When the Dodge Challenger got its rebirth back in 2008, many muscle car enthusiasts heralded the era as the 70′s era reborn. The roads were teeming with new Mustangs, new Camaros, and now the new Challengers, but did they stack up to their 70′s era grandpas?
With the automotive aftermarket scrambling to provide parts, muscle cars can easily look Gone in Sixty Seconds or just as easily, Tron. Companies like Retro USA make custom body kits and chrome to replicate the classic blue-collar working man cars of old, while T-Rex grilles pump up the bling factor. Appearance is not an issue, but what about the guts?
Yesteryear’s muscle cars were thirsty, pared-down machines with no bells or whistles. The new Challengers and Mustangs are anything but. With the decades of corporate shuffling, environmental concerns, and tech innovation, muscle cars today are more like powerful spaceships. They still drink heavily, but at around 27 mpg, the number is more a trade-off between economy and performance. We might get better mileage with a Civic, but a Mustang kicks like an American. Full of Mercedes chassis parts and other tech, these rides do not buck, they trot comfortably to every tune on your iPhone. More importantly, the price remains blue-collar, leaving more dough for, what else, aftermarket accessories.
Previously we covered the hows of choosing aftermarket automotive parts; unless you are a car enthusiast, chances are you will not be looking at the parts list closely. It may surprise you to know insurance companies advocate the use of aftermarket car parts quite heavily, sometimes to the detriment of the owners.
Depending on who you ask in the automotive market, some parts are as good as factory parts, some are worse, and some perform much better. A billet grille, or any other cosmetic part, would probably increase the value of a vehicle, but any other aftermarket part reduces the resale value immediately. If the vehicle is being fixed, insurance companies may insist on using aftermarket parts to cut their bottom line.
Depending on the state, regulations for insurance companies may ban aftermarket auto parts, allow them only if the owner is informed, or allow them with no restrictions. If the car is planned for resale, an owner can often insist on original parts–BMW for BMW, Mercedes for Mercedes. Many drivers will decide to opt for less hassle and avoid this decision entirely, but do not fret, aftermarket parts are often just as safe as factory. If the car has been in an accident, often the resale value will be lower no matter what is done to it.
If your car or truck is not murdered out then it better be iced out! It is true, if you are going to play the auto-customization game, you had best pick a camp. Are you with the flat black, no interior street racers or are you more of a laid back, blinged out kind of driver? Even if you do not fit either of the above categories, aftermarket auto emblems can add a bit of style to your ride without going all the way with new rims or a flashy body kit.
For the uninitiated, iced-out means the item in question is covered in either crystals or diamonds, or both. For the sake of the emblems we sell here at Unique Auto, they are generally crystals. In some cases Swarovski crystals.
We have model-specific iced out emblems for many popular models, including the BMW Seven series and the GMC Denali. We also have them for other GMC models. Those who do not own either car will likely find an iced out emblem that fits their needs in our general number and letter emblems.
Be careful when applying emblems, as removal of the old one and installation of new badges can be tricky. It is possible to damage paint while doing this type of work. Hire a professional if you do not feel comfortable.
Getting aftermarket auto parts for new model cars can be tough. If you bought the CRZ as soon as it came out, you are probably a pretty big Honda enthusiast. And why should you not be? Hondas are excellent cars and the CRZ evokes the fun loving soul of the old CRX that so many of us have owned and loved in our time. Still, if you have one of these cars, you are probably chomping at the bit for some tasteful parts and accents. Here at Unique Auto Depot, we have the CRZ billet grilles and other bits that you may have been looking for, and we are bound to have more products added to our stock.
We have high quality CRZ billet grille kits by T-Rex and SES that will fit your car perfectly, and will not require drilling any holes into your new car’s fascia to install them. With a new car, you do not want to purchase cheap accessories that will make it look old before its time. Buy the best and make sure your ride is as cool and fresh as possible.
Check back with Unique Auto Depot regularly to see our parts availability. We are constantly updating our stock as our suppliers introduce new items.
Its been happening for a while, since the days of the 90′s Dodge trucks with the giant grilles, we are stuck in the middle of the auto grille wars. If you do not believe me all you have to do is look around. In the late 80′s and 90′s grilles were very out of fashion in automotive design. The sleek, wedge-like shapes of Japanese auto companies reduced grille space and size with sharp angles and low slung front ends. For auto owners that love the look of a big, flashy grille there are plenty of vehicles that now fit the bill. Chrysler and Dodge practically sustain themselves on large, aggressive front facades that no European or Japanese company would ever dare duplicate.
Because of all this, the billet grille market is as strong as ever. There are more billet grille manufacturers than ever and their products are of increasingly better and better quality. Remember just ten years ago when many car owners had to content themselves with simply buying a wire mesh and zip tie billet “grille kit”? Those were the dark ages my friend. Now you can get a nice, shiny, well fitted grille for just about any contemporary make. If that is not a reason to buy American then I don’t know what is!
