If we aren’t happy with our health, we can eat better, and we can exercise. If we’re not happy with our relationship, we can work on it, tweak it, streamline it, and make it better. If we don’t like where we live, we could find another place to stay or mess with the layout— maybe move that couch around or put the TV on the wall.
But buying just the car we want, the car that expresses who we are as people, is a little harder. So, some of us, we let go of that hope. We strive for practicality, we buy the sedan or the subcompact SUV or the Amphicar that will get us where we need to go and leave it at that.
A select few are able to buy exactly what they want. Maybe they have very specific requirements, and maybe those needs are met by purchasing an Alfa Romeo Giulia or a Geo Metro.
Then there are the elite car owners, the ones who don’t give two 'daggums' about how much their insurance premiums are going to go up. They’re going to bolt that rocket to the roof of their Smart Car that has a supercharged LS1 and 44” Super Swampers. They're unique people, and frick yeah, their car is going to reflect that.
This is the mod squad. They're going to do what they want, never you mind if you think it’s ugly or tacky (spoiler alert: it’s ugly AND tacky).
Here are 18 very questionable things people have done to their cars.
18 Mod A Miata? You Better Not-a
I realize there’s a certain amount of ridicule to overcome when you drive a Miata. There’s one really dumb cliché I won’t mention here that you’re likely to fall victim to if you drive this car and find yourself in the vicinity of the fragrant scent of toxic masculinity.
So, not sure if the owner of this wrench-turner tragedy felt the need to compensate for that reason, but he certainly had the thought, “What if one of the Ninja Turtles had a car?”
The Miata is great as it is. It’s a driver’s car that’s built to have fun with right out of the box. No need to modify. No need to worry about dudebros. In the whispered words of one Sir Paul McCartney, “Let it go.”
17 Camaro With A 32-Inch Waste
I’ll start with the positives: this is a really nice color. It fools Google image search into thinking that you’re looking at a Subaru BRZ Series HyperBlue, which I’m not confident could fit these wagon wheels.
And I’m going to avoid the use of the P-word in discussing this car, not just because that’s the easy observation but also because a real Gentleman Who Has Chosen Corralling Ladies Of The Evening as his line of work is all about flipping the script. He’s going to go full normie and drive a ‘98 Camry.
Oh, also, why are you going to slow down a 1LS? It’s already slow enough.
16 Party In The Front, Pickup In The Back
I get it. You’ve got to have the truck for work. You’re also a speed monster, but you got all those diapers and ninja swords to buy. No extra funds for a racer.
But you? You’re an innovator. You’re not going to let a bad habit like an addiction to The Knife Show or having more children than you can afford get you down. You’ve got a light-duty pickup that could benefit from some flare, but you also have the front end of the hotrod your Grandpappy drove in his bootlegging days.
Blamo. You’ve got yourself the inverted mullet of automobiles.
15 Corvette: I’m A Loner Dottie, A Rebel
There are a few ways to intimidate people. Brains, brawn, and maybe some facial hair are some choice ones. Driving a car with flames and a screaming skeleton painted on it? Eh, I dunno dude.
I know, I know... it’s a drag ride. But shouldn’t the monster supercharger jutting through the hood be enough to telegraph that you’re just a certified baddy out for a night on the town?
That steroid shot of air into your intake manifold is already the teardrop prison tattoo of modifications; you don’t also need “I eat brains” permanently scribbled on your forehead.
14 Covini C6W: Needs More Wheels
Are you the kind of megalomaniac that needs something no one asked for? Maybe you’re an evil genius? You need to quickly climb the access road to your secret volcano lair, but you gotta make sure you don’t get a blowout? Also, maybe you like the rapturous notes of an Audi V8?
I have no proof of this, but I'm certain former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi drove one of these. If you throw something called a “Bunga Bunga party,” you absolutely own a supercar with six wheels.
It’s pretty hard to out-Italian the Italian Supercar Parade, but Covini did.
13 Chrysler 300: Fortress Of Solitude
You have a Dodge Charger disguised as your Granny’s Prescription-getter. Why are we bringing Superman’s weird backstory into this?
