Building a Custom Car

Many gearheads dream of making a custom car. That is to say that they want it to be either 100% custom or an extensively modified car put together from the parts of many disparate sources to make something completely new. A lot of time this is based on a need to push the envelope in regards to performance or style.


For Performance

For some people a factory produced car just doesn’t cut it. They have a need for speed that can’t be satisfied by some run of the mill vehicle whose speedometer only goes up to 220 mph. The most common form of car upgrades is an engine swap. People will take their own engine out and put in a more powerful one. It’s not as simple as simply taking an engine out and putting in a new one. Technical requirements may require you to replace a lot of other parts to make sure they can handle the stress of a more powerful engine block.


For Style

Far and away the most common reasons for making a custom vehicle is for some stylistic reason. A lot of people are nostalgic for cars from their youth or want to recreate iconic cars from movies. Where the visuals are concerned, chromatic paints, fiberglass bodies, custom graphic wraps made by graphic designers, and pearlescent paint jobs are often used. Some people will even custom build their own body from fiberglass, metal, or even wood!


Getting Approval

Different states have different laws for making a car street legal. While this can vary wildly between states in the USA (California being the strictest) there are some commonalities. All vehicles require a solid structure including a rigid body that can protect the occupants to a degree in the event of an accident. Though is varies from state to state, here is a list of other thing most require: turn signals, mirrors, a horn that can be heard 200 feet away, a hood, windows that are not excessively tinted, windshield wipers, some way to steer adequately, a way to break (not just stop but also slow), a certain level of ground clearance, headlights that can do both high and low beams (for signaling), a visible spot for a license plate, reflective patches on the car, and some form of bumpers. A lot of folks mess with golf-carts or ATVs as a base but those requirements make car chassis the best choice.

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