Image via Instagram @originalcarlashes
There are car accessories that make a statement, and those that make kitsch look respectable. What you choose and how you display your taste is up to you.
Image via Instagram @originalcarlashes
Have you ever had a car pull up next to you at a traffic light and slowly lower its eyelashes and wink suggestively at you? If you have, you have experienced one of life’s rare highlights — a brief moment when the worlds of kitsch and car accessories have collided.
A bit like the distasteful 1970s trend when folks adorned their dashboards with fur. Disturbingly, the same dash protectors can still be found online today.
Similarly, a development of the 1990s, and still on sale today, the eyelashes are a reminder of the days when the only “classy” accessory was the cloth cap beloved of people who drove (and now own) open sports cars that matched this era.
It was also a reminder that the MBG and Triumph drivers knew that because of their cars’ immense power and their high top-ends that their caps were safe. Unless you were going over a cliff, the checked piece of cloth would stay glued to your heads.
But, going forward in time, having a flirtatious BMW bat its eyelashes at you can also induce a sense of horror at just what people can do to their cars in their search to be different and make a statement.
Thinking of what Teutonic purists would think of their brand being treated this way, led me down a path of discovery past “universal pink car lashes” (at just about R250 a pair) and on to the leather “car bra” — but let’s rather not go there at all… (Those jokes aren’t funny, wash your mouth out, they are really a practical way of saving the front of your car from stone chips ).
I will play it safe and accessorise my ageing SLK with a Star Wars “stormtrooper” car bonnet ornament. It will go nicely with my stick-on vinyl sunroof that looks like the real thing until you get inside the car.
But then, I still have my multi-coloured interior car lighting system to impress the ladies…
Add in my “100% recycled plastic, slim-profile” car waste bin with clips at the base to latch onto the carpet and remain upright and I have a win-win customised vehicle. If you are not content yet, there are still plenty of accessories (some that are even useful) to make your car look like it belongs in an automotive circus, sorry concourse.
How about a remote-controlled roof-mounted car cover. Giving your car what looks like an armoured cannon turret on the roof could help for a while in South Africa. But, once the guys find out it’s a car cover and not the latest in DIY car defence, our informal shopping segment will have a field day.
Then again, if it’s real pavement appeal you are after, consider covering your car with a genuine velvet car wrap. At just R24 000, it must be love at first sight.
The unfortunate side is that it will take you a long time to travel anywhere. It’s almost guaranteed that traffic will slow down around you and every traffic cop in town will pull you over. Of course, the ultimate would be a velvet Rolls Royce with a gold Spirit of Ecstasy popping through the material.
If it’s interior comfort rather than exterior bling you want, think about a car “fragrance vent clip diffuser”.
Finished in delightful, genuine vinyl wood this elegant accessory is sure to make your date believe that she has landed in the clutches of a human trafficker (especially if you also have the John Travolta flashing disco lights option fitted).
Ooh, no way, you say, once she sees that you also have a car “air purifier/ ioniser anti-microbial car deodoriser with dual USB ports”, she’ll know you for the considerate, tasteful person you are. If you doubt this, read the following glowing (edited) tribute for affirmation:
“Well we just drove for 14 hours, and I asked my wife, ‘hey, how does your nose feel and how does your skin feel? Generally, we are super stuffy and greasy feeling. She replied, ‘actually, my nose feels good, and I don’t feel all oily’.” (High praise, indeed).
Go the whole way and fit an in-car condiment holder. Paradise. Now you can dip your slap chips in tomato sauce while you drive. It’s also a great budget stretcher as dates will become a lot cheaper.
The list goes on and on, but there is a logical place to finish; that is with the Honda e. Never heard of it, you haven’t lived. Called the Motocompo, it folds up into a 118cm by 54cm parcel that slips neatly into the boot of a car. The problem is that it weighs about 45 kilos.
Then, to get the bike operating, you have to remove the plastic cover to get to the handlebars and extend them ( be careful of your body parts and don’t stand directly above the bars. It could end up costing you an operation of a different kind).
Then, jerk the mirrors up, lock the cover back in place, turn the ignition, and you are ready to tackle the worst that kamikaze drivers can dish out. Perhaps it’s appropriate that it has a top speed of 30 kph (depending on the size of your last meal) and that you are sitting astride the cover that resembles a mini coffin.
If you have to have a Motocompo, get one, but take heed of this advice: Keep away from double-decker buses…