Not-So-Hot Wheels: 40+ Kooky Car Mods That Probably Shouldn’t Have Made It Out Of The Shop

By Anthony K

This article was originally published on drivingtodays

A good first impression is invaluable; it takes a lot of work to undo how someone perceives you if your first interaction is…messy. This can come from how someone dresses, their posture, and, of course, their car. Knowing this, some people choose to customize their car so they can let everyone know just what kind of person they are.

You’ve probably come across more than one car featuring a funny vanity license plate or stylish airbrushed artwork. But for some people, that simply won’t do; they are so desperate to stand out that they go past unique and right into “stupidity on wheels.”

We have compiled a list of unusual car modifications featuring pieces of junk, Mad Max rejects, and simple cautionary tales. We hope that some of the mods featured in this article will have you thinking twice before attempting the same at home.

Another Brick In The Wall

People often draw on their surroundings for inspiration when it comes to custom upgrades. This car owner must have liked the look of their brick house so much that they wanted to duplicate the paving into other parts of their daily lives. We’re not sure about the safety of this, though..

Photo credits: natteulven/ Reddit

The exterior surface is perfectly replicated so that you can mistake the car for a legit “mobile house”. Unlike other items on our list, we have difficulty branding this upgrade as a complete failure as the artistry is impeccable; however, we hope that the owner didn’t use actual bricks for this Volvo’s bodywork.

Optimus Prime or Giant Shoe?

When you decide to complete a project, give it your all to produce a unique product worthy of your time, resources, and dedication. The upgrade below raises questions about the designer’s day job- we are thinking cartoonist or something in animations.

Photo credits: 1ildevil/ Reddit

The creator may have tried to reproduce a real-life Optimus Prime to roam the streets. Sadly, they may have exhausted the resources or ideas needed to produce something that vaguely resembles a giant shoe. We hope that the creator will get another chance for redemption before we trust them with future projects.

A Gift for the Last Day at Work in the Automotive Industry

Your co-workers should make you feel important on your last day at work with tokens of appreciation. You should expect to receive gifts and the odd office prank. The automotive industry folk might just have the best ideas of successfully carrying this out.

Photo credits: Chili-Rush/ Reddit

Imagine the surprise of finding upgrades made to your car waiting for you in the car park. We acknowledge the colleagues that took the time to mod up this car. While the actual car might not be that impressive, the new additions to the bodywork are sure to draw attention.

Your Car from Kindergarten

Kids are obsessed with cars and doing adult things like driving. They live out their obsession by playing with models, and drawing cars in class, at home, and even on the playground. Can you remember the car you drew while in kindergarten? Imagine our surprise when we came across this next item that looks like a kid’s drawing brought to life.

Photo credits: K0EN1G5EGG

Most children draw cars with funny shapes and disproportionate sizes, making them unfit ever to be roadworthy. The vehicle in this image brings back dozens of childhood memories and dreams of the cars we would want to drive when we grew up, and it seems that some awesome parent made his kids’ idea a reality on wheels.

Accurate Subtitles

When upgrading your ride, you must consider your taste, style, preferences, and most importantly, budget. Limited funds may limit your fancy ideas, forcing you to settle for less than driving around town in the newest Lambo. The owner of this car speaks for all other car owners with huge expectations but limited funds.

Photo credits: ThickAirBalloons/ Reddit

The message indicates that we shouldn’t judge the driver for not driving a more luxurious car by incorporating this truthful logo. We personally love his play on words and think this is a winner .’ The message reminds us not to judge other cars and car owners.

Don’t Overcompensate With Your Upgrades

Some car owners upgrade their cars to compensate for many things- such as a lack of stature, the need for attention, and many other personal reasons. Overly large and bold improvements may send the wrong message to fellow road users. The car shown below may not be the best for folks who do not like to draw attention to themselves.

