Billet grilles and aftermarket grilles in general, are a dominant fixture in the automotive accessory community. This is no coincidence. While wheels, LED lighting, and performance tuners can sometimes be too much of an acquired taste for the older generation, drivers of all age groups and backgrounds can relate to the importance they place on the front of their vehicles. After all, who could blame them? The grille on a car or truck is the face of the vehicle. It is often how it is identified. Certain drivers may upgrade over their original for just plain style, while others prefer an aftermarket job for further protection. But it wasn’t always this way. In the past, grilles (or grills, depending on preference) were afterthoughts. Some might have spent more time than others maintaining a decent shine on theirs, but decades ago they were just something that came with the ride and protected the radiator. Cliche to say, but those days are obviously gone. Today, grilles are among the most sought-after automotive accessories on the planet, bringing forth a trend that is seemingly growing stronger by the minute.
Protection Versus the Elements
The more meat-and-potatoes type of driver craves an aftermarket grille as much as the fashion-enthused tuner. But their mode of selection obviously differs. Occupations and geographical locations all play a big part in why a driver purchases a certain type of grille. One of the most common reasons is to enact a line of defense between the contents under the hood and the outside conditions. Grilles are designed to modulate the airflow from the outside to the radiator and engine. But deflecting rocks, pebbles, sand, and other types of debris from reaching the inner workings has proven to be perhaps the grille’s most valuable feature, especially for those drivers who live in climates where the wind plays a big role in their daily travels.