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True Stories Of Car Modifications Gone Horribly Wrong

Vukasin HerbezJune 21, 2022

The world of car modifications is a wide-reaching and lucrative one, but it can be crazy. On one hand, drivers implement fantastic creations, expensive body kits, shiny new rims, and engine modifications that enhance the original design and improve performance. On the other hand, we have failed attempts, mismatched components, ugly details, and outdated parts. The fine line that separates successful modifications from complete failures is very thin.

But once it is crossed, there is no turning back. Dedicated drivers remember the shiny and amazing creations on display at the SEMA show, the pinnacle of car modifications culture. However, for each magnificent car that shines bright at the show, there are countless others that are simply abominations of the auto world. So today, we covered those failed cars (and their owners) with 50 car modifications that have gone horrifically wrong. Have a laugh.

Photo Credit: Reddit

50. Body Snatchers

In order to modify one car, amateur car builders often decide to install some body parts from another model. It rarely works in real life since two vehicles do not have the same design. However, this car owner went a step too far and decided to mix two completely different cars to create a monster with front and rear parts of a Tahoe/Suburban and middle parts of a mid-2000s Civic sedan (via TV Bee). The finished product is functional, but terrible to see in person and probably very frightening to drive.

Photo Credit: Reddit

49. Multipla

The Fiat Multipla is widely considered to be one of the worst-looking cars ever made. It is pretty surprising how Italians, often regarded as masters of automotive styling in the past, could make such an ugly car. The Multipla is very practical and spacious but painful to watch. So it is only logical that any modification will not improve the looks but make it even worse. Here is the undeniable proof of that theory with this downright hideous automobile (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Reddit

48. House On Wheels

The concept of the house on wheels is quite popular, and people are buying large RVs so they can travel and still have much of the comfort of their homes. However, what about a driver who decided to actually build a moving house using a truck bed as a basis? It sounds crazy, but it is true. Here is the actual tiny house made out of bricks but still somewhat mobile (via TV Bee). We’re afraid that this poor pickup is useless now since the weight of the bricks makes it not roadworthy from a driving standpoint.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

47. Donk

If you don’t know what a Donk is in the automotive world, you may have been living under a rock for the past 10 or more years. It is an automotive customization style marked by the use of enormous wheels and often crazy paint jobs. This car obviously applies, but the teal paint job makes it a ridiculous example (via TV Bee). The body is mostly unchanged, but oversized wheels make it look comical and significantly reduce the usability in everyday conditions.

Photo Credit: Reddit

46. Mobile Basketball Court

You may have noticed those Japanese custom cars with exhaust pipes sticking from the back end. However, this shall we say ‘clever’ Florida car owner managed to make fun of such customization style, turning his Honda into a mobile basketball court (via TV Bee). This modification isn’t very practical for everyday driving, but it is excellent if you want to practice your basketball shot anytime while on the go.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

45. Extreme Off-Roading

The off-roading community is very strong, and if you want to get involved with it to any degree of success, drivers simply must modify their SUV and/or truck to do so. Whole industries support off-road driving, but sometimes enthusiastic owners take it too far by installing practically every item from the catalog. When this happens, the vehicle looks ridiculous and is actually not that usable on the off-road trail (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Reddit

44. Creepy Hand Stick Shift

Interior modifications can still rank as some of the strangest ever seen in the car world. Changing the touch points in your interior, like the steering wheel or shift lever, will change the driving feel of the vehicle overall. That was seemingly the exact point of the driver who swapped his shift lever for a plastic hand that looks like a prop from a horror movie. Just imagine “shaking hands” with this abomination every time you want to shift gears (via TV Bee). On second thought, maybe don’t.

Photo Credit: Reddit

43. Coca-Cola Tires?

Sometimes car modifications are so absurd that they simply just don’t make much – or any- sense at all. Take for instance this car owner who replaced his tire with numerous plastic Coca-Cola bottles (via TV Bee). They must have thought the bottles were soft so could therefore cushion the weight of the car. But even though if you could (maybe) drive on them, just imagine what would happen if you wanted to brake hard at all. Please, don’t try this home and stick to your normal tires for actual city or rural driving.

Photo Credit: Reddit

42. Tractor Wheels

Tractors are immensely usable on the farm due to, among other things, their huge wheels and aggressive tires that are designed to have a grip on the field. But what is going to happen when you put giant tractor wheels on a small, economy car like a Volkswagen Golf (via TV Bee)? Will it have the same traction, or will it look ridiculous? The answer is looked incredibly stupid as the car was unusable, and this ruined the car’s suspension.

