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Cars are cool. No matter how you look at it, they’re more than just a vehicle to get you from place to place. How you take care of your car says a lot about you — as does how you choose to personalize yours. Here are some customized cars you can think of the next time you need a burst of inspiration.
1. Nautical Themes
Sailing has rules just like driving — though you may need more experience in a boat to feel as comfortable as you do in a car. While you’re waiting to save up for a boat, why not paint your vehicle with an homage to the sea?
That’s precisely the idea of this car. Instead of your usual nautical theme, this car leaned into the side of marine life and was a feature at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Making the exterior look like a submarine leans into the idea that the octopus is jumping right into the vehicle. It adds a sense of thrill and adventure to what would otherwise be a regular car.
Original Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cfavero/5443669825
Source: Christopher Favero Photography
2. The Flash
As a kid, who didn’t want to be a superhero when they grew up? Around 75% of people have heard of The Flash, making him one of the most recognizable superheroes to adults. This customized car — along with others at the 2012 SEMA Show — proudly displayed the image of a famous hero. If superheroes remain an essential part of your life, consider representing them on your favorite vehicle. You don’t have to have a whole picture of the superhero — a logo would be enough to show your love.
3. The Light Bus
Anyone who remembers Woodstock should remember the iconic Light Bus, the vehicle driven to the legendary concert designed initially for The Light, a local band. The AACA Museum in Pennsylvania has brought the Light Bus to its “Age of Aquarius” exhibit, which pays tribute to the muscle cars and tie-dye vehicles of the “flower power” generation.
This Light Bus is actually a recreation of the one that was at Woodstock. While it might not be the original vehicle, it’s still an inspiration to many who look back at the 1960s and 1970s with fond nostalgia. If you want to lean into those decades gone by, take inspiration from the Light Bus and paint what makes you happy on your car.
Original Photo: https://www.aacamuseum.org/exhibit/age-of-aquarius/
Source: AACA Museum
4. Blue Chrome Mercedes-Benz
For something a little more understated than a themed paint job, a chrome color can make your car look futuristic. This particular customized car has a wrap rather than paint, but you can always use the color to inspire your next paint job. Chrome colors add a feeling of luxury that can really level up your car game.
When you have such a cool exterior, you must have an interior that matches the same vibe. Look for color-coordinating seat covers and ambient lighting that can influence the mood and set the tone for what a drive in your car looks like. LED strip lights can help you achieve the look you want on a budget — so you can focus more of your money on the exterior of your car.
5. Sharpie Lamborghini Gallardo
The coolest part about this car is that its designs were drawn entirely in Sharpie. It was a custom order, so there won’t ever be another vehicle like it. If you want something similar, you can rest assured no other car will come close to replicating yours — it’ll be totally unique.
When you detail a car to this degree, you must ensure you can preserve your efforts. Take care to protect your vehicle from corrosion, such as by sheltering your car when not in use and keeping your eye out for salt that could rust your car’s undercarriage.
Original Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vodcars/1981232376
Source: Jason Thorgalsen
6. Jeff Koons BMW M3 GTS
This car deserves to be the finale of this list because of how bold and exciting it is. Jeff Koons approached BMW for a special vehicle that pays tribute to the cool explosions he enjoys. Because of how complex this order was and how little time there was to finish the project, this “paint job” is actually a vinyl wrap with two layers of clear cut. With unlimited time, though, you could create a similar pop of color with actual paint.
Original Photo: https://www.wired.com/2010/06/jeff-koons-art-car-doesnt-suck/
Take Inspiration From Stunning Cars
These cars are far from all the ones with exciting paint jobs out there. As you design your customized car, do some searching and find a design that speaks to you. If you don’t feel inspired by other vehicles, consider creating something totally unique — with or without Sharpie. Your car is no one’s but your own, so you should ensure you’re happy with the result.