When it comes to custom vehicles, the first thing that comes into most people’s minds is car modifications. Alloy wheels, over-size spoilers, and neon under-lighting; the kind of thing you might expect to see on one of the cars driving in the background of a Fast and Furious movie.
However, cars are far from the only vehicle which can be modified. The owners of full-size SUVs, pickup trucks, and jeeps can also modify their vehicles, to either improve the way they look or improve their performance. Even those who own and drive bigger trucks, such as commercial lorries and eighteen-wheelers, can make changes to the way their vehicles look, to better reflect their personalities or local customs and styles.
As with modified cars, though, it is all too easy for the owners of trucks and big rigs to take modifications too far. Vehicles can end up covered in clashing custom paint jobs or weighed down by unnecessary and unwieldy attachments and accessories. As with all vehicle modifications, whether on cars or trucks, sometimes less is more.
The owners of the trucks on this list have definitely taken the modification of their vehicles too far. These over-modded trucks come from every corner of the globe, and date from the 1930s to the present day, but they all have one thing in common—way too many modifications.
When it comes to truck modifications that have gone too far, this next entry on the list really takes the biscuit. After all, this particular truck has been modified so much, it is no longer even a truck, but a trike. It is actually a pretty clever piece of engineering, taking the front of a truck, and transforming the rest into a pretty powerful looking three-wheeled bike. It may attract the crowds at auto shows and turn heads on the street, but the simple fact is that this is a truck which has been modified beyond all recognition and beyond all usefulness.
Head to any of the world’s Legoland theme parks, and visitors can see life-size buildings and vehicles made from the iconic Danish toy brick. However, these Lego cars and trucks aren’t safe enough to actually drive on the roads, unlike the unusually-modified truck in the image above. It appears that the owner of this vehicle has added a Lego-style body kit to their pickup, complete with Lego brick alloys. Not only does it look unusual, but questions also have to be asked about how safe such a modification is, and what happens to all those bricks if they’re in an accident!
The owner of this particular truck could just be a fan of all things porcine, although, in truth, this particular vehicle has been converted for use as a food truck. While such a wild modification may prove to be eye-catching for the business owners who are trying to attract customers when they’re parked up, it doesn’t make for the most practical truck on the road. All that extra metal work looks more like something out of Mad Max than a restaurant and will certainly add a lot of weight and drag when it comes to trying to get such a hefty-looking vehicle up to a decent speed.
Detroit motoring icon Chevrolet is known for their range of impressive pickup trucks. From the Silverado to the Colorado, these vehicles are well-known for their solid performances on and off-road. These trucks may be popular with drivers, but the abomination in the image above would get the thumbs down from most motorists, regardless of what they drive. Aside from probably the largest, ugliest and most impractical body kit outside of the crazy car culture of Japan—and one which looks home-made at best—the owner has decided to give their Chevy truck a rather over-the-top patriotic paint job on the hood.
If it wasn’t bad enough that someone took a classic vintage truck and deliberately made it look old and battered, the owner of this gorgeous 1930s pickup went in a rather different direction, with equally questionable results. In fact, the only good things about this particular modification are the stylish tires, with the authentic, traditional wheels. After that, the whole project goes horribly wrong. From the garish purple paint job to the unnecessarily tinted windows, this is a classic example of modifications going too far. Why anyone driving a souped-up 1930s pickup would need blackened out windows is probably well beyond most motorists.
Truck modifications aren’t always about increasing the size of the vehicle or even making it look more modern or ensuring it has the best mods to improve its performance. Sometimes, truck owners like to give their vehicles a little more character with their modifications, regardless of the impact that it will have on how the truck will run. After all, fitting out a truck with wooden panels, as in the picture above, may make for an interesting look, but it is hardly going to make this particular vehicle go faster! This modification is definitely a case of style over substance.
