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Aftermarket Tuner Cars - Take It Off

Jan 22, 2010

I've never been much of a fashion maven. My idea of the perfect outfit is a pair of jeans, a simple shirt and a good pair of walking boots. This drives the wife, a former manager at Nordstoms, absolutely berserk (which is all the more reason to do it). I've always been of the mind that originality should come from within, not from what we choose to hang upon ourselves. If I want to wear this shirt with these pants, it's probably because they're clean and they feel comfortable. I don't give a shit if my outfit "matches", to use the wife's terminology. That I look decent is purely accidental. The thing is, I look the same way I did 25 years ago.

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I feel the same way about cars. I don't like to broadcast my vehicle's potential or tart it up with shiny baubles. I'd rather the truth come out between stoplights or on the track. Nothing's more satisfying than schooling a "pretty" car.

I'm a big believer in de-badged vehicles, cars stripped of descriptive nomenclature. No one cares if your car's a Z1X 1.3 Turbo LE-RS. Think the red seat stitching and extra louver in the air dam is gonna get you a date? It's not. Scrape that verbiage from the car's bum and be mysterious. I hear chicks dig that anyway.

Over the years we've been privy to all sorts of aftermarket mischief, from Ruf Porsches to Reiger Sciroccos. A few of them still look great while more than a few look positively hideous, worse than a '70s-era hairstyle. Remember the Rinspeed 969? It's what happens when a 911 mates with a Testarossa and an RX-7. I look at that and despair. How could we have done that and thought it was cool? We've also seen the venerable VW Golf subjected to unholy experiments. Remember the ProjektZwo kit on the Mk III? I see that and weep. I'm sure the brass at Volkswagen did.

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There's a vast difference between fashion and good design. Automotive fashion is more of a quick reaction to the market, a chance to capitalize on the hottest trend. Good design is timeless.

We're big believers in good design, cars that can withstand the acid test of time. The same goes for the aftermarket. Wheels from BBS, Panasport, HRE, and RD Sport have a fundamentally sound design. They looked good a decade ago, they look good today. The same goes for fully tuned cars. Chances are if you've got a Ruf Yellowbird or Dinan E36 M3 they're still alive and well.

Good design lives forever.

Les Bidrawn
Editor
european.car@sorc.com

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