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Sweet Cars Haters Say Have Been RUINED Because of Their Mods

Did the owners ruin these sweet cars by taking things too far?

Updated May 21, 2018

A car is blank canvas on which you can create art, but not everyone likes Picasso. Today we’re taking a break from fast cheap cars and wild crate engines to invite a discussion about sweet cars – and whether or not modifying them a certain way means they’ve been ruined.


The beauty of sweet cars like the STI, Evo, BRZ, and Civic is that you can change every little thing about them if you want. Aftermarket parts are in huge selection, so you can transform a run-of-the-mill people hauler into an awesome show winner, in whatever style you choose. You can make it all your own – the stance, the color, the interior, the engine. The beauty of car culture is that there’s always someone who will love it. You can make someone’s day just by showing up at a local car show, because car culture is awesome.


Car People

You have the power to let your personality show in whatever custom mods you put on. And more than ever before, people love to see that. Uniqueness is great, and originality is fun. There’s respect for the opinions and tastes of others, and whether your STI is wrapped in gold chrome or covered in mud, lowered on Vossens or raised six inches, true car people will appreciate your work and dedication even if it’s not what they would do themselves. And you do the same for them, because you’re a car person. And everyone is happy, because we’re all car people.


Where car people are considerate if they don’t like your taste, haters are not. Haters take all that nonsense of “mutual respect”, wad it up, and throw it in the backseat of their janky Integra where it gets lost in a pile of Taco Bell wrappers and empty vials of E juice. They don’t really care if you put an entire weekend into wrapping your BMW, because it looks worse than the shit they took this morning. Did you notice one of your edges is already peeling? That’s ‘cause your wrap game is shit bro. What a retard. I’m gonna post this on my snap story, #shittycars. Only a complete mumpsimus would wrap a car that color anyway. You’re a mumpsimus. Jk man, can I get a ride to Taco Bell?

Sure, haters don’t know what a mumpsimus is, but they do know how to say things like “Nice truck bro! Sorry about your dick.” They’re not terribly creative, but their message is that you ruined your ride and by extension you’re not very smart. Haters are most commonly found on the internet, but they’re occasionally seen in the wild at meets cracking jokes about cars when the owner’s not around. Bonus points are earned if while talking to a car’s owner, they find a way to one-up the owner with a story about how their car is better.

To find out if you’re a car person or a hater, let’s take a tour of sweet cars from all corners of car culture – or what people think used to be sweet cars – and see if you make it to the end without twitching or throwing up.

Stanced DeLorean

In Canada, the future looks stanced. You’ll notice the grille and front bumper have been changed, plus the owner has opted for a single windshield wiper. I can tell you one thing I wouldn’t do with a stainless steel bodied car: park it next to a cart corral in a grocery store parking lot. Maybe it got stuck, and maybe that’s the owner calling a tow truck. What’s that you say? How do we know he’s the owner? The guy has a mullet and a flip phone. If there’s anyone on Earth who should be driving a DeLorean, it’s him.

The ride height isn’t what people don’t like about it, it’s the tucked wheels. IMO it does look better photoshopped with flush fitment but it’s still a stanced DeLorean. I wonder what John DeLorean would say if he saw this.

Probably “sweet car fam, can it go 88mph? ? ? ?”

Fruity Continental

Wait, is a watermelon a fruit? I don’t even know anymore, because after staring at this ridiculous wrap for a few minutes I have literally forgotten what a watermelon actually is. This angle really accents the wide haunches, the shoulder line, and the sexy shape of the windows. I’m a sucker for quality window tint, and I can’t think of many other cars that would look this good as a watermelon on wheels. Stock wheels, no less. Priorities are in a good order here.

Just look at how boring the other cars in that lot look. It makes you wonder whether this Bentley is part of a watermelon delivery service or the personal vehicle of Sir Marlon Webb. Confusing people would be half the fun, and the owner agrees.

A sweet car that tastes as sweet as it looks.

Mean STI

Most car people agree Subies are sweet cars, so the division between lovers and haters lies in the details. I think this one looks epic, and others say flat black is played out. We can disagree. It’s okay.

It’s worth noting that Googling “mean STI” brings up an info box about gonorrhea and chlamydia, but this Reddit user’s setup looks like something Batman would cruise around in when his Lambo is in the shop. Canards for days, a tasteful front bumper and lip, minimalist side skirts, white letter Falkens, and a semi-matte wrap turn this Subie into a beast. Things haters might disagree with are stock wheels, tinted headlights, the hood, and the huge wing, but I think we can all agree that the window visors are what make this car what it is. How else are you gonna vape in the rain?

Car Guy: “Lots of sweet cars here man, but I love that yours looks that good on stock wheels.”