Those creative and colorful Japanese dekotora trucks are the very epitome of truck modifications which have gone too far, at least in the eyes of motorists who aren’t used to this unusual and unique car culture. Dekotora is far from being just about painted trucks and decorations, however, colored LED neon lights are also a significant part of this very particular type of truck modification. Street racing cars in Japan may be infamous for their neon under-lighting, but dekotora trucks are covered in neon lights, in all the colors of the rainbow, and quite often creating attractive patterns and pictures, which they show off to fellow truckers.
Stretch limousines have become the ultimate way for young teens to get to prom, for men and women to enjoy their bachelor and bachelorette parties, and even for brides and grooms to get to their wedding on their big day. However, this particular stretch monster truck wouldn’t really fit in at any wedding, although some teenagers would think it was the perfect vehicle in which to arrive at their school prom. Monster trucks are ostentatious at the best of times and best left to auto shows, but a stretch monster truck is definitely a step too far with respect to vehicle modifications.
Drivers of dekotora trucks are far from the only truckers who decorate their own vehicles with very personalized custom paint jobs. The two trucks in the image above, which are clearly set up for truck racing have been given some extremely eye-catching paint jobs. Some might even say these paint jobs are a little over the top, one inspired by the cartoon characters of the DC and Marvel universes, including Superman, The Hulk, and lots of Batman villains, while the other driver’s inspiration seems to be a bit on the darker side.
This may be one of the more sedate truck modifications on this list, and there are plenty of truckers (not least those from Japan) who would consider this particular custom paint job to be much too subtle. Nevertheless, this striking flame-themed paint job, in quite garish colors, is a little too eye-catching, and all that polished chrome could easily end up dazzling other motorists! This big rig is obviously an owner-driver vehicle, as the cab only really works with its matching trailer, while most truckers tend to tow trailers from various suppliers, rather than those with expensive custom paint jobs.
Bull bars are a common enough sight on trucks, especially vehicles designed for off-roading. They provide just a little extra protection for the front of the truck, using the metal bull bar frame to push aside obstacles and to prevent damage to the paintwork on the fender and good. However, there is simply no need for the kind of over-extravagant bull bar as seen on the image above. In fact, there is some argument that the shape and style of the addition on the front of this truck wouldn’t really serve a practical purpose at all, but that it's just there to try and make the truck look more fearsome in some way.
Flames have a been a popular choice for custom paint jobs on cars and trucks for decades. The fashion first began to start in the 1950s and has never really gone out of style since. While you might usually expect to see this flame motif on vintage muscle cars or sports cars, there are no rules to say that an owner can’t give their eighteen-wheeler a customized flaming paint job, too. However, getting the colors right when deciding on a custom paint job is all important. Perhaps the owner of this big rig was going for a patriotic look, but this combination just ends up looking garish.
The exterior of dekotora trucks in Japan may get all the attention thanks to their striking custom paint jobs and dazzling displays on neon lights but there is much more to these unique cultural modifications than meets the eye. Believe it or not, these truckers don’t just modify the outside of their vehicles, but also spend a great deal of time and money to make some serious improvements to the internal décor of their cabs, too, with plush and colorful upholstery, religious icons or lucky symbols, and extensive interior lighting. Some even opt for a chandelier, which is definitely overkill for a common truck.
Either the owner of this truck is heading into a nearby war zone, or they have gone a little over-the-top when it comes to modifying their off-road Jeep. Aside from the serious bull bars at the front and heavy-duty tires, this vehicle is barely recognizable from the Jeep that is underneath, thanks to the extra-wide body kit and blackened-out windows. It’s totally unnecessary for a Jeep owner to go for this level of modification when they clearly live in a pleasant suburban setting, rather than downtown Baghdad. And the tinted windows just make the driver look like a wannabe rapper.
There are some motorists who would say that Hummers are ridiculous enough without modifications to make them look any quirkier. Inspired by the military Humvee, the Hummer is a gas-guzzling monster truck which was pretty popular in the 1990s, but which fell from grace pretty quickly. That didn’t stop Hummer owners from spending a lot of time and money modifying their vehicles to make them look even more eye-catching, but the gold custom paint job on the bull bars, wheels, window frames, and even the wing mirrors just ends up looking cheaper and even more tawdry than ordinary Hummers.
