The adjective "clean" is defined by Merriam-Webster as the following: "free from dirt or pollution; unadulterated, pure; free from moral corruption or sinister connections of any kind; ceremonially or spiritually pure; thorough, complete; relatively free from error or blemish; characterized by clarity and precision; empty; habitually neat."
I've always told myself that I would never cop out and start any written piece with the definition of a word. The first time I saw it done was in Seventh grade English and it was semi-cool then, but like a BAPE sweater, Friendster or Altezza taillights, it got played out, real quick. So why am I starting now? Because of the significance of the word.
There are dozens of adjectives used to compliment one's vehicle. A common flattering remark might begin with: "Props on your ride, it's ________" the blank being filled in with a descriptor such as "nice", "sick", "rad", "fantastic", "dope", "crazy", or "brilliant". All of them are commendable approvals, but for as long as I can remember, the one word you strived to hear from your peers was "clean". It was, and in my opinion is, the highest compliment one can endow. To illustrate using the previous example, "Props on your ride, it's clean."
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What sounds like the simplest of terms, "clean" implies a multitude of characteristics of a modified vehicle: built, not too flashy, but far from stock; a legit set of wheels--flush or dipping under the fenders; aero, usually simple, that accentuates the natural lines of the body; and a host of other tastefully done modifications to enhance the performance/handling/aesthetic of the make. Without conforming to the whims of a passing fad, a properly executed clean car has a timeless value to it. A car that looked clean ten years ago would still look good today.
The Feel's Civic is a prime example of clean. Take away the fact that it's color is a virginal white (a faux pas for a cover car), the widebody is so subtle, it might be missed at a passing glance or by the untrained eye. The AME wheels and Hankook tires are a perfect tuck, and the carbon bits, interior and engine bay scream function. Unlike the crazy Feel's widebody kit for the EK Civic ten years ago that's shown its age--think Dennis Rodman and his career--this FD2 Honda, stripped of its sponsor vinyl, will undoubtedly look as fresh in a decade as it does today.
And thankfully, that's the direction our scene has taken. The time of ridiculously vented front bumpers, multi-layered whale-tail spoilers, Folger's-sized exhaust tips and graphic schemes that make absolutely no sense have come and gone (I think), and our scene, as a whole, is better for it. So while clean isn't exactly the new black, nor a new adjective, I hope it's a philosophy of building cars that will last for years to come.
The one word you would
use to describe your car.