Hater: “Not bad man, but what you should have done differently with your front bumper is throw it in the trash, because STIs are gay and my Focus RS is faster.”

Any Ford Focus

Back when the Focus came out in 1998, a grand total of zero people at the Ford Design Department thought one would ever be driven fast or furiously. They figured it would never be on a list of sweet cars, but that was okay, because old ladies everywhere could pick up groceries in a small and economical car that reminded them of their youth or something. Especially the interior, because if there’s one thing car buyers in the late 90s loved it’s a cartoonishly plastic dash.

We’ve come a long way since the 90s. Today’s Focus is a svelte but potent hot hatch that’s respected on both sides of the Atlantic. Stylistically, its party trick of “hide the tail lights” doesn’t go over well with the haters, and every Focus owner has had someone tell them their car looks like the back end got lopped off. They might also say that white RS is impractically low. And if it has a loud exhaust, haters would gracefully refer to that as a fart cannon. That’s education in action.

There’s not much neutrality with the Focus – people either love or hate to see one customized.

Sinister RX7

Yaaas. Now this is one we can all agree is cool. There’s something to be said for a car that look this good 25 years down the road. Check out those riveted flares, the venerated ROTA Grids, the race mirrors, the low spoiler… and things that haters might hate include those riveted flares, the venerated ROTA Grids, the race mirrors, and the low spoiler. But rarely do you find someone who hates the FD RX7 altogether. This one’s rear fenders give the tail a sort of S2k look. The whole ensemble complements Mazda’s original design perfectly, but it’s far from stock and that might upset the purists.

Car Guy: “FDs are sweet cars man. I don’t usually like Rotas but they look great on yours.”

Hater: “Those wheels are so fugly, and I bet this thing is slow AF, it’s probably all show and no go, just like your mom, who I banged, because f&&k you.”

But, since too many of you liked this one, let’s compare it to an FD that’s not quite as subtle.

Pandem Boss FD3S RX7

You knew it was coming: world-famous Rocket Bunny creator Kei Miura has graced our list of sweet cars that people think have been ruined, and it’s not hard to see why. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that ain’t the nose of an FD RX7. The body mods create a long, low, flat nose, and it’s juxtaposed with the smooth curves of the rest of the body. Hoosier tires are the stuff of drag-racing Chevys and NASCAR wannabes – another nod to American muscle. Chrome fender mirrors and an RX3-inspired nose with quad round headlights, on the other hand, harken back to the sweet cars of old-school Japan.

Combine all that with a purple-on-copper color palette, and you have a ride that draws from all corners of car culture to make a controversial and captivating statement. It’s technically weird, but you can’t stop staring at it. Picasso would be proud.



Lifted Prius

Even car people hate on Prii. We just do. Sure, it’s valuable as a gas-sipping commuter. And sure, this one might be Photoshopped – but like aliens and Brad’s wife, I like to believe it’s real. I live in the Midwest, where it’s entirely possible that something like this could show up at a local car meet driven by a man who resembles the Stig’s American Cousin. It flies in the face of the other sweet cars on this list, and it literally throws mud on the good name of Prius. Haters gonna hate.

What’s the polar opposite of a lifted Prius, you ask?

Lowered Ram

People who diss lifted trucks might have to come up with some new insults, because this Ram 3500 has about as much wheel clearance as a Lamborghini and still manages to be twice as tall. The red-on-black theme is carried into the tow hooks, the headlights, and even the Cummins logo. That’s right, this baby can roll coal – and it’s a dually to boot. A sweet truck on a list of sweet cars. Whoda thunk.

If you drive a lowered Civic or V-Dub and you haven’t closed this tab yet, pat yourself on the back because we’re 99% sure you aren’t a hater. But the best is yet to come.

LB Works Prius

Seriously, Priuses aren’t usually sweet cars. But if you liked what the Rocket Bunny kit did to that RX7, fellow wide-low enthusiasts Liberty Walk have a similar style.

Just like a lifted Prius, a lowered one goes against everything a stock Prius stands for. This hypermiler looks classy in black – the paint is so deep it almost looks wet. LB even called attention to the gas cap, something others would try to hide. The rear decals display like the credits of a movie, the body kit is loud (and costs around $4000 unpainted), and the camber… ooh, the camber.

Camber is arguably the most polarizing thing about modern car culture. When people hate camber, they hate it hard… so haters, get ready to get hard.

Static TT

Oh. My. God. You see that sticker on the fender that says “static”? That means this TT isn’t on bags – this insane stance is how it rides all the time. That also means somebody put serious effort into calculating the camber angle and ride height, and probably fabricated custom parts too. This sweet car is so low it’s basically scraping the track. Wait… that’s not a track, that’s a road!

