Friday, April 26, 2019

Car Customisation – The Conventions of Being Unconventional Out There

Before I begin with this article, I would like to mention that customisation, as the name suggests, is entirely based on the customer’s own choice and satisfaction, and I completely acknowledge this definition. But just to give a heads-up on what the conventions of being unconventional out there are, this article takes its shape. To put it in simpler words, you can’t just go around attaching every aftermarket fitment into your car and expect it to claim appreciation.

But who wants appreciation? Well, let’s admit it, everyone does.

So why not do it right? Let me tell you how.

For the following sections, I will follow a particular format – Definition, How it should be done, The extremities.

Contrast Roof

Definition – This refers to the roof of the car which is coloured differently(usually black or white) from the rest of the body.

How it should be done – To understand this, we need to understand why it is done at all. I mean, it is obviously done for visual enhancement, but with some particular significance.

The white roof can be seen factory-fitted in cars like the Mini Cooper. It is done to symbolise the roof as a sort of cap worn by the car. But for achieving the same effect in any other car, one must make sure that the white colour is readily visible from all sides of the car, otherwise it makes no sense.


As for the black roof, it is gives an appearance that the roof is made of glass. This can be seen factory-fitted in some models of Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, etc. But the thumb rule for this one is that the edge of the roof should be continuous with the edge of the windshield and rear glass area. Another rule, which is very often violated, is the that the black colour should be very glossy and not matte.


The extremities – Some cars can be seen to have graphic stickers or paints on the roofs, which directly reflect the owners’ vision and hence, are beyond the scope of any possible convention.


Chrome Claddings

Definition – As the name suggests, some parts(mainly on the exterior) of the car are covered with chrome panels which give a certain bling to the car.

How it should be done – Application of chrome should be kept to a minimum unless you want your car to look overdone. I mean, imagine overtly shiny surfaces all over the body of your car, making it lose all of its boldness.

Chrome looks best on door handles and sometimes the on ORVMs and window frames; these give the car a costly appearance. But beyond that, one needs to be careful. In some cars with particular colours, a chrome front grill might seem fitting, but not with all colours. The parts where it is best to avoid chrome are the lights and body claddings. Moreover, excess thickness of a chrome window frame is the most disturbing sight for an onlooker.


The extremities – The whole car can be painted in chrome, but I am not even sure if that is permitted everywhere. Onlookers, make sure to have your sunglasses on.



Definition – This can refer to replacement of the stock lights in the car or attaching extra lights.

How it should be done – Replacing stock bulbs for LEDs or xenon units is fine as long as these comply to the laws. Even the LED strips placed inside the light housings as daytime running lights look good enough, but attaching LED strips on the grill are hugely responsible for making a car look clumsy and wannabe expensive. Underglow is also fine as long as the light source remains concealed from plain sight.



The extremities – One of the oldest trends has been to blacken the light housings and place halo-rings inside them. Rest assure that the car loses its classy appearance entirely.



Definition – In this section, I shall discuss about the modifications that can be made inside the car.

How it should be done – There is not much to say here, just that, the interior should have a consistent colour scheme, that is, a full black dashboard should not be accompanied with beige seats, if you know what I mean.

The extremities – Imagine a car with pink interior. Here again, consistency is the key.



Definition – Let’s discuss about what kind of rims(alloy wheels) suit which type of cars.

How it should be done – Here again, not much needs to be told, just that flashy rims don’t go well with sober looking cars.

The extremities – Coloured rims are a possibility. But this can look well only if these are either of the same colour as the car itself, or are part of a colour scheme followed throughout the car(consider liveried sports cars).


Body kits could have been a possible addition, but I decided against it because body kits are mostly made by professionals and these almost always make the cars look good, so there is rarely any scope of complaint.

The Conclusion

It is always okay to keep your car in stock condition. It not only reduces the risk of hampering the appearance, but also helps to fetch the maximum possible resale value. But there is nothing wrong in the desire to stand out of the mundane crowd. Just that the results are often far different from what we imagine and a little knowledge in this matter can go a long way.

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