Photo credits: G1prime/ Reddit

Various modifications and add ons to this car make it more “badass” with a not subtle at all message. We have plenty of questions about the person behind the wheel and what exactly he feels he needs to portray by having two giant bowling balls dangling from his car. At least we know where he left them!

The Window Tint Prank

The Fast and The Furious Lovers are familiar with Dominic Toretto and his idea that a driver is more important than a car. You may need to surprise your workmates and keep your neighbors gossiping by occasionally getting Vin Diesel in your driver’s seat.

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Getting Vin Diesel to chauffeur you around would be next to impossible, but sticking him onto your window with a decal- well, that’s next-level genius. Expect to draw the attention that a blockbuster movie star like Vin Diesel would draw.

One for The Old Top Gear Days

When designing the vehicle below, the owner(s) must have had the idea of the old Top Gear days. We applaud them for using readily available materials to produce a car for future errands. We hope the vehicle can withstand high speeds and bumpy terrains without breaking apart.

Photo credits: hambo_888/ Reddit

We have questions concerning how much weight the vehicle can carry at a time and the comfort of its passengers. The owner probably needed to focus more on the interior seats than the exterior. On taking a second look, we are somewhat concerned about what happens to the wooden door in a heavy rain.

Time to Mow the Van

Upgrading your car allows you to explore creative ideas that can give your vehicle more class while protecting its body. You can use a whole body cover, reserving space for the iconic logo, license plate, lights, and windows if you want to worry less about rust or scratching your car.

Photo credits: RedBanana99/ Reddit

The image above shows a van modification that could help your vehicle camouflage better among vegetation or the nearest golf course. When making plans with the owner, leave room for disappointment because they may cancel last minute to mow the van before the grass grows out of hand.

Four Doors become Six Doors

When attempting a car modification, you can produce an entirely new vehicle with additional features like more space. After an unfortunate accident, this driver chose to weld the non-wrecked parts of his two Prius’ together to create a more spacious car.

Photo credits: sickofyoursh*thun/ Reddit

The accident may have taught the driver that he needed a sturdier car to avoid reckless accidents. He was lucky to have two cars of the same model, allowing him to make a “Frankenstein” super car out of the two partial wrecks. Props to his welding skills for this six door hybrid.

Reusing the Sink Handle

You are likely not to appreciate all the knobs and buttons in your car until you lose one. Losing the gear handle can improve your chances of stabbing yourself in the hand while trying to switch gears. Our next car owner found an ingenious and inexpensive way to make driving safer.

Photo credits: Blackhat-420/ Reddit

This tap handle is simple, ergonomic, attractive, and likely to last longer than the previous gear handle. New drivers may have a hard time shifting gears while driving the car. The faucet handle is better than crystal door handles that reflect light while still adding a bit of bling to your car’s interior.

LOL! RUN If You Can’t Drive Faster!

Our next piece features an ingenious way of keeping folks entertained while frowning at your tail lights. You wouldn’t need to shout through the window or call the next driver to convey a three-letter message when you can step on the brake lights to broadcast the message.

Photo credits: timwang6/ Reddit

While the driver in front has fun, we imagine the frustration on the faces of those waiting to overtake at the slightest chance. The ‘LOL’ message on the left reminds one to smile at the least expected time, while ‘RUN’ on the right reminds you that driving is faster than running.

Best Hiding Spot for Your Basketball

What’s the best remedy for broken tail lights when you need the car to run a quick errand? You can seek a simple and easy hack to recreate tail lights and avoid trouble with the relevant authorities. Our next car owner saw it best to use a basketball to give the illusion of having lights.

Photo credits: c0decat/ Reddit

Driving with broken tail lights is risky for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and anyone else on the road. We advise you to seek an alternative ride until you replace the lights or risk playing basketball behind bars. There are better ways of improvising front or rear car lights.

Where’s the Driver?

First off, how would you be comfortable driving this vehicle on the road? The driver is probably evading authorities and the likelihood of paying hefty fines. The owner of this car had the idea of using water piped to the motor intake from the car’s rear to maintain the engine’s temperature- or at least that is what it seems.

