Image by exfordy via Flickr
The people who make Max Power would probably encourage you to believe that car modifications took off in the 1990s, people have been customising their motors at least since Monsieur Renault decided he could improve on De Dion’s handiwork back in 1898.
Back in the 70s and 80s, bad boys around town wouldn’t be seen dead without a set of Cibiés. Other popular retro modifications included removing the bumpers, ‘shaving’ and ‘frenching’ (removing or recessing respectively anything that sticks out), adding racing stripes and decals (perhaps even Martini or Gulf) and, if performance was your thing, sticking something like a Rover V8 into a Mk1 Escort, or a Porsche engine into a Beetle was a relatively painless exercise, although still not to be undertaken lightly.
Image by rutthenut via Flickr
But for people with only a passing interest in cars, two modifications from the age of the white dog poo tend to stick in the mind more than all of these, the Dixie Horn – soundtrack to my childhood – and the extra wide wheels, which became known as Carlos Fandango wheels, after a ludicrously exaggerated version of this mod was featured in this cigar ad:
I wonder, with the eighties revival in full swing, how many people will be doing these mods (at least the ones that haven’t been banned by Brussels) to their cars again? One thing is for sure, as long as there are modified cars, people will need modified car insurance.