I think it’s a pretty natural thing for people (especially young adults) to want to customize their cars. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time in our cars and they’re a natural extension of us. What we do to our cars to make them unique says something about who we are. The shape, the style, the engine, the color, even the price of our cars gives others a (completely superficial, I’ll admit) glimpse into your personality.
After owning and destroying several hot rods as a teenager, I settled down a bit after purchasing a Ford Festiva. Even though the car itself didn’t represent who I was (or who I thought I was at the time), I still spent a lot of time making that car unique. Through many trips to Autozone and O’Reilly’s I had added a custom leather steering wheel cover, a custom shifter knob boot, and even a custom (and fake) cell phone antenna, all red in color to match the car’s exterior paint job. I even cut out a small square of red tissue paper and stuffed it inside the car’s dome light, to make the light glow red. All of those modifications were very cheap and simple to perform, but each of them helped make that little Festiva unique.
Times change with age, and today my wife and I own a Honda minivan and a Chevy Avalanche pickup, neither of which contains a lick of customized parts. I suppose the things that were most important to you at the age of 18 have a way of falling by the wayside by the time you reach 38. While fueling up the minivan last night, I ended up parking next to this car:
Not including the price of that blue steering wheel cover, the cost of customizing this car was probably around $3 (assuming it was done with a single roll of duct tape). I’ve seen this car around town a few times before and think it appeared right after the release of Tron: Legacy, leading me to believe that it was inspired by the film. I suppose it’s possible that the timing was a coincidence and that the car was inspired by something else, like a circuit board, or the Inca Lines, but I’ve yet to track down the owner of the vehicle to confirm my suspicions. Based on the fact that the car didn’t move the entire time we were getting gas, I’m assuming it belongs to one of the employees. Next time I’m in the neighborhood, I’ll go in and ask. I suspect the owner is probably closer to 18-years-old than 38, but either way, I like it.
For an additional $54,997, you can own this thing (which is actually street legal, and was for sale). If you don’t have fifty-five grand lying around … well, there’s always green duct tape.
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