Please, just stop

As a car enthusiast now in his thirties, I remember the release of the original Fast & Furious movie. It was the summer of 2001, and as a budding young 16-year-old, I was captivated by the wild-looking cars I saw on the screen. Candy-colored paint and graphics, eccentric body kits, nitrous purges, atmospheric waste gates… all of it was totally new to me. And there’s a reason the original F&F became known as “The Movie” in the tuner scene – almost instantly, this obscure culture was thrust into the daylight, and with it came both the good and the bad. This piece touches on some of the bad, namely aftermarket Altezza taillights.

Shortly after the debut of F&F, the aftermarket Altezza taillight became the part du jour for wannabe tuners and performance enthusiasts. Alternately called Euro lights or crystal lights, many less-than-reputable companies made a small killing hawking these garish, ill-fitting pieces, and you’d often find them hanging on by a thread from the tail of some half-rusted import with cut springs, no muffler, and an oversized GT-style wing on the trunk. Like some kind of sinister case of VD, the Altezza taillight phenomenon quickly spread, infecting even the domestic scene with its cheap plastic and lookalike chrome inserts.

Luckily, the Altezza phenomenon eventually died out, but still elicits a chuckle amongst those who remember it. Which leads me to this – which automotive trend, past or present, do you think is just the worst? Let us know in the comments, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll find something worse than Altezza taillights.


2017 Ferrari 488 Spider N-Largo by Novitec Rosso High Resolution Exterior
- image 734586

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Jonathan Lopez
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