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Unpimp my ride: the nine worst car modifications

People have been modifying their cars for decades. The do-it-yourself, weekend tradition is tied into the essence of classic Americana. However, over the past few decades, aftermarket automotive enhancement has lost much of its allure as people have turned to cheaper, easier alterations. A faux hood scoop just doesn’t have the same soul as chrome tailfin accents.

It is, however, only natural to want to standout in a crowd. Perhaps this is also just a side effect of the modern, human condition. Bowerbirds often decorate their nests with vibrant pieces of plastic and miscellaneous garbage to attract a mate. Gaudy aftermarket car enthusiasts may be simply fulfilling a latent, primal urge by unwittingly gluing hunks of neon acrylic to their vehicles. We may never know.

Related: The 10 most expensive cars in the world make Teslas look like Toyotas

Artist Max Siedentopf may have best mocked this idea by infamously “pimping” various stranger’s rides with cardboard bodykits, spoilers, and hood scoops as part of his Slapdash Supercars art installation in 2015. Regardless, tacky car modification doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, so we might as well enjoy it. Here are the nine worst automotive enhancements on the road today.

Scissor doors on regular cars

scissor doors, ford focus

Scissor doors first appeared on the Alfa Romeo Carabo, the influential concept car from the 1968 Paris Motor Show. Conversely, depicted above is a run of the mill Ford Focus. A hatchback at that. The first car of the Class of 2007 and economic choice of Sporty Soccer Moms alike. Needless to say, there’s absolutely no reason such a mundane car should ever incorporate unconventional doors.

While the ’68 Alfa Romeo Carabo incorporated several groundbreaking design concepts, the Ford Focus ingenuity plateaus with its conveniently placed cup holders. Why spend roughly $1,000 to be able to exit your vehicle in a different manner, when you could instead put a down payment on something that isn’t a Ford Focus? The choice is yours.

Enormous spoilers

wood spoiler

The spoiler has a very specific purpose, unlike the people who add them to their Dodge Avengers and Ford Probes. Spoilers increase downforce and reduce lift at higher speeds to ensure better handling. There’s a time and a place for a spoiler — i.e. a test course or an actual racetrack.

We can guarantee your Mitsubishi Eclipse will have no trouble staying grounded at the breakneck speed of 55 or even 65 miles per hour. Regardless, thank you, spoiler nation, for making it that much easier to pick out the cretins among us.

Truck nuts

truck nuts

In the most rhetorical sense: Why? Truck nuts may represent both the peak of anthropomorphism as well as Western civilization as a whole.

Plain and simple, your car makes people uncomfortable. The last thing anyone needs to endure during a rush-hour standstill is being forced to just stare at a pair of truck nuts that swing like a metronome ticking away the passing minutes of our lives.

There isn’t any conclusive scientific evidence at the moment, but six out of seven Digital Trends staff writers agree that having a pair of trucks nuts on your vehicle makes you substantially more likely to be featured on To Catch a Predator. Let’s just hope when an advanced alien race one day walks amongst the nuclear rubble of this planet, a pair of fossilized truck nuts is all they find to gauge our civilization.

Light kits

light kits

This modification isn’t as popular as it once was. Unfortunately, it’s still a thing. For some reason, the fringe-lings of society still find it necessary to add an assortment of neon lights to the undercarriage of their vehicles. The propensity to be enthralled by blinking neon lights speaks for itself, paying money to have it added as part of your daily driving experience is another quandary in and of itself.

There’s absolutely no reason for your car to look like it dispenses prizes. If you have the misfortune of running into one of these people, demand an apology. It’s only right.

Rolling coal exhausts

truck exhaust

Despite record oil prices, the Rolling Coal movement really gained steam with the bottom rungs of society over the course of the last decade. If you’re unfamiliar, Rolling Coal enthusiasts use smokestacks or modified exhausts to billow plumes of smoke from their vehicles. This is often times done to to taunt environmentalists.

The Rolling Coalers will often emit their dense clouds of smoke — also known as “Prius Repellant” — to blind any electric or hybrid vehicles behind them. If there’s anything more American than apple pie, it’s the conspicuous act of literally burning money.

Faux air intakes and hood scoops

air intake

On high-performance vehicles, air intakes aid in the cooling process, increasing air flow and minimizing the risk of overheating. Not only do faux intakes serve no purpose, the design itself actually reduces the aerodynamics of the vehicle, further highlighting the intrinsic asininity of the situation. If you find yourself mindlessly gluing things like this to your vehicle, you may need begin an introspective dialogue with the man in the mirror rather than using Pep Boys for further retail therapy.

Unnecessarily raised vehicles

monster truck

Some people simply aren’t satisfied with driving a reasonably sized car or truck. No, for some, a vehicle capable of fitting within the confines of most parking garages, lots, and drive-thrus just won’t do. A super-sized personality demands a super-sized vehicle.

These human-like creatures will settle for nothing less than their own personal monster truck. What child didn’t once dream of driving Grave Digger, or El Toro Loco? Needless to say, some of us conquer our dreams and others watch from the sidelines.

Unnecessarily lowered vehicles

lowered truck, rims

While climbing in and out of a monster truck as part of your daily commute makes little to no pragmatic sense, there’s also no reason to have the body of your vehicle drifting mere inches above the pavement. Your means of transportation shouldn’t become a liability when entering an area with speed bumps or moderately uneven terrain. Although, who are we to judge the Los Bandoleros lifestyle?

Limo tints and window graphics

window tinting

Not only are limo tints illegal, they’re utterly useless. Why go out of your way to relay to law enforcement that you may or may not be up to illegal activity within the confines of your blacked-out Plymouth Neon? Similarly, graphic window tints that depict majestic wolves and solitary eagles — while not illegal — are still repugnant and bewildering. What message are you putting out there by adding a solitary wolf or cliff-side convocation of eagles to your rear window? The short answer? The wrong one.