Modifying a Hummer—a vehicle which already stands out from the crowd—may seem a little unnecessary, but a lick of gold paint is nothing compared to what the owner of this commercial truck decided to do. This trucker must be very comfortable with his masculinity to paint their vehicle in such a vibrant shade of bubblegum pink, and not just a bubblegum pink custom paint job, but a paint job that also features a whole host of cartoon characters. Pink is fine in small doses, but a modification on this scale is probably a bit overwhelming for other road users.
Monster truck rallies are one of the most popular auto shows in the States, and there is always a place for an unusual and quirky monster truck to make an appearance. They don’t come much more unusual and quirky than an old yellow school bus which has been transformed into a mean machine monster truck, though. The kids that used to take this old bus to school would probably enjoy a ride much more these days, thanks to its dramatic transformation, but the truth is that this is the kind of vehicle that is only ever going to make an appearance at auto shows and not on the highway.
Dekotora is far from the only car culture craze in Japan. Lots of drivers also ascribe to the bosozuku culture, a form of extreme vehicle modification which stems from biker gangs of the 1970s. While bosozuku is more usually associated with street racing cars, as the image above shows, there is no reason for truck owners to feel like they have to shy away from this particular modification style, which is all about ridiculously over-size body kits, fenders, and wings, along with eye-catching colors. Modifying a truck in the bosozuku style just gives the owner a bigger canvas to work with, but sometimes more is definitely less.
The kings of modifying trucks, as with most other vehicles, however, are motorists in Japan. The country is famous for its eccentric and unusual car culture, and truck drivers clearly don’t want to be left out of the party. The culture of modifying commercial trucks even has its own name, dekotora – an abbreviation of “decoration truck”. The trend started in the 1970s and was inspired by a series of Japanese films called Truck Guys, in which drivers decorated their vehicles with custom paint jobs, tons of chrome, and more neon lights than you would find on a Las Vegas casino.
Why modify a brand new truck when you can take a vintage vehicle and give it your own personal touch? The owner of this particular classic truck has given it a deliberately aged look, with faded paintwork and plenty of rusty metal. While this particular model was one of the stars of the SEMA auto show in 2015, it’s retro appearance is probably a little too hipster for genuine truck drivers. This deliberate aging may make this vintage vehicle look good, but it is all about what is under the hood when it comes to keeping an older truck on the road.
Not all trucks are modified just to look good and win plaudits at motor shows. Some of these over-the-top modifications have been made to trucks that serve a very practical purpose—at least when they are doing their day job! The spectacular custom paint job in the image above may look as though it would be more suited to a slick and sophisticated muscle car, but it actually belongs to a much more practical dump truck. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of driving a dump truck for a living, but a paint job like this is far too much for such a functional vehicle.
Off-road trucks provide owners with a lot of scope for modifications. Not only can you make improvements to the suspension or add larger tires, as in the image above, to ensure a smoother ride over even the roughest terrain, but lots of people like to add all sorts of off-road accessories. Roof lights, which are illegal on roads, can be quite useful when driving in areas without any street lights, while roll cages improve safety in the event of an unexpected tumble. The owner of this truck has added a few of the usual extra fixtures and fittings, but for some reason, they have also decided to give their truck a noxious neon green paint job.
Roads in India are notorious for their noisy and colorful traffic jams, and there is nothing more colorful on Indian streets than the customized trucks used to transport goods, farm animals, and sometimes even people around the country. As well as colorful paint jobs, drivers like to decorate their vehicles with religious symbols and motifs in a bid to protect them and their truck (which is, after all, their livelihood) as they make their way around India. These symbols are mainly from the Hindu and Sikh religions and are known for their vibrant and striking images, which in turn make for some eye-watering, colorful Indian trucks.
Sources: Fourwheeler, Semashow, Depaula, Bigtoyzracing, and Yourcustomcar.