The 10 Custom Car Trends RIDES Never Saw Coming

Some trends came and went in custom car culture, while others rose up out of nowhere and survived to continue trending today.

1 of 10
  • 1-1995-chevy-impala-ss-bubble-main
    1. We love Bubble Chevys, but the trend of modifying them seems to be fading and we never saw this coming. Why are Bubbles so rare to come by (compared to Donks and Box Chevys)?
  • 2-lift-kits-1985-buick-regal
    2. Here's a trend that came and went (thankfully) exemplified on this 1985 Buick Regal: Lift kits! They were cool when they first appeared, but we've [intelligently] moved on from that! May the lift-kit movement rest in peace.
  • 3-2010-RIDES-Cadillac-Custom-SRX-Forgiato11
    3. How did crossovers and small SUVs become so 'hood? We don't know, but we love them! This 2010 Cadillac SRX is wet AF, and we can't wait to see what the future holds in the newly trending crossover scene.
  • 4-impala-stuntfest-2k13-atlanta-motor-speedway-car-show-46
    4. We're impressed how successful the spinners trend still is today, considering they debuted about a decade ago, and they're still not considered old-school! Here's an example we found at StuntFest 2k13 on a Chevy Impala!
  • 5-gold-dayton-1972-impala
    5. Gold was the hottest precious metal to have ever graced custom-car culture in the 80s and 90s. It went through a lull, but it's back in a whole new way. It ain't easy finding wheels more badass than these 180-spoke, gold Dayton Wire Wheels on this 1972 Impala.
  • 6-concave-2010-gtr-nissan-d2forged-fms-08AT1G6759
    6. New, growing trend: dropping the "big lip" movement and making way for concave wheels, like the D2Forged rims on this 2010 Nissan GT-R.
  • 7-bmw-745-candy-wheels-ffnew5
    7. Whether you spell it candy, kandy or Kandy, there's no denying the staying power of these colorful hues has taken us by surprise.
  • Custom Jeeps
    8. Custom Jeeps came and went, and are back again. This time, they look like they're here to stay. In the early '90s Jeeps were hot, especially in hip-hop. Artists like Biz Markie and R. Kelly made sure Jeep wasn't left out of their lyrical specialties, and Jeeps also made appearances in rap videos. The may have faded for a while, but they're back - hotter than ever before. Check out this 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited!
  • New-School Motor Swaps
    9. Even though many old-schools like Donks, Boxes and Bubbles have super-fast old-school engines, something we wouldn't have guessed is the growing trend of swapping out old motors with new ones. Peep this 1973 Chevy Caprice, which as a Corvette LS3 motor under the hood!
  • Matte paint
    10. Pro car-painters tested out different colors, including some as wild and controversial as chrome, but matte-color such as this matte-blue Honda Accord was never too flashy and is still considered cool today.


Today, RIDES presents a list of trends we’ve seen over the last decade. Some came and went after just a short while. Others cropped up a decade ago and still stand strong today. Some trends are beginning to die out while you read this web post, and there are some that are just being born – in which we can’t wait to see more of! Click through the gallery above and be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below! Did we miss anything?