Pimp your ride

Imagine a car rounding the corner with its exhaust purring and music thumping. Now that’s a way to make an entrance.

Car enthusiasts are constantly coming up with new and creative ways to “pimp their rides.” From DVD players to remotes that automatically turn on the engine, an automobile is no longer just a means of transportation. It is now a way to show off personal style and creativity.

“My car is different from other cars out there,” said Hector Del Valle, who has been working on his 2000 Volkswagen Golf for the past four years.

His Golf, which is lowered two inches, includes a seven-inch DVD player (which is usually playing Scarface), 18-inch rims and a 12-inch subwoofer that makes the windows rattle.

There are numerous ways to hook up a car. From exhaust to systems to rims, there are plenty of online stores as well as warehouses in the area that cater to any car enthusiast’s needs. However, adding details such as these is not a cheap hobby.

“Ebay is great,” said Del Valle. “You make a lot of connections, and dealers will give you great prices the more you buy from them.”

Toyota and Honda parts are usually the most popular items bought because they are the most readily available.

Adam Kline said he has saved at least $3,000 by installing the parts he bought himself on his yellow 2002 Toyota MR2 Spyder. Kline learned to install all of these parts by buying the manual to his car.

“It has become the bible of my car,” he said.

Kline sure has come a long way from his 1994 Jeep Cherokee.

“It was an old beater,” he jokes.

He transformed his Toyota into a “sleeper car” — a car that doesn’t appear to be fast but with all the improvements under the hood can surprise any car trying to race.

Kline first became interested in cars his freshman year of college.

“My roommate was really into fixing up his car and I thought it was a cool hobby,” Kline said. He then saved up and bought the parts as well as tools to help with installation.

In total, Kline has spent close to $6,000 on his Spyder and Del Valle about $5,000 on his Golf. This goes to show how devoted an avid car enthusiast is.

Some other cheap alternatives that are sure to turn heads include Euro tail lights (also known as white outs) and Bilet grills.

“These can range from $125-$1,200 depending on how much you are willing to spend,” said Joey Asbury from Coast to Coast Custom Wheels and Accessories.

Asbury suggests sticking to silver rims instead of chrome because they tend to cost less.Don’t think that guys are the only ones “pimping their rides.” Asbury said he sees a variety of men and women, from 16 to 60 years old.

For car enthusiasts looking to share their excitement, there are a number of Web sites offering performance kits and races www.nopi.com and www.hin.com (Hot Import Nights) are some of the many out on the web.