What's The Goofiest Automotive Trim Piece?

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Car styling can be very crudely divided into two main parts: the shape of the car itself and the crap stuck on the car itself. Today I want to talk about the stuck-on crap, specifically, the goofiest ones. Out of all the portholes, bumper guards, side streaks, fake vents, cladding, and so on, what’s the goofiest?

This is a tricky one. At first I was going to pick on the gleefully absurd and useless Landau Bar, but that feels like punching down; most of those are gone (save for the occasional hearse) and I think I’d rather pick on a goofy trend that’s still very, very alive: the fake vent or air intake.


Fake vents and grilles are incredibly common on cars now; there’s some cars where absolutely none of the air intakes above the bumper are real (I’m looking at you, Renegade). The more you think about them, the sillier they seem, especially if you try tracing the path the air would be expected to flow, which is very often right into several crotches on the inside.

But there’s so very many more — I want to see what kind of goofball crap you come up with!


Contact the author at jason@jalopnik.com.