Silver thumbtacks offer a stylish and practical solution when the car headliner begins to come unglued.

The things that young people are doing to dress up their vehicles these days often defy logic. A huge, super-duty, built-for-heavy-lifting pickup truck with low-profile mag wheels bathed in soft-pink neon light just should not be allowed.

I saw that truck the other night and assumed that the pink light was coming from inside the fender wells. It could also be that the truck was thoroughly embarrassed.

In the Carolinas and a few other states, there is a youth-driven pickup fad called the Carolina Squat. The lowered-rear, raised-front style is an imitation of Baja-desert racing vehicles.

While Baja racers have used that design modification for performance safety related to leaving and reconnecting with the ground, the practical benefits amount to exactly “squat” for regular pickups.

Young people will always trick out and dress up their cars and trucks. I must admit that I did it, too — with a Volkswagen Rabbit.

An older vehicle rolling down the highway, driver’s elbow extended out the window and fallen cloth headliner flapping in the rear window, means that vehicle is long paid for.

It should also mean that money is available for repairs.

That was me in my Rabbit circa 1989. I sprang for a headliner reattachment. It lasted through roughly three extreme temperature changes before the cloth headliner was again flapping.

Rather than cut out the failing ceiling upholstery, I did the only other thing I could think of. I reattached it using silver thumbtacks.

The result was pure class.Friends and acquaintances were constantly remarking on my elegant ingenuity.

Not since I had used a V8 vegetable juice can to repair a bent muffler on my old VW Bug had I turned such an everyday household item into a stylish and functional automobile accessory.

The only thing that compares to it is when my friend Paul glued a pair of old bluejeans to the cracked dash of his Ford Pinto. That was way cool. Especially the way he left a back pocket available on the passenger side.

I own a 1997 Ford F-250 heavy-duty pickup truck that is all workhorse and no play.

The plain-old stock work-truck hubcaps are still as plain and as old as the day I bought the truck.

But my commuter now is a 2005 Honda Accord. The twins shared it during their first couple of years of driving.

The car is as easy on gas and as tight as it was when the little-old-lady original owner first drove it off the lot — except for the headliner.

It started sagging, right on cue, during the first week that I began using the car.

Fortunately, I knew exactly what to do. I even splurged and got the oversized silver thumbtacks. Stylish and practical.

I assumed that the kids nowadays probably had never contemplated tricking out their headliners.

Boy was I wrong. They do everything from quilted leather to star projectors.

Maybe I’ll put some neon-pink tape over the dome light.

Contact Mark Rutledge at