Cosmetic car upgrades can be expensive, but sometimes you want your car to look a little cooler than your standard factory model. A little personalization can go a long way, and a few of these DIY car upgrades can really make your car, your car. Some upgrades you can do yourself are:
- Headlight upgrades
- Interior upgrades
- Exterior upgrades
- Tire Upgrades
- Headlight Covers
Headlight covers are the cases that go over your headlights. They not only protect your lights from damage, but they can change the shape, color, and look of your car, and are easy to install.
- HID4 and LED Lights
HID4 and LED lights are the newest trend, and newer cars are even starting to come with them. If you have an older car or a standard model, you can update the lights by purchasing a conversion kit to upgrade your lights and give your car a new look.
- Turning Signal and Taillights
A unique way to modify your car’s turning signal and lighting is with covers and colored bulbs, as well as using vinyl wrap. Make sure you check with your local laws before tackling this project.
- Interior LED Kit
A common addition to cars for years has been adding interior, LED lights near the floors, around the dashboard, or under the seating. For years, having the LED lights meant you were the coolest. They brighten the interior and that extra pop of color can add the perfect accent.
- Seat Covers
Not only can seat covers help hide stains or tears, but it will give your interior an entire new look could change your look. They have covers for the front and back seats. These are extremely easy to install and come in a variety of materials and colors.
- Aftermarket Audio
If you have the room, you can convert the back of your hatch into a sound system with speakers, subwoofers, or even just change the digital face of your sound system. These are all easier to do and can be done with a little help.
- Interior Dome Light
Some people rarely use the dome light in the middle of the ceiling, and that could be another interior lighting that could make your car look cool. Changing the bulbs can add just the right amount of color you need.
- Console Cover
There are different styles and colors of console covers out there, most that just slip right no. You can use it for decoration or get one with cushioning that can add more comfort if you tend to rest your arm there.
- Seat Belt Covers
The shapes and colors are absolutely endless. Seat belt covers come in different shapes, novelties, and colors. Not only do they provide a style, but they also improve functioning.
- Rearview Mirror
Many people vinyl wrap or bling the rear-view mirror. You can also upgrade the technology to include more modern and useful features that will make your car safer to drive.
- Floor Mats
Floor mats are a never-ending supply of colors and styles. They can protect your interior from stains, mud, and anything else that is tracked with your feet. You can also use it to add fun character to your car, and all you need to do is place them in.
- Car Wrapping and Racing Stripes
If you have the patience to do this yourself, you might need a little help and a dust free garage. Some people will wrap their entire car while others will just do a little accent. The advantage of car wrapping over painting is that, once you get bored, you can take it right off.
- Windshield Wipers
While you have to use a certain windshield wiper based on your manufacturer manual, you can add accent colors to the brackets that hold them in place.
- Emblem or Insignia
You can bling out your car with the maker’s emblem by replacing it with the multitude of different options. There are different colors, styles, and you can add a pop of glitter.
- Window Tint
Another DIY project to tackle, make sure you check with local authorities on the opacity to use. There are many different opacities and types on the market that you can use.
- Digital Bumper Sticker
Digital bumper stickers are scrolling LED screens that can attach to your license plate and update with text messages.
- License Plate Personalization
With your license plate, depending on the state you live in, you could personalize the letters and numbers on your license plate to spell out your name, a special meaning, or a little play on words. Another way to personalize your license plate is with a license plate cover that has your favorite color, movie, TV show, or fun phrases.
- Tire Bling
They sell glitter spray that you can use on your tires or hubcaps to bling up your tires. A subtle addition like that can add a little character.
- Tire Covers
If you have an SUV or Jeep that gives you the ability to customize your tire cover on the back, there are many ways you can do this. If you’re crafty, you can decorate a cover yourself, or you can purchase many different types from any auto website that sells them.
- New Wheels
Unique wheels are usually the first modification people any person might make on their car. It can get expensive, but there are thousands of styles, colors, and varieties.
Do You Know What Your Car is Telling You?
As a vehicle owner, it is important to know what your vehicle is saying to you. Vehicles communicate via symbols, and not knowing what those symbols can cause some major problems for you. All of the symbols you need to know the status of your vehicle, can be found on its dashboard. Now, not all of the dashboard lights on your vehicle, will be identical to the dashboard lights on your best friend’s car. Some dashboard lights are specific to a certain manufacturer. All of the dashboard lights specific to your vehicle can be found in your owner’s manual.
