I thought I’d share my thoughts here:
So let’s think of it as the context of artwork. The Mona Lisa would be a thorough build where no stone was unturned. On the other hand Picasso may look chaotic and unappealing it is never-the-less art, complete and accepted.
If you “build” a vehicle the aesthetics and quality need to encompass the entire process. What goals are to be made? What’ are the end results? Many vehicles have different directions and concepts they want to achieve, so the end result is casually judged by the public for its palpability and ultimate acceptance or not. If you build a 10 second drag car it needs to go 10 seconds, if you build a show car it needs to win at shows, a cruiser needs to be able to cruise and so on and so forth.
The problem I find is each person judges each build upon their own goals and experience and not the goals of the creator. If you judged the Peanuts cartoons against Mona Lisa you may say Peanuts as an inferior venture, but in reality the ultimate goal was to be consumed by the public every Sunday morning. In this ideal it excelled at its goal and may be considered more successful than the Mona Lisa. The same could go for a dirty drag car that has thousands of trophies on the wall, a huge following, but couldn't pull in honorable mention at a car show.
We need to consider the goals of the build, how the creator accomplished them, then we can judge a build not just on its ability to reach the goal of general acceptance in the community, but it’s ability to generate more support for the ideology. Otherwise we will be lost in our ability to best determine what a build is or why we even use the word.
Much of our confusion stems from the #Instafamous car that has only staying power as long as it's continually shared. These builds tend to burnout and fade away quickly because there's no results to go by. You can post pictures all day, but we are ultimately judged by our results. Did it win trophies or races? We don't know. These flash-in-the-pan builds seem to be the one that many new content creators adhere to as fly-by-night marketers spout the success of sharing their empty builds, but it's truly the passion that people come to see, the person behind the camera, not the varied creations they display. Once the journey is over, the car fire dies out.
In comparison many hold the litmus test of a build against the Fast and the Furious original film. These cars were considered over blown 10 second drag cars that could crush on the street but also take home the trophy at the car show. They inspired a generation to purchase Supras, Eclipse and Skylines in droves. They had the purpose of show and go, but the ideology is misplaced and unrealistic which eventually brought negative feeback to future generations that followed the "movie context" of upgrading a vehicle simply for looks when it could not accomplish speed, a staple of movie trickery. This created Fake It Until You Make It builds and the negativity stifled their generation's creativity leaving us with drab basic colors and frustrated car guys unable to find direction or a means to stand out above the competition. Our community simply flat-lined into acceptance when it actually strives for flamboyancy. Still no one can argue that the Fast and the Furious opened up many to the broader automotive world through its success and although its flame burns, it does so now dimly.
So at the end of the day judge each according to his own success and ability and redefine the generalized words like “build” to mean something more. Let your success be a goal and the eventual longevity or impact be the determiner. Let it be something that will generate success and drive an ever growing community to become involved in our joint car world so that we can build a better community through a solid goal oriented build instead of continually questioning how much is too much and how much is not enough. A question that at the heart of the original question will sabotage our success. In essence, the community should not be the goal, but the goal will result in a community.