Not shown: a few miles later it encountered a puddle, which destroyed the front bumper and caused a huge crash. Jk, he made it safely to his weekly appointment at the tire shop.

THAT’S STUPID AND DUMB. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? Why not? We’re car people. We drive not for glory, nor riches, nor honors, but for freedom. They can take our lives, but they will never take OUR CAMBER! Okay, two’s enough.

Tiger Lotus

Had to throw another weird one in amongst all these sweet cars. I’m not really sure what’s going on here. Googling “Tiger Stripe Lotus” just returns a bunch of yoga pants, and I already have plenty of those, I just want to know the story behind the not one, but two Loti that I was able to find wearing tiger stripes. Two crazy wraps for the cost of one actual tiger. Really, Google it. You can buy a tiger for like $2000. And you should.

The first one isn’t all that bad, besides the mystery of why it exists at all. A keen observer will notice that the stripes on this second Lotus, which appears to be an Exige, are a little… less detailed. I’ve never seen wheels like that on a car of this… caliber. There looks to be some wingception going on at the back, and the exhaust sticks out a full foot beyond the back bumper, which are both… things. Guys, let’s move on to more sweet cars before one of these Loti kills a deer or something.

The Ruined GT-R

If you’ve ever spent money to shave a tenth of a second off your lap time, you probably hate this car.

This Godzilla embodies the idea of ruined sweet cars, and it says so right in the name. This Liberty Walk kit is the most industrial and aggressive kit I’ve ever seen, and that wing looks like it could handle whatever crazy horsepower this all wheel drive beast is pumping out. A flat blue wrap, wide wheels, and an air ride system finish off the wild exterior.

GTRs look great stock, and while the kit adds a lot of visual weight to the middle of the car, it also fits the muscular aesthetic defined by the beltline and roofline. And like all sweet cars, it gets people talking.

If you like it follow the owner on Instagram – he has other ruined cars and bikes, too.

We only have a few sweet cars left, and whether you’re a purist or not, these are really going to test your loyalties.

2007: A Stanced Odyssey or: How I Learned to Stop Hating and Love Slammed Vans

A slammed seven-passenger minivan is on your screen right now, and there are so many questions. Who makes LED headlights and an aftermarket front bumper for a Honda Odyssey? How long did it take to get the fitment just so? Who’s the lucky kid that rides to school in this beast? It’s not often that a car has the power to upset people who don’t even know how to check their oil, but conservative soccer moms the world over would turn away in disgust from the sight of this. And that makes it impressive.

Sweet cars? Why not sweet vans? They’re huge in other parts of the world, and the US is catching up quick. I was surprised when I found out this one lives in Florida.

Vaughn Gittin Jr’s Mustang RTR-X

You already know that we at Gearheads love this beast of a Mustang – and since it’s a full custom build, I’ll let this explain how fast it is. What we need to decide is whether this belongs under Sweet Cars or Ruined Car.

Ten years ago, pale green deep-dish wheels on liquid silver paint would’ve been the stuff of Hot Wheels cars. Exposed velocity stacks tell us this is more than just show. But what about the looks? It’s super low, it’s really wide, and the passenger can’t see jack through all the horsepower on the windshield. The bumpers have been tucked and flush-mounted, and the windows have too. The fender lines have been massaged, and flares and spoilers added – all in metal. That’s hours and hours of work.

It’s far from original, but this is one Mustang that even Chevy guys nod in approval of.

The (Unofficial) UPS 2002

Enthusiasts have known these are sweet cars since 1968. Less than a decade ago, the BMW 2002’s relatively small internet fame broke free of California and infected the rest of the world. Prices shot up – purists wanted mint originals, and tuners wanted something imperfect they could drop an M3 engine into. My guess is this started as the latter.

This highly modified 02 made waves when it sold on Bring a Trailer for $23,200 in April of 2017. That almost certainly makes it the most expensive non-truck to ever wear a UPS livery. Probably one of the only ones, too. It also makes it hard to deny the effect that riveted flares, wide Toyo R888Rs on matte fifteen52s, Cibie driving lights, and an overbuilt roll cage can have on an otherwise brown car.

This is one of the most controversial 2002s to reach this level of fame, and purists hate it. Doing this to a classic BMW irks people worse than swapping a 2JZ into a Camaro. By themselves, white letter tires will get you called a boy racer by people who refer to themselves as a “discerning enthusiast”. Sounds to me like a fancy way to say hater.


If you made it here without throwing your phone or yelling at your screen, congratulations! You are officially not a hater! If you didn’t that’s fine, we’re all still friends. But I am not giving you a ride to Taco Bell.



Justin Dake
About Justin Dake

Sometimes I back my cars into each other in the driveway. I once crashed a MK1 Volkswagen Rabbit into an Aspen tree, and I wasn't even in it.

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