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Aggressive Body Kits - Random Acts Of Aggression

Reachin'back

By Joey Lee, Photography by Joey Lee

Looking back about 10 years, it was a time when body kits were the epitome of automotive peacocking.

The "Aggressor-style" kit held the title as one of the most notable designs. It had many different names: Aggressor, Invader, Revolver, Joker, Psycho Tiger Face, whatever you wanted to call it. That style was essentially a stateside rendering of the kits that Japanese tuning company VeilSide created and popularized worldwide. During that time, it was such an aggressive and innovative style, no one had ever seen or thought to create anything like that. Before VeilSide came along, most aero kits followed the original lines of the intended car and weren't so hostile on the eyes. VeilSide, at that time, hadn't released a kit for the Civic or Integra chassis but it didn't stop companies in the U.S. from adapting their style to the Honda market-and eventually every single car known to man. By the mid-'00s, this wild style was available for any car. Yes, any car.

It was the Botox injection for cars before Botox was available to human beings. Nothing said "let's race" or "my car is better than yours" like these fiberglass marvels. Even if your car wasn't fast at all, just the front bumper made your Honda look like a psychopathic serial killer hopped up on acid. The opening on these bumpers was so big that even the largest intercooler was dwarfed in the gaping maw of this monster.

American body kit manufacturer Wings West was one of the first to bring the VeilSide style to North America. They saw how popular these aero pieces were in Japan and brought the look over to the States, and hit a home run with kits being sold all over the U.S. Their Aggressor line soon became the flagship aero kit for the company and everybody with a Honda who was tired of their overly simplistic lip kits quickly hopped on the Aggressor bandwagon.

One designer, who apparently became desensitized to the crazy look of the Aggressor kit, decided that it needed to be even more aggressive-by adding "fangs." These makeshift fiberglass fangs were additional pieces you could attach to the "mouth" of the bumper. Just in case adding the fangs wasn't crazy looking enough, you could also add "teeth" to make it look like an angry robot, tiger, or snake. This combination scared away opposing racers and oftentimes people of the fairer sex. Women love fast cars. Fast cars with teeth, however, were probably a female-repellent.

VeilSide got away with the styling because they built incredibly fast cars that justified the look. A 98-horsepower automatic Civic DX with a white-vinyl interior and an Aggressor bumper with fangs was cause for laughter and humiliation by many, even in those days. People with the fangs also had to justify spending the additional $95 by adding neon lights up front to add emphasis to the fact that their cars had teeth.

It may be comical and a subject to laugh at today, but back then, inexplicably, it was successful enough to justify an "Aggressor II" kit. The second Aggressor wasn't twice as angry as the first, nor did it give people the ability to put two additional fangs, but it met with a measurable amount of success before Wings West went under and was purchased by VIS Racing. VIS left the line untouched however, and to this day, they still offer the Aggressor 1 and 2-with optional fangs.

By Joey Lee
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