Go for a bit of you

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car Accessories -

MANY driv­ers view their car as sim­ply a means of get­ting from point A to point B. But there are just as many, if not more, who re­gard their car as a state­ment of who they are or where they are in life.

For them it’s a means of dis­tin­guish­ing them­selves from the reg­u­lar ruck of ev­ery­day life.

It’s a way for them to stand out from the crowd.

Trou­ble is, apart from paint colour and trim, cars are vir­tu­ally all the same as they leave the pro­duc­tion line.

One looks just like the next one, and no dif­fer­ent from the next thou­sand or more that will fol­low it down the line.

Car­mak­ers might give us a small num­ber of op­tions to choose from, but they pre­fer to build all their cars the same to re­duce the com­plex­ity on their pro­duc­tion lines and max­imise their profit.

Henry Ford put it best when he de­creed that buy­ers of his Model T Ford could have any colour . . . as long as it was black.

Prob­lem is, that doesn’t give proud and pas­sion­ate own­ers the chance to im­press their work col­leagues, neigh­bours, friends or rel­a­tives. But all is not lost.

Thank­fully, many ac­ces­sories are avail­able in stores and spe­cial­ist out­lets around the coun­try that can be used to in­di­vid­u­alise our cars and achieve the look or im­age we de­sire.

One owner might want their car to hug the ground and look cool, an­other might want greater ground clear­ance be­cause they live on a rough, un­made road.

Car­mak­ers have no op­tion but to com­pro­mise be­tween the two, and set the sus­pen­sion some­where in be­tween the con­flict­ing needs, but there is no need to make such a com­pro­mise in the af­ter­mar­ket, where sus­pen­sion spe­cial­ists can re­place the fac­tory springs and shock ab­sorbers to get the ride height that looks cool.

Wheels are an easy way to make a car stand out. They’re one of the main ways car­mak­ers dis­tin­guish one model from an­other.

A base model usu­ally has a sim­pler wheel, per­haps of a smaller size, or even a steel one, whereas a lux­ury or sports model might have a larger-di­am­e­ter al­loy wheel with a sportier de­sign.

Swap the stan­dard steel wheel and your base model takes on a new look that sets it apart from all the other poverty-pack mod­els on the road.

Fur­ther up the au­to­mo­tive food chain a sports model can be trans­formed by swap­ping the al­loy wheel it came with from the fac­tory for a set of larger di­am­e­ter al­loys with su­per-low profile tyres that give it an even more exclusive look.

A large-bore chrome ex­haust tip is a neat way to give your car a per­for­mance look with­out cost­ing a small for­tune.

Inside, it’s pos­si­ble to fur­ther in­di­vid­u­alise your car with seat cov­ers, floor mats, steer­ing wheels, sound or sat­nav sys­tems, and a host of neat high­light pan­els with fin­ishes such as al­loy, car­bon-fi­bre for a sporty ef­fect or wood­grain for a more pres­ti­gious look.

The op­tions are end­less. With a lit­tle imag­i­na­tion, and some ex­pert help from a spe­cial­ist re­tailer you can make your car a one-off, one that will set you apart from the crowd.

Be your­self: larger-di­am­e­ter al­loy wheels or a large-bore chrome ex­haust tip help make your car stand out from the crowd.

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