Photo Credit: Flickr

41. Two-Face

This one is a bit divisive in the car world. Depending on who you ask, one of the coolest or the stupidest mods is combining two front ends into one vehicle. It’s like the car is looking at itself in the mirror (via TV Bee). It is relatively easy from a mechanical standpoint, but it raises a whole lot of questions. Do you have two engines, which end is the front and which is the rear, where is the steering wheel, and so on? Just imagine the surprise of the employees at the DMV when you go to get your registration – or people are driving behind you on the highway, for that matter.

Photo Credit: Reddit

40. Repurposing Ordinary Items

We’ve all been in a situation where it’s a real bummer when you can’t find the right parts for your car. This is especially true if it’s something crucial like a headlight or taillight. Well, these “clever owners” decided to repurpose everyday items like empty bottles and make headlight covers out of them (via TV Bee). It was not pretty, but it is functional, and they must have been thinking that that was all that mattered.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

39. Too Many Stickers

It doesn’t actually do anything, of course, but still, some car modifiers like to put all kinds of stickers on their cars. Some are witty, clever, or cool, but most are too much and simply ruin the vehicle’s appearance (via TV Bee). Yes, we’re aware that there is a “sticker bomb” movement in some cities, but it is getting a bit old. Take this awful example for instance, and keep the plethora of stickers off of your automobile.

Photo Credit: Reddit

38. Hacking Your Taillights

Most modern cars have LED tail lights which are controlled by a small computer. Not only are LEDs brighter, but they can be programmed to show different shapes and patterns and can be modified (via TV Bee). That last part is very interesting to some owners who invest time and effort in creating a cool mod for their ride. However, we’re not sure if this trend, hack, or whatever it is, is truly worth it. You can judge for yourself.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

37. PT Cruiser Stretch Limo

This is a recipe for disaster. The result is horrifying and ridiculous whenever somebody wants to stretch a regular car. The reason is simple. Just because you can take your daily driver like this PT Cruiser and turn it into a stretch limo doesn’t mean you should (via TV Bee). Besides it looking extremely strange, the structural rigidity of the extended body will be compromised. So despite all the time and effort, the car will never ride well or be dependable even though it costs way too much to turn a PT Cruiser into a limousine.

Photo Credit: Reddit

36. Get Rid Of This Vin Diesel Sticker

We have to admit this mod is kind of funny. Remember the iconic “Fast and The Furious” scene when Vin Diesel is getting ready to race and gives the opponent that tough look? Well, this vehicle owner recreated it with a very clever – and big – sticker on their side window. Just imagine how many people you could surprise every day with this cheap but effective mod. Hopefully, the car is still safe to drive, however.

Photo Credit: Reddit

35. Excessive Chrome Detailing

Chrome trim is always considered an upscale feature on cars. Back in the 1960s and ’70s, the more chrome you had, the better the car looked. Even today, subtle chrome details are part of the well-designed automobile. However, for some people, subtle will not work. Those people will put every available shiny detail on their car, creating a rolling joke and even a possible traffic hazard due to the sun reflecting from its surface (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Reddit

34. Airbag Stones

It is of the utmost importance that you do not mess with your steering wheel. Why? Because if you change anything on it, the airbag may not deploy in case of an accident and could leave you unprotected. Some people don’t know that, so when we saw the “airbag stones,” we were shocked. Just imagine what would happen if the airbag deployed, shooting those stones in the driver’s face (via TV Bee). It might look cute, but it’s extremely dangerous and very clearly should not be attempted.

Photo Credit: Reddit

33. Chandelier Headlights On A Cadillac

Classic Cadillacs are considered one of the coolest-looking classic American cars. Their dominant stance, chrome details, fins, and elegant bodies all lend to their classic appearance and driving feel. But one Caddy owner decided to go a step further and emphasize its classic style with pair of chandeliers mounted on the fenders (via TV Bee). It looks strangely appropriate for some odd reason, but we bet driving is very problematic.

Photo Credit: Flickr

32. Massive Seating Upgrade

We all know that a comfortable interior is very important if you use your car daily. Nobody wants to spend hours in traffic sitting in uncomfortable seats. So this crafty owner decided to up his seating game with a full-size couch instead of standard chairs in his truck (via TV Bee). We bet it is much more comfortable, but we’re not sure where the driver plugs in his seatbelt.

