Your Canvas Car Can Express Your Personality: Accessorize!
Cars are more than transportation devices. We feel personally connected to our vehicles, as evidenced by how many of us give a name to our car—anthropomorphizing them into a friend or trusted family pet. Considering the amount of time we spend driving, it’s only natural that we want to feel at home when we take a seat behind the wheel. This desire to personalize the cabin doesn’t change when you subscribe to a car.
Fortunately, there are countless easy and affordable ways to make your Canvas car feel like your own. Here are a few small suggestions that can make a big difference.
Fuzzy Dice and Hula Dancers
Drivers started hanging fuzzy dice on their rear-view-mirrors in the 1950s. Historians trace the trend to World War II when American fighter pilots would hang the dice showing seven dots above their instruments for good luck before a mission. It only takes a second to drape your own symbol of good fortune over your rear-view-mirror—whether it’s a graduation tassel, a Native American dreamcatcher, or an image of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travel.
You can also festoon your dashboard with tokens or small figures representing past journeys. The classic retro example is the Hula Dancer dashboard doll, which was created as a touristic memento for travels to Hawaii. It’s commonly made of plastic with springs in her legs so she wiggles as the car moves. The tradition is updated to modern times with a dazzling number of choices from Hawaiian surfer dudes and bobble-head sports stars to spiritual figures and historical characters.
The six-figure Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes with a built the option of a built-in atomizer that sends a mist of custom fragrances through the luxury sedan’s AC system. But you don’t need to shell out $100,000 to create a personalized aroma for your Canvas car. And you don’t have to limit your choice to the pro-forma pine scent transmitted via a tacky little cardboard tree.
No matter what perfume you prefer—citrus, cedar, rose, or patchouli—you can infuse it into the cabin via add-on atomizers, vials, and cushions. These products even allow you to aromatically convey a feeling that your vehicle just rolled off the assembly line, by deploying the “new-car smell.” Or if you prefer to simply neutralize the aroma and allergens that can accumulate over time, there are many affordable air purifiers and ionizers that can plug in or clip on to AC vents.
Steering Wheel Covers, Seat Cushions and Floor Mats
The steering wheel is your connection to the car. It’s vital to the operation of the vehicle, but there’s no reason why it has to be generic. In fact, adding a new custom cover to the steering wheel can improve the wheel’s grip while adding some visual excitement. Add-on steering-wheel covers come in cloth and micro-fiber—as well as racing leather and funky Baha blanket material. They prevent damage to the original steering wheel and are easy to replace for a regularly updated look.
The same holds true for seat covers and cushions. The ability to customize can go as far as your imagination—from sheepskin cushions to Shiatsu massagers built into the cover. Sports fans can go hog wild by installing matching steering wheel, seat backs, and floor mats emblazoned with logos of your favorite team. It’s always a smart move to put down a set of floor mats to protect the vehicles carpeting from mud and debris. Why not add a sense of style at the same time?
Exterior Windshield Shades
On average, cars are idle for about 90-percent of their life. While your car is in your driveway or parked on the street, it’s a good idea to protect it from the sun’s heat and damaging UV rays. Many of them also flip around to a dark surface to attract the sun’s rays in winter.
While you’re at it, you might as well as tell the world what you care about or try to get a laugh. Pop open the protector to display an image of a superhero, automotive logo, or a tropical scene. These shades easily stow away and then, in a matter of seconds, flip open for a snug fit on the dash. Other designs can be added to side windows for protection from glare while on the road—providing much of the benefit of a window tint without the hassle or expense.
Minibars on Wheels
It’s only a matter of time—perhaps a decade—until self-driving cars become commonplace on U.S. roads. Futurists refer to riding in an autonomous vehicle as a “third space,” a new kind of living environment in addition to home and work. You don’t need to wait for a Jetsonian future to provide home-like electric amenities to your ride. Easy-to-power 12-volt fridges and coolers can be had for a few hundred bucks—providing access to snacks and beverages for long road trips, camping, and tailgating parties.
That’s just the beginning of the electronics you can add. There are slow cookers, food warmers, and even a handheld 12v espresso machine that can radically change your daily commute.
In addition to these suggestions, there are countless space organizers, infotainment devices, and safety tools like dash cams and parking sensors. Or you can go low-tech by slapping on a few bumper stickers.
As long as these personalized features can be removed before you turn your vehicle back in, your Canvas car can become, well, an empty canvas. Start by seeing what Canvas cars are available now—and then let your creativity run wild.