Once You Start Taping Your Car, There's No Going Back

Illustration for article titled Once You Start Taping Your Car, There's No Going Back
Photo: Erik Shilling

A guy in a 997 911 that he clearly loved more than life once pointed to the black tape and the nicks on the bumper of my Honda Fit and, a bit jealously, said, “You know, there’s a freedom in that.”

Freedom, born out of necessity. About two years ago now I backed out of a driveway and my front fender caught on the curb and became slightly dislodged. I took my 2008 Honda Fit to a body shop for repairs and I told them, while you’re at it, can you fix the rear bumper too? I had kept the bumper cover on with tape for years and it looked less than professional. Turns out, the body shop wasn’t able to do much better.

They were able to temporarily re-affix it, but soon the bumper cover was flapping in the wind again — not in much of danger of coming off but certainly looking ridiculous. At first, I tried duct tape, which held the bumper cover to the car well enough for a few days, or until it rained.


Then at some point at a rest stop off the New Jersey Turnpike I tried glue, which failed miserably. Then at some point, I tried clear Gorilla Tape, which also failed miserably. Then at some point, I tried black Gorilla Tape, which has held up much longer than any of the other solutions.

I have Googled the issue and the internet says it probably is in need of some clips, but this all started years and years ago, when I was a dumber human, and I resisted “research” and “doing things the way they are supposed to be done” and “reached for the bluntest and quickest fix possible.” Also, when you put tape on your car once there is no going back.

Further, the rear bumper looks like this because of years of street parking and it isn’t worth getting worked up over:

Illustration for article titled Once You Start Taping Your Car, There's No Going Back
Photo: Erik Shilling

I bought the car basically in this condition many years ago from a friend who also street parked it in New York City, and I’ve always blamed the bumper cover issues on the fact that people who street park their cars in New York City have little to no respect for their bumpers or anyone else’s.

It was somewhat jarring when I first came to the city over a decade ago to find that bumping the car in front of or behind you while parallel parking is not only expected but often required, given the tight confines. It has been equally jarring to be in Los Angeles now for a few months and see people street park cars worth six figures and realize the custom is a little different here.


But back to the tape, which I take a strange amount of pride in. I know it isn’t the proper solution, and you may say it looks like shit, and possibly it does, but to me, it makes everything a bit more approachable, like meeting someone for the first time and learning that they enjoy cursing. The car doesn’t need your social niceties, nor will it supply its own. But aside from that let’s talk.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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Show that you still have dignity and get body color-matched tape.