In 2007, a Gallup survey found that American workers spend an average of 46 minutes commuting to and from work each day. With roughly 260 work days in a year, that amounts to just fewer than 200 hours per year. Outside of home and work, there isn’t a place in which you spend more time, so it’s important to personalize your car to fit your comfort and style preferences. Depending on your personality, the accessories can range from super cliché to downright bizarre, such as the few listed below. With all the money people invest in their vehicles, no wonder insurance is so essential.
- Scented Tires: After miles upon miles of pounding the pavement and coming into contact with things such as bloated animal carcasses, your tires tend to accumulate a not-so-pleasant smell — one that you’d never notice unless you got on all fours and put your nose against the rubber. To most people, this is a non issue. To others who never skip the details, it’s something that must be addressed. In 2008, Kumho Tires, a company based in South Korea, released a lavender-scented tire called the Ecsta DX Aroma. Priced at $81, it blended synthetic oils into the rubber compound, maximizing viscoelasticity. Perfect for your Challenger or Camaro SS.
- Scrolling Text Messenger System: Today’s generation of Facebookers and Twitter users has become accustomed to sharing their random thoughts and opinions with their friends and acquaintances. The obvious next step is to broadcast those comments to strangers on the roadways with a bright red scrolling text messenger system. Do you absolutely love your life right now? Let your fellow traffic dwellers know about it. Is today’s crop of drivers particularly awful? Let them know about it. In a hurry? Tell them to get the heck out of your way. The reactions you’ll receive will be priceless.
- Whistle Tip Exhausts: Since The Fast and the Furious was released a decade ago, annoying and poorly conceived accessories have become the norm, most notably those “rice rocket” exhaust systems that buzz loudly every time the driver punches the accelerator. But those aren’t half as bad as whistle tip exhausts, which generate a high-pitched whistling noise that can be heard a mile away. Their popularity in California several years ago caused numerous complaints, prompting lawmakers to outlaw the pipes.
- French Fry Holder: Sixteen years ago, no state had an obesity rate higher than 20%. Today, all but one state have surpassed that benchmark — Colorado, is teetering on the edge at 19.8%. It’s safe to say that items such as the car French fry holder, akin to the cup holder, haven’t helped. The inconvenience of driving no longer has to limit your gluttony, and you can eat at a much more efficient rate. Gone are the days of using your cup holder or legs to hold them in check, which, in all honesty, is good for road safety. We’ll never stop people from eating while driving.
- Car Microwave: We’ll never stop people from eating while driving — so why not produce a microwave that’s designed to work in your car? Just plug it into your cigarette lighter and heat up those Pop Tarts, corndogs or TV dinners, and have a bite as you maneuver through traffic at 70 mph on the busy freeway. Waiting in a drive thru is time consuming and boring anyway.
- Airscarf: Mercedes enthusiasts are typically early adopters of new automobile innovations. Some may have enjoyed the airscarf, essentially an air conditioner vent positioned in the headrest so that convertible drivers can warm or cool their heads while driving. Of course, if you’re driving a convertible and the cool or warm weather is bothering you, you could always just close the top. It seems like a simple enough solution.
- Fake Fender Vents: Real fender vents are used by high performance cars to cool off the engine. Fake ones are used by tacky car designers and owners to make their ordinary cars appear sleek and stylish, a misjudgment on their part. Newer cars are built with front wheels that have been pushed forward for aesthetic and interior space purposes, leaving blank space between the wheels and doors, which many are attempted to adorn. Even reputable luxury car companies such as Mercedes have jumped on the trend. Not encouraging.
- Fake Bullet Holes: Plastering fake bullet holes all over your hoopty is pretty gangsta, and may even prevent you from encountering more road rage incidents — who wants to mess with someone who’s already apparently survived multiple gun fights? But, if you’re driving a car that you actually care about, one that you might even drive to work, then why would you sacrifice its appearance for a few laughs (which are, by the way, at you)? The other extreme is those personalized decals that represent each member of your family that are on every other minivan or SUV.
- Carstache: What’s next? The car mullet? If you’ve ever thought that your car was a tad feminine, and it didn’t represent your hardcore driving characteristics, then showcase its manly side by growing (attaching) a car mustache — or Carstache. According to the company’s website, “It just feels good. It feels powerful. Your car has been naked until now” and “With a Carstache you’re guaranteed free beer, hot dogs and high fives.” Sadly, truck nuts aren’t included.
- Carlashes: Or you can gussy up your car with car eyelashes, otherwise known as Carlashes, in order to showcase its feminine side. These totally un-cheesy accessories are great for women who tote around dressed-up little Yorkies and work as VIP cocktail waitresses — as opposed to the mustaches, which are great for guys who fancy themselves as Tom Selleck-like sex symbols.
By Matthew Wright, About.com Guide July 15, 2011