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Old 01-27-2024, 06:17 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Jason is too proud to weigh in on a topic he's probably most suited to answer.
Is the question why do trucks have fender flares?

Short answer - they are a cheap way to offer a vehicle with different track widths.

Flares started out in the aftermarket community. A guy lifts his truck and puts big tires on it. They stick out past the fenders so he has to fabricate extensions to meet laws about exposed tires. Then someone starts making plastic injected flares that bolt on. They were black and you painted them to match your truck or if you were cheap you left them black. When I was young you bought these from the JC Whitney catalog.

Somewhere along the way manufacturers started offering their own 4x4 options with wide tires from the factory. Fender flares are cheaper than making new metal fenders to cover the tires because steel stamping tools are expensive. They also visually differentiate the more expensive 4X4 trim from the cheaper 2WD trim. My Nissan Frontier 4x4 had big factory fender flares

2WD - narrow track

4WD - wide track

Then somewhere along the line black matte black plastic fender flares that used to be the sign that someone that couldn't afford to get their truck painted became fashionable. They were a sign of a vehicle's "rugged" off-road status and now we have them on $80,000 Mercedes wagons.

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