Photo Credit: Reddit

31. Brick Road

Remember the old 1980s Volvos affectionately called Swedish Bricks? Well, one owner decided to pay homage to that with bodywork that resembles a brick road (via TV Bee). We are unsure if it is real bricks or just cleverly designed vinyl wrap, but the idea is excellent nonetheless. We would be eager to see what the local DMV thinks about this odd but unique mod.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

30. Teddy Bear Wheels

Wheels are probably the first mod the majority of drivers add when they get into car customization. However, as we saw with the Donk cars, they can also ruin the appearance if not carefully chosen. Even then, the design of the wheels is crucial. Take these teddy bear hubcaps, for example (via TV Bee). If you put the set of teddy bears in your car, there’s a very high likelihood that no one will take you seriously. Just sayin’.

Photo Credit: Reddit

29. Cardboard Body Effects

Cardboard is suitable for many things; making boxes is probably the first to pop into your mind. However, this driver apparently believes that they could make a body kit for their vehicle out of it (via TV Bee). You can, but it is not going to work very well. Yes, it is easy to form and shape body extensions, splitters, spoilers, and rocker panels out of it, but once you go past 35 mph, all those things will fly off the car. And it looks ridiculous. So just don’t.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

28. Toy Cars

Remember the nasty homemade stretch limo we mentioned earlier? Well, there is an opposite mod called “toy cars.” This was when backyard mechanics shortened the wheelbase to absurd levels, making an actual car look like a toy (via TV Bee). Of course, during the process, the complete driving dynamics of the vehicle are ruined, and it becomes almost unsafe to drive. Yes, you may believe it’s kind of cute, but it’s ruined and frankly dangerous.

Photo Credit: Reddit

27. Creepy Car Face

Understandably, some people think of the design of their cars as “faces.” The headlights resemble the eyes, and the grille can resemble the mouth. But what happens when somebody decides to make that “face” angry or scary like this one (via TV Bee)? A failure is what happens. Here is a driver who wanted his Miata to look menacing and achieved the opposite result instead.

Photo Credit: Flickr

26. Lambo Doors

The Lambo doors craze erupted on the custom car scene in the early 2000s but (hopefully) is gone now. Interestingly, the vertical-opening doors were so played out that even real Lamborghinis didn’t have them. However, thousands of backyard mechanics installed poorly designed kits on ordinary cars, becoming the laughingstock of the car community (via TV Bee). Real car owners just don’t need these.

Photo Credit: Aliexpress

25. Chinese Turbos

One of the main ways of achieving big power on your car are the turbo kits available for most engines. However, the proper way of doing it requires money and knowledge. Or you can just get yourself a cheap kit from Aliexpress and ruin your engine in no time (via TV Bee). In the best-case scenario, your car will not run. In the worst-case scenario, you will have a massive engine bay fire. Overall, this is a scenario to simply avoid if you are looking to add some power and speed to your vehicle because there are just much better ways to do so.

Photo Credit: Reddit

24. Spinners

One of the most ridiculous car mods are spinner rims and/or hub caps. Fortunately, they were only in fashion for a few years and are mostly forgotten now. However, a few stubborn owners somehow decided to stick with them indefinitely and even install cheap, plastic spinner hub caps, which look much more terrible like this example here (via TV Bee). Take a queue from this driver’s mistake and avoid a similar one of your own.

Photo Credit: Reddit

23. Stick-On Vents

This may just be one of the most ridiculous things drivers can put on their cars. These stick-on vents don’t do anything. They just look like you need vents because your big engine is so huge that it needs to extract heat. Of course, novice car tuners like to put them everywhere, even on areas that don’t have anything to do with cooling, like doors or trunks, and this is a disaster, to say the least (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Piston Heads

22. Enormous Spoiler Mistake

A big rear spoiler like this will not make you drive any faster (via TV Bee). It will make you more stable when you go fast. But what is the purpose of the enormous wing on the back of your daily driver? None, besides most likely being laughed at daily. Some people think that mounting an airplane wing on the trunk will convince other motorists that their car is fast, but those who are in the know will immediately recognize a beginner who is trying too hard.

