I'm curious to what people think about my changes here.
You're probably thinking the bloom around the specular highlight on the tires looks unnatural, but keep in mind that it's just an illustration depicting a phenomenon I've realized with my observation. After more careful observation, I have concluded it is indeed a flaring effect which requires a deep range of luminosity; a requirement slightly addressed in my post above. Without such a deep range, it will not appear and the specular highlight will look thin or even virtually invisible i.e. "normal" as you'd expect. In this manipulation, I also reduced the rediculous bloom occuring skyward, as well as adjusted color bleeding: there's none on the tires anymore but there is more between the explosions' smoke clouds. I've been speculating that diffraction even within the sub-layers of surfaces in-scene may contribute to this bloom effect I've described in even more peculiar ways. It seems linked to chromatic aberration, as I noted in the original post.
Now that I recollect -- it has been many years since I first looked into bloom -- isn't this pretty much how bloom is actually established in formal research work? Then I don't get why so many games implement it so damn incorrectly.