Let’s face it: there are some pretty plain cars on the road these days. It’s not the fault of the car manufacturers or the owners necessarily; most people just want safe and reliable transportation to get them to work and home each day, run errands and maybe take a little road trip once in a while.
However, theoretically, let’s say you want to make your car something special, to stand out from the bland crowd. You don’t want to look like every other sedan out there and you want your wheels to be a reflection of your personality. But, where do you look for inspiration? Who or what are your muses?
Try some of these sources for ideas when you are fixing up your old car – or you want to just give your baby a little makeover.
Movies and Television
Is there any greater source for vehicle inspiration than the big and small screen? Think about all of the amazing cars that have been the star of the show: Doc Brown’s Delorean in the “Back to the Future” series, Steve McQueen’s sweet ride in “Bullitt,” Herbie the Love Bug. TV and movies are full of ideas that you can pull from when you are fixing up your old car. Watch the films, pull up pictures on the internet and gather all the details about these famous cars that you can from enthusiast sites and fan groups. If you are lucky, your inspiration car is kept in a museum or travels to fan conventions and you can see it in person to get ideas and inspiration. For example, a number of the Dodge Chargers used as the General Lee in the “Dukes of Hazzard” are kept in a museum in northern Virginia.
Is there anyone who hasn’t dreamed of having a Batmobile? You may not be able to get your car to fly, or include the array of incredible gadgets and weapons, but you can certainly glean inspiration from Batman’s signature ride to apply to your own car. Even small details from comic books can inspire your new car design – colors, logos, shapes, etc. Let your imagination wander and design a car that makes people stop in their tracks!
Your Hobbies and Interests
Not every vehicle remodel has to include touches that are immediately recognizable or pop culture icons. It’s your car, so make it personal to you. Incorporate ideas that reflect your passions or give clues to the things that you like. Get inspired by nature, a favorite song or painting or even your hobbies, like fishing, baseball or another sport. Sometimes just giving your ride a new paint job in your favorite team’s colors can be a reflection of you and your intense devotion to your favorite sport.
Chances are, you’ve been traveling down the road and seen the same make and model of your car – and thought glumly to yourself, “That one looks way better than mine!” Whether it’s a different color, different trim pieces, different accessories or something else, keep an eye on other cars for ideas that you can use on your own. Maybe you think that the spoiler or tail fin looked great on another similar car and you want to add it to yours. Or maybe those wheels or rims blew yours away. Use your smartphone to snap pictures of other cars that have features you like and use them as a motivation while you shop for parts and work on your car.
In some cases, the original recipe is the best; this holds especially true when it comes to vintage or antique cars. If you are working on one of these older models, sometimes the best inspiration comes from the original itself. Perchance, your car is unrecognizable in its current form or other owners have made modifications that have taken away from the character of the original. Whatever the reason, look for photos of your car when it was new and use those as inspiration for your fix-up project.
Modifying any car is a huge undertaking of both time and money. Getting an idea of what you want to do first can save you in all aspects, so search for inspiration and then get to work creating the car of your dreams.
This article was authored by Stieg Jones. Stieg has dreamt of owning a car that would make the Duke of Hazzards jealous ever since he can remember. He hunts all over partsgeek.com to find pieces for the cars he tinkers with in his afternoons and evenings.