Top 10 Weirdest Car Fads You Won’t Believe
Trendy car modifications that should never have happened
Over the past century, the automotive industry developed rapidly, due majorly to the influence of unorthodox thinkers and creative minds. A lot of new ground has been broken when it comes to automotive transportation over those years. With such cutting-edge innovation comes a trail of bizarre inventions and fads. It’s baffling what people will do to their vehicles because it seems “progressive” or “stylish” at the time.
Here is our list of the 10 strangest trends that we’ve seen on cars.
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Most people prefer to keep their car washed, waxed, and pristine. A few car owners, though, prefer the exact opposite: having their car look like it’s been rotting for decades.
While it makes sense to see purposeful rust on grotesque rat rod modifications, it doesn’t make any sense why some car owners intentionally destroy or spray fake rust on their perfectly good daily drivers.
A fashion trend that lasted far longer than it should have, wood-paneled vehicles should’ve been retired by the 1950s when steel became much more affordable. But, thanks to its association with luxury and SoCal surf culture, woodies made a resurgence that stuck around for far longer than anyone wanted.
Stick figure family decals
This one might hit a little too close to home, as you probably know someone who advertises their family members on the back window of their SUV, but you have to admit: There’s no good reason you should publicly be displaying the ages, interests, and members of your family on your car. It doesn’t make you a “cool parent,” but rather, according to safety experts, actually puts your family at risk.
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Fake engine sounds
If you can’t afford a car with a big engine but still want to trick people (or just yourself) into thinking that you do, what should you do? Get over it? Heck no! You equip your car with a device that imitates the noise that a much better engine would make.
Some gearheads crave having a growling engine under the hood that’s purposefully louder than the quiet, efficient, factory-original motor is. But all this does is give your neighbors headaches.
Fifty years ago, the Turbonique company sold a supercharger that, when strapped to your car’s rear axle, made it essentially rocket-powered. At first, this might sound like the most spectacular modification ever, but — sparing you the technical explanation — the rocket engine was highly volatile and notorious for exploding.
This modern trend is popular among some enthusiast groups who embrace over-the-top car mods like — in this case — gargantuan wheels. What makes this trend more bearable is that they’re often done humorously, with a level of creativity behind them. So, they’re supposed to be outrageous.
You just have to stomach seeing some classic American cars being butchered in the process.
Unlike donks, this “I’m a serious teenage street racer” trend is worth getting irritated about. The term refers to how wheels can be positioned flush to the angle of the fenders by installing wide rims that stretch the rubber tire. It’s enough to make anyone cringe who sees it on the road — particularly going over speed bumps.
Pools in truck beds (or old convertibles)
How could I make my junky pickup truck even trashier? Let’s turn the empty truck bed into a pool! That way, we can drive around town and our friends can lounge in their underwear and drink dangerous amounts of alcohol. And remove the muffler so the exhaust rumbles make jacuzzi bubbles. We can even run over potholes and speed bumps to makes waves!
The dog sack
Back in 1935, an invention was advertised that offered a convenient way to transport your dog: a sack that hung on the outside of your car.
Luckily, this shameful contraption never made it to production to become a household item, or else we’d have had a generation of cars with grotesque smears across their sides.
Wood gas cars
A car that burns firewood for fuel instead of gasoline? Yep! While this trend began for practical reasons to conserve on gasoline during World War II, these cumbersome modifications are still surprisingly around today.
There have been many attempts at powering cars by alternative methods, but this one is easily the worst-looking, messing with the weight distribution of the vehicle and straining its physical integrity. They’re like tumors growing on perfectly fine vehicles. On top of that, it was hard to see around and was a hazard on the road.
What fads have you seen that you can’t stand? Share them in the comments!
Aaron is unashamed to be a native Clevelander and the proud driver of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo (which recently replaced his 1995 Saturn SC-2). He gleefully utilizes his background in theater, literature, and communication to dramatically recite his own articles to nearby youth. Mr. Widmar happily resides in Dayton, Ohio with his magnificent wife, Vicki, but is often on the road with her exploring new destinations. Aaron has high aspirations for his writing career but often gets distracted pondering the profound nature of the human condition and forgets what he was writing… See more articles by Aaron.