Check Engine Light
Illuminates because of an issue in the computer or diagnostic system. The activation of the light issues a fault code. The code, says exactly what the problem is with the vehicle. Take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic as soon as possible, so that they can read the codes and fix the problem. The problem could be as minor as a loose cap, or as major as needing new spark plugs.
Battery Alert Light
Activates because of a loose wire, or because your battery is not holding a charge properly. If this light comes on while you are driving, immediately go to the nearest auto shop, to have them take a look at the functionality of your battery, and the terminals. Try not to turn your vehicle off, if possible, because it may not turn back on.
Coolant Temperature Warning Light
Comes on if your engine is overheating. It is usually the result of having low, or no coolant. Pull over immediately, turn your vehicle off allow it to cool. Once cool, add in more coolant if you notice it is indeed low. If there is ample coolant, check the radiator cap, and look for possible coolant leaks. If it is leaking, go to your nearest auto shop to have the leak repaired.
Indicates that the transmission fluid is warmer than it is supposed to be. Be sure to check the coolant and transmission fluid levels, as a result of this light coming on. Be sure that you are using the correct transmission fluid for your vehicle.
Oil Pressure Warning
Turns on due to low oil pressure, resulting from a leak or the engine burning oil. This is a sign that you may need an oil change, or you need to get the oil pan fixed immediately. If the sign does not go off, have your vehicle towed to the nearest service facility.
Oil Change Reminder
Comes on as a reminder that an oil change is due. It can come on due to mileage accrued or the oil itself.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Activates as a sign that one or more tires have low air pressure, or there is a sensor malfunction. Add air to your tires as soon as you can. If you have added air, yet your tires are continuously flat, you probably have a hole in your tire. If that is the case, take your car to an auto shop, which works on tires, to have it patched, or replaced altogether.
Brake System Alert
Activates for several different reasons: the parking brake was engaged, brake fluid leak, or the hydraulic pressure has decreased. If your parking break is not engaged, head to your nearest auto shop as soon as possible, if possible. A loss in brake fluid is dangerous, and can cause your vehicle not to stop when you press on the brakes. If your car is not stopping, find the safest way to slow your vehicle down. Once it comes to a stop, call for it to be towed.
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) Light
Indicates that your anti-lock brakes are malfunctioning. This malfunction can be caused by a loss of current or because the wheel sensor is filthy. In order to figure out exactly what the problem is, you have to go to an auto shop, and have a professional mechanic read the codes. Even though the ABS light is on, your regular brake should still be functioning properly.
Illuminates when cruise control is set while you’re driving. Your car will not go over that set speed.
Reduced Power Warning
Triggers on when there is low/limited power coming from the engine computer. This will require a trip to the auto shop, to have the codes read, so that they can solve the problem.
Gas Cap Light
Indicates that your gas cap is not screwed on properly.
Lights to notify you that there may be a failure in the security system, or the ignition switch could be locked.
Indicates that one of the doors, or the trunk is open. Close the open door and the light will go off.
Air Bag Light
Reveals that there is an issue with one of the airbags, which can impact how they would deploy in an accident. This is very dangerous. Take your vehicle to an auto shop to have it serviced as soon as possible.
Traction Control Light
Tells when the traction control has been engaged. It is the car’s way of stabilizing itself in slippery conditions.
Window Washer Fluid Reminder
Illuminates when the window washer fluid is low. Underneath you hood, there is a cylinder with a cap, with a symbol that resembles a windshield. Take the cap off, and pour in the wiper fluid. If you drive a car with two windshields, you may need to fill both of them up.
Indicates that the fog lamps have been turned on.
How to Replace a Car Key
You never realize how important a car key is until you’ve lost it, or it stops working. After all, it’s the way to start your car! Regardless, you should know how to replace a car key if you happen to lose it or it malfunctions. There are a few different options for replacing a car key:
- Aftermarket Keys/Fobs Online
How to Replace an Older Car Key
- Get your VIN number for your car.
In order to find someone to help you replace your car key, you’ll need to have your VIN number ready. If you can’t find it inside your car, you can find it on your insurance information. The VIN can be located on a rear wheel, front of the engine bloc, trunk, door jam, or the frame of the car between the carburetor and windshield washer.
It is also important that you know your year, make, and model to help get your specific kind of key you’ll need to open your vehicle.
- Call a nearby auto locksmith.
