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7 Gnarly Ideas for Hardcore Car-Themed Tattoos

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car truck road sign tattoo idea design

Tattoos can come in many different shapes and sizes–and cars make great inspiration

Although some people love customizing their skin as much as they love customizing their vehicles, most of us look at tattoos as simple, meaningful mementos that pay homage to a treasured memory or experience. These subjects can range from military service to new lovers, and for some people, that experience involves a vehicle.

Whether it’s a specific car you love, a brand you’re dedicated to, or a lifestyle you follow, here are some ideas for car-themed tattoos to show your gearhead heart on your sleeve.


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Specific Vehicles: If you feel compelled to pay homage to a specific truck you own(ed), a sports car you adore, or a motorcycle you ride, depict it in artistic detail. This can also include nods to classic cars that you might never have owned but love the reputation of.

Professions: If you love your job and it involves driving vehicles or working with them, a tattoo is a great way to show who you are–be that a firetruck or a semi-truck.

Road Signs: Exemplify your love of the open road and your wandering spirit with a tattoo of a road sign, like Route 66 or Highway 1. You can also make clever nods to direction signs like “Stop,” “One Way,” “Dead End,” “Do Not Enter,” or the classic “Slippery When Wet.”

Branding: If you are dedicated to a certain brand, paint their logo on your skin (or a creative variation of it). A galloping silver mustang or waving Corvette flags look hardcore.

Car Parts: You’ve gotta love those tattoos that look like a person’s skin is ripped off to reveal something underneath. This looks awesome if you incorporate automotive parts like gears and pistons underneath like mechanical inner workings. You can also have emblems of a speedometer, a gear shift, or a motorcycle engine drawn on.

Hot-Rodding: Take inspiration from the zany artwork of Big Daddy Roth and the rest of the wacky, freakish hot rod aesthetics.

Motorsports: Wave the checkered flag as you flex your arm or have racing stripes down your back. Or, have tire tread across your back–why not!

Combine multiple elements to make entire vignettes, like a classic car driving down the highway into the sunset. Of course, you can accentuate these designs with all the flames, smoke, and skulls you want. Rock on!


Your Next Big Purchase: Why you should buy a truck to match that tattoo