I pass this gussied-up Taurus every day on my way to work, and it really bothers me. It looks to be a 2000-03 model, and it sports the champagne color ever popular with rental companies, fleets, and mid-1990s suburbia. The chrome alloy wheels and red brake calipers do look expensive (read: overpriced), but are totally mismatched on a car this bland. But the real problem with this car are the aftermarket air vents and V8 logo. Both are a bit crooked and appear to have been affixed at home using crazy glue.
Air vents aren't supposed to protrude from a car - doesn't that defeat their aerodynamic purpose? And this Taurus is not a SHO (they didn't even offer one on this body style), so affixing a V8 logo is ridiculous. The V8 was only offered on late-90s SHOs anyway - today, a V6 is offered.
The concept of car customization is as old as the automobile itself, and saw resurgence in the 1990s and early 2000s with movies such as Fast and the Furious. Cars were still basic enough to easily swap a bumper on a Civic, swap the taillights on an Eclipse, or replace the hood of a Mustang. Toyota specifically created Scion to address the young population driving these trends. However, in today's post-recession world, kids don't have discretionary money to spend on car customization (because their parents don't), and young people increasingly want to retain the resale value of their cars. Today, Toyota is struggling to sell Scions. Cars are also more difficult to customize today; I would imagine that swapping out a new Honda CR-Z's body parts, while certainly achievable, is more difficult and expensive than doing so on a 1989 CR-X. There are more electronics, more curvy, tightly fitting body panels, and more safety regulations in today's cars than ever before. Therefore, simple "at-home remedies", such as the stickers affixed to the Taurus pictured above, are increasingly popular and cost-effective way to attempt to make your car unique.
How air vents are supposed to be done
Air vents look great on some cars. Portholes are an interesting subset of air vents, and I think Buick is the only company that can pull them off. The portholes look great on the new
|Buick Regal GS|
|Mercedes SLS AMG|
|Porsche 911 Turbo|
How NOT to do air vents (besides the Taurus)
Similar to the owners of the shameful Taurus, many manufacturers add air vents to their cars in a tasteless manner. Often what was intended to be a status symbol turns into an embarrassment.