Photo Credit: Reddit

21. Insane Sound System

It is perfectly fine if you like to listen to loud music in your car. We all have our favorite driving songs and some of us love to “perform” while behind the wheel. But you might have a problem if you spend tens of thousands of dollars on an insane audio system and multiple speakers on and in your car. In this unique case, it appears that the sound system actually overtook most of the car (via TV Bee). Nobody thinks you’re cool if you wake up people in a different county or let loose bass vibrations that break the glass on nearby houses.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

20. Half-Track Nissan Altima

There’s no denying that half-tracks are immensely usable for work vehicles, giving them tank-like abilities off the road. But combining their running gear with a car or truck body like this Nissan Altima is never a good idea (via TV Bee). Not only does it look strange, but it is never as functional or dependable. Nevertheless, numerous owners did exactly that and created monsters that roam rural areas in the process.

Photo Credit: Reddit

19. Continental Kit For A Mustang

Back in the ’50s, Continental Kits were very popular. The extended rear bumper with exposed spare wheel housing complemented a car’s overall styling and added to the elegance of those land yachts. But fast-forward 70 years and the car industry has changed a lot. But that didn’t stop some people from attaching such details to their modern vehicles like this Ford Mustang and making a big mistake in the process (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Pinterest

18. Jet Limo

Engineers have tried to combine a car and a plane for decades. But despite numerous attempts, there was no significant progress until some owner decided to mount a set of wheels and chop off wings from a private jet, creating a Jet Limo (via TV Bee). Yes, this plane cannot fly, but it can go down the road. That is if you forget about visibility, practicality, turning circle, and problems at the DMV.

Photo Credit: Reddit

17. Fierro Ferrari

Remember the Pontiac Fierro? It was GM’s attempt to enter the low-priced sports car with the two-seat, rear-engine coupe. Although it was advanced for the times, the Fierro wasn’t precisely the sales success GM hoped it would be. However, it proved to be very popular with customizers who used its platform to put replica bodies of Ferraris or Lamborghinis (via TV Bee). Needless to say, every one of those creations looked ridiculous as this image attests.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

16. Bosozoku Cars

The Bosozoku car culture has deep roots in the Japanese car community. This style became known all over the world for its extreme modifications, enormous spoilers, wide arches, low stances, and exhaust pipes sticking out of the body. As you can expect, those cars are rarely fast or capable on the road, simply because they are over-modified. This vehicle is a perfect example of that (via TV Bee). But they can be fascinating to some and terrifying to see on the roadway.

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Photo Credit: Reddit

15. Coin Car

Want to increase the value of your vehicle? Simply cover it with thousands of coins like this driver did (via TV Bee). It doesn’t matter that you’ll increase the weight, make regular maintenance like washing very complicated, and ruin the paint job underneath while you create a problem with parking. Another problem is that people will constantly try to take a coin from your car when they need change.

Photo Credit: Flickr

14. Coffin Car

Irresponsible and high-speed driving will take you to the grave. It’s one of the common truths about cars in general. However, what happens if you make a coffin car with a functional engine, four wheels, and a high-performance engine like this (via TV Bee)? Will it take you there sooner and inspire you to drive even more dangerously? We don’t want to find out.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

13. Wedding Cars

It seems like there are two types of wedding cars in the world. Cool-looking, elegant sedans and outlandish, ridiculous, and extreme creations designed to stun bystanders and create a new definition of kitsch, like this one here (via TV Bee). There are no boundaries for that second category, so just take a look and let us know what you think.

Photo Credit: Reddit

12. Ridiculous Mural

Car painting is an art, and some skillful painters can make your car really stand out from the crowd. And some people want to have murals on their vehicles like this driver (via TV Bee). We get that the owner wants to represent something important to them, but often the whole thing just looks foolish. Like this pair of squirrels on a Russian Moskwitch car. What’s up with that?

Photo Credit: Reddit

11. Chopped-Off Convertibles

We hate to see when cars not conceived initially as convertible get their roofs chopped off and turned into drop tops. It might look like a good idea, but it never is. The reason is that convertibles are engineered like that, which means they have improved torsional rigidity, space for folding roofs, and so on. Backyard convertibles like this one are always messy affairs, terrible to drive, and effectively ruin a perfectly good coupe or sedan with the use of a grinder (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Amazon

10. Neon Underbody

Luckily, neon lighting is a mostly forgotten car mod, but during the 2000s with the success of ‘The Fast and The Furious’ franchise, everything was about putting colorful lights under your car (via TV Bee). And it’s not all about just the taste police. Besides being incredibly tacky, neon lighting is illegal because most states have laws that impose very strict rules. So it’s all about headlights in the front, red lights in the back, and nothing purple, green, or orange in between or under them.

