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      Volume 11 |Issue 42| October 26, 2012 |


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A Ricer's Guide to Cool Cars

Akram Hosen

There are some people who think that cars are merely a means of transportation—useful when you want to go from point A to point B. There are others who see cars as a definitive status symbol and attach a lot of snob value to their vehicle. They will go to the most bizarre lengths to attain a high social status. This writer once had a friend who became a human kebab every time he rode his car during summer but never rolled down the windows fearing that people would know that his 'cool' car didn't have a working air conditioning system. The pouring sweat down his face and back would have given it away were it not for the black tinted windows that skillfully hid the misery and discomfort of the one behind the wheel!

Aspiring 'cool' dudes can go to desperate lengths to make their otherwise ordinary vehicles look fast, furious and, erm, you know, cool¸ by making all kinds of unsavoury modifications on their bodies. Trying to make their slow, economy cars (i.e. Corolla, Civic, and Lancer) look faster, some people make aftermarket modifications that have nothing to do with the performance of a vehicle. They are so visible in all countries across the world that there is a generic term for them: ricer. Incredibly diverse as the ricers are, their chariots always bear some common traces of 'creativity' that may seem senseless or even gross to non-ricers. Here are five ways to make your ordinary vehicle 'riced'.

Large Alloy Wheels
Large expensive rims with low profile tires are as indispensable in a riced car as a trumpet in a jazz quartet. The ricers don't care about the fact that the larger rims mean increased weight beneath the suspension that not only slows down the car but also delivers poor handling at corners. In the city streets, larger wheels are most likely to waste horsepower and affect fuel efficiency - but let's face it, that shows style. You waste simply because you can. Ricers of Dhaka also have to spend a lot for low sidewall tires that are really easy to damage on our potholed streets.

Wings and fins
Oversized spoilers on front wheel driven economy cars are the signature of all ricers around the globe. If the car in question is not a Porsche or something similar, the large wings almost always end up making the car go slower by generating more drag. People with any idea of how a car works would never install them on a slow car with a small engine (mostly 1.5L), but knowledge, in the case of Ricers, is a bane, not a boon.

Huge Coffee Can Exhaust
Have you ever ducked under a table thinking that some US aircrafts were bombing the city while, in fact, somebody just revved up a car in front of your house? The trendy largediameter exhaust tips installed on the tailpipes of the economy cars make that obnoxious, yet intimidating sound. Whether the ricers are aware that a narrow exhaust pipe leading to a large diameter exit decreases the performance of the small, four-cylinder engines is a mystery. While the riced cars are often as loud as jet engines, the sound almost always betrays the engine's limits. (note: not advisable for young men wooing young women who have fathers with shot guns and explosive temperaments).

Aftermarket Stickers
Ricers always have lots and lots of stickers giving guarantees of excellent performance of designer auto-parts in their cars. It is understandable from the looks of their cars that they don't own any of the products from those companies. But they put the stickers there for people to think that their cars have high performance equipment.

Make it Appear Lower
Lumpy bodykits look like melted clay and make the car appear lower than it actually is. In Dhaka, these added side skirts always hit and grind on the speed bumps and potholes. Far from creating aerodynamics, the attached skirts often reduce speed by creating drag. But at least it gives that priceless 'sportscar' look.

Ricers often develop a certain driving habit. Most of their driving skills turn out to be less than satisfactory. Some of them drive up to some university campuses, blasting rap music and (probably) thinking that the girls are drooling all over their ride. Many of them press the accelerator to the floor at any chance they get in the city, stamp on the brake on the corners, create a shrill screeching and often meet innocent electric poles or trees beside the road. Some of them try to slide their (heavyset) cars on tough corners and invariably find themselves in tight situations. The chariots get wrecked frequently. That's why garage mechanics and paint shop owners laugh at the ricers but love their riced vehicles for the money they bring.

The number of ways in which ricers can modify a car is practically endless. To get the wow effect from pedestrians, some people let their 'upgraded' car stereo blast so high the body of the vehicle begins to squeak as loudly as the music itself. However, if you are trying to be a ricer and are willing to know more about the art, watch Fast and the Furious, the ultimate guide of ricers, twice a week.


All places, characters, institutions and events described in this article are fictitious. Any resemblance to any person or institution living or dead is purely coincidental.


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