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QOTD: What’s The Most Annoying Tuning Trend Today?

2021 in particular felt like the year of highly customized classics. Tuning has become a refined art since the Singers and the Ringbrothers of the world have come to prominence. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still annoying trends.

There are a few that annoy me, personally. Massive wheels on classic cars frustrate me, ugly and overly aggressive body kits for more recent models inspire confusion in me, an overreliance on carbon fiber fills me with contempt, while uninspired car choices bore me.

A recent celebrity car, though, has reminded me of one of the tuning trend I find the most irritating. It was while covering Kevin Hart’s newly completed 1969 Plymouth Road Runner that I realized that I just don’t like engine bays that are so clean they look anonymous.

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This is a trend that’s been around forever and, to an extent, I understand the impulse to clean up the engine bay a little. A quick look at the engine bay from Elvis’ 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham certainly does indicate that not everything in an engine bay is beautiful, even in a classic vehicle.

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I don’t understand, though, why the same people who denounce engine covers in modern cars would love an engine bay so devoid of detail that you can hardly tell it’s an engine. With all due respect to Mr. Hart and to Salvaggio Design, who have created a pretty cool car, that Road Runner’s engine bay has been cleaned of all personality.

In my opinion, these bays remove the possibility to appreciate the appearance of an engine, the subject of a recent QOTD from my esteemed colleague Chris Chilton. All of those engine bays were filled with the necessities of internal combustion. The Busso V6, the BMW S14 I4, and even others like the Jaguar E-Type’s I6, were surrounded by the vital requirements that made the contraption work. The complexity of an engine is one of its appeals, to me anyway, and I disapprove of attempts to edit out that charm.

What do you think? What’s the most annoying tuning trend today?

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