Home » My Car Prejudices: I Hate Chrome Door Edge Trim

My Car Prejudices: I Hate Chrome Door Edge Trim

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Like any human being, or at least near-human primate, I am replete with flaws and preconceptions and assumptions and unfair biases. I’m full of half-baked ideas and opinions, especially about cars and car-adjacent things. One opinion or bias or prejudice or whatever that I’ve realized I hold is something that, in hindsight, I’ve had for decades, ever since I was a kid.

It’s this: you know how some people put strips of chrome trim on the edges of their car doors? Well, those never look good. They look awful.

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I know there may be some readers who have cars with such chrome trim, and I don’t mean to offend, but I can’t stay silent on this any longer. When I was a kid, my family had a 1980 Honda Accord sedan, and my mom, my very own mother, had the dealer install chrome trim on the door edges, and even as a child I knew something was wrong, something had been debased. Of course, back then, as a child, I didn’t have the words to express what I felt. But now, as a vastly older child, I do.

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This sort of trim isn’t something that’s some relic of the past, it’s still very much alive today, and as you can see above, people are spending hundreds of dollars to make their cars look vastly worse.

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So, why do I harbor such animosity for chrome door trim? Because it looks good on precisely zero cars, give or take no cars. It breaks up the overall form of the car, and no car seems to work better when the door shut lines are emphasized and delineated with shiny trim. Sure, there are some cars that pay special attention to the shape of the door shutlines, and I certainly respect it when designers pay attention to such details, but this crap simply does not work:

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Car design since the 1930s has been about overall form; the era of cars being made of discrete, independent visual elements ended in the ’20s, and the only reason it ever was A Thing was because manufacturing ability needed to catch up. The bright piping on the door edges reminds me of one thing, and I don’t think it’s particularly flattering:

Captainkangaroo

Yes, Captain Kangaroo‘s coat. The white piping, outlining the lapels and pockets. That’s what it looks like. And if you’re not a decrepit, old bastard like myself you may not be familiar with Captain Kangaroo, but that doesn’t really matter. Look at that dude. Is that the look you want for your car? Really?

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I am, as always, interested in your opinion, since this is the world’s most influential automotive community. So, let’s do a poll about this, to see how The People really feel about terrible car door trim that manages to ruin the look of pretty much any car, ever:

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Robert Stanley McLaughlin
Robert Stanley McLaughlin
1 month ago

Perfectly stated and perfectly TRUE

Caraholic.
Caraholic.
1 month ago

It’s CAPATIN’ KANGAROO!!!

funny how we irrationally hate silly things.

I generally despise anything with glue from the auto parts aisle….. but my irrational hate alone is saved for ugly chrome wheels and anything Prius.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
1 month ago

A few cars pull it off, but generally, fully agree. I feel about chrome trim similar to gold-plating and almost anything brass: whoever is using this better be a design genius or else it just ends up looking tacky and generally like shit. Looked pretty on my VW Kharmann Ghia, but of so did everything else 🙂

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 month ago

I have an opinion, and I cannot say it’s not awful, even if I later say it’s worse than awful, so I had to vote for “It’s just awful.” even though it’s far worse than “just” awful.

BobWellington
BobWellington
1 month ago

Just one of the many car mods that tells everyone you have the worst taste imaginable.

Jblues
Jblues
1 month ago

I had to stick door edge trim on my Mustang (not chrome, thankfully, just car color) because the doorline literally comes to a stabbing point that kept trying to kill my wife’s car in the garage.

Alec Weinstein
Alec Weinstein
1 month ago

Don’t forget chrome B pillar covers. You wanna talk about highlighting strange parts of a car…

Chris D
Chris D
1 month ago

Stupid crap on cars:
What everyone else said, and:
Illuminated LED brand symbols
Blackout window tinting, especially on the front windows. I’ve even seen tinted windshields, so you can not see the driver. Those should be impounded.
Religious license plate frames. They make you look like a gullible, superstitious, sanctimonious idiot.
Undercar lighting – especially on lifted pickup trucks. This takes tacky to another level.
Oversized, multi-balled trailer hitches when the truck has never even hauled a U-haul trailer. Often combined with huge plastic testicles – putting the driver’s blue balls out for everyone to see.

Endusone
Endusone
1 month ago

Chrome trim like that is objectively horrible looking.

As a Corvette C6 owner, my eyes are subjected to horrendous looking mods on a regular basis. The worst mod, by virtue of it’s objectively horrible looks as well as its popularity, is tail light louvers. It’s a round tail light. It doesn’t seem like you have to have majored in art to realize that putting straight lines across it doesn’t work. I can chalk a lot of things up to personal taste, but I honestly do not understand how one single person thinks they look good. I try not to criticize mods on the forums but I reserve the right of an exception for tail light louvers.

