7 Steps to a Spectacular Show Car

There are practical cars ― and then there are show cars. Not every driver has the time, energy, and money to devote to transforming his vehicle into a big, bold, beautiful show car; after all, being a gearhead is a time- and resource-intensive hobby. However, if you are determined to drive an eye-catching, award-winning show car, you can accomplish your goal in seven (not easy, not quick, and definitely not cheap) steps.

Step 1: Research

Additionally, you should devote effort to learning the laws and regulations for your state and county. Not all car modifications are legal everywhere; in fact, many online stores sell mods that are forbidden across the U.S., like louder exhaust systems and underbody lighting. The better you understand your region’s vehicle code, the more accurately you can plan the creation of your show car.

Step 2: Acquire Your Car

To build a show car you can be proud of, you must start with a vehicle that already has a pretty high coolness factor. No matter how many mods you add, it is going to be difficult to transform a 2006 Toyota Prius into a hot car; instead, you should opt for makes and models that offer plenty of visual interest but don’t cost a fortune, like:

  • Honda S2000
  • Subaru WRX
  • Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V
  • Mazda RX-8
  • Jeep Wrangler

Step 3: Enhance the Engine


Step 4: Doll up the Exterior

Everyone will see the exterior of your vehicle, which makes it among the most important fixes for show cars. However, it is easy to overdo exterior modifications, which will cause imbalance in the look of your car. You should remember that body kits should enhance your car, working with its existing lines. A body kit that overwhelms your car is off-putting and sometimes dangerous to drive.

Still, the brighter the paint, the better, as flashy colors and designs attract eyes. A major car show trend is to decorate newer makes and models with airbrushed graphics or intricate stickers, but classic cars usually demand more classic paint styles.

Step 5: Clean up the Interior

It is easy to spend time updating the exterior, but to win trophies at car shows, you need to spend as much time curating the inside of your vehicle. Your seats, pillars, floors, roof, and dash should have seamless style. Leather is always the best choice for upholstery, but adding splashes of color that complement your exterior paint choice is usually smart. Aftermarket add-ons, like steering wheels and gear knobs, are less-expensive ways to customize the inside of your car.

Step 6: Add Flair

Cars, like all major appliances, are getting smart, and even show cars are starting to learn the importance of smart tech. The more technologically advanced you can make your car, the better. Award-winning show cars tend to boast special features like DVD players, TFT monitors, SPL systems, and gaming consoles. You might also allow your car to connect with mobile tech, like tablets and smartphones, for added functionality.

Step 7: Get to the Show

Though these steps may seem straightforward, it could take years for you to complete your show car’s modifications. Eventually, though, you will take it to a show, and if you have done everything right, you could win a trophy for your efforts. Thus, as long as you follow sound advice, plan, and make wise choices, you will have a spectacular show car.