Your first option is to go to the nearest auto locksmith. They tend to give the best deal, usually about half as much as the manufacturer or dealer will charge. On top of that, they typically don’t charge to visit your car. Hardware stores aren’t usually equipped to duplicate car keys, but an auto locksmith is.
The older your car is, the better chance you’ll have of being able to duplicate the key. If you’ve lost a key fob, a good locksmith might be able to help make a new one and reprogram the replacement. It will depend on the sophistication of the key.
- Look for discount replacement keys or key fobs online.
Aftermarket keys and factory replacements can be found online for less. You can either find a reputable dealer on eBay or look for companies that sell replacement car keys. As mentioned before, the older your car is the simpler it’ll be to replace it. Before you buy, call around to see who would be willing to program the key bought online.
How to Replace a New Electronic Car Key
- Check your warranty or car insurance to see if they cover key replacement.
Depending on how new your car is and how high-end it is, your key may not be replaced by anyone except the manufacturer and distributor. With a warranty or car insurance, you might be able to get a discount. When purchasing, make sure you have all your car information, a valid photo ID, and other sets of keys you may have for the dealer.
- Visit your local locksmith.
Again, depending on the sophistication of your car keys, you could try to see if your local locksmith will duplicate them. If your key has a microchip, they won’t be able to duplicate it. If it has a transponder, the locksmith could potentially do it for $50-$120.
- Buy an aftermarket replacement car key.
You can simply search “aftermarket electronic car keys” on the internet and find plenty of replacement options for electronic car keys. You could get a new car key for 75% less than what a dealer would charge, but you’ll still need to get it programmed so check prices before purchasing anything.
- Get a new set from your dealer.
Depending on how new your car is, this could cost you up to $200 and more. But, if you want a key that you know will work and you need it quickly, this is not a bad option. You can visit your local dealer – Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, etc.
- Program your new key to your car.
When you get your new car keys, you might be able to avoid a special technician and the costs of having them program your key. Depending on your car, the owner’s manual might have instructions involving opening/closing the doors, turning the lights and other electronics on and off, pressing buttons like a code, etc.
How to Replace a Malfunctioning Electric Key
- Wait it out.
Sometimes if it’s really cold or hot the electric key might stop working properly. If you get it a little too wet, sometimes water can work its way in there and cause some issues. Let the key rest for a little while before you pay a lot of money to replace it if this happens to you.
- Reset all your keys.
A key fob can stop working properly after you have a change or repair in the car’s electrical systems (like a battery). Find your owner’s manual and find out how to reset all your keys according to the instructions provided.
- Replace the battery.
If you notice your key working badly over the span of a couple days, your battery could be dying. A replacement car battery is inexpensive compared to a full replacement and can be found online, at an auto-locksmith, or at an electronics store. Most batteries are pretty simple to replace and only require a Philips screwdriver.
Have a Pickup Truck? Cool Options to Consider
Having a pickup truck is great, there are so many cool tips, tricks, and fun things you can do with a pickup truck that you can’t do with any other vehicle.
If you have a pickup truck and are looking to have some fun with it, consider these cool options and fun ideas.
Cool Tips and Hacks for Pickup Trucks
- Cool your Truck Down in Seconds
If you have ever left your truck, or any car for that matter, outside in the sun for a long time on a hot day, it can be sweltering when you get inside to start driving. Instead of cranking up the AC and letting your car cool down for fifteen minutes, try this hack to push the heat out of your truck in seconds.
First, open the window on the passenger side of the car. Next, open and close the drivers side door several times, about 5 or 6 times total. This should push all of the warm air out of your truck practically instantly. From there you can get in your car and start driving right away, without melting in a hot truck or waiting a half an hour for it to cool down.
- Remove Minor Dents with a Plunger
Pickup trucks are big, there’s no doubt about it. It can be easy to simply ding a car (or unfortunately have someone else ding you), while backing out of a parking spot or tight quarters on the road.
If you happen to get a minor dent in your pickup truck, you don’t have to take it straight to the mechanic right away. Instead, try the option of plunging out minor dents in your pickup truck. You can use your household plunger, or go out and buy a new one, either one is a perfectly fine option.
To plunge out a minor dent in your pickup truck, place the hole of the plunger over the small dent, and plunge with your plunger like you would … anything else.
- Clean Headlights with Toothpaste
Driving in a pickup truck can get dirty. When you have an authoritative vehicle like a pickup truck, mud, bugs, and other road debris can get plastered to the headlights when you and your truck power down the road.
