Car owners willing to spend big bucks to customize their rides

Yogesh Patel | Staff Writer

Comets are shifting gears, turning ordinary cars into dynamic driving machines.

While some students paint their rims and attach neon lights to their car, others have taken the initiative to go above and beyond with their cars cosmetics and inner mechanics. Juniors Thomas Weber and Akshat Patel chose to take the long road in the custom car business.

Patel works at a custom wrap shop called Vivid Wraps, during which he tints cars and applies other cosmetic changes to customers’ cars. Even outside of his school and work life, Patel goes to Nightstyle in Dayton and Cars and Coffee, two meets where he can talk to others who share his same passion for cars as well as gaining inspiration from viewing their work.

Similar to Patel’s car customizing venture, Weber has an accelerating interest in exquisite cars. Weber drives a modified 2003 Nissan 350Z. From drifting in the rain, to reaching new speeds, Weber finds himself enticed with car culture.

“It started out with my dad and his new car; I fell in love with it and wanted to do the things he’s done to his car to mine,” Weber said.  “Most of the things I do with cars is involved with my dad, he has his own race team and we are always working on his car. Everything we do is at home, we don’t go out to shops for it.”

Weber also visits Nightstyle and attends frequently to socialize with people in the performance automotive community.

Senior Andrew Shackleford plans on becoming a mechanical engineer for the U.S. Navy along with working on performance cars in the future. His truck, a 1994 Ford F-150XLT with a V8, five liter engine, is modified to the trucks needs and mechanical experience.

“It’s what’s under the exterior that matters,” Shackleford said. “ I already have my new six inch lift and 37 inch by 12.5 inch mud tires to put on my truck.”

Shackleford said he is bringing justice to the lack of customized trucks and the plethora of sports cars in Mason.

“You can do whatever you want, you can go to a mechanic but they’ll bait you into spending more for their time. When you do it yourself you get experience and it’s inexpensive. That’s why I enjoy it.”