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Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers: Aftermarket Fender Flares

Scott Ith November 28, 2014 Hooniverse Thanksgiving Turkey 29 Comments

Flares

My name is Scott and it is on these pages that I wage my lonely battle. The battle, that is, against aftermarket fender flares. Sadly, this may not be a popular opinion, but lets take a look at a couple of examples of vehicles that look better as-produced than they do with random stuff screwed to their sides. (By the way, all vehicles fall into this category.)

Flares2

Too often a victim, the 240Z, seen in the lede image sporting all sorts of unattractive add-ons then in the second image in all its original glory (with the exception of some Panasports). The green car looks as if it were designed by a team of professionals, while the blue one looks like an aging starlet who has had a few too many plastic surgeries. Styling-wise, the first-gen Z is just about perfect. Any body mods are certain to be subtraction by addition.

While the 240Z is so often a victim of this particular type of butchery, the vehicle which has certainly suffered the highest percentage of hack-and-paste plastic is the first-generation Ford Bronco.

Flares3

Such a sharp vehicle, the early Bronco. The lines are just right, the character is great. Ford designers came up with a brand new class of vehicle and a damn fine looking one at that. Sadly, some people value bigger wheel openings and bigger tires more than they value an attractive vehicle. Then, out comes the grinder and the drill and whatever other savage machines mete out this undeserved punishment.

Flares4

*Sad music plays and a tear rolls gently down a child’s cheek as the grinder begins to throw sparks and the sheet metal screws pierce the victim’s skin.*

Please. Stop the butchery. Stop the madness. It begins with you!
[All images are random screen grabs from around the internet.  If you want credit for any of the images – or to be berated for any of the ill-advised body mods above – just let me know.]
[Author’s note: An exception will be allowed for race-specific vehicles.]

  • Mr. Coupe

    Sadly, poor taste prevails, the plebs will be plebs and their complete disinterest is what fuels all the worst trends and sustains the worst industries that have brought on the worst possible future. Too many are stupid and sadly you can't fix stupid!

  • guest

    Meh, one man's art is another man's eye sore. The owner has to live with em…

  • Charlie

    What about the functional side to it? Wider tires=more grip. I think a car with wider than stock wheels would look worse without flares.

    • buzzboy7

      I know this is dependent on local laws, but I love when the wheels stick out a little bit. Makes it look aggressive.

  • Are you kidding? This is function over form, especially in the case of the Bronco. If you dare to modify your cookie-cutter automobile to suit your own performance needs, with some swampers and a lift, or with offset rims and wider tires to handle all the power and torque you've sweated into the drivetrain, then you're going to need to create some lebensraum for those shoes, and that means cutting the wheel wells (which probably rotted out in the '80s anyway) and tacking in some flares. All the hanky fluttering aesthetes can choke on their ascots for all it matters; this is about performance.

    • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      What's this thing you call "rot"?

      /Texan'd

  • Number_Six
    • This is what I see whenever I see any kind of flares.

  • mr smee

    An old-school Jeep Cherokee with a set of Bushwhackers and 33s is a thing of beauty.

  • Preludacris

    lais·sez-flare

    a policy or attitude of letting others ruin their cars, without interfering.

    • nanoop

      In all flareness, I think that's well stretched.

    • All's flare in love and war.

  • JayP2112
  • OA5599

    [youtube -74Jo85ji9Q&app=desktop http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-74Jo85ji9Q&app=desktop youtube]

  • buzzboy7

    I prefer pulled fenders and box flairs to plastic bolt on overfenders.

    <img src="https://garglinggas.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/art20car1.jpeg&quot; width="600">

    • nanoop

      Those even have an aerodynamic function (think of a kind of vertical diffusers and heat extraction), opposed to don't-rain-on-me flares.

  • Isaac
  • Andrew_theS2kBore

    Sorry, but I think you're wrong about the Z. Sure, it's beautiful stock, but if you see it as a sports car rather than a GT (which is also up for debate), ZG flare, faired-in headlights, and a full bumper delete looks stunning. A few people here in SoCal run similar setups for their autox cars, and with 275-width tires, they're just perfect.

    • JayP2112

      Form follows function.

  • mr smee

    Love the 'box' flares on my Lexus GS400, very subtle, but a detail that sets it apart from other cars. Flares and wheel-openings in general are a lost art in newer car design.

  • Mark

    I'm trying to think of what vehicle class the Bronco created. Surely the IH Scout came before it in ever class you could put it in?

    • 71800B

      BOOM!

  • loquendo89

    I think the only thing that is bad about flares is cutting up a car to put them on.

  • loquendo89

    If you don't want flares, don't make your cars look and/or drive so fast!

  • Van_Sarockin

    I love a sweet little thing that shows a bit of flare. But she's got to have the goods to fill out the bill. Some show more class than others, but that's all part of the fun.

  • CABEZAGRANDE

    I am exactly opposite of you on this. I would see 90% of the cars on the road flared. While i can appreciate a stock bodied s30 Z, to me the ZG flare is an absolutely necessary addition. To my eye they look absolutely perfect, and no Z should be without them. I also thing a BRE air dam and spoiler are absolute necessities on any "perfect" S30. It's a much shorter list for me to say what I think DOESN'T look good with aftermarket flares. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that. I think your opinion is absolutely wrong, but it's yours to have.