Car Corner: Stock or modified?

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Car enthusiasts generally come in two varieties: those who prefer to keep their cars in stock form as they came from the factory, and those (like me) who like to modify them to make them unique.
I have modified all three of my show cars with body decals, hood scoops, engine compartment dress-up and some performance enhancements. Because all my cars are between the years 2006 and 2008, there are many around very similar to the stock version. For this reason I modify them to make them unique to the style that I like, and hopefully others will like.

My friend Mike is a real stock guy. He likes to keep all of his classic cars stock, as they were when they left the factory. This approach works for Mike because of the age of his classic cars (most older than 30 years). They are unique in themselves. You just don’t see too many 1959 Chrysler New Yorkers around, particularly any as nice as his car. I think this is generally the main criteria for considering modifications. The older cars can be fairly rare and unique in their stock condition while the newer cars need some modifications to make them different than the others in their class.

When we take our cars to events and shows, we want the other car owners and spectators to be attracted to them and (most of us) want to win awards. If you bring a newer car in stock condition ­- such as a Mustang – to a show, the competition is very tough which may reduce your chances of winning an award. The newer 2005 and up Mustang is a good example because there are so many of them around and they are a great car for the price. So owners of Mustangs who want to show their cars and win awards tend to modify them to some degree. My 2007 Mustang GT California Special is a limited edition and a bit unique in itself but still I have added some decals and engine dress-up parts to make it my own.

Another good example is the 2005 and up Corvette. There aren’t as many of them around as Mustangs, but if you get 50 or 100 of them together at a show they tend to look similar. You see fewer modified Corvettes – but, again, I feel you need to make some modifications to make them look different and stand out from the others. On my 2008 Corvette coupe, I have added some decal stripes and engine dress-up parts.

I certainly respect those who choose to keep their show cars in stock condition but I am more of a “modified car” guy so my cars are a little different from others at cruise-ins and shows.

Upcoming events:

??April 5: Kiwanis Car Show open to all years and models of cars and trucks at Nick Nicholas Ford Lincoln on Highway 44 in Inverness from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

??April 13: The Corvettes and Camaros car show open to all Corvettes, Camaros and Cadillac XLRs (close cousin to the Vette) at the Crystal Chevrolet dealership on U.S. 19 in Homossassa from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ken McNally is a car enthusiast from Citrus County and his Car Corner columns appear twice each month on the second and fourth Fridays of the Hernando Today. Contact him at or (352) 341-1165.