Photo credits: Kconic/ Reddit

We’re also curious about the driver’s ability to see what is in front of him while driving. This looks like an accident waiting to happen and a modification that should have never made it off the drawing board. The roadworthiness of this vehicle is questionable at best and is a hard no from us.

Don’t Drink My Wheels!

Flat tires shouldn’t limit you from driving your car to close destinations in an ideal world. Creative ways might include using tightly sealed bottles around the rims of your wheel, as shown below. However, replacing an actual wheel is the only way to go in the real world.

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The idea is great in theory, but we are not sure about the actual driveability of a car with cola tires. The only solace in this setup is that you will have plenty to keep you hydrated when your car stops altogether. We would personally have used Redbull to enjoy the wings: as we all know, why drive when you can fly.

Mind the Leather Seats

Most people are obsessed with leather seats, and they are considered a luxury item to have in the home, office, or inside the car. Genuine leather is durable, comfortable, and easy to clean. The big ‘Q’ is, ‘what lengths would you go to for leather seats inside your car?’

Photo credits: siouxsie_siouxv2/ Reddit

The image above shows that folks are willing to do just about anything to have the feel of leather seats in the car. The final results look more than a little ridiculous and totally impractical and uncomfortable to boot. We cannot even see the brake pedal for all that sofa.

Portable Mail Box

Imagine driving around with your mailbox as a makeshift exhaust. Not only will you not get your mail delivered to your address, as the mailman won’t have anywhere to leave it- but this will knock over every bump, but this contraption isn’t doing the environment any favors either.

Photo credits: Jon9715/ Reddit

The image on the right shows that this vehicle emits large amounts of smoke, contributing to the global carbon footprint. Locking the mailbox may hold the smoke and allow it to escape in small quantities while the remainder of it will enter your car, posing a health hazard to the truck’s occupants.

It’s Always Time to Ball

Florida is home to numerous basketball fans and players ready for action. Imagine loving the game to the extent of driving with a basketball hoop hanging attached to your car’s rear. On the bright side, you can enjoy the game whenever and wherever you want.

Photo credits: peglegjeg/ Reddit

Unless this car belongs to a professional basketball player, we can’t imagine an office worker driving around with the basketball hoop ready to leave his nine to five for a quick game in the parking lot, unless the office has a team that is.

$3k Per Month to Rent a San Francisco Studio Apartment

As the need for housing soars higher in most cities, you can use the available niche to keep someone off the streets. If you don’t have a spare room in your home to rent out as an Airbnb, you can use an old car to create a space that you can rent out for extra income.

Photo credits: shefoundnow/ Reddit

When we suggested using your vehicle to create more space for viable tenants, we were thinking more in terms of a camper and not mobile concrete and bricks on the back of a pickup truck. We are curious to know how much it would cost to rent out this “mobile home” , and if it comes with indoor plumbing.

Wait till You Get Inside

Customizing your car lets you unleash the designer in you as you make improvements based on your taste and budget. The vehicle showcased below features a series of bizarre features that would make most people question the owners’ judgment.

Photo credits: FatFreddysCoat/ Reddit

The car’s interior is different from the inside, making them quite different worlds. If you love The Grinch, this car will make you feel like you’re in his world back in the ’70s, awaiting Christmas and ready for a quick game of football all at the same time. Shagadelic baby!

Can You Get Any Lower?

Your customization may involve getting the car to sit higher or taking it lower to kiss the ground. Your vehicle may need extreme modifications like removing parts to go this low. Some folks consider this a lame and stupid move despite the need for extensive skills to pull this off though.

Photo credits: acemccrank/ Reddit

Taking your car lower makes it easier for shorter passengers or kids to get get on board or alight at various destinations. However, this is lower than low, and the chassis is virtually scraping along the tar. No way this guy is going anywhere anytime soon in that contraption.