I guess I can see the benefit of having a car you can spot from space because if you’re that obsessed with Superman, you might believe he’s real and hope this will entice him to hang out.
I don’t know that he’s going to want to ride in your car, though. That’s like if somehow, Rihanna’s tour bus broke down in front of your house in the rain, and she knocked on your door and asked to stay the night, and you said "sure," and when she walked in, she saw that your entire living room was a shrine to her, a Shrihanna.
12 Pontiac Aztek: Braking Bad
Let’s not kid ourselves... In the 2000s, if you bought any Pontiac other than a G8, all you did was signal that you had no idea what you were doing, what you wanted, or who you were. The Aztek and its inexplicable longevity is a testament to that. Best portrayed as Walter White’s normie-mobile, I can appreciate how the folks who have held onto these existential sighs on wheels have really spiced them up. But at the end of the day, it’s still just a grocery getter dressed up like something out of Road Warrior.
And this one in particular looks like it was modded by a diehard Phoenix Suns pan.
11 Honda Civic: Rainbow-Dash Edition
It’s hard out there for a Brony. I get it—you’re ridiculed for your love of My Little Pony, belittled for your devotion to the MLP. But you’ve overcome a lot, you’re here because of that bravery, you don’t let it drag you down, and you own it. But you also own something else: this Honda Civic with Rainbow Dash painted on the side.
The first thought is, “Oh, you’re going to get laughed at,” but this is straight up an Iceberg Slim dressed like Mr. Furley move. Respect the game.
Here’s my one issue: How is this car not named "Ginuwine"? How is this not made known to the world at large? Why doesn’t it have “RIDIN’ MY BRONY” in Olde English on the back?
10 Mazda Biata
What’s the situation that leads you to make this decision? I can only think of three:
Option one: You own a car that’s fun to drive, but you just really love to sabotage your happiness.
Option two: You're currently living in a Road Warrior-type apocalypse, and since license plates, keys, and the concept of law and order aren’t things anymore, you need a way to set yourself apart / find your car in the inevitability it's stolen while you sleep.
Option three: Your parents were murdered in front of you, but you didn’t inherit billions of dollars and you don’t have a salty British butler to slap you around. But you do live in a cave and keep an underaged, orphaned circus performer there, probably against his will.
9 Corvette Staywag
It’s hard out there for a Vette Head. Every morning, you drive one of the USA’s preeminent sports cars. You don’t need coffee because the best part of waking up is the Corvette rumble on your rump.
But you’ve also got to take Rusty, Jr. to unicycle football practice in the afternoon, and you’ve had it up to here with the spindles of that dang unicycle getting tangled in your gear shift, and you love him and support him in all his endeavours, but you just don’t understand why he’d participate in an activity that combines a cool sport with a questionable hobby like football. And at that moment when you’ve stalled out in front of the practice parking lot, you find your inspiration in a station wagon, your cruisin’ muse.
Forget a Toyota Prius—this is the real hybrid.
8 Mustang Sadly
I wasn’t really even mad at the Honda Civic: My Little Brony Edition. But this? This is blasphemy. This is worse than the time your sister melted all your G.I. Joes in her EZ Bake oven.
I’m serious. Who goes through all this trouble to disparage unicorns this way? Unbelievable.
And let’s imagine for a moment you own this glittery car-tastrophe. It’s over 50 years old, so at some point, you’re going to have to take it to a “Mustang” guy. How does that conversation play out?
“Hi, I have a custom ‘65 Mustang that needs some work.”
“Custom? What’s custom about it?”
“Oh, it looks like a unicorn.”
“Get out of my shop and never show your face in here again.”
7 Bosozoku: I’ll Say Nothing Disparaging Here Because This Car Was Designed By A Motorcycle Club
This car looks like it was designed by Mazda founder Jujiro Matsuda if he had finally come down from a bender and passed out watching Dragonball-Z (patiently awaiting your comments on the inaccuracy of this image I made up…).
And that's something I'll absolutely type safely at my home office that's nowhere near a member of Bosozoku (translates to “Running-out-of-Control Tribe”).
The Japanese gang is mostly noted for riding motorcycles, fighting other angsty teens, and wearing surgical masks (you know, like a tough guy). But sometimes, they drop some coin on building a car that looks like a Naruto-fueled ayahuasca ceremony.