Chrome rims on late model Vettes are something I have no choice but to accept, but I secretly think anyone who has them is at least somewhat insane. I get it on older vettes but in the era of black plastic trim chrome just doesn’t match anymore. It looks odd.

Memphomike
Memphomike
1 month ago

I apologize to everyone; I worked in a “new car get ready” department at a Toyota dealership in the 80’s and we spent alot of time installing pinstripes, side molding, and door edge guards used to make some extra money.
I’m not as ashamed of the pinstripes and door edge guards since they could be removed pretty easily, but we actually riveted the side molding on.

Jerry Thomas
Jerry Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  Memphomike

Riveted!? I just threw up a little

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
1 month ago

Wow, the Captain Kangaroo analogy is the reason why I love the Autopian! Awesome. And I love chrome, but hate it on door edges.

Hiram McDaniel
Hiram McDaniel
1 month ago

I purchased a low mileage 2013 Honda Ridgeline form the original owner about a year ago. He had door edge guards, an acrylic bug deflector on the hood, a the stick on window vent-shades. I hate ALL of that stuff. It took HOURS of goo gone, multiple plastic razor blades, a heat gun, and orbital polishing to get all that adhesive off.

Luckily I got it all off with no damage to the paint, but it certainly cemented my disdain for any accessory or decoration that sticks on the paint!

Myk El
Myk El
1 month ago

A previous owner of the 1966 Plymouth Sport Fury I had put it on. There was already decent chrome trim on the car, it added nothing. Had I kept it, I would have removed when we got around to painting.

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
1 month ago

The other pet peeve of mine is the “Wheel Arch Chrome Fender Trim“, especially on the vintage Mercedes-Benz. They are often cheap method for hiding the rust behind the fenders.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 month ago

I’m not a fan of chrome anything. I was so happy when chrome barges faded away and we moved into the era of chrome-free automotive design. Sadly, chrome made a comeback. But it looks like EVs are trending away from chrome.

Mantis Toboggan, MD
Mantis Toboggan, MD
1 month ago

I assumed people found this stuff at AutoZone next to the fake bullet holes and paid around $50 for a full set. How is it this expensive and why do people pay to make their cars look awful?

Cuzn Ed
Cuzn Ed
1 month ago

Same! I assumed it to be a cheap way to hide or attempt to prevent paint chips and the like. Like “fixing” a busted brake light with red tape.
Why would you spend hundreds of dollars to make it look like your whole car was jerry-rigged?

Slirt
Slirt
1 month ago

i take exception to the header: it’s not a prejudice, it’s TASTE! and i didn’t know if awful or terrible is worse, but it’s both so it doesn’t really matter.

STUART FELLOWS
STUART FELLOWS
1 month ago

We can’t forget that jacket from “The Prisoner”. Either could Iron Maiden.

The Mark
The Mark
1 month ago

I feel like your poll questions are set up to get the answer you want. That said, all of the answers are correct.

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

Honestly not sure how often I’ve seen this in person. It’s certainly more visually obstructive than black door trim.

My 2012 Prius v has thin black door edge protectors. Dunno if they were from the factory or installed by one of the 3 prior owners. But the car is Metallic Grey, so they’re fairly subtle.

I definitely don’t hate the chrome look, though. I think we’ve already covered the idea that some cars flaunt known design rules/guidelines and still turn out okay. I’d sooner call these “quirky” than “flat-out wrong.”

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
1 month ago
Reply to  VanGuy

I hate all door edge guards. Surely, installed by previous owners. The ones that are body-colored maybe don’t hate as much. But put black ones on a white car and it’s just as devastating as chrome on any car.

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

I mean, don’t they fill a role, at least? I imagine we’d all have fewer dings on our doors if all cars came with them.
Kinda like window deflectors–yes, they impact the aesthetic (whether positive or not is an opinion), but they’re primarily to crack the windows in the rain. Or, in my case, they made the pitch of the air rushing past on the highway more tolerable.

Erik McCullough
Erik McCullough
1 month ago
Reply to  VanGuy

wind deflectors should be banned too lol

VanGuy
VanGuy
1 month ago

I hated driving on the highway in my Prius without them…it was like the wind noise would reach a perfectly annoying high pitch. Once I got the deflectors the sound was just different enough to not bother me.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
1 month ago

See it reminds me of many couches from the 90’s where all the piping was white but the couch itself wasn’t. Like for some reason we needed to highlight all the edges of the couch.

Jack Langelaan
Jack Langelaan
1 month ago

It’s the equivalent of rotoscoping real life, but not in a good way.

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