The world of car modifications and tuning is a constantly changing mixture of new trends, shapes, components and badly executed designs that often scare true car fans. The car modification market is enormous and there’s a huge range of mods that you can do. A lot of people talk about ricers these days, but this category isn’t just reserved for broke car people. As car guys grow up, often their tastes become more tasteful but strangely there are a few people who slip through the net, putting their new found wealth into rather “interesting” car mods.
Gold Vinyl Wrap
One of the most common rich ricer`s mods is a gold or silver wrap. In the last few years, the trend of sports cars, exotic cars or high class SUVs getting wrapped in shiny colors has only been increasing. For most car enthusiasts, this mod is a bit too far and a somewhat tacky attempt to draw the attention to your car and bank account, but rich ricers seem to love it. Every day we see more and more examples of such modifications, at first, with only luxury cars getting wrapped.
Nowadays, we see some pretty ordinary cars receiving this treatment. The gold wrap trend started in the Middle East and in Asia and has soon spread all over the world. Just like any other pointless ricer modification, this will also be a thing of a past in a few years’ time, but until then, be sure you are wearing your sunglasses when you see a shiny gold wrapped car coming your way.
2JZ Engine Swaps
For those who don’t know what 2JZ is, it is Toyota`s inline six engine, with a turbocharger produced from 1991 to 2002 which can be found in the legendary Supra Mk4. The 2JZ is well known as an extremely tunable engine which can produce insane power with just a few simple bolt-on mods. That is why it is one of the most respected units especially by the tuner community.
As great as this engine is, it starts to become a bit cringey if you are a rich ricer, as chances are you will install this engine in everything you can. Its ok to do this with other Japanese cars, making them faster and more powerful. Its also perfect for cars with bad engines. The problems start when you start putting 2JZs into the BMW M3, Ford Mustang, Mercedes SL or even a Jeep Wrangler. The most terrifying example of a 2JZ swap comes from Japan where somebody installed the Toyota engine into a real Rolls Royce Phantom! Despite the fact that the Phantom now has 900 horsepower under the hood, the engine swap caused outrage in the community. I doubt that will make for a comfortable ride!
Another pretty questionable trend which has emerged in recent years are velvet car wraps, which seem to be more and more popular with ricers and other car tuners with eccentric taste. The process of velvet wrapping is exactly the same as wrapping your car with any other vinyl-based product, but with velvet wraps, your car looks like it’s covered in suede cloth. From the distance, it may look like a regular matte wrap, but it you come closer you will realize that it has depth and a totally different feel. Rich ricers love this mod since it fully transforms the look of the car and it is somewhat more expensive than a regular wrapping job. Despite the popularity with some car enthusiasts, we are still waiting to see one example where velvet wrap looks good and enhances the design of the car.
With the prices of new and used supercars, it is painfully obvious that only a small circle of wealthy car enthusiasts can enjoy the power, performance and bespoke nature of these fantastic machines. What do you do if you desperately need the looks and stance of a Lamborghini Countach or Ferrari Enzo, but you can only afford a fraction of the real thing? You order yourself a replica. Apparently, the supercar replica market is booming and all around the world, small companies offer modified cars dressed up to look like expensive exotics with various levels of success.
Some companies produce pretty accurate clones which come with proper engines, but some firms deliver just lookalike body kits with terrible fit and finish. That being said, doing this is still for rich ricers as supercar replicas are still pretty expensive in the real world! Most supercar replicas cost more than $30,000 so its hard to justify the fact that this is a good idea.
Carbon body panels
One of the favourite entry level ricer modifications is carbon vinyl wrap, mostly applied on the hood, roof and the trunk of the car suggesting you have lightweight body panels and improved performance. It is nothing more than a design feature which clearly differentiates real tuners from wannabe street racers. When a typical ricer grows up and finds themself in a better financial situation however, one of the first expensive mods they might do is real carbon body panels.
Yes, carbon body panels are cool and do save weight and give you better performance but only if they are a part of a significant weight saving effort which requires totally stripping your car and removing anything that is not necessary. If you only replace the hood or the trunk lid with an expensive carbon fiber part, weight savings are going to be minimal and not even noticeable. Not exactly ricer, but probably save this mod until last!
You might have thought that the trend of enormous rims is behind us but it looks like some keen ricers still invest in big wheels for their cars. The oversized wheels, with mandatory lowering your car`s height, add to the car’s stance but they are also pretty problematic in terms of fitting them in regular wheel arches.
On the other hand, big wheels often weigh more than the standard rim which puts stress on the suspension components. Of course, not to forget the harsh ride and hits from the potholes which can ruin your car`s undercarriage and scrape your bumpers. They are rarely cheap though! Many wheels can cost more than $10,000 for a set! The good thing is that the trend of chrome wheel spinners is finally behind us and we hope it will never come back.
Restomodding a classic Japanese car
We have saved the best for last and there is an interesting and quite frankly, pretty amazing trend among rich ricers and that is “restomodding” a classic JDM car. In recent years we have witnessed rising interest for the Datsun 240Z or 510 Sedans, first generation Toyota Celicas or even for Wankel-powered Mazda RX3s and similar Japanese coupes from the `70s. Those cars are fairly cheap and serious tuners use them as a basis for amazing conversions, installing modern engines, trick suspension kits, powerful brakes and steering systems. Most tuners keep the original appearance with a few modifications, but they turn slow classic coupes into blisteringly fast and capable modern machines. Of course, professionally built machines are pretty expensive and this is one of the rare ricers modifications every true car fan can appreciate.
So there you are. 7 Mods Only Rich Ricers do. Which mods did I miss? Are they not ricer at all? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.