Help me make my car weird
January 4, 2015 4:19 PM   Subscribe

I bought a red Nissan Versa. I like it. It's sort of cute. However, I've always wanted to do something odd with my car; other cars usually all seem so boring on the roads. Ideally I'd have it painted #ff3c00, but I don't have thousands of dollars or whatever to spend on it. What else can I do?

I thought of a huge plastic shark fin, or plaster it with "anti-bumper stickers", which would just be barcodes or random numbers (I am not a fan of regular bumper stickers, with hokey/cheesy messages). Or maybe some of those chrome trim strips that I stick on very crookedly. Anything in the same vein...more $ than $$$, and preferably removable in case I ever trade it in (not the current plan, but hey, things change).
posted by polywomp to Grab Bag (25 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Whatever you end up doing, keep in mind that anything you add and later remove for trade-in is going to leave an imprint from the UV fading around it, especially if the car spends most of its parked time outside.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2015 [7 favorites]

You're going to want to spend about $300 on decorative engine vent stickers.

Put them everywhere. Everywhere.

Roof. Doors. Back windshield. Trunk. Bumpers.

Also: headlight eyelashes and truck nuts. You have to do both. Genderfluid car with liberal use of decorative vents.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:38 PM on January 4, 2015 [6 favorites]

Couple people around here have absolutely covered their cars with plastic critters - dinosaurs in one case and insects in the other. Best done to an elderly beater I'd think because it can't be good for resale but I smile every time I see one of them.
posted by leslies at 4:42 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Spiked Lug Nuts
posted by oxisos at 4:46 PM on January 4, 2015

I've seen these IRL on some cars:

I suspect they don't do any real damage to the car, but I am not sure.
posted by Michele in California at 4:46 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You could get a vinyl car wrap, cheaper than a paint job, and removable. Still many hundred dollars, but available in wide variety. Many of the wild supercar "paint jobs" are just vinyl/foil wraps

Needs to be professionally installed.
posted by TheAdamist at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2015

We have bird decals on our car (we are birders, so). We got them here; they have a ton of different kinds that aren't birds or animals.
posted by rtha at 4:52 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Perhaps not quite right due to the make/model of your car, but I've always wanted to get a red VW Beetle, paint the hood black, and paint large black dots on the roof and trunk.

Just wanted to let the internet know that.
posted by lharmon at 5:00 PM on January 4, 2015 [11 favorites]

Stick a big wing on the back.
posted by GeeEmm at 5:03 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have always wanted to get my car vinyl wrapped plaid...probably a subtle tartan. I figure it would be somewhere close to the intersection of weird and tasteful.
posted by Elly Vortex at 5:07 PM on January 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Most car mods are either functional (or ostensibly so), or are shibboleths of some sort or another. I think if you're not interested in altering your car's functionality, and not interested in identifying yourself as belonging to some particular subculture or another, you're basically looking for art car ideas.

Art car ideas run from the nerdy to lighthearted to impressive and on forever; there's no end. Is there anything in particular about yourself that you want to convey? What might that be? Anti-art like bar codes can also be meaningful. For example, you can embed any data you want into a QR code, from poetry to stories to clues for a scavenger hunt.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 5:26 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sharpie, baby.

Most spectacularly, here.
posted by 4ster at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

I put contact paper on my very first car.
posted by Lucinda at 5:45 PM on January 4, 2015

Best answer: Friends and I recently painted a friend's car with chalkboard paint. Then everyday there was something different on the car! (And many of the days it sat parked in public it was dozens of dicks! Whatever, it rains or you wipe it down and then you start again.)
posted by Trivia Newton John at 5:57 PM on January 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: 1. Get lots of bottle caps --- the kind you have to use a bottle opener for, not the screwtop kind. Ask your friends to help: these are frequently found on beer bottles..... Different brands = different colors and patterns.

2. Go to a craft store and get lots of magnets; glue them inside the bottle caps.

3. Arrange the magnet caps in pretty patterns all over your car. And since they're magnets, you can rearrange them whenever you want. The more the merrier!
posted by easily confused at 6:13 PM on January 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is the only sticker I have ever put on a car I have owned.

Maybe next will be an Arc reactor.
posted by plinth at 6:18 PM on January 4, 2015

Best answer: The answers to a question like this should always include Telstar Logistics, though in truth the urban camouflage strategy does work best with white vehicles.

"The short answer is that it's a scam for parking illegally in loading zones."
posted by megatherium at 6:43 PM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I love the shark fin idea myself.
posted by fshgrl at 6:46 PM on January 4, 2015

If you live in a snowy climate, don't do anything that is both 3D and fragile, or it will scrape off while you're trying to get the snow off your car.
posted by aimedwander at 7:28 PM on January 4, 2015

Mock up a large wind-up-key and attach it via the radio antenna point. Cant the fob ends slightly so it spins while the car is in motion.
posted by nickggully at 7:35 PM on January 4, 2015

Reddit's Shitty Car Mods forum has all the inspiration you need.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:22 PM on January 4, 2015

Best answer: A Versa with Truck Nutz would be...something. I'd laugh, anyway.

If that's a bit too declasse, I think a Versa would do well with rear badging claiming that it was actually an Audi Mercedes V12 Biturbo Kompressor TDI Hybrid 4WD AllRoad TT RS Q7 AMG Eddie Bauer Edition.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:37 PM on January 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

Did you buy a 4-door or 5-door? If you bought the hunchback, you can style it up with a rear wiper decal like this one. They're all over eBay; search "wiper decal".
posted by workerant at 7:16 AM on January 5, 2015

husband used to have a car eons ago where he took one of those sort of "extremez" snowboarder/no fear/whatever-type bumper stickers, cut it up, and rearranged it so it spelled "nerd". just a thought. i've often wanted to make one of those jesus fish logo things into a cat head-shaped thing that said "feline" inside. stuff where you take the usual bland stuff and alter it to actually pertain to you.
posted by ifjuly at 10:02 AM on January 5, 2015

Get a programmable LCD Rear Window Message Board and let the people driving behind you know what you are thinking, or better yet what are thinking about them....
posted by lstanley at 12:35 PM on January 5, 2015

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