A lot of truck owners may not realize it, but taking care of their ride doesn’t end at maintaining the mechanicals and keeping it clean. Taking care of the actual truck bed its self is equally important.
There are several reasons for this, but the main ones are to enhance the resale value of your truck and also prevent rust and damage. Every time a heavy or oddly shaped load scratches, punctures or abrades your truck bed, you risk damaging rust patches. With enough scratches and damage, even a truck that looks great on the outside will start to take on serious damage from within. This can cause serious structural problems over time, even if it doesn’t the simple ugliness of a battered bed will turn off some buyers.
A putco truck bed liner is a great way to avert this sort of damage and spare your truck the value depreciating damage that rough use can cause. Putco truck bed liners are a very popular truck bed accessory and offer many stylish features. Including:
- Deburred for no sharp edges.
- Full front protection fits over top of the bed.
- Installs with 3M adhesive tape.
- Long lasting material designed to withstand the rigors of the elements.
- NeveRust Stainless Steel.
Purchasing an aftermarket body kit is a big decision. Especially if you’re a tuner that enjoys reveling in the details of your car’s performance and appearance. The cost of purchasing, painting and installing a body kit will usually run into four figures, even if you purchase a cheap one.
The thing about aftermarket body kits and spoilers, is that there really is no way to fake it. If you buy a cheap urethane kit, it will need a lot of cutting, shaping, fibergalssing and fiddling to make it work and fit right. That is just not something everyone has the time for, and many body-men will turn away a project that they know is going to be a big waste of time. Or else they’ll be happy to charge you the labor on your soon to be ugly car.
The remedy for this is to buy quality kits that fit properly. Xenon is one of the premier body kit manufacturers and has been providing kits for a variety of models for years. In fact many of the knockoffs out there are simply re-cast xenon products. An aftermarket Xenon body kit or spoiler promises that installation, painting and fitting will be as easy and painless as possible. It’ll never be a breeze to do body mods on cars, but with Xenon its as easy as ever.
Wow, writing about this stuff brings me back to the fiberglass days. Ten years ago a custom dipped dash bezel wasn’t something you could get from an online aftermarket car parts retailer. You had to do it yourself.
First thing I did when I made a speakerbox for my teenage accord was get a bucket of fiberglass and practice shaping it up. Using hardener and gel coat to try and get things looking the way they did in the magazines. My old Honda never quite looked like the pages of Honda Tuning, but I did learn a lot. One of the things I learned (other than that you have to pay to play) was to let the professionals handle the toughest jobs.
Here at Unique Auto we do custom coating in a hydro-graphic method. No tedious fiberglass work here. A variety of finishes are available, and the price starts at $1.00 per square inch. Not bad for a real custom coat.
Our custom coating process is better than painting or fiberglass in other ways as well. You get 100% part coverage and a strong UV protection that will prevent deterioration from the sun and heat. There are no edges that can raise, and no applique that can possibly peel off.
Chromed out trucks are cool. A nice, big extended cab Chevy or Ford pickup is a beautiful thing in and of itself. So sleek yet so useful. Given that most trucks are meant to work, the stock trim kits can leave a little to be desired. In some cases, a lot. Even if you do opt for the factory trim pieces they may not add the flair you want, or else could be marked up far too high. It can be more economical to buy your chrome trim pieces aftermarket, and save money in the process.
-Chrome Door Handles: Door handles are prone to getting scratched and breaking. Covering them up with chrome inserts will keep your handles shiny and clean.
-Fender Trim: Adds a beautiful arch of mirror-finish chrome to the wheel wells of any truck. Not only will this cut down of wheel well rock chips, but its guaranteed to look great.
-Chrome Billet Grilles: Grills can radically change the attitude of a truck. Ditch that cracked plastic insert and give your truck a proper face-lift.
-Chrome Exhaust: Chrome exhaust tip extensions not only look great but they can add a nice sound to your exhaust. Liven up the note of that fourbanger with an affordable exhaust tip.
-Mirror Covers: Chrome is always easier to clean than paint or abs plastic, and mirrors are no exception.
Aftermarket car parts are a big business and there are countless aftermarket parts providers out there. So many that it can be difficult to sort through the junk and the good stuff. There are a lot of fly by night operations in the aftermarket auto parts world. You can easily buy Altezza taillights that discolor and fill with water. If you’ve ever seen what a sub $500 urethane body kit looks like, then you probably wouldn’t order one.
Low quality aftermarket parts are made in China, or in other un qualified factories. When a quality aftermarket part is made, a sample vehicle is used to get the part just right, making sure it will bolt on to the vehicle with a minimum of fuss. Low quality parts may require modification; fiberglass parts or polyurethane bits may need to be trimmed, shaved , cut and bent. Metal parts may need to be drilled and tapped. All of this will require trips to your increasingly frustrated mechanic just to install an inferior part.
The next time you order aftermarket parts, do yourself a favor and just get a nice piece from a brand people trust. It may cost more up front, but the extra 20% is worth it if ease of installation and good customer service are going to be a factor.