From the ’50s and until today, custom cars are objects of fascination and of pride; they are even a symbol of status or are used to show a rebellious streak. Custom cars are vehicles that were substantially modified to look or to work better/in a different way.
It all stated with the hot rod in Australia in the 1960s, which became so popular as the racing culture developed. The modifications here were not about styling, but about performance. These customized cars had to reach greater speeds and compete. Street rods became stars and are still so captivating today. Vehicles from the early decades of the 20th century were modified by adding more carburetors, a stronger engine, as well as many other parts, while others were being removed. The body had to be as light as possible, so numerous adjustments were made to achieve this.
A hot rod would also be recognized by its altered suspension, which is still a distinct sign of car customization today. Jaguar, Buick and ford parts were interchanged, to create unique designs that became legendary. Perhaps this is where we should look to find the appeal of these vehicles. They were unconventional, unexpected and enticing, not to mention powerful. Creating these soon became art. This is what customization is today, too.
As for the paint, the first rods were simply plain in this matter. The paint was regular, as it was not an aspect to matter so much back then, when functionality was the supreme concern. The importance of colors was soon to be seen, though. Colorful designs emerged, involving especially hot, bright, fiery shades. In recent years, with the abundance of acrylic paints, everything is possible. You can adorn a custom made car with any sort of original graphics, as complex as you want – even opt for a 3D effect.
Customization touched so many aspects of a car – both inside and outside. The headlights, the grille, the metallic strips on the side, the bumper sections or big parts lie the roof were all retouched. Any of these could be changed to suit the new concept. Some parts were removed; others were cut smaller and put back together in a new shape. Back in the day, all these changes were not made for beauty, however, but for performance. Today, any reason is good enough.
As you can see, customized cars have a history, a glorious one we may say, when these were involved in street racing, crowning a dangerous and rebellious way of living. Then they became a symbol of luxury. Nowadays, these cars simply mean so much. In fact, it is the owner, who gives the meaning. Whether it’s through design or through engineering, car customization can take many forms and meanings.