Monday, 23 June 2008

"Art In Motion"

Car modding, car customization. modified cars, noisy cars, "ah-beng", rice boy.. call it what you may, but the truth of the matter is the aftermarket car accessories/parts market is a multi-billion dollar industry. The automotive aftermarket industry is fueled by the fact that ALL factory production-line vehicles built can be improved upon and tailored to suit each individual human being. No two humans are alike... each individual has their own characteristics, their own personality, personal preferences, likes and dislikes, etc etc. Profit drives vehicle manufacturers, and it would be totally non profitable for manufacturers to custom make each individual car/vehicle to suit each individual driver (of course you could always order a custom made Ferrari, Lambo, etc etc to suit your personal taste and driving style, but we are talking about the other 95% of the population who can't afford it.).

Do you wear the exact same shirt and pants as your co-worker or boss? Unless you live in communist North Korea or work in a job that requires uniformity, the answer would be a resounding NO. You dread it everytime you notice someone wearing the same item of clothing as you are.. don't you? Your co-workers, boss, and you would be wearing shirts and pants but they'd all be in different colours with different designs, different materials, etc. Simply because you each have your own preference, and don't wanna look exactly like the dude or dudette sitting next to you. That same theory is what drives giant corporations to create products and services to cater for your vehicle, offering vehicle owners the CHOICE to make their vehicles more suited to their personal driving style, taste and preference. There are styling & performance parts for almost every car make and model in the market.(yes, real car driver's have their Porsches, Ferraris and Merc S600's modified as well).
From subtle hints to outlandish custom creations are a reflection of the vehicle's owner. From a little bumper sticker, one fluffy dice hanging on the rear view mirror, choice of vehicle colour, to crazy vehicle body/engine modifications, all reflect our individualism.

Vehicle customization/modding isn't just about personal taste preference and styling, but largely about safety as well... anything off a production line can be improved upon.. installation of proper lowered sports suspension provides better and safer handling and stopping distance for example. there are many more upgrades that a vehicle owner can do to improve his/her ride.

"The aftermarket parts segment isn’t limited by the crush of production deadlines or the need to be practical, which are constant issues for manufacturers today. A chassis engineer at a major automaker may be able to spend only a couple weeks on a new suspension design, while an aftermarket suspension specialist can spend a year testing different spring rates and wheel and tire combinations in order to get the maximum cornering grip possible for the car."

Having said all of the above... lets us not judge how a person chooses to customize his ride, for it is his personal preference. Instead, do as i do.. although i may dislike their choice of accessories and colours, i still respect them for their passion in indulging in the art of car customization. The only ones that deserve our sneers and looks of disgust are the irresponsible drivers that disregard their own safety and the safety of others.

My personal views on car customization/modding? To me, its an art, an extension of the owner's personality and character, a form of expression... "Art In Motion".

Happy Driving!

Some pictures of variations in car owner's personal preference.

Local Flavours - The Humble Proton gone extreme

A popular vehicle modding sub-culture in Japan.

An all chrome BMW

HAMMAN modded Ferrari F430 [Pic courtesy of Motor Authority]

Tak erti kaum cina, melayu atau india, hanya erti Kaum Kereta

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