The customization of vehicles is an elaborate process that involves dozens of different craftsmen. Since most vehicles are not new, their engine, chassis, and body usually undergo various stages of reconstruction. Regardless of the type of vehicle, this process takes place in strings of small workshops dotted around the outskirts of major urban centers, known as as addas, makeshift workshops around the country where old Bedford “Rockets” and other types of trucks and buses are transformed into flamboyant pieces of art. Thousands of artisans specialize in different crafts across these workshops: welders, ironsmiths, mechanics, and electricians for major repair and reconstruction works, woodworkers, upholsterers, specialists in metal ornaments and glasswork, as well as spray painters, painters, and calligraphers in charge of embellishing the vehicles. Trucking business operates in a world of hard manual labor and low literacy levels, and it is associated with regular drug abuse and prostitution. The drivers and owners of trucks, buses, and other utility vehicles as well as the craftsmen involved in their customization usually lack formal education and come from low-income households. Vehicular decoration and trucking culture are consequently associated with the lower social classes, even the margins of the society.


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