Tony O'Kane | Feb 21, 2009

Day-glo ankle warmers were cool once upon a time. Fashions (thankfully) change, but inevitably society cooks up fads that are just as questionable as the faux-pas they replace.

Case in point: the disturbing new trend of deliberately rusted bonnets.

The rusty bonnet craze apparently traces its origins to the USA, where it steadily gained popularity amongst the "sport compact" tuning community before spreading to Europe. The majority of cars sporting this, ahem, unique style are usually Hondas and Volkswagens, although there has been the odd interloper here and there.

Unlike the slightly passe trend of carbonfibre bonnets, we're perplexed by how "oxidised" became the new carbon black. At least carbonfibre weighs significantly less than a steel bodypart, rusty panels don't.

BMW 3 series with rusty bonnet

Granted, there are some instances where the rusty bonnet thing can be cool in an old-school hot-rod kind of way (see above and below, for example), but we're not exactly compelled to start attacking our own bonnets with an orbital sander and some hydrogen peroxide.

Volkswagen Golf MkV with rusty bonnet

Is it about rebellion? Is it about having the most unique car in the car park? Is it about inflicting a maximum amount of damage in a pedestrian impact? We don't know, but we're sure we'll start seeing more cars flaunting an "extreme patina" over the next few years.

We're also just as certain we'll be shaking our heads and chuckling about it in ten year's time.


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