when you start slapping on stickers that have no relevance to your build, or an excessive number of letters scattered about your car's exterior.
Ridiculous wings with complex shapes on cars that don't need downforce.
A good wing on a car built to perform can do wonders. Take the Nissan Skyline GTR. For three generations, every model has managed to produce positive downforce and harness aerodynamics and bend physics to their will in making a car go around a corner. For most aftermarket tuners, a wing is just an accessory, tacked on to cars that were never designed for them—like a front wheel drive Corolla that has no use for downforce at the rear. Lip spoilers are fine, but a big GT wing on a car that barely makes 150 HP and drives the front wheels? Nope.
Modern cars look skinny if they have small wheels. But 18 inch wheels on an old Corolla should always be a big no. Even modern cars look ridiculous if you overdo it. Bragging rights over how many inches you have is as inappropriate now as it should have been in the early days, and we welcome this change with open arms. Insecurity about size stops at the door now.