Forbes / Go Custom On A Budget? Take These 3 Pointers From Will Castro To Create Your Own Unique Ride
June 19

Forbes / Go Custom On A Budget? Take These 3 Pointers From Will Castro To Create Your Own Unique Ride

Car personalization guru Will Castro releases his autobiography today. In Unique Hustle: My Drive to be the Best Car Customizer in Hip Hop and Sports, Castro details his self-propelled ascent from a "free range" childhood roaming New York's Lower East Side unsupervised, through adolescence into the growth of the city's car culture, to his entry into the business, and all the way to a TV show and celebrity clients. Yes, the book tells the story behind some of the superstar vehicles he's tricked out over the years.

The title is a twist on his discontinued TV show Unique Rides (clips and episodes are still available via Motor Trend and on YouTube). If you were a fan, you watched Castro make over Nick Cannon's muscle car and rework Busta Rhymes' tour bus. Other celebrity clients include P. Diddy, LeBron James, Nicki Minaj, Carmelo Anthony, Jason DeRulo, Ice-T, DJ Khaled, Eminem and Pamela Anderson.

But if you're a mortal with a daily driver and without endless pockets of cash, you can still add some style to your ride. In a phone interview, Castro shared the best things you can do to instantly boost the appearance of your car:

 

 

1. Wheels and tires

Castro compared this upgrade to dressing oneself with the final touch that improves the whole outfit. "I feel that if you change the wheels and tires, you put on a brand new pair of shoes," he said. "It makes everything look better."

2. Window tint

This is really one for a tight budget. You can get a good tint for $100 to $150, and it's both aesthetic and functional. "It keeps the sun out, it keeps you cool inside, and it gives a really cool look to the outside of the vehicle," Castro said.

3. Change the color with vinyl instead of paint

Even on a small vehicle, a good paint job will cost at least $1500 to $2000. If you have a late model car, that is, one whose moldings, handles, and trims can easily be temporarily removed, consider a vinyl wrap. This might be a savings strategy for people shopping a lease or purchase and getting an incredible price cut for an unsightly color. Go ahead and take $5000 off the price of that last maroon car on the lot and then do what you really want. Castro said 3MAvery and Orafol offer quality products.

After the above surefire dos, there are of course don'ts. Castro said the top mistake is overdoing it. Pick a color theme and keep it simple with clean lines. Also, don't invest above the value of the car.

Fun trivia: Castro's own cars are one 2017 Dodge Hellcat and one 2019 BMW X5. And the one request all the super-celebrities have in common is customized wheels that display their identity. That can be personal initials, full names, brand logos or signature colors.

 

A recent project shows a bit of Castro's philosophy: do some eye-catching trim, but mostly focus on keeping it clean. Inexperienced customizers often overdo it.

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