Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Open Diff - What’s Your Favorite No-brainer Car Modification?

Posted April 13, 2022 5:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Dodge Magnum

To a certain contingent of car collectors, no modification must ever darken the doorsill of an older vehicle. Everything must remain just as it was when the car left the factory, either by means of preservation or restoration, with absolute trust in the designers and engineers and assembly-line workers who had a hand in that car's creation. Any modification, even the slightest one, makes that vehicle no longer pure or a perfect representation of the vision and the hard work that went into it.

On the other hand, no car is perfect. Cars - like every other consumer product - emerge from years-long series of design compromises and if that process works as it should, nobody really gets everything they want out of the final product. In addition, those of us who can't afford to just mount a car to the wall like artwork have to live with those compromises and quirks every time we get behind the wheel. Thus, who can really blame anybody for tweaking our cars to suit our needs rather than tweaking our needs to suit our cars?

Sometimes, the reward-to-effort ratio behind those modifications makes you wonder just why anybody - even the most dedicated purist - would pass on those tweaks. Take, for instance, the headlamp switches of the first-generation Chrysler LX-chassis cars like my daily driver 2005 Dodge Magnum. Unlike the Chrysler 300, the early LX Chargers and Magnums didn't get automatic headlamps, one of those modern niceties I'd gotten used to on my Jeep ZJ Grand Cherokee. I'd considered replacing my Magnum's headlamp switch with one from a 300 to get that feature, but in the end I didn't need to spend the $35 for a new switch. Instead, all I had to do was some minor surgery on my existing switch.

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