All beautiful cars are beautiful in the same way, but each ugly one is ugly in its own way. To illustrate this, we’ve put together a freak show of the strangest tuning on the planet!
How it all began
The car itself is not too old, and the history of auto-tuning is at least 50 years old.
There is no documentary evidence of the first tuned car. Most likely, he appeared in the United States in the late 50s. It was then that the well–being of Americans was so strengthened that cars became available not only to old bankers, but also to banker’s reckless sons.
Automakers immediately responded to this trend by creating “muscle cars” – very fast and not too expensive cars that did not mind breaking. Among the owners of such cars, drag racing, or quarter–mile racing, has become incredibly popular: cars were simply parked next to them on the road and with all their dope accelerated in a straight line.
When the possibilities of factory modifications were thoroughly studied, the owners of the “muscle cars” began to cheat: who removed the rear seats for relief, who bored the cylinders, and some even inserted a second motor. Gradually, the modification of cars for greater speed, and then beauty, acquired a truly planet–wide scale and reached in our time such exotic heights that you can observe in this article.
Let’s start our review with what at first glance looks like a “rusty trough” style. In fact, this is a ratlook, a “rat look“, which in some cases is achieved in a very expensive way and is a purely punk look at tuning. The first ratluck is considered by many to be a vintage car of Jim Jake Jacobs, a well–known owner of an auto restoration workshop in the United States.
In 1987, when the whole of America was crazy about hot rods (show cars, assembled from retro parts, chrome–plated and polished to a shine), Jim brought a roughly riveted Ford A to the exhibition, which he painted with a brush right on the stand. It was an adventure in the style of Tom Sawyer: the whole exhibition had a hand in painting, and the car immediately became a legend.
From that moment on, the era of ratrods began, which looked as if they had been rotting for a hundred years under the fence, while their insides made it possible to famously overtake all stunned participants in the movement *.
Over time, the Ratlook was transferred to simpler cars, and peculiar canons appeared. A classic Volkswagen Beetle is considered in a rusty case, with a pile of trash on the roof, headlights taped with tape and a belly scraping on the asphalt.
However, motorcycles and completely new expensive cars with artificially rusted surfaces can be a ratluck. The main thing is to induce cognitive dissonance in the viewer, simply shock.
The first person who came up with the idea to put a car on huge wheels was called Bob Chandler, and he did it in 1975. The purpose of this modification was, firstly, to finally conquer all the dirt in the area, and secondly, to advertise its store selling spare parts for SUVs.
As a result, a Chandler pickup truck, nicknamed Big Foot, founded an entire monster truck movement in America.
Now such cars are built according to certain rules (for example, the diameter of the wheels is exactly 1.7 m, there should be a “off all” button in case the monster loses control and rushes, absorbing children, women and minicars). They have become a specialty industry, like F1 racing cars, and are mostly used for special shows.
Perhaps this style is the closest to what people used to consider tuning in Russia. The main thing here is huge chrome wheels (24–26 inches, no less), under which you often have to bore arches, and the thinnest rubber that is literally “smeared” on the disc.
Initially, “bosozoku” in Japan was called gangs of hooligans on motorcycles, who mercilessly modified their mufflers to loudly notify citizens of their approach. They also loved the odd plastic body kits.
The gangs practically disappeared, but the business of monstrous modification of mufflers and body kits lives on, and organically migrated to cars.
As a rule, adherents of the bosozoku style take classic Japanese coupes (Celica, Skyline, Nissan Z), arrange a giant “shelf” for an external oil cooler (radiator removal is a feature of Japanese racing cars of the 70s), direct the muffler pipe into the sky under the most unexpected corners and complement all this with wheels of cosmic width.
Also, the minibus Toyota HiAce is tuned in the style of bosozoku, which becomes similar to the Gundama (Japanese cult transforming robots) of average fatness.