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April 19 Weekly Open Thread

C'mon back here to the back of the Car Lust garage, wipe the motor oil off your hands, grab one of the lawn chairs, and sit a spell.  We can talk about whatever you want.

A while back, I did a posting here about my daily driver, a 2008 Volkswagen GTI, and I commented (emphasis added):

The one major flaw I see in the styling is the blackout treatment of the bumper between the headlights, which combines with the black honeycomb grille to give it an Audiesque schnozz that really doesn't go with the rest of the car.

You can click here for a photo of how it looked.

This past winter, the GTI suffered some damage to one of the fenders (not my fault) and needed to go in for repair and repainting. The repair required that the front clip be partially dismantled, and since everything was already getting taken apart and they were loading the spray gun with United Gray no matter what, I prevailed upon my friendly home-town body shop to paint the center of the bumper body color. You can see the results at right. I think it greatly improved the look of the car. The Audi-wanabee big black splotch effect is gone; the front end is nice and horizontal now, like a proper VW Rabbit.

That suggests a discussion topic: if you could change one styling element on your current ride, what would it be?

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

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I think it looks *much* better this way - as you say, like a proper GTI.

I received my polish and machine polish pads in the mail last week - I'm nervous, but I think I might try them out this weekend. The less nerve-wracking acquisition was the official Bentley service manual for my car. It was expensive, but it completely blows away the Haynes manual. I learned more about how my car works in 10 minutes flipping pages than in hours of scrutinizing the Haynes manual.

The paint work does make a huge difference! The other day I was looking at a black 2008 GTI, which doesn't suffer from the contrasting nose. What struck me about it was the honeycomb plastic around the fog lights. I just don't understand how it wound up on a car. The JC Whitney Rolls Royce hood and grill combo for Beetles was more convincing. Perhaps you could address the fake grills next, but painting the nose was a big step in the right direction. There was a time when German cars had authenticity on their side, but I guess it was already over when VW slapped a Beetle shaped body on a Golf chassis.

Big big improvement. Nice work Cookie. This change makes all the difference.

I confess that I have recently developed a car-crush on the new WRX. At first I didn't like the hatchback nature of it, but I saw one across the street this morning and decided I could really dig one. Doesn't look nearly as Boy Racer as the old sedan.

I'm sure it will pass though.

Styling element, eh? I'm not sure if this counts, but I really wouldn't mind losing the dents and fading paint on my car.

I have a 2001 Park Ave. with just over 62,000 miles on the clock. Along the entire rocker panel is a composite strip, which may have been intended as a stone shield. It seems to be collecting extra moisture, and some rust is beginning to show behind it, pushing the strip outward. It seems as though the designers could have found a better way to avoid corrosion.

I'm in the midst of removing the remains of "Sport Truck" decals from my 1988 Jeep Comanche: die grinder, rubber wheel and lots of time...

Looks much better.
Today on the way to work, I saw a Jetta with a chrome area where your car was black..it looked like a silver buck tooth.

Most of the body mods that I like for my 91Si are pretty much a function of performance changes. So it's very slightly lowered - only about .5 - .75 inches. Teamed with fat tires on +1 rims that's enough to make it's stance a bit more aggressive while keeping the look stock.

I hate chrome and this car was from a time when chrome was completely out of fashion. But just the same there were a few small pieces of chrome. I've removed all but two. The honda badge front and rear are the only bits of chrome shine on the car. The wheels are black, and all other trim and remaining badging is black. The effect is very nice.

The overall design of the car is so clean and well proportioned that I can't imagine changing anything else - either by addition or subtraction. I looked at JDM body parts and considered some of them. The change would have been ok for some, and on a second or different car would have been fine. But putting them on my car would have been like giving my kid unnecessary plastic surgery - just wrong.

I bought a car once that had already received some external body mods. That was ok - since the car was no longer stock I felt more liberated to try different things. Mostly though my tendency is to remove things. Stickers. Badges. Logos. Pull them off. The car looks cleaner without these unneeded bits of bling.

Very nice! I like it.

Sure wish I had the option of smaller chrome bumpers for my Datsun, but they're not available. I may fabricate something else more "slimming" and have it painted to match the body.

Hmmm...I remember when I repainted my 86 535i, I had them paint the side mirrors the same color, like on the 535is and M5. It did look better than the flat black. OTOH, I replaced the orange front corner lights on my 300E with clear. Only now, 2 years later, am I ready to admit that it was a mistake, and the orange corners looked better.

I noticed this over at Jalopnik - a husband complained about his wife on a car forum, and the hacked into his account and divorced him with a forum post.

After reading things through, I have to say I side with her.
http://jalopnik.com/5521921/wife-hacks-husbands-car-forum-account-divorces-him-with-it

On my 92 16v GTI... I would have the American side markers shaved and put Euro ones on it.
Otherwise, the styling could not be better.

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