I nailed the gold bagpipe level the first time. The key seems to be to use the front corners of the car to hit the pipes, rather than running right over them - so you're basically just swerving in to clip them, then swerving away again. You'll still hit the accordions some of the time but you can still finish using this method.
Edit: another interesting thing I just realized. You have to finish a level to register the final decal and get the upgrade, you can't just return to the garage. I realized on Episode 2 I was missing the actual upgrade from Episode 1, because I got the 'YOU ROCK' animation from getting all the decals in Episode 2. I went back to an Ep1 save, got the last decal, finished the round, then it went back to the garage and did the animation there too, awarding me the reward. Loaded my Ep2 save and lo and behold, the upgrade is there on the car.
At least it's not being overly punitive and making me play through Ep1 and the first part of Ep2 again!
Last edited by BrotherMagneto; 10-18-2009 at 04:40 PM.
Reason: added more info