Make Grandma’s Hand-Me-Down Car Cool

Make Grandma’s Hand-Me-Down Car Cool

My new wheels

Photo of 1989 Acura Integra RS by Daniel Means via Flickr

It’s a common rite of passage that has been revived as a result of the economic recession — an excited teenager dreams of his first sweet new ride, only to be presented with Grandma’s 1989 Acura Integra. He can hardly complain because after all, it is a car. And it’s free. Anyone lacking the credit score or funds for a decent car can find him or herself cruising in a vehicle that would better fit in a nursing home parking lot. A dowdy car does not have to be a reputation death sentence — spice things up by adding OEM parts for Acura and trying out the inexpensive ideas detailed below:

Add Performance Tires

If your old car is acting tired and sluggish on the road, you may want to think about replacing the standard tires with a set that has a little more oomph. Performance tires add to the vehicle’s acceleration capability. It also enhances cornering abilities, allowing for better handling on sharp turns and curves in the road. The downside of performance tires is that they are quicker to wear out, so factor tire replacements every two years into your automotive budget. Expect to pay $100 to $200 per tire.

Lower The Car

Lowering a car can automatically increase its cool factor — but this move comes at great risk. If not done correctly, lowering a vehicle can actually make it look far worse, and, more concerning, can put quite a stint in its performance. If you are handy with a vehicle, you can try purchasing a $150 kit and lowering the car on your own, but to remove that risk variable, you might want to think about having an expert do the hard work. Yes, this will force you to shell out around $1000, but the result will be an inexpensive car that doesn’t actually look inexpensive.

Invest In Fiberglass Rear Spoilers

Extra weight will slow down an otherwise aerodynamic car quickly. The sturdy build of older vehicles has its advantages, but clearly, speed is not one of them. You can still retain the practical nature of your old car while giving it a boost. All you need is to outfit your car with a fiberglass rear spoiler. Lighter in weight but still durable, these will help in aerodynamic efficiency. Mostly, they just look aesthetically cool. The cost is reasonable too, coming in around $200 for a slightly older model.

Paint Job

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for the appearance of your car! While some people are inclined to go the “The Fast & the Furious” route with flames and racing stripes, this is not an absolute necessity for making your old car the envy of the entire neighborhood. Simply choose a flattering color, apply the paint and add some wax for shine — you’ll be good to go!

Yes, you are stuck with an old car, but no, that doesn’t mean that your vehicle must be inherently uncool. Invest a little time and cash into the above quick fixes and your car will be the very image of the sweetest fast and furious ride!

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