BMW Nightmares photo

In his article entitled "Car owners can fake it with add-on luxury emblems," USA Today's Chris Woodyard tells us all about how people will buy items like AMG or M badges to try and pass off their cars as something they're not. Now, before jumping all over Chris for reporting news that we already know, keep in mind that the average USA Today reader sitting down with his complimentary paper as he digs into the free continental breakfast at the Day's Inn is probably not as attuned to the trends as we enthusiast-types are.

Sadly, this business of highlighting your inferiority complex by trying to pimp your vehicle as a better model than it is is really nothing new. Over the years, I'm certain that I've seen more standard-issue BMW's wearing the M badge than actual bona-fide M cars. And it's not just BMW. It happens with everything -- AMG badges on stock Benzes, 5.0 badges on 4-banger Mustangs -- the list goes on (and on and on). I've even seen a GT-R badge off a Skyline on a 1st-gen Altima. it was very jarring.

One of my favorite repositories for this kind of thing is the BMW Nightmare page, where the host, Jimmy540i, captures some particularly horrifying examples of rebadging and posts them for the world to see.

I always had more respect for the debadgers, myself. These are the people who would (usually) buy a lower-end version of a car -- a 320SL, for example -- and then remove the identifying badges completely, eliminating their identity concerns without sacrificing the classiness of the vehicle itself.

As for those who try to transform their car into a completely different vehicle, well, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

{Source: Chris Woodyard, USA Today via Luxist]