You would be surprised at how much dirty headlights can obstruct vision while driving. All of the debris that the headlight collect over time cause the lights to appear dimmer, which isn’t so helpful when you are driving at night. It is important to keep the headlights on any vehicle clean for full visibility on the road.
Instead of paying for your entire pickup truck to be cleaned, try this awesome DIY hack to get your headlights shining like new. Use toothpaste! Simply smear toothpaste over the front of your headlights and leave it for a few minutes. Then, wipe the toothpaste off with a cloth to reveal bright and shiny looking headlights!
Fun Ideas to Consider for your Pickup Truck
- Attach a Tiny House or Trailer and Travel the Country
It can be extremely easy to hook up a tiny house or even a trailer to your pickup truck, and then you have the option to bring your home with you when you travel!
To hook up a tiny house or trailer to a pickup truck, you will need 5 basic components:
- Trailer Hitch Receiver
- Ball Mount
- Pin and Clip
- Trailer Hitch Ball
- Wiring Harness
Check out this cool article on etrailer.com for more information on how to install these components.
If you don’t have a tiny home or a trailer to attach to your pickup truck, it can be a fun option to build your own custom tiny home to hook up to your pickup truck. You can even buy the plans and materials it takes to make your own tiny home so all you have to do is put it together.
Hatchbacks VS SUV
Both hatchbacks and SUVs offer drivers a variety of different benefits. Whichever one of these two vehicles offer the best benefits varies from person to person, and what their individual vehicle needs are.
Some people might need a powerful payload capacity to haul passengers and cargo, whereas others may need better fuel economy. These are important factors, among others, to take into consideration before deciding between a hatchback or an SUV for your motor vehicle needs.
Generally, hatchbacks are noticeably cheaper than an SUV when bought outright. Plus, the rate of depreciation of a hatchback is slightly lower than it would be for an SUV. Hatchbacks usually manage to retain more than 58% of their initial cost after three years. This is usually pretty enticing to many car owners, as the manufacturing standard for most vehicles is only 35%.
When it comes to which vehicle has the better gas mileage, the hatchback has the SUV beat. On average, hatchbacks will consume noticeably less fuel, and save drivers more money than if they had decided to go with an SUV instead. On average, most SUVs will get around 20 miles per gallon, though they can range from 11-25 miles per gallon depending on the make and model . A hatchback on the other hand, will get an average of 23 miles per gallon, though ranging between 16-39 miles per gallon depending on the individual make and model.
On average, SUVs are noticeably bigger than hatchbacks. As a result of their height and higher seating, they offer drivers a more overhead, wide open view of the road. Plus, they tend to be able to seat more passengers. Cargo space, depending on the individual make and model, can still be fairly comparative however. That said, the hatchback has a lower center of gravity, smaller size, and easier maneuverability. These benefits make the hatchback more appealing to different people.
People often assume that an SUV has more space than a hatchback, but that is not necessarily always the case. It really does come down to the individual vehicle, as there is no average size. To give an example, a 2015 Honda Fit has 16.6 cubic feet for cargo room, while the 2014 Hyundai Accent provides 21.2 cubic feet. That is more spacious than a 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser, which only has 16.1 cubic feet of cargo space. For the most part, many compact SUVs and hatchbacks have pretty similar amounts of cargo space. In this department, it sort of comes to a draw.
When it comes to the seating situation, the SUV has the hatchback beat. Hatchbacks tend to have only 4-5 seats, whereas SUVs can have up to 7-8 seats. In addition to that, SUVs are much easier for people to get in and out of. There is no need to crouch down and squeeze through a pushed forward front seat (which can be a major pain). Plus, accommodating large car seats, or transporting a whole soccer team is much easier to do in an SUV.
Aside from there being a few exceptions here and there (such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hybrid), hatchbacks are generally cheaper to insure than SUVs. This is because on average, hatchbacks have lower repair costs, lower injury rates, and are less likely to get stolen. Many insurers see hatchbacks as a safer investment of their money and resources. And as a result, do not charge as much to insure them.
SUVs tend to be fairly high ranking when it comes to safety. But hatchbacks are the safest car on the market overall, despite being less bulky and sturdy. This is especially true during the event of a head-on collision. That said, when it comes to the safety of each vehicle, the difference is not all that staggering between the two. The safest hatchback on the market is a Volvo V40, with a safety rating of 90.25% from the Euro NCAP. While the safest SUV is a Ford Kuga, which got a score of 87.5% from the Euro NCAP.
