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Unhinged: Since When Is “Liking The Wrong Car” A Problem?!


Unhinged: Since When Is “Liking The Wrong Car” A Problem?!

(Lead Photo: Mopar Muscle) I feel that I write on this subject more often than any other, and I have no problem writing on it again because it needs to be fleshed out and eradicated. It’s the “wrong car” line of thought, and it usually crops up courtesy of blogs who use snark and posturing to gain views, but is also common thought among the crowds: “It’s a killer build, but they just picked the wrong car. If they had just picked¬†that car instead, it would be that much cooler.” Since when? Never. That’s when.

This year’s SEMA cream of the crop was filled with the “wrong car”. An early four-eye Fox was the Mustang eye-catcher. The most wicked and non-mullet third-gen Camaro, the DSE-Z car from Detroit Speed and Engineering, was parked in front of the Optima trailer, looking absolutely vicious. Chris Forsberg’s Datsun 510 wagon was clean enough that I had to do a walkaround tour of it live. Hoonigan’s $350 “Sh*t car” BMW E36 was soaking up the sun outside, and Suzy Bauter’s widebody Rambler was an attention magnet every last day. Think about that for a second…a 1963 Rambler that didn’t have slicks and a blower but was hunkered down over Viper-sized rubber with fender flares you could set your lunch on was drawing crowds.

Wrong car? Give it a rest, will you? If anything, the “wrong car” is the right car to build! There is nothing wrong with doing a Mustang, Camaro, G-body, Chevelle or whatever else floats your boat. If you’ve got the car and you are spinning the wrenches on it, good on you. But downgrading someone else’s car because it’s not a mainstream choice is almost laughable anymore. The creativity that goes into these builds, usually because it’s needed since the aftermarket just doesn’t support that make or model, is what makes them awesome. Seeing a built-up Firebird attacking cones is cool…seeing a ’77 Sunbird doing it is even better. And if you show me something that started life as front-wheel drive boiling the rear hides, you will have my full attention, as well as anyone else in the immediate vicinity. Is it becoming clearer?

I’m all about the weirdness, so long as it’s done right and done well. I don’t care if it is or isn’t the wrong car. One of the baddest machines I’ve ever seen was Bobby Regester’s Pontiac Sunfire Pikes Peak race car. A Pontiac Sunfire is, without question, an absolute shitbox in it’s best factory form. But a RWD conversion, one shrieking V8, and a couple laps up Pikes Peak pre-pavement and suddenly, I wanted one too. (Maybe not so much after he sent the car sailing off of a corner into a rock field back in 2011, but still.)

Bring on the freaks. Build them well, pour your hearts into them. Drive them, race them, show them, enjoy them. And ignore those who still insist on crowing on about the “wrong car”. Even a late-model Mitsubishi Mirage can be made to be awesome…it might take a rally team and a ton of money to do it, but the end product still looks like fun.


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17 thoughts on “Unhinged: Since When Is “Liking The Wrong Car” A Problem?!

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    Who defines what is the “right car”?

    Only sad idiots who have never had an original thought in their lives …..

    Reply
  2. Jay

    My interest is piqued by the Diplomat, and I’m generally not a Mopar man. Who cares what they are as long as they are “safe’ and fun.

    Reply
  3. ANGRYJOE

    I find that, much like everyone else in the world today, car people are terribly opinionated and willingly share those opinions whether you want to hear them or not.

    The fact is that without people who think like we do, outside the box, without people who innovate and push boundaries and create something from nothing….the hobby will die or at the least stagnate and become nothing more than old dudes in lawn chairs

    My take on the hobby is the same as my take on life – Do what makes you happy. We’ve only a short time on this spinning rock, why do we have to do it conforming to what others deem proper?

    Reply
  4. Mark

    Having always owned the wrong car, and much of the car hobby having a good laugh about it.. It will never be eradicated.
    Hell even the right car, but the wrong( to that person) style gets hate, Example a g body, most on here if it looks tuff it\’ll get a thumbs up, if it is painted like a 70 street freak and on hyd. it get raked over the coals.. same with a 60\’s impala, street racer look, great, low rider, laughed at, or the mighty gasser look, but same car as a trar, no love.. The people in this hobby are so biased it isn\’t funny, and they also post/talk out both sides of their pie hole.. sadly it never will change. Fotget the new breed vs the old school muscle, hare, or the import /ricer vs the faux muscle street car.. or the show rods vs the rat rods.. This hate for different types of car gul/guy\’s taste will be why the hobby is regulated out of life and into the history books.

    Reply
  5. MGBChuck

    I take a lot of heat from my drag racer/muscle car friends for having a wrong car, SBC (500hp) powered, custom frame and suspension MGB. Will admit, one ride usually turns them around though, even at British car shows they end up liking it (sorta). Wrong Cars FTW—–I love my wrong car

    Reply
  6. Ivan

    I get ball busted for building a four door Plymouth vailant with a viper engine the “oh that was a waist” we’ll get fucked I built it

    Reply
  7. john t

    101% agreed. From where I sit in Australia the effect is even more pronounced. Most US shows and websites, for example, hate on 4 doors and oddball body styles – anything American is big here, 4 doors or not. Theres room for everything, don’t hate because its not your personal choice and Geordie, I’m kinda weirded out by you pulling `idiots’ up for this when you most times hate on Chevs for no good reason…

    Reply
  8. Steve

    It’s the “herd” mentality, pervasive in most aspects of human culture. A guy I work with only likes Camaros, Chevelles, GTOs and the like. He tries to be sympathetic, but he just can not get past the old bias when viewing stuff like my Studebakers, or other oddities. And then there’s the resale punishment angle: spend any real money on YOUR vision, and later listen to the crickets as you wait for a buyer to come pay for it. Tough. But I say, as one of the lovers of the unloved, TO HELL WITH ALL THAT!! If you build a Camaro just because of peer pressure, you will not be satisfied, because you know all you are is a sell out!

    Reply
    1. ANGRYJOE

      Thats not all that weird…and I may say…pretty bad ass…try being the guy building a full sized Plymouth Fury(that is so rusted it should have went to the crusher) to resemble a Super Stock Coronet or A990…No one looks at my car at the local gatherings….But when I drive it around town kids get excited, people take pictures and I get honks and thumbs up. A rattle can paint job, rotted quarters and all….That shit makes it worth it…

      Reply
  9. Turbo Regal

    Whether it’s music, clothes, sports teams or cars, everybody’s got a tribe they belong to and folks in the other tribe are to be derided.

    The older I get, the more I get into different makes, models and powertrain combos.

    Reply
  10. Kent

    I am apparently the patron saint of automotive lost causes. I love weird cars. And I have a station wagon fetish. I really don’t care. I like what I like. I’ll build a 4 door if I think it looks cool. I’ll turn a hearse into a pro touring monster. I would rather spend my money on making a car better than just buying the car. Have you looked at the price difference between a “mainstream” car and an odd ball one lately? I can build a Fairmont for the price you can buy a fox mustang. And mind will be faster, handle better, etc. Because I saved $2-3k just in the purchase price. Let alone a 1st Gen Camaro. Is anyone else tired of seeing the same 6 cars at shows, or is it just me? I want to see more odd cars. Ramblers. Gremlins. Oldsmobiles. A well built AMC Spirit? Or any of those AWD AMC wagons.

    Reply

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