Creative Trim and Performance -- personalizing vehicles

Thursday, February 13, 2003

By Jim Obert

Business Today

They are hard not to notice -- vehicles with bright neon lights attached to the undercarriage, reflecting off the pavement in colors of red, yellow, blue, green, pink, turquoise and white. They might have been bought at Creative Trim and Performance in Cape Girardeau.

"Business is pretty good on them," says owner Travis Rowland, adding that a set of four bulbs -- two 3 feet long and two 4 feet long -- start at $125.

And those blue headlights? Rowland also sells them.

"Those bulbs are popular. They make the light softer yet brighter, and they give off a cool-looking color."

Rowland opened his business last December. He sells performance parts for import and domestic cars, small trucks, and sprint and drag cars. For those with the need for speed, nitrous refills go for $2.30 a pound.

Trim parts such as bug shields, running boards and highly chromed tool boxes can be installed at the shop. So can lift kits.

"Most people around here like to jack up all four ends of the car, or lower all four ends," says Rowland, standing near a Falcon 17-inch racing tire.

Sport shift knobs, racing mufflers, high-flow catalytic converters and reclinable racing seats are available. So are chrome windshield washer covers that double as LED lights. If the background of your vehicle's display gauge color is black, and you're tired of black, you can slip on a display with white background.

Special shoulder pads, wheels and tires, and neon-colored exhaust tips that plug into the cigarette lighter share space in the showroom with a highly-customized 2000 Honda Civic. The car sports a TV, a Play Station and a mesmerizing paint job. Depending on the angle at which it's viewed, the paint changes color from purple to blue to maroon. Of course, the undercarriage is lit up with neon lights.

Rowland carries brand-name parts and accessories by Better Built, Huskey, Holly, Edelbrock, Gibson, Flowmaster, Mr. Gasket, Autometer, Hydrotech, Ractive, NuSpeed, Crane, APC, NOS, EGR, ARP, MFD, H&K and more.

Rowland says a popular accessory is the Euro tail light. Whereas most tail lights are all red, the Euro has chrome surrounding red dots.

"They're really going over big," says Rowland.

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