Because, clearly, they make you go faster

exfordy/Flickr.com

Each time I head out on the road, I look forward to spotting unusual rides, bright paint jobs and interesting modifications. Montreal is a car-loving city and we take pride in our vehicles (generally), so it’s not uncommon to see a Honda Civic with well over double its base cost in modifications. I have no problem with modifications, especially if they’re done well. Engine upgrades, exhaust changes for the perfect note, interior gadget additions: all of these mods are acceptable.

Where I draw the line is exterior decals and unnecessary “bling” added to make the car “better” — kind of like wearing a muscle suit and enetering a strong-man contest. You will loose.

For example: Racing stripes on a 1990s-era Hyundai Accent will not make it race-worthy, nor will it add any horsepower, despite the name “racing” stripes. You will not be able to race, nor should you try — ever. Racing stripes are overused and underwhelming. Everyone has them, even those who shouldn’t. And, I won’t lie, I fantasize about owning my very own MINI Cooper S JCW in pearl white with black racing stripes, but that makes sense because they’d been on a performance vehicle. Therein lies the problem with most “racing stripe” mods. Often the car just doesn’t fit the exterior package, and that’s just sad.

Our photo stuff/Flickr.com

Despite the off-center stripe (which seems to give the allure of adding even more horsepower because of its rebellious placement), this smart will never compete on the track. And if it does, I hope it’s with other lawnmowers its size and strength.

Oversized wings also fall into this category. This is more than acceptable (in so many wonderful ways):

Ed Callow (torquespeak)/Flickr.com

This, on the other hand, is not:

icathing/Flickr.com

Do you spot the difference there? It’s not that I disagree with accessorizing your ride, you just have to realize that some cars can handle the accessories while others can’t. I know for a fact that I look ridiculous with large, hoop earrings mainly because I wear glasses already and the earrings just mean there’s too much goin’ on around my face to focus on anything in particle, kind of like this poor M3:

cosmic_spanner/Flickr.com

I could search all day for photos like the ones above and fill this page with sorry excuses for mods, but instead I’ll use my words (just like I was edumacated to do). Car modifications are fantastic, I love them. In fact, we’ve modded our own Subaru WRX with a Prodrive exhaust, STI suspension, 17″ Prodrive charcoal mags, and a cold-air intake. While most of our mods aren’t affecting the performance (save for the cold-air intake), they’re also not so in-your-face that they’re begging for people to look at our car. And often a garish mod is done simply for that purpose, as a “look at me” ploy.

No, racing stripes will not make you go faster, despite the answer to this poor soul’s question: “Will racing stripes make my car faster?”

Drive on,
-M.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on August 17, 2010.

6 Responses to “Because, clearly, they make you go faster”

  1. […] Because, clearly, they make you go faster « Driving MsMiranda's Blog […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ramon Tavares, Miranda Lightstone. Miranda Lightstone said: Because, clearly, they make you go faster: http://wp.me/pRhjk-8U […]

  3. I like this car. thanks for the post.

  4. A+ would read again

  5. im feeling it

  6. […] to snatch up a MINI Cooper S JCW convertible in pepper white with black racing stripes (because they’ll make me go faster) and grey scale Union Jacks on the mirrors. Keep your eyes peeled for it and give me smile instead […]

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