Custom Auto Profiling (Good Attention & Bad Attention)

As a proud owner of a custom hot rod truck, I have noticed two things: One, it attracts a lot of good attention and two, it attracts a lot of bad attention. I like to refer to this as “custom profiling.” I bring this up because not too long ago I was a victim of “custom profiling.”

It was a nice sunny day and I was minding my own business, as well as all of the traffic laws, driving through a small town when a police officer, I will refer to him as Barney Fife, came flying over a hill running Code 3 (meaning sirens and lights on) and pulled me over. Officer Fife told me he pulled me over because I was violating some local noise ordinance. Yeah, right. I don’t even have a ground shaking audio system in my truck! So, now I am on my way to being a millionaire because I am the only one who knows where you can find the tweeters that dispense the massive bass that ole’ Barney Fife claimed he heard coming from the cab of my truck. My opinion and observation on this incident, is this: the officer saw my truck and I was stopped on the pretense of a noise ordinance, but it was actually because of the appearance of my truck.

In this day and age of modern profiling, I want other fellow custom auto enthusiasts to realize we are being profiled, not by race, but by what we drive and how we drive it. It seems that just a certain “profile” of police officer, not all officers though, tend to believe every person who has a ride with big wheels and a lowered stance must be a thug of some sort. So, instantly we get the privilege and humiliation of a “blue light special” on the off ramp or on some city street corner.

Well, the fact of the matter is this, I know several police officers that are also custom auto enthusiasts and drive the very vehicles certain police officers like to profile as a bad guy. I am one of these guys they like to profile, but I am not a bad guy! I served as a Military Police Officer at Camp Pendleton in the United States Marine Corps for 2.5 years out of my four years of honorable service, so I am knowledgeable on traffic stops! Go figure.

So, I ask the question, how do we avoid bad attention? Short of putting the ride up for sale or even worse, returning it back to stock condition, how do we stay out of the courtroom? Do we form organizations and then tar and feather our local political figures with our letters of dismay until they do something about it? To be honest, I do not know the answer, but what I do know is that custom auto enthusiasts, who actually take to the streets once in a while in their rides, are taking a certain risk and that risk doesn’t end at our boys in blue either! There are those enemies of fun out there, that prowl upon our metal artwork and attempt to destroy all of our long hours spent in the garage busting our knuckles. Maybe you will get off easy and only have a cop or two harass you a little bit or give you a silly citation on some ludicrous noise ordinance. On the flip side, you may come outside one bright shiny morning, only to find your newly painted $50,000 custom hauler keyed, broken into, or worse yet… gone!

Luckily for us, in my case anyway, the good tends to outweigh the bad. For instance, I can’t count how many times I have cruised down some road in my hometown and get that well-known symbol of “good-to-go”… the thumbs up. In the custom world, the golden rule is to stand out and be different, but there comes responsibility with standing out… especially when you are more-or-less a rolling billboard for all custom auto enthusiasts.

For those of you that are new to the custom auto world I leave you with this warning: If you think it will always be fun and games, you are in for a few surprises. Watch what you do while in public with your ride, because people are watching you and they will remember you. Most of all, pay attention to what is going on around you, because one minute you have a nice custom ride and the next minute you will find yourself at the body shop shelling out the Ben Franklin’s trying to fix what road rage caused.

My point is this, people just need to leave people the alone and we as custom auto enthusiast should police up our own and set the example, because we are being profiled like you wouldn’t believe. The Barney Fife police officers need to stop pulling us over for lame noise ordinances, especially when we are not hurting or bothering anyone. In the end, I guess we will just have to accept the bad along with the good and hope that there is more good than bad. Get your pleasures when you can and ignore bad cops and those devious vandals.

Until next time… keep it legal and keep it safe.

Custom Auto Upholstery – 3 Reasons to Repair Or Replace Seat Coverings

Oftentimes, when you get a rip or tear in the seat of your car, your first impulse is to simply “patch and go.” This can work in a pinch, but you’re not doing you or your car any favors. Below are three compelling reasons you should opt to have the seat properly repaired instead.

1 – The seat will be more prone to further damage. Once the material has been weakened in the region you apply the patch to, you’re more likely to see further stress and damage on that same area. Then you’ll be playing the game of “patch and go” on a fairly regular basis, when you could have simply opted to fix the problem right the first time. Several rounds of patching may end up costing you more (if not in money, then certainly in wasted time and aggravation) than simply having the damage repaired properly.

