We’re lucky enough here at NZV8 that we get to see all sorts of cars. Being all-round car guys, we’re open to anything, really — be it a big-power street machine, or a budget-beater, we can appreciate them all. We’re not even averse to the odd Jappa or rotary. If it’s cool, it’s cool.
That being said, though, we do have a list of things that we’re just not a fan of on pretty much any vehicle. Here’s our top 10. Don’t take this as us not liking your car as a whole — we just don’t like these particular aspects. And, more importantly, if you like it, or like them, then who cares what we think!
1. Tacky seats
You’ve spent up large on your car, and then bought the cheapest, ugliest seats you could find. What’s with that? They’re big, square, and look like something a kid drew, making your whole car look cheap. Surely your car would be better off with the stock seats, or the stock seats from another vehicle?
2. Stickers galore
Unless you’re sponsored by Edelbrock, Crane, Champion, MSD, ARP, Autometer, and VHT, take those godawful stickers off your car! Despite popular opinion, they don’t add more horsepower, even if you’ve put them in the engine bay. Your toolbox on the other hand, now that’s a great place for them to live.
3. Spaghetti wiring
Blown big block: check. Tubbed rear end: check. Full custom interior: check. Ugly-as-hell wiring: check. What are you thinking? You’ve got a great-looking car that’s let down by the ugly, not to mention potentially dangerous, spaghetti wiring that you’ve got under the hood. Yes, we know some Fords have starter solenoids mounted on the inner guard, but that doesn’t mean they need to stay there. And no, your MSD ignition box doesn’t need to live up front either — there’s plenty of room for it, and associated wiring, under the dash.
4. Black engine bay
The next person who tells us they have painted their engine bay black in their fully customized car gets a free kick in the shins. Did it come stock with 20-inch wheels on it? Did it come stock with that exterior paint work? What about those brakes and suspension? No, all modified — then why the hell did you repaint your engine bay black just because ‘it came like that from the factory’. Well done on decreasing your car's impact … that impact you’ve clearly worked so hard to achieve with the rest of the car.
5. The two-inch rule
We have a saying here in the office, and it’s one that gets used all the time. It’s about cars needing the ‘two-inch rule’ applied to them. That is, they need to be two inches lower, with the rear wheels two inches wider. There’s a bunch of cars that’d go from ‘nearly there’ to ‘nailed it’ had this rule been applied during their construction.
6. Stating the obvious
Yes, we all know your car is a ‘street machine’ or a ‘hot rod’ — we don’t need badges to point this out to us. All they’re really pointing out is that you felt the need to add tacky add-ons to your car that devalued it … great move, genius.
7. Halfway there
Some people love shit sticking out of the bonnet, some people hate it. We don’t really mind either way, but if you’re going to have something sticking out, make sure it’s all the way out, not just turtling. There’s always a better way to do it. Stop being so lazy.
8. Rainbow connection
Remember back in the ’90s when those blue and red anodized fittings were all the rage? Yeah, so do we. It was back in the ’90s! With black fittings — and many other colours — being available off the shelf these days, there’s no excuse for your engine bay to look like a rainbow has exploded under there. Hell, it’s not hard, nor expensive to even custom anodize your rainbow fittings to a colour of your own choosing. Do it!
Just because a guy wears a dress, that doesn’t make him a lady any more than it makes your two-ton cruiser full of stereo gear a race car because you used race wheels or race seats. If you’re going to go for a style, be it cruise, race or anything else, stick with it; go the whole hog, not just half way. If you don’t, you’ll end up lost in no man’s land with a car that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Remember, having taste, or a certain style doesn’t cost any more money, it just takes a bit more common sense.
10. The wheel deal
Back in the ’70s, or even the ’80s, the range of aftermarket wheels available was minimal in comparison to what’s available these days. So why is it then that out of literally hundreds of thousands of options currently available you felt the need to use the same old Cragars or Foose Coddington five-spokes as every other unimaginative car owner? There’s no difference in cost between being a sheep, or being a standout, so man up and do it!
Of course, all of the above are only our personal pet hates. We’d love to hear what yours are — let us know in the comments below.