Every Bit of Trim on Your Car is Fake: The Skinny With Craig Cole

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole
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every bit of trim on your car is fake the skinny with craig cole

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Exterior design is a serious purchase consideration; for some new-vehicle shoppers, it even comes before safety, fuel economy and pricing. But in the 21st century, has vanity completely overshadowed versatility? Has style totally trumped substance?

One could argue that modern cars and trucks have become little more than costume jewelry because all that glitters is not gold. The frosty metal trim flanking a GMC Terrain Denali? Yeah, it’s a polymer slathered in layer of shiny. The “dark chrome” accents adorning your Camry’s grille? They were pumped out of the earth’s crust and squirted into a mold. Almost nothing is genuine anymore. Even leather “seating surfaces” are often vinyl, another petrochemical.

But it’s not just decorative items that are counterfeits. Believe it or not, there was a time when bumpers could actually take an impact and spring back unharmed. Now if you hit something while moving faster than a drunken stagger, you’ll likely have cracked trim, damaged lamps and wrinkled sheet metal to contend with. Should these things really be called bumpers if they have less structural integrity than a rickety apple crate? Perhaps façade is a better name…

SEE ALSO: Why Mazda’s Miata is the Best Green Car

Back in the day, vehicles had real chrome, or even better, stainless-steel trim. You could pull this stuff out of a muddy field after 50 years, hit it with some metal polish and it will shine like brand new. Try that with a modern chunk of simulated imitation metal. It’s not going to happen.

Today’s cars and trucks have become completely disposable, throwaways that get kicked to the curb when their owner becomes bored with them or wants more USB ports in the center console. No longer do cars stick around and become a beloved member of the family.

But do you agree with this opinion? Have vehicles become nothing but costume jewelry? For the rest of this rant, make sure to watch the video embedded above and please, leave a comment if you have an opinion one way or the other.

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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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Join the conversation
  • Dark Sky Dark Sky on Jul 27, 2016

    To be fair "pumped out of the earths crust and squirted into a mold" also can apply to metals.

  • Smartacus Smartacus on Jul 28, 2016

    lol, get off my lawn :) it's true, though... they all have the same windtunnel derived shape. They were supposed to have developed differentiating characteristics at least a decade ago