Amphibious Cars: A History on Land and Sea
Amphibious cars have made their mark across history, and you may not even know! Amphibious vehicles have the ability to drive on land and function as a boat on water. They’ve been used for many different things like industrial use, military use, and personal use. The first few amphibious vehicles weren’t even intentional!
The Early History of Amphibious Cars
In 1849, Gail Borden created a sail-powered wagon that ran on land and was watertight, but it tipped over 50 ft from the shore because of lack of ballast.
An unintentional attempt at an amphibious vehicle was with logging companies. Logging companies relied on river flow to transport logs, but when the river flow was slow, there would be pile-ups. They created the Alligator tug, which was a steam-powered paddle boat that could haul itself out of the water and across a body of land to get to the next area of water. It was even used until the 1930s.
The Amphibious Digger (Oruleter Amphibolos) was made by Oliver Evans in 1905, who was an inventor from Philadelphia. He made it for the city council who wanted to deepen Delaware River Dock area of the Schuylkill River. It weighed 17 tons, so they put wheels on it to get it from the shop to the river, making it the first amphibious vehicle, even if it only ran once.
20th Century of Amphibious Cars
The first true, all-terrain vehicle that was made with the purpose of traveling on land and water, and successfully did so, was created by Peter Prell of New Jersey in 1931. Its sole purpose was to beat the traffic jam on the tube and ferry while he was commuting to New York. It went 25 mph on water and 40 mph on land.
Amphibious vehicles really played a role in World War II. Both sides of the war wanted an easier and convenient way to transport troops and supplies both land and water. Germany created the Landwasserschlepper that functioned for them from 1936 to 1945. The British even produced the Terrapin in response to the US’s DUKWs because the US couldn’t produce enough fast.
Before the US used the DUKWs, Ford had produced a special ¼-ton GPW Jeep (aka Seep) that was smaller, lighter, and less stable than the DUKWs, also called Ducks. Originally created just for combat, they excelled beyond that after the war. They’re used today as a tourist craft in marine environments.
While the DUKWs were still being produced, people wanted to continue making amphibious cars that were more consumer friendly. In 1959, the first “civil” amphibious vehicle was introduced by Hans Trippel which he called the Eurocar. Later, it would be renamed the Amphicar, and under 500 were made between 1961-1966. In 1962, it crossed the English-channel. Even Lyndon B Johnson owned one!
21st Century of Amphibious Cars
Surprisingly, the 21st Century is not as rich as the history was starting out. In 1996, Alan Gibbs started the concept for a new and improved Amphicar with the British car company Lotus. It was meant to have better engineering and to study its viability. It came out in 2012.
In 2004, John Gilijam built an amphibious motor home that cost $1.2 million dollars. After that, he was employed by Cool Amphibious Manufacturing International which makes many of the amphibious vehicles you see today.
What are Amphibious Vehicles Used For?
The idea of amphibious vehicles first came about unintentionally. They were used for transport of items from land and on water. Eventually, they became useful to transport people and military supplies, and they became extremely important during World War II.
Now, amphibious vehicles are more used for entertainment and tourist attractions. Places like Wisconsin Dells use amphibious vehicles to tour marine environments and make things exciting. People also use them for competitions like setting Guinness World Records.
How Much Do Amphibious Vehicles Cost?
WaterCar came out with the Panther back in 2013. This car looks like a Jeep CJ-8, has a fiberglass hull, retracting wheels, and a jet boat drive. They claimed to be the world’s fastest amphibious car which could do 80 mph on the road and 44 mph on the water. It has long-travel, off-road suspension.
For a “Rolling chassis” it’s $76,000, $106,000 for a “Turn-key minus” version, and a whopping $135,000 for a complete Panther. The uncompleted models require less legal and regulatory requirements than the complete vehicles.
Hot Rods, High Heels and Rat Fink (A Look Into The Culture Of Hot Rods)
hat people don’t often realize is how hot rods and hot rodding is practically a footprint of American history that has just started becoming a more open and accessible community thanks to things like technology and social media. But how far back?
During the Great Depression, hot rods became a way for people who couldn’t afford the luxury cars of the wealthy. Using the mass-produced Ford Model A’s and Model T’s, these souped-up cars were stripped of their parts to improve their speed and performance.