6 Polaris Slingshot: If You Need To Fling Yourself Into The Arms Of All The Ladies...
I’m calling this one "Cesario" from Twelfth Night because it's not yet old enough for a man nor young enough for a boy. Who is this for? How did they get to this place in their life? What do they want from this? Not just existentially, but like driving around the block? What are you doing? No, seriously... what are doing? You’re driving a bass-ackwards three-wheeler dressed up like a Transformer whose name is "Whimsy-Bot" or "FrickBoi-otron"—that’s what you’re doing.
Biggest tell in this photo? There’s nobody in that passenger seat, bruh.
Unless that thing actually changes into a robot that shoots lasers and maybe teaches you how to respect women, I don’t think you’re accomplishing what you had hoped to.
5 Amphicar: It’s The Best Of No Worlds!
I think we’re beginning to see a pattern emerge in what makes a car mod a bad mod. Don’t try to do two things at once. In this case, you know what they say: if you chase two rabbits, you’ll end up with an ugly car that you can drive off a bridge into the river.
I might be wrong, but if I had to guess, this Squatty Body *might* crank out 12 horsepower, but more importantly, if you have a car that's also a schooner named “Charlotte” or “Day Drunk,” you’re required to wear a boat captain’s hat.
It’s Nautical Law (I’m an Ocean Lawyer; I should know). There’s no way that Hugh Hefner noggin topper is staying on in that claustrophobic/aquaphobic’s rolling nightmare.
4 Liam Nissan: Oh, Henry, That's Punbelievably Bad
Here’s my impression of the driver of this car, getting pulled over by the police:
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for a good car mod, I can tell you I don’t have one, but what I do have are a particular set of skills—skills I've acquired over a lot of strangled portmanteaus, slant rhymes, and groans from friends and loved ones, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you (well, for anyone, really). If you let me go now, that'll be the end of it. I won't corner you at the office, and I won't bludgeon you with wordplay. But if you don’t, I'll look for you, I'll find you, and I'll kill you with terrible puns.”
3 Spohn Custom Convertible: The Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese Of Sports Cars
The story of this car is actually pretty interesting. It’s a one-of-a-kind custom convertible built by Spohn. Ever heard of Maybach? Spohn did their coachwork before WWII. Other brands in their portfolio: Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, and the Gaylord Gladiator (look that one up—you’ll definitely become obsessed). Goes without saying, there’s a lot of history to this ugly, ugly car.
Granted, it’s a nice color, and who wouldn’t enjoy a German convertible? But why the double grille? Is there an engine under the top engine? A Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese also sounds like a novel idea, but I know after eating it, I’m going to feel like I’m sitting behind the wheel of the ugliest one-of-a-kind German roadster in history.
2 Stretch DeLorean: Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Good Taste
Ah, the stretch DeLorean DMC-12 limousine—the perfect touch to ensure that you're the most exhausting one at your overdone '80s-themed prom. This car doesn’t run on gasoline; it runs on New Coke and misplaced nostalgia.
Never mind that your date is going to have a helluva time climbing out from under those gull-wing doors. Let’s hope it’s not an original engine in there because the first-draft DMC-12 had a puny PRV V-6 that produced only enough horsepower to keep up with a Honda Fit. That’s no limo engine. With that kind of haul, you better call Huey Lewis because the only thing that’s going to get that low-riding Scottish tank moving is the power of love.
1 Don’t Be Such A Crown Vic
You’re probably like, “What’s the problem? It’s just the vehicle of a hardworking member of the law enforcement community...” Nah. Not talking about that. Talking about that dude you knew growing up. Maybe his name was "Cliff" or "Lester" or maybe "Wayne," and he was never going to make the cut as a police officer. That doesn’t mean he can’t buy a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor at auction and keep the spotlight, though.
I get it, man. You wanted to be a cop, and it didn’t pan out. I wanted to be Eddie Van Halen, but I don’t jump around shredding on a guitar, hanging out with a dude who has an affinity for high kicks.
Sources: japantimes.co.jp; rottentomatoes.com; conceptcarz.com, autoweek.com