Being cool: one of every human’s prime concerns, right behind food, shelter and concealing the fact that you secretly enjoyed 50 Shades of Grey. In this guide, I’ll be giving you several tried-and-true tips on how to seem like James Bond when you’re really James May.

1. Overcompensate

This may come as a surprise to many of you. I’m sure you’ve all heard derisive comments about Truck Nutz from people who want to take the high road, but the truth is, they’re lying. They make these cruel comments because secretly, they wish they had some Truck Nutz. Subconsciously, they’re angry because someone else thought of putting testicles on their vehicle before them. When was the last time you heard someone with massive smokestacks on their diesel Ram talk bad about someone else with massive smokestacks on their diesel Ram? By acting like what some people would classify as a total jerk, you’re actually joining a very exclusive club of people who actually know what’s cool and what isn’t.

2. Don’t Drive A Stick

Manual transmissions were eventually nearly totally supplanted in the United States by automatics for their convenience and stress-free operation, leading manuals to be seen as only the choice for enthusiasts who want their lives to be more difficult. But really, the only reason manuals are seen as cool is for just that reason: they’re annoying. Disintegrating most of your left leg from driving a manual in traffic every day because it keeps you in tune with your car isn’t cool in the same way that sleeping on a bed of leaves and raccoon scat because it keeps you in tune with nature isn’t cool. If you truly want to be cool, you can appear effortless and carefree by driving an automatic, leaving time for you to do other cool things like endlessly adjust your Ray-Bans and summer scarf right in everyone else’s line of view.

3. Customize Your Ride

One of the best ways to be appear in tune and hip is to jump on the customization bandwagon popularized by the Fast ‘n’ Furious video game franchise. Some great ways to do this include taking existing customization one step further. What’s better than dual exhausts? How about five? For bonus points, place them all one side of the car because asymmetry counters our subconscious expectations, therefore making you appear more cool and giving everyone who sees your car a little something to think about. You can also try some bright paint choices to stand out more on the road, and for a little extra flair, keep the paint color inconsistent between body panels. The more variation you can cram in there the better; this also has the added benefit of making you more visible to other drivers, which improves safety and also draws attention to you and your perfectly adjusted Ray-Bans. But if you really want to up your cool factor, you can’t go wrong with some body mods; my friend Seymour turned his Kia Spectra into a convertible to have more room for his favorite baroque wig, and he gets more looks on the road than anyone I know.

Advertisement

4. Tune Your Engine

Many tuners alter their engines to make their cars faster, but in truth, this is the opposite of what you want to do to turn your lame ride into a bitchin’ one. When people with obnoxiously fast cars peel away from every light, nobody has time to absorb the work they’ve put into their car because they’re gone too quickly. What you really need to do is to modify your car to make it slower. An easy mod is to disconnect a couple of your HT leads; by eliminating cylinders, your car will accelerate significantly slower. This will encourage other people to pay maximum attention to your car since it will probably hold them up, and has the other upside of increasing fuel economy. Because let’s be honest, what’s cooler than frugality? You can also try adding a wing on the back, which both fulfills the aforementioned goal of overcompensation and adds drag, reducing your top speed. If you’re willing to go really crazy, try driving around with your hood popped. While not strictly an engine modification, it makes you seem a little edgier by adding an element of danger to your commute; and if your hood pops all the way open, you have no choice but to drive more slowly and therefore appear more cool.

I hope these tips have provided you some aid on your journey to coolness. I’ll run it by Seymour for any other tips as soon as he’s released from house arrest and can use the Internet again.