Top 5 Ways to Pimp Your Ride, Old-Timey Style

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Some people take great pride in their cars, and decided to use them as a way of expressing themselves. Modifying your ride to give it an unique appearance or performance style is a big business, but other folk tackle it with an older world in mind.

Wagon Wheels on a Hummer

Hummers represent the ultimate all-terrain vehicle, as evidenced by the fact that more than 10,000 were deployed in Iraq. When you've got to get to somewhere with no roads and Doc Brown isn't answering his phone, Hummers are where it's at.

Coincidentally, so were Conestoga wagons, which blazed the trail west for America's pioneers. They didn't have the Hummer's dependability, as anyone who has ever played Oregon Trail could tell you, but their contribution to exploring the frontier is indisputable.

Which is maybe why artist Matthew Harris decided to combine the two in a work he simply calls "Hummer." How this affects the vehicle's performance we have no idea, but there's no doubt that pulling up in one is sure to garner attention.

Wood Chassis

Nothing is as classy as a sleek wood finish, which is why Ataris still looks sweet despite being long since left behind. You just can't miss with the wooden look.

From the same era as the aforementioned game system goes the nondescript 1981 Opel. Deciding that metal wasn't going to do the trick, Vasily Kiyashko took the Opel and outfitted it with a custom carved wooden finish and a case of schizophrenia. The body is split down the middle, with half being a modern sedan and the other a vintage town car. The body contains more than 1,000 different oak parts, sports a 100-horsepower engine, and is kept looking spiffy with five layers of waterproof and fire resistant lacquer

Record Player

Vinyl is on the rise again as music aficionados search for the better fidelity and a more impressive way to play music rather than digitally. The only problem is, once again you are reduced to not being able to play music in your car.

The first car record player was developed by Peter Goldman of CBS and was an option for the 1956 Chrysler. All the problems you're imagining were there. It was difficult to keep the needle on the record, changing albums was difficult and dangerously distracting, and it was mostly designed for 45s, which meant only minutes of music before needing a switch.

To get around the time limit, the 16 2/3 rpm speed was used on 7" discs with ultra-thin groves, giving up to an hour of music. The discs were also extra-thick to avoid warping in the heat. All in all, there were many quite genius attempts to make mobile vinyl listening feasible, but in the end it was too complicated for general users, and limited by the need of specially manufactured discs.

Until now. One YouTube user has perfected an automated 45 player installed in his 1961 DeSoto. Rubber shock absorbers keep the player from skipping, and installation is apparently very simple.

World's Oldest Running Car

Modifications are nice, but what if you want to go really old school? We mean back-to-the-beginning, driving-something-Captain-Nemo-would've-designed old school.

If you had $5 million dollars that wasn't terribly busy you could've picked up the world's oldest running car at Hershey, PA auction last year. The 1884 De Dion Bouton Et Trapardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout can reach up to 38 mph, making it comparable to some modern scooters, and can go 20 miles on a tank of water. Only 20 were made, and it is also one of the world's first race cars.

To recap, yes, there is a real, honest-to-God, steampunk car, and the only thing between you and it is Bruce Wayne money. If that's not an incentive to get rich we don't know what is.

Wood-Burning Stove

Heating technology has come along way from huddled around a fire while keeping a wary eye out for yeti, and we know we're glad of the march of progress on those chilly, 90-minute winters we've had on a few select mornings this year.

For Switzerland's Pascal Prokop though, it just wasn't doing the job. He installed a classic wood-burning stove in his 1990 Volvo 240 station wagon. The stove, which of course has a chimney through the roof, was fully approved by the Swiss technical inspection board, proof positive that even the DMV isn't so bureaucratic that it can't let something slide just to see if some crazy bastard will actually do it.

Prokop had to remove the passenger seat to make room for his stove, but that's not an issue as no one is cool enough to ride with him anyway.

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