A Rusted Mercedes

Mercedes is synonymous with class, irrespective of color, age, or size. You will need to protect the Benz by maintaining its interior and exterior regularly. Would you consider customizing your Benz with a rusty finish instead of a coat of fresh paint?

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As Benz lovers, we wouldn’t forgive you for defacing a masterpiece by covering it in rust. You can spot notable differences between the two Benzes parked side by side. We hope the other Benz lover doesn’t decide to do the same to his classic and classy ride.

Lamborghini for the Whole Family

Almost every person dreams of driving or owning a Lamborghini. We hope that no one would try to butcher a Lamborghini in the name of amateur modifications. There should be a law about messing with the classics, and this should be a crime. Ferruccio Lamborghini would be questioning his life’s work if he had seen this.

Photo credits: amersadventures/ Reddit

How would you react if you were driving down the highway and saw this thing fast approaching behind you in the fast lane?, We wouldn’t know if we should laugh or cry. YOLO takes on a whole new meaning, and we hope this only happens to a Lambo once.

It Ain’t Stupid If It Works

Driving without a side mirror may prompt you to drive dangerously and need to turn your head, improving your chances of being in an accident. What’s better than improvising a mirror to help you get the biggest and best view? The owner of this car thought that a bigger mirror could give a better view of the road.

Photo credits: mikespohr/ buzzfeed

We applaud the idea because it allows the driver to maneuver without fear of getting hit from behind or sideways. Unfortunately, you may not drive with the mirror for long if the tape tears and the mirror falls, creating another road hazard.

Oops! Wrong Panel

Most car owners strive to maintain a flawless and uniform car exterior from the front to the rear, or they add just a pop of contrast by using different colors in the trim. This driver wanted a solid color car but didn’t get that lucky. However, he stated the door’s intentions very clearly.

Photo credits: DesPaSooTi/ Reddit

The car owner installed a white panel alongside the blue ones when he couldn’t readily source a matching panel. Although the door is white, it identifies as blue, so technically, the car is solid blue, right?, Gotcha thinking, didn’t we?

Chandeliers as Headlights

Driving without headlights at night is like trying to find your way blindfolded. Would you consider alternative light sources to light your way as you drive down a dark road? Our next car owner proves that candles can also illuminate your path and help avoid causing accidents.

Photo credits: jornadaa/ Reddit

We love the extra look that the chandeliers bring to the car; however, we cant see how they would survive being driven at high speeds or through a hurricane. Also, there are regulations on the height and brightness of lights allowed on cars today, and we think this would be a no-no in the regulator’s books.

Driver in the Backseat

How would you react if someone reminded you to wash dishes in five minutes when you were about to clean them? Backseat drivers are notorious for reminding the driver to take turns, slow down, brake, or hoot. This trick brings backseat drivers forward by putting the drivers in the back.

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The vehicle above features big-time upgrades making the back seat a full driver’s seat with steering, gear, and dashboard. We hope that the rear steering wheel has minimal effects on the vehicle’s operations. You may have a hard time knowing that the driver’s behind you.

Thanos is Inevitable

When Thanos said ‘I am inevitable,’ in The Avengers, we didn’t know he would deserve a spot on this list. This car owner must have been a great fan of Thanos, prompting them to make this upgrade. We have several questions about how the vehicle maneuvers on bumpy terrains.

Photo credits: SickZX6R/ Reddit

The owner may have gone an extra mile to raise the car off the ground with massive wheels and attractive rims. However, Thanos’ mouth makes the front lower so that you may ask whether it was intended to sweep the road.

Bring Back the Door Hinge

Door hinges make it easier to open and close the door as you get in and out of the car. The owner of this car thought it would be better to remove the door hinge and join the doors. Unless the hinge is compromised, we won’t encourage you to follow in these footsteps.

