Tue | Aug 4, 2020

Claydon Ennis - the car modification genius

Published:Thursday | December 6, 2018 | 8:37 PMKajamba Fitz-Henley
The modified 2012 Toyota Axio.
The modified 2012 Toyota Axio.
The Interior of the 2012 Axio.
Engine bay design.
The Toyota Axio and its many awards.
Batteries hydro dipped in a Looney Tunes design.

Creativity is a quality that is valued globally, and there is no exception in the world of automotives, where such genius manifests itself in countless forms. This week, Automotives highlights a young man, Claydon Ennis, who delights in putting his own artistic spin into creating new looks for cars.

"I am the founder of a car group called Third World Society that is based in Ocho Rios. I am personally a car enthusiast, so with my car, I normally try to do things to it to make it show-worthy. We normally go to car shows and display our cars - mainly the engine, interior, and, of course, the exterior," Ennis told Automotives.

He explained how his love affair with cars started: "I got interested in cars when I was going to school. My friends and I used to sit on the side of the road after school and look at cars as they passed by and try to figure out their make, you know, what type of car they were, and I used to look at different cars and say, 'What would I do to that car? What would I do to make it unique and to my own taste?'"

Ennis also stated that he started modifying vehicles when he got his first car - a Toyota Carolla. "That was the first car that I actually got and I did a whole remake of, in terms of paint, rims, leather interior. And from that car, that's where the passion began."

Since then, he has modified five other cars, including his most recent - a 2012 Toyota Axio - for which he has won 17 trophies in six car shows. "It is what has generated the most views and the most success at car events. The majority of the prizes I've won are for 'Best Engine Bay'." He has also won for 'Best Interior', 'Cleanest Car', and 'Best Modern Car', at a few local shows such as the Heelz and Wheelz Car Show in St Ann.

Breaking things down

Ennis gave Automotives a breakdown of how he went about modifying the eye-catching Axio:

First, he noted: "The concepts for the design are mine, however, the actual work on the cars was done by different individuals."

Second, most of the modifications were done using what is known as the hydro-dipping method, which Ennis described: "Hydro dipping is what they call a film. It's like a plastic layer where you go through a process of putting the item that you want the design of the hydro-dipping film to look like. You dip it inside a water container and you have it rinsed into getting the design of what the image is. So let's just say you want a carbon-fibre finish, you'd then get the hydro-dipping film in the carbon fibre finish and you'd go through a dipping process, which is done in a water tank and it basically, gets the image to look like whatever the film is. So you can choose from different concepts like a carbon fibre. You can have it look like the galaxy, you can have it look like the stars. You have many different images that you can have the compartments of the car look like."

Most of the hydro dipping done on the vehicle was credited to a modifier by the name of Ansel in Montego Bay. Ennis also credits others responsible for certain areas of his car's modification: "There's a guy that has a garage in Trelawny called Goose Garage - he's the one responsible for most of the modification works that I do to cars. If I want to do a side skirting modification; if I want to have the bumper changed; or build a front lip or any of those types of modifications, he is the genius behind that."

Some latter modifications: "After all of that was done, I pulled out all the compartments of the engine bay. I took out the top piece cover; I pulled out the battery, the side pieces, the hose, the radiator caps ... everything. And then when I got all of those done in the different designs that I wanted, I installed each back in the car in the sequence I wanted. So the engine bay had a full modification done, not modification where parts of the engine bay were replaced by any other parts. It was more like they were done in a different style than what they originally came with.

"The wheels on the car were also changed recently, so I'm sporting JNC 17x8 wheels, which are pretty much one of the features of the car that gives it a unique look. I also implemented a rear- dglass visor."

Ennis said that the grille of the car and the bumper light covers were done in hydro dipping carbon fibre. "I also implemented some back-bumper diffusers that were also wrapped in carbon fibre."

Ennis doesn't keep the wonders of car modifications to himself. He is known to share his skills and links with others who wish to enhance the look and feel of their vehicles.

"An average car, if you're doing just the engine bay process, and if you have the time and all the resources, it can be done in a week. If you're doing an older model car, where you'd probably have to remove the engine, it will depend on how soon these areas are being painted by the people who do it."