I was talking to Colin Goodwin recently about the rise and rise of the personalised car. So many cars from a Rolls-Royce Phantom to the Mini, Vauxhall Adam and even the recently announced Dodge Viper and its supposed 25 million paint options invest a large part of their appeal in customisation. Plenty that don’t widely advertise their potential for customisation still offer non-standard paint. For example, you can spend more than £2000 putting official Audi ‘exclusive customised’ paint on an A3, if you really want to.
During our conversation we also touched on modified motorbikes. I’m pretty ignorant about bikes but it seems that modified ones are remarkably popular and have avoided the unflattering image that – along with rising insurance premiums and a general shift in culture – killed the modified car scene. In the same sort of vein, my other half yearns for a modified, old-school American pick-up. He knows exactly the sort of thing he wants, down to the type of paintwork. Of course, the finish and overall look would all be bespoke. Matt Prior always has some project on the go, whether it’s designing and panel-beating a new body for an old Austin, creating his own café racer bike from a stock bike, or doing something bonkers with a Beetle. All of it involves his own design ideas. Granted, like Goodwin, he’s probably more talented with a spanner and fonder of shed-time than the average person, but he's clearly not alone in wanting to build stuff that’s unique.