Of course, with these speedy new hot rods gave rise to the culture, and after the end of World War II it became a postwar trend, especially in places that were abundant with auto shops and mechanics. In fact, California has been considered by many auto historians as the birthplace of hot rods and hot rodding because of this.
Before we delve into the changing community of hot rods throughout history, we should probably mention the origins of the term. Hot rods and how it became the word for these modified vehicles has been contested over the years. Some say it was based on how the word “hot” was used when a car was stolen back in the 30’s, and would be modified and stripped down so much, that it could not be recognized as the stolen vehicle, thus becoming a hot rod.
However, others have also added that the word comes from the way the word hot can be slang for cool just like how “sick” became a term for awesome. Whether you agree or disagree, several of these factors were likely to have been what made what we call hot rods so iconic. But where did the culture go in the rest of time, and where is it going now?
Notable Periods for Hot Rods
As mentioned before, hot rods were just a way for lower classes and more skilled gearheads to make souped-up rides that could outrun any of the wealthier automobiles bought up by the upper class. In the decades that would come, the economy would play a vital role in where hot rodding would go for its flourishing community. Will highlight a few of these decades chronologically, from the 1960’s to now!
- 60’s:After World War 2, hot rod culture entered this sort of golden era. During the 60’s the introduction of muscle cars by Detroit Motor City gave more recognition to the hot rodding community. One thing to note from this decade is the art of hot rods.
- A prominent artist that would help jumpstart the Kustom Kulture for hot rods, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, he sold these detailed cartoon monsters that were airbrushed on t-shirts and even decals. However, the one that made him popular was the character of Rat Fink, who was a green, twisted version of a Mickey Mouse that would become the icon of the Kustom Kulture movement and diverted hot rods into many sub groups that were represented by their clothing, art and cars.
- 80’s:During the 70’s, popularity in hot rodding went down due to OPEC oil embargoes, but not without creating a new group of auto lovers, that would emphasize on customizing the interior and exterior design of their hot rods rather than their engine (this would later evolve into the street rods we know presently).
- Even then, popularity slumped down yet again in the 80’s. This gave birth to a number of nostalgic hot rodding communities that pushed away from the counterculture of street rods by preserving the 1950’s American icons that were what some would call the “original” hot rods. Because of these new communities of hot rods, it became clear that the culture would eventually hit mainstream.
- 90’s and Present: The 90’s spelled for a more rebornstyle of what made hot rods, well hot rods. These throwbacks included souped-up creations that would include the “rust” look rather than a new paint job, as well as attracting the youth at the time. The need of bringing it back to its roots would also lead to dressing and acting the part, which meant greased hair, retro clothes and 1950’s music.
In the early 2000’s, it became clear that hot rodding would become part of the global conglomerate, especially with the likes of auto enthusiasts. Shows like American Hot Rod brought the community into the mainstream light, but also birthed the new evolution of hot rods, which were known as street rods.
Street rods are the family-friendly equivalent of the hot rods we know today. Unlike hot rods, street rods are not meant to be customized for their speed and for races, but more about the look and leisure novelty. Street rods are typically what you see now in car shows and have been the general audience version of the more crass and rough exterior of earlier hot rod culture.
What The Culture Of Hot Rods Have Given Us!
But where else is there to go? Hot rods will likely never go down due to the current growth in the economy, as well as its global spotlight with car lovers everywhere. From its humble beginnings to its stylistic innovations, hot rods and its culture will perpetuate and continue to have a fresh community if people continue to admire the hobby of hot rodding.
Whether you prefer hot rods, street rods or the other intricacies of hot rodding in Kustom Kulture, there is plenty to look for in this niche turned mainstream trend.
Influential Women and Their Cars
Sometimes we identify influential people by a key moment in their lives. We associate them with a specific image when they pop into our heads. Maybe it’s an act they did… or, maybe it’s a car! Here are a couple of influential women from US history, how they became who we know them as, and some of their cars!
During the time that Marilyn Monroe debuted her nude calendar, women were expected to be proper and ladylike for their men. Modesty and decorum was of the utmost importance, and sexuality was essentially unheard of. When her calendar came out, the media exploded and were ready for a scandal.
It didn’t come because Marilyn Monroe wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed for what she did. She held her head high, admitted to it, and would even make jokes about it. The world fell in love with her, and she changed sexuality for women and women in the acting industry for good. She was a feminist before there was the word.
She showed woman that you could be sexual, aware, and revel in your body and still be a respected woman. You could be elegant undressed, sensual without being crass, and you could make your man happy while being a proper woman in public.
