Just like 'sticker-bombing' used to be all the rave several years ago, it seems as though a new trend has appeared in the world of car accessories.
Even though white tyre or sidewall lettering is more akin to fully-fledged race cars, there's been a number of road-going cars that have bucked the trend. But has it always been around or is it the latest in a long line of automotive trends?
Bucking a trend
Tyre lettering has actually been around since the 60's where tyre manufacturers used this method to make the name stand out more. Numerous muscle cars sporting BF Goodrich or Goodyear treads featured this.
While it didn't look out of place on burly muscle cars, in the modern era, everything from VW Polo Vivo's to BMW E90's have been seen sporting this new trend.
At first glance if you didn't know what it was, you'd most likely think its something that found itself stuck to the tyre due to daily driving but it becomes clearer as the car slows down or when stationary.
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Image: Flickr/Chris Chan
I managed to ask the driver (who didn't want to be named) of an 9N VW Polo, his reasons for doing tyre lettering. He said it is purely for 'looks' and does give the car a more meaner appearance.
Wheels24's Janine Van der Post says: "In my time the hottest thing in car mods was Angel-eye headlights or smoked tail lights, massive exhaust tail pipes, and big fat wheels and arches. Thank goodness I was a couple years too early for the 'stickerbomb' takeover. I reckon tyre lettering is the latest in putting a unique touch to cars and scores a few browny-points for 'street cred' with today's youth."
Leave it to the race cars
There is actually a market for tyre lettering and, depending on the car it is being fitted to, can actually enhance the overall appeal.
The truth is, it looks much better on race cars and not on the likes of a Hyundai i20 or Renault Kwid. You also have to think carefully about fitting it to your tyre because the glue supplied is of industrial strength and is pretty much permanent.
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