Photo credits: kidvange/ Reddit

The disadvantages of this upgrade surpass the benefits of getting a bigger door. First, the co-driver may have a hard time opening the door. Secondly, losing the structural rigidity of the chassis allows your car to fold in speed bumps, while side impacts could be fatal.

LED Bars for Extra Lights

Car manufacturers focus on headlights and tail lights to maximize your driving experience and safety while driving. You can customize the car with additional lights on the interior or exterior, usually only with permission. It’s best to consider that excess lighting can jeopardize your safety and other road users.

Photo credits: conrick/ Reddit

The car above features a collection of LED bars for illuminating paths in the dark. We would like to know how much darkness it took for the car owner to install the lights. We can only hope the driver uses this lighting set up when alone in isolated places; otherwise, he could blind the driver of an oncoming car.

Outright Monstrosity In The Lot

Our next image shows a car owner that went the extra mile to raise the Chevy off the ground for better off-road expeditions. Although the vehicle blends perfectly with the wheels like an off-road, the proportions of this just look sick and not in a good way.

Photo credits: ChiKrew

Raising the Chevy above ground and using it on roads is quite unforgivable. We hope that its engine can withstand the rough conditions away from the highways and driveways of city streets. Despite the injustice, the car features a well-polished body and cool wheels if we want to be positive.

A Carpenter’s Tesla

Tesla is changing car production today by introducing electric cars designed to help reduce the global carbon footprint. What would you do if you wanted to be environmentally conscious but couldn’t afford the masterpiece priced beyond most drivers’ reach?

Photo credits: conrick/ Reddit

You can employ DIY skills or hire a professional to craft a mock Tesla cedar truck. The above piece is perfectly crafted with the precision of the much-awaited Tesla cars. You can make the car more eco-friendly by using wood instead of metal.

One from the Craigslist

Craigslist connects buyers and sellers in need of goods and services. The all-encompassing market offers many items you won’t see anywhere else. We came across the unique car below while shopping for a camper van. The vehicle raises questions about its carrying capacity and occupants’ comfort.

Photo credits: shrampo/ Reddit

This vehicle requires minimal parking space and takes up less room in your garage than traditional campers. If you are the solo traveler type, who prefers trekking without a group of your nearest and dearest, this camper van may be your best friend.

Car With Rickets

Advantages of a small vehicle include requiring minimal space for parking or passing through as you head to your destination. You can modify the wheels to cover a wider space or bring them closer. We cannot see why someone would choose to make their wheels rickety though.

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We hope that these wheels won’t interfere with your vehicle’s road holding capability or prompt the authorities to stop you at every inspection. Try walking on the sides of your feet to test out your own road-handling before doing this to a car.

Extra Wheels for Off-Road Trips

We are also having difficulty classifying the next modification as an outright fail. The owner has creatively used available paraphernalia and limited space to bring spare tires along for the drive and avoid being stranded in the event of a puncture.

Photo credits: sniperpenis69/ Reddit

We may not forgive the car owner for transforming it into an off-road and limiting the passengers from bringing luggage along. After this modification, you can only use the rear as a toolbox to hold whatever you will need to change the wheels.

One for the Cannon Balls

Most kids would be tempted to drop cannonballs in your exhaust pipes. Some modifications can land you in trouble with kids and malicious neighbors trying to make sense of your imagination. Consider the size, shape, and placement of parts like the exhaust pipe.

Photo credits: craigchandler0398/ Reddit

We wonder how much smoke the car emits, prompting the owner to go for giant pipes. The pipes are also placed strategically to allow any passerby to prank the driver for the exaggerated exhausts. You may need a lid and regular inspections to hunt for hidden items such as melons or soccer balls.

Protect your Retina

If you love shiny objects, you can use this modification to make your car stand out among dull colors and match your shiny outfits and bling. Your preferred color shouldn’t affect other drivers directly or indirectly as they maneuver heavy traffic under the bright sun.

