I used to own a BMW E36 328i. I very much wanted an M3. Why? Because it’s more powerful, better to drive and sounds amazing. But I wouldn’t have ended up with any of that if I’d slapped an M3 badge on my 328i; a few people might think I had the full fat version of the 3-series, but that’s it. Sure, some of us are show-offs and to an extent that’s fine, but there’s much more to cars than shallow bragging, especially if there’s no substance to back it up.
This is the big one, and to illustrate the point, here’s a Golf I spotted recently. As a serious petrolhead, I immediately clocked the bodykit, centre exit exhaust and distinctive wheels. I didn’t need to spot the R32 badge to know what this car was supposed to be. And I say supposed to be because as I got closer, I heard the agricultural clatter of a diesel engine. Yep, it was a fake. After a quick search of the number plate when I got home (yep, I’m that sad), I found that it wasn’t even the most powerful Mk5 Golf oil burner.
The ridiculous thing is that if I wasn’t a car nut, I wouldn’t have spotted the different bodywork, or given a damn about the R32 badge or what that meant. But as I am a car nut, I immediately spotted that it was a fake and wasn’t awfully impressed. It’ll be the same for pretty much every other petrolhead checking out a fake badged car, so what’s the point?
The range-topping wannabes is one thing, but then there are the people that seem to slap any old badge on the back of their ride. Just check out this ‘Type R’ Vauxhall Zafira, spotted by our very own Gabor Szedlak not so long ago. Unless you’re deliberately trolling, what does this achieve, other than making you look stupid?
If you’ve ever tried to remove any sort of badge from a car - be it one put there by the manufacturer, or something awful left by the previous owner - you’ll know it’s a tremendous pain. Even if you’re lucky enough to find that the paint hasn’t faded too much underneath, you’ll still have to toil for some time to remove all the adhesive. Fortunately, there are some decent guides around that’ll help you get the job done safely and effectively, as you can see above.