Like any hobby car enthusiasm isn’t immune to trends (good or bad), and in 2014 there were a few that really stood out in my travels across Ontario, Quebec, and the USA.
There’s a good chance I missed one or two so feel free to contribute your own in the comments!
What can really be said about this trend that hasn’t been said already? Executed both poorly and exceptionally in 2014 flares are something we are going to continue to see a lot of for years to come.
With no intentions of wailing on this dead horse any further, I’ll let you decided if this is a good or bad thing.
Tire paint and Tire Stickers
Often seen housed inside fender flares, tire paint really took off in 2014 (especially with street cars) to the point where several companies are now selling stencils that allow you to spray their brand on your tires, or simpler still sticker kits that take the guess-work out of it.
While not for every tire (there’s no reason to advertise Triangle brand) this look really suits those running ample rubber.
Quick Release Bumpers
Quick release bumpers were the tow hook of 2014, spotted on a lot of show/street cars but few track cars.
The elastic ones can be a bit of an eye sore, but the dzus ones that started to become more common at the end of the season are much more visually appealing solution to a problem I didn’t know so many people needed solved.
Completing the race car inspired group of modifications is the big wing, an emerging (and suggested) trend in 2013 well endowed wings started to show up in places you really wouldn’t expect them to in 2014.
Another that could have made the 2013 list, but really took off in 2014, was the ‘blast pipe’ style exhaust.
Upturned, shin bangers, or short and sweet, welders and tube benders got creative in 2014.
Niche multi-piece Wheel Brands
Three years ago when it came to new (ie founded within the last five years) mutli-piece wheel brands Rotiform was pretty well the only one releasing wheels with widespread appeal. Now there’s almost a limitless number of new manufacturers to choose from.
The Vossen Marketing machine kept churning in 2014, further establishing Vossen as the go to brand for those looking for affordable, large diameter, single piece, cast wheels.
Known for their eye-popping visual media Vossen switched things up slightly in 2014 by offering a limited edition, small run, wheel known as the VLE-1 to their catalog.
Budget cut backs by large publishing houses forced the closure of several long-standing automotive magazines in 2014.
While it could be argued that blogs like this one are what have contributed to the decline of print, I still feel the physical medium is of great value and I hope that those magazines that weathered the storm have figured out how to keep the doors open long-term.
When it comes to Dapper brand I’ve heard everything from it’s a car club full of genuine enthusiasts focused on quality, to it’s a bunch of spoiled rich kids who get a rise of being exclusive.
While the authentic stickers may have to be earned, your local vinyl cutter can probably cut you one on the low making Dapper the Illest of 2014.
Big Talk, Small Game
Many of those who talked about killing the game in 2014 really didn’t do much of anything memorable, while the ones who didn’t talk about what they were doing and just went out and did it actually delivered something new and innovative.
My advice to the blowhards; stow your ego, remain humble, and have fun building your car for you.