Photo credits: luxulterior

The car above is beautiful to look at, and is certainly unique, but it has shortcomings that could affect other drivers. You don’t have to stare at the car for its reflection to hit you. Drivers with sensitive eyes can veer off the road or run into other cars when the light reflects on this unicorn rainbow paint job. The owner should be considerate and drive this baby at night only.

Grandma Gives the Best Gifts

Grandmothers have unique ways of making you feel special, loved, and appreciated. You can count on Nana to come through with the best advice, presents, and she is always there to sing your praises. Grans are also known to outdo themselves by giving the most unique and memorable gifts.

Photo credits: onewheeler2/ Reddit

The image above shows a unique rim for your car. If granny gifts you these, you may draw a whole lotta attention from other drivers and pedestrians on the street. Give Nana clear instructions and examples of exactly what you want when she asks what you want for Xmas, or you might end up with a set of these doily rims too.

Is it a Pig or a Hippo?

An artist usually has a different conception for each creation, while the audience will have different interpretations. This car features a modification that could leave you wondering whether the driver has kidnapped a pig or hippo struggling to find its way to freedom.

Photo credits: ZappBrannigansLaw/ Reddit

A driver may be distracted from the road while trying to make sense of the pig/hippo dangling behind the car. It may seem funny until you see the tail rotating as the rear wiper cleans the window. We hope the pig protects the extra wheel from harsh conditions.

An Off-Road for the Highways

Off roads can improve your experience and comfort on and off the road as you maneuver various obstacles without scratching or dirtying your prized possession. Most in-built features of off-roads allow you to make further improvements without messing up its unique feel and look.

Photo credits: K0EN1G5EGG

We’re having a hard time classifying this modification as a fail. You may share our curiosity and hunger for a test ride in this car for the long-coveted off-road experience. We hope that this Jeep can perform well on an obstacle course, and we think a few splashes of mud would add to its appeal.

Meet The Ford F150f150f150f150

The Ford F150 is a beast on and off the road allowing you to run errands or have fun with friends without fear of unpredictable terrains. You may want to emphasize that you’re driving a Ford F150 by giving it more logos at the front, rear, and sides.

Photo credits: Omaha419/ Reddit

The extra logos make the car stand out in traffic as every person can easily identify your taste and preferred brand. We want to ask the owner of this car about how long it took him to collect the extra Ford logos on the car and the meaning of its new name: Ford Ford Ford Ford.

A Subarubaru Forester

When we came across the FordF150FordF150FordF150FordF150, we didn’t know that we could find another with a complicated name for a simple car. Brace yourself for the next Subarubaru. You may think that your eyes aren’t working well when reading the name SUBARUBARU.

Photo credits: i_keep_on_trying/ Reddit

Is a Subaru still a Subaru even with a different name? Although not a car mod fail in the real sense of the word, we do think the driver must have a wicked sense of humor to mess with an iconic brand name like Subaru.

One From The Fb Marketplace

When elders assert that you can be whoever you want to be when you grow up, you may have had doubts. This car modification shows that even a tiny vehicle can walk in the boots of your dream off-road car. After buying a car, you can transform it into whatever you desire.

Photo credits: SxE_Harry/ Reddit

Online marketplaces like Facebook allow you to buy unique products from sellers around the globe. If you can’t find silver cross pram wheels and the car, you can use online platforms to order whatever you need. We hope that you won’t have a hard time taking sharp corners as this mod doesn’t look stable on or off road.

Ask About Mud Me My Flaps

When trailing this truck, you may ask the owner what encouraged them to get the mud flaps. We hope the owner has viable answers, considering the frequency of mud from where they hail. The mud flaps may protect you from excess dirt and mud on untarmacked roads.

Photo credits: GloryStays

Reading the flaps wrong can send an unintended message. If you read ASK ABOUT MUD ME MY FLAPS instead of ASK ME ABOUT MY MUD FLAPS, you may overtake the truck without finding out why its owner chose this size and shape for the flaps.