Photo Credit: Amazon

9. Fast Food Tray

This is one of the most absurd accessories that has become popular in recent years. It’s an expandable small plastic tray that mounts to your cup holder space in the central console (via TV Bee). It creates a place where you can put your fast food meal. In theory, it sounds practical, but in real life, it’s a proper mess. First, they made this food tray out of poor-quality plastic, so it’s wobbly and not stable. Second, the fitting doesn’t always work since different car manufacturers have various sizes of cup holders. Third, it is impractical in real-life conditions. If you use it while driving, it will make a mess. Food could slide off when you take a turn or hit bumps or potholes.

Photo Credit: Reddit

8. ‘Poorsche’

Fake model decals are one of the most affordable and useless modifications you can put on a car. These decals do nothing for your vehicle’s looks or performance. One of the first unwritten rules of car hobbyists is to never present your car as something it isn’t. This driver decided to do the exact opposite with this aptly-named “Poorsche.” Although you can buy any badge or model decal straight from the manufacturer, you should only put what is appropriate on your car. For example, if you drive an economy spec four-cylinder BMW, you should never put an M3 badge. Also, if you have a V8 Mustang, please never put Shelby or Boss 302 badges on it.

Photo Credit: Aliexpress

7. Bullet Hole Stickers

Do you think real gangsters drive around in bullet-ridden cars? Of course not, but stickers imitating bullet holes still became popular for some reason (via TV Bee). In fact, people tend to put them on their fenders, doors, and trunk. Why would anybody want a car that looks like it has been in a war zone? They are not funny and not cool, so most people don’t buy them, and you should not either.

Photo Credit: Reddit

6. Fake Hood Pins

Hood pins are a welcome addition if you are building a race car and are obsessed with saving weight. However, if you have a regular street car, there’s no need for hood pins since the amount of weight you will save is insignificant. You will just look silly like this car owner. (via TV Bee). People will laugh at the sight of you opening your hood the old-fashioned way and then releasing the hood pins. Hood pins are double the work and have no benefit on the streets.

Photo Credit: Reddit

5. Fake Carbon Fiber

Truth be told, carbon fiber is the material of the future. It’s incredibly light, durable, expensive, and is the basis for constructing many high-end sports and race cars. There’s no doubt carbon fiber will have a positive effect on road cars. However, if you are a car enthusiast on a budget, you probably can’t afford those pricey carbon fiber hoods or roof panels. Some people use plastic wrap with carbon patterns to cover various parts of the car body to save money (via TV Bee). The effect is similar to putting fake badges on your economy car. Just one look from other drivers will reveal the true nature of the material, and you will lose all respect.

Photo Credit: Reddit

4. Stupid Bumper Stickers

For a long time, drivers thought bumper stickers were cool. They communicated the car owner’s hobbies as well as their political and religious views. They even proclaimed the driver’s favorite band or sports team. But that was before social networks where you could do that to a bigger audience. Today, self-righteous stickers are totally out of fashion and annoying but easy to remove (via TV Bee).

Photo Credit: Reddit

3. Rolling Coal

In these environmental-cautious times when people try to protect the environment and turn to hybrids or electric cars, some enthusiasts still take pride in polluting the environment. This is how the Rolling Coal movement was born. What is this exactly? Well, if you own a diesel truck, you will notice that it produces a small amount of black smoke. People who wanted to show their disrespect for nature modified their trucks to puff large amounts of black smoke by removing catalyzers or messing with the exhaust (via TV Bee). The result is a black smoke screen while revving and annoying the rest of the people at the stop lights and traffic jams.

Photo Credit: Flickr

2. A Roll Cage On Your Daily Driver

The roll cage is an extremely important and mandatory item in any real racing car. It is a structural reinforcement of the cabin, which protects the driver from crashes and keeps the body from collapsing in case of rollovers or collisions. However, it is pointless to have it installed in your everyday car like this (via TV Bee). Okay, we know you want to appear like a street racer and that your vehicle is fast, but installing a roll cage will just cripple your comfort and make everyday use much more difficult.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

1. Car Bra

Among useless modifications, car bras did work to protect your front end from damage caused by chips, road debris, and dust. Back in the day, when they invented this, the paint was much more sensitive. There weren’t chemicals like protection clear coat that could cover your paint and make it more durable. The main design feature of every car is its front end, so by using a car bra, you make it look ugly like this car (via TV Bee). It’s far better to invest in professional paint protection chemicals and procedures than stick an ugly piece of black plastic on your ride.

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