2 – If you do it yourself, the quality and workmanship likely won’t be on the same level that a professional in the custom auto upholstery business could do, and if you’re going to go to the time and trouble to have something fixed, then you may as well get the best repair job you can.

3 – Most importantly, you can use the damage as an opportunity to fundamentally improve the car. A good custom auto upholstery specialist will either replace the entire damaged section for you, or (after analyzing the damage and conferring with you) recommend replacing the entire cover. This is a more involved project, but in the end, you’ll wind up with a better-than-new product. Many specialists will actually have you come back into the shop for “seat fittings” to make sure that the newly repaired/replaced seats are properly padded and give you a comfortable ride!

Sometimes, of course, it is necessary to do a quick “patch and go” job on a damaged seat, but whenever possible, you should have the damaged area repaired properly, and by a talented custom auto upholstery specialist, who will ensure that the repairs are complete, and done to the highest possible standard.

Custom Auto Upholstery & the Three Kinds of People it Attracts

There are basically three kinds of people drawn to the world of custom auto upholstery. Understanding which “type” you are (broadly speaking) will go far in helping you understand what your needs truly are when you’re seeking the services of a custom auto upholstery specialist, which will in turn, help to ensure that you get the most out of it, and walk away with exactly what you wanted.

The three broad-based categories of people seeking services like these are:

1) Generalists, looking for repairs, maintenance, and upkeep. By far the most numerous group, these folks aren’t looking to spend an arm and a leg on some elaborate aftermarket project, they just want to keep their vehicle running nice and looking nice. For the former, they’ve no doubt got Triple A and a mechanic on standby. For the latter, they’ll turn to a custom auto upholstery specialist to keep the headliner and door panels pristine, and to repair or replace any rips and tears in the seats or consoles.

Most often, the jobs that this group brings to the custom auto upholstery specialist have fairly quick turnaround times, and are pretty straightforward. It’s rare that you’ll see a generalist working with his upholsterer on some long term, elaborate project.

2) Classic Car Restorers. This group is probably the second largest, and they almost always want big, deeply involved projects. Often, they’ll pick up a classic car for a song, with the knowledge and understanding that it’s seen years of neglect. They task their specialist with completely restoring the interior, while being faithful to the original design. These projects generally from several weeks, to several months to complete, depending on exactly what is being done, and the people in this grouping tend to be the most demanding and exacting, as they want absolute perfection in their restoration work (and rightly so!).

3) Auto Enthusiasts. Unlike the classic car restoration crowd, they’re don’t have a problem spending money on whatever they happen to be driving. For this group, it’s not about faithful restoration, but rather, creating a driving experience that’s absolutely unique to them. For these folks, their car is not simply a means of conveyance, but rather, an expression of individuality, and after market effects can only take you so far (they are, after all, still mass produced).

For this reason, the folks in this category will put their heads together with their specialist to create an often elaborate look and feel that they can be proud of when the job is finished. Again, these projects are likely to span weeks or months, depending on exactly how involved they are.

If you’re looking to have work done on your vehicle, give at least some thought to which of these categories you fall into before contacting your custom auto upholstery specialist. Understanding exactly where you’re coming from will help you define exactly what it is you’re looking for, and will help ensure you get exactly what you’re after in the end.

The Wide World of Custom Auto Interiors

As a people, we seem to have an odd fascination with our cars. You will see someone living in little more than a shack, but have a new shiny car sitting out front. I guess in time where people are all on the go, where quality time is spent sending text messages, people see more of our cars than they do of our homes – so that is where the money goes.

And it isn’t just the outside. People spend good money on custom auto interiors. Again, being on the go all the time, means we spend an inordinate amount of time in our cars. Might as well make them a comfortable place to be. Make sure they have all the amenities you want in them.

And that is really the key with custom auto interiors, they are just that – custom. You can get the color you want, in the pattern you want, with the type of material you want. You can put in the radio you always wanted, with all the speakers your ears can handle – or the ears of the guy in the car next to you. If you have kids you can set them up each with their own TV screen and headsets so they can watch Finding Nemo for the one thousandth time. If the car originally didn’t have enough cubbies in it, an auto interior specialist can make you some more.

And everything can match, from the floor mats, to the visors, to covering the baby seat! There is little that you can’t dream up that can’t be done.

So if your car is your face to the world, where you see most of your clients, or where you spend hours sitting in traffic, make it all you want it to be by considering custom auto interiors.