My name is Patricia Robbins and I know a few things regarding how to sensibly modify vehicles. This is because I am in charge of checking the levels of safety of every mobility car and all wheelchair accessible vehicles by Constables Mobility.
Until recently, my mother’s partner lived with my family at home in Worthing, UK. And then he got bored after fifteen years of marriage and so walked out on her and his three children. Hey ho, never mind eh? Anyway, my (hardly) tragic background is not the point of this article and instead, bad car modification is. And my now AWOL stepfather was quite the expert at destroying perfectly good vehicles by using them as a platform for his less than credible creativity.
Here then, is a rundown of the five worst ways (from my experiences with step daddy dearest anyway) to attempt to pimp your ride…
Going all “Picasso” on the exterior
This has to be discussed first for it is the most prominent of his constant motorcar cock ups. Just a few episodes of the MTV hit show Pimp My Ride was enough to convince him that he was capable of hand painting glorious designs down the side of his Micra with the same skill set harnessed by West Coast Customs. Needless to say, his “go faster” stripes were neither parallel nor straight. The paint job on the bonnet of his Nissan Largo seven seater which comprised characters from The Nightmare before Christmas movie resembled the handiwork of a pre-schooler.
I don’t even get me started on the time he mixed a packet of glitter with emerald green paint for “a different effect when the sun hits”…
Placing a metal park bench on the rear
A spoiler can really offset the right vehicle and serves to modify air flow – useful for sports cars which are designed to whizz around tracks at great speed. When you live on a council estate and own a Mercury Topaz however, the addition could not be more ill advised! You are not a bad boy racer; you’re just a chav with bad taste!
The only thing that under glow neon lights on a car indicates is that the driver is desperate for attention. Why else would my apparent father figure want to draw attention to his glitter green Nissan NX with crappy skull decals? Oh right, he’s an idiot. Still, at least his short drives to the local Tesco store were made just that little more exciting for him – and amused anyone who happedned to witness the shambles!
Using superglue to re-fabricate the interiors
Mum’s bloke got tired of his boring grey interior and so decided that he would re fabric the whole interior starting with the seats. The MTV pimps had a special, industry strength sewing machine to handle such a task and what did replacement daddy use? Superglue. Funnily enough, this doesn’t bond leather together particularly well. Thankfully it wasn’t too long (around 48 hours) before he realised this and scrapped the idea.
Half assed window tinting
I say “half assed” but really, he put loads of effort into tinting the front and side windows of his Mercury! The law indicates that front windscreens must not be totally blacked out and so he left a strip out for sight purposes. To seal the film to the windows, he went over the edges with clear nail varnish. Classy AND aesthetically pleasing (not)!