July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 47 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES "I don't recall doing any stand-alone grilles," says Hair, who says a grille upgrade almost always goes with some kind of lift package. The purchasing sequence in many cases is a matter of preferences and needs—and budget. "Most of our clientele coming in here are wanting your basic lifts, wheels and tires," says Tift. "And then if they've got the extra budget—because those options tend to be quite a bit more—they definitely go ahead and do that." Popular new grille styles lean toward a black mesh with chrome or black chrome details around the edge. Another trend is the use of injection-molded plastic grille replacements, which offer some weight- saving benefits but also a large selection of styles and color options. "It's another way to personalize your car, truck or Jeep," notes Burnsworth. For other components, steel is the material of choice for the most part. "Style trends tend toward a bright tread or diamond plate steel," says Katz. "In some cases a Schedule 40-type pipe or flat steel is incorporated by different manufac- turers. And generally, black is the color of choice, but some manufacturers offer colors matched to vehicles, so we're seeing a lot of those being sold as well." Katz has also noticed that bumpers come in two types: front and rear. "We talked about the front end, but tradition- ally what it does lead into is a lot of times they'll buy a matching rear bumper to go with it. It's probably a 2-to-1 front- to-rear-type ratio; and front bumpers are definitely the bigger seller. If they don't buy the rear at the same time, down the road, they'll get it." Customers identify who they are by what their vehicle's face says to the world. (Photo cour- tesy Ranch Hand)

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