Whether it’s hot hatches in Europe, low riders in Mexico, hot rods in America, or drift cars in Japan, the extreme car modification scene has long been a loud, colorful part of popular culture in many of the world’s developed countries. And regardless of whether you’re looking to bust records or turn heads, unleashing your creativity and ingenuity on an otherwise standard road car shows no sign of losing popularity.
And increasingly, you can add India to that list. While it’s true that vehicle modification in India is nothing new – lavishly decorating one’s truck or even motorcycle is a long-established tradition – the rapid emergence of India’s urban middle class has also seen vehicle ownership, and car ownership especially, boom. And with young, middle class Indians increasingly having the time and money to indulge their passions, this has seen a proportionate growth in car modification, too.
Affordable and widely accessible, it’s not surprising that India’s car modification scene has been quick to embrace the products of its indigenous car industry. Bespoke body kits, extreme sound equipment and other after-market parts are ideal for those wishing to transform a humble Nano or Indica into something a bit more eye-catching. Indeed (and not without a sense of irony, given its billing as the $2,500 ‘everyman’ vehicle), this has even extended to one Nano being decked out in plates of gold.
Even Zoom Car, India’s leading car-sharing company, has gotten in on the act, extensively modifying a classic Hindustan Ambassador after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014.
But you won’t only see extensively modified Indian cars on the roads of Mumbai, New Delhi and other cities. The popularity of car modification in Europe, North America, Japan, Korea and other major car producing countries and territories has given Indian owners a ready-made pool of aftermarket parts to tap into, as foreign cars become more affordable to Indians.
In fact, it’s actually possible for Indians to benefit from this without having to spend much at all. A great case in point is Royal Panda, an Indian online casino, is currently holding a competition where those who play a selection of its video slot machines can win an extensively modified Volkswagen Beetle, tricked out to look like a royal panda.
Bottom line: if you’re looking to apply the personal touch to your wheels, there’s never been a better time to do it.