No one wants to drive a car or truck that looks and performs exactly like all the others. Most want a vehicle that is an expression of their own individual taste and distinguishes them from the crowd.
The roads and highways are full of cars and pickup trucks that feature factory options offered by the manufacturer that make each one unique. Most of these are valid additions that improve the performance or appearance of the vehicles in a way that makes them distinctive but not excessive. However, occasionally, a pickup truck appears with modifications made by an owner who believes the thousands of highly skilled designers, engineers, artists, aerodynamicists, and technicians were not enough to produce a quality vehicle. Or perhaps the owner just views the factory options as boring. So, a few owners make their own changes, some successful and others not so successful.
Here are twenty people that tried to mod their pickups but failed.
Perhaps what makes this Studebaker pickup mod look odd is the exclusive use of front doors, each with a sloping wing window. No doubt the vehicle is the combination of three Studebaker bodies. The squared-off cargo area doesn’t blend well with the smooth lines of the passenger area and engine hood, but the “moonie” hubcaps are cool.
A lifted pickup truck is usually equipped with oversized tires to give it an improved off-road approach and departure angle. The modification not only allows climbing over big rocks and other obstacles, but it gives the vehicle a “cool” look. Installing smaller tires (in this case 12 wheels that were probably removed from a utility trailer) defeats the purpose of lifting by reducing ground clearance. “Cool” is the last word one would use to describe this abomination.
The miss-matched paint on this pickup shows where the body mod is connected to the original. No need to paint the entire truck; the colors are almost the same. The fake hood scoop goes well with the homemade Rolls-Royce-looking front end, and the yellow flames help to distinguish this vehicle from any other modified pickup truck on the road.
There is nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool on a hot summer day. But when no swimming pool is available, the next best thing is the pickup truck hot tub. A large plastic sheet will easily convert the cargo-toting vehicle into a luxury spa with a capacity of at least four adults and perhaps two kids. Leaks may be an issue, but leaving the hose running solves the problem.
You can never have too many grills, or at least the owner of this pickup truck thought so. However, after two or three, they begin to block the air needed to cool the radiator and engine. The owner also felt it necessary to place a grill on the front air dam. Add the partially torn-away leather bra and this truck front end is well protected.
If a five-year-old were asked to design the perfect pickup truck toy, the result would most likely look like this one. It has completely mismatched colors and flames that don’t belong. It is not clear what purpose the hood attachments serve, but perhaps the worst is the misaligned step that wouldn’t help anyone climb into the toy-like vehicle.
E.A. Bucchianeri wrote, “Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation.”
Anyone driving behind a pickup truck with a mural painted on the tailgate will have the pleasure (or displeasure) of interpreting the artwork. Although subjective, some creations painted on the rear just don’t appeal to anyone, except the truck owner.
When the owner of a lifted pickup truck stands next to his vehicle and must raise his hand over his head to touch the front bumper, the lift has gotten out of hand. The tires on this exaggerated vehicle are probably excellent in dirt or mud, but on the street, the whining noise is enough to give the driver and passengers a headache.
Big exhaust tips have become a trend in recent years, installed on pickups to improve the sound or reduce back pressure and increase engine horsepower. Both reasons are subject to debate. The sound difference may not be noticeable, and the reduction in back press negligible. But the owner of this truck can brag: “My exhaust tips are as big as a mailbox,” and he would be right.
The dictionary defines renovate: “To return to a condition of newness, as by repairing or remodeling.” The owner of this failed pickup truck mod would do well to return it to its original configuration. The fake turbocharger hood scoop, corrugated rubber ground effects, and oversized side-view mirror add nothing to the performance, but the exhaust headers attached to the door are just plain hilarious.
The cow catcher ground effects on this pickup are too far off the pavement to improve the truck’s aerodynamics, and the shape makes it look a bit like a steam locomotive. Adding the fake HEMI hood scoop and the ridiculous spoiler mounted at the back of the cargo area make this pickup embarrassing for most people to be seen driving.
Who cares if no one else in the near vicinity wants to listen to Funky Rap Hip Hop music at a concert level volume from a passing pickup truck? At least the owner of this vehicle thinks it’s OK. Adding to that the tasteful artwork painted on the tailgate makes this a truck everyone would like to follow.
This bright yellow truck that has been lifted above legal limits is already easy to find in a crowded parking lot, but the yellow color makes it stand out even more. Although the owner did an excellent job painting and adding chrome to the suspension and undercarriage, the absence of fenders covering the tires is sure to attract police attention.
Although this grey and pink pickup is lifted, the low-profile tires cancel the effect. The 4X4 would have trouble clearing a standard street curb, and off-roading is out of the question. But perhaps the owner’s objective was simply to ride a bit higher than all the cars and never venture off a city street.
Wrapping a pickup to advertise a business can be a successful method of attracting customers. The color scheme and graphics, when tastefully done, can convince prospective clients that the company is professional and knowledgeable. However, when the graphics are an eyesore like this chain link fence adorned truck, it may be more effective in repulsing clients than drawing them in.
Although a mirror-reflecting chrome-wrapped truck may be convenient for straightening the tie or checking out how that new outfit looks, it may be annoying to other drivers. In broad daylight with the sun blazing, a chrome-wrapped truck could be a hazard on the highways. The reflection could blind the drivers of any and all cars in the near vicinity.
Replacing the original sturdy tailgate on a pickup truck with a cargo net to improve fuel economy makes no sense. Tests have shown that the net causes an increase in turbulence and drag. “Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all,” says Diane Bloch, GM aerodynamic performance engineer. “Imagine dragging a solid object and a fishing net through water. The net is going to require more muscle.”
It is evident from the absence of any other high-performance equipment on this stock Chevy pickup truck that the turbocharger hood adornment is a fake. Perhaps the addition of a lift kit with some oversized tires might convince some people that the engine can produce some impressive horsepower. Or maybe not!
Smokestack exhaust pipes give a pickup truck an aggressive and intimidating look, but do they improve performance? Supporters will argue they facilitate the exit of hot exhaust gases and lower its temperature, therefore improving performance. However, no definitive testing exists to verify the theory. The aesthetics are subjective, of course, but most would find huge smokestack exhausts excessive.
Big wheels can be an asset for off-roading, and they are an absolute requirement to compete in a monster truck competition. But on a street pickup truck, the oversized wheels and tires don’t provide any performance improvement and may not even convince any onlookers at the local mall that the investment was worthwhile.
Sources: uglytruckday.com, 4wheelonline.com, carthrottle.com, autowise.com