Accessories and after-market toys to turn your hooptie into a ‘whooptie!’


Protect your best friend, and your back seat, with a doggie hammock.


Is your once fly ride beginning to resemble one of the hoopties from Pimp My Ride? Perhaps your old Honda Civic or Subaru Impreza is looking a bit tired. Your friends are embarrassed to even stand near and it smells like your dog took a bath under the back seat. Don’t ruin your mascara, gurl, because even a little cash can put a sparkle on it.


Drive-shift knob can spruce up even a junker ‘s interior for under a C-note.

Slob that knob. As much works of art as mere shifter grips, MOMO Italian shift knobs are a pleasure hold and behold. Chrome, carbon fiber and leather conspire for designs that look great in sports cars, muscle cars or even to dress up that manual-shift econobox. If a shift knob makes a car, then you will be driving a Bentley … even if you paid for a Hyundai. Most styles available for under $100 from

Hot wheels. Nothing puts polish on a car faster than a new set of fashionable shoes — or a set of stylish wheels … and you won’t have to get a second job to pay for them. As an example, 15-in. wheels for a 2010 Honda Civic cost around $85 each at Discount Tire — under $350 for a set of four. Tires, of course, are extra, but size correctly, and you can keep the old tires. Upsize for a few hundred more to achieve that slammed stance. MB Wheels, Vision and VOXX all make wheels that flaunt sexy under any fender.

21st century audio. You can’t drive with some old radio, looking at an Atlas. Fortunately, there are elegantly-designed aftermarket radios with navigation, Bluetooth and USB inputs for your music player. One of my favorites — and one I’m considering for my 1989 Corvette — is the Kenwood DNX series ( Panasonic also makes versions that would upgrade your dash from crass to flash. Pop about $800 to upgrade your classic tunes.

Doggie hammock. Dogs and cars go together like hotels and sleep. So after you’ve detailed your ride and Fido is ready for a roadward romp, protect your seats … and him. Get a doggie hammock that connects to the rear seatback and front seatback, creating a cradle for your pooch. Kurgo offers versions from simple canvas to a quilted puppy pillow. Prices range from $50–$70.


Robob Reel retractable cords make it a snap to get your ride washed and aired up with little fuss.

Reel in your power and air. When detailing your wheels, keep power cords and air hoses from getting tangled with the RoboReel Air and Power systems. A spherical container allows for 360-degree rotation and motorized self-winding. There’s even a water system for car washes and outdoor chores. Power reels and air systems cost $280; the water system is pricier at $699; for more information, visit

John Deere Glass Cleaner. My college buddy turned me onto this product 20 years ago, and it should be said that nothing cleans like a Deere. If it can bust mud and crud from cornfields, it can wipe away doggie smudgens and baby smidgens. Whether a Vette, you’ll really clean up with this set. Buy the Classic Glass Cleaner at John Deere retailers (and online) for under $4. Add a pack of cleaning towels ($12.89) and wheel/tire cleaner ($8.22) to ride with pride.

Chemical Guys Leather Scent. Let’s start transforming your ride by making it smell like the inside of a Hermes bag — or a Rolls-Royce Ghost. Chemical Guys Leather Scent is the sweet-smelling air freshener that you spritz under your seat to neutralize odors, prevent new ones over time, and fill your nostrils with the scent of Heaven. Your car may still look like a burnt marshmallow, but it will smell like a millionaire’s whip. $9.99 at

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 4, 2016.