In the industry, she started her own production company and was the first woman to do so. She fought for women’s rights in the studio industry and gave women a say in what they do. She won the right of script, co-star, and directorial approval.
Marilyn Monroe’s Cars
There aren’t many cars she owned since she was famous during the era of the limousine, but there are cars she’s associated with due to movies, associations, and photographs:
- 1954 Cadillac Eldorado – A gift from Jack Benny for being on his show, and her first new car.
- 1956 Coral Pink Thunderbird
- 1962 Chrysler 300H Convertible – Not her car, but the last photos of her were in this car used as a prop.
Mary Kay Ash
Mary Kay Ash worked in a male-dominated business world, and regretfully retired in 1963 without ever receiving a promotion or raise. She wrote a book and made two lists of what her company had done wrong, and what they had done right. Unintentionally, she created a marketing plan for a company that allowed open-ended potential for women to achieve personal and academic success.
For over 45 years, her company Mary Kay has dominated the global independent sales force today with more than 3 million women and is respected by business and academic leaders. She gave women an opportunity that no other companies did: a way to make money, have a social life, and care for your kids.
Mary Kay is recognized as one of America’s greatest women entrepreneurs after she stepped out into a man’s world to create a path for women. She built the company on praising people to succeed and crushing criticism within that praise. She’s one numerous awards like “100 Greatest Women of 100 Years” (2008) and “Most Outstanding Women in Business in the 20th Century” (2001).
Mary Kay’s Car
If you know anything about Mary Kay as a person or even the company, you know they are recognized for the pink Cadillacs. Mary Kay rewarded herself with a pink Cadillac in 1968 for a record of sales, and later rewarded the top 5 sales people with pink Cadillacs.
Now, GM has customized over 100,000 pink Cadillacs for Mary Kay consultants, and they only produce those cars for women in Mary Kay.
When you think powerful and influential woman, Oprah Winfrey might be the first if not the second person that comes to mind. She is an activist, philosopher, talk show host, actress, and more. She’s done it all, seen it all, and given to all that her life has touched.
She became the youngest news anchor and first female black reporter after her time on a radio station. In the early 1990s, she led a campaign to establish a database of convicted child abusers, motivated by her own memories of child abuse. In 1993, President Clinton signed the Oprah Bill that made her campaign a reality.
She has also awarded hundreds of grants that support women’s education in the United States and around the world. In Johannesburg, she’s donated $40 million of her own money as well as time to set up the leadership Academy for Girls.
Her talk show has also shaped the way others do their talk shows for the last two decades. She has a massive following across her show, book club, site, magazine, radio channel, personal tours, YouTube, Facebook, and cable network. She has made the list of 100 most influential people many, many times. She changed the nature of journalism and is known as the most influential African-American of her generation and most influential American woman in the world.
Oprah Winfrey’s Cars
“You get a car!” There’s nothing more iconic than Oprah Winfrey’s talk show when she gave everyone in the audience a car. While she may not have iconic cars attached to her name like Marilyn Monroe or Mary Kay Ash, she does own quite a few of luxurious cars that anyone might be interested in:
- Lincoln Navigator
- Volkswagen Beetle
- Cadillac Escalade
- Chrysler 300 C
- Tesla Model S
- Private Jet – It may not be a car, but that’s just as cool.
Mary T. Barra
You may not be familiar with her, but she may be the CEO of your car’s company. Mary T. Barra is the CEO of General Motors and was elected back in 2014. General Motors has focused on strengthening its core business and working to lead the transformation of cars with advanced technologies under her leadership.
From a “factory rat” that avoided the bankruptcy of GM in 2010, she climbed the corporate ladder. She is the first woman to serve as CEO of a major automaker. During her first year, she was forced to make 84 safety recalls on over 30 million cars. She was asked to testify on the recalls, and due to her honesty and effort to change, the industry applauded her for it. She pushed for the companies transition into the tech space and to develop the Chevy Bolt EV which beat rival Tesla in developing the first electric car to have a range of 200 miles.
Not only that, but she has been elected onto the board of Disney, making her the 12th person elected to this board where Robert Iger says she is a respected leader and an agent of change.
For the fifth time in 2016, she was listed as one of the world’s most powerful women.
Mary T. Barra’s Cars
Technically, Mary T. Barra has a lot of cars. She is the CEO of General Motors, one of the Big Three automotive manufacturers. Her cars are: