Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Do We Modify?

"Now what did you buy?"

"How much did that cost?"

"Do you really need that?"

"You're wasting your money."

These are the sort of questions a modifying fanatic faces regularly. There are many out there who just cannot fully grasp, respect, or appreciate all that goes into building the "perfect" car. They do not understand the novelty of having a one-of-a-kind work of art - that is precisely what the car is to the enthusiast. Something of which to be proud. A project that, if enough time and energy is invested, can evolve into a work of art. Thus, regularly fielding this realm of questioning becomes a source of monotonous frustration for a true tuning fiend.

Before I parted out my Z, I recall going to the dealership inquiring about the trade-in value. The salesman who inspected the car told me they would give me roughly $500 over the Kelley Blue Book value of the car at that time. Puzzled, I wondered aloud why the car was not worth more to them considering the tens of thousands of dollars in modification and custom work invested. I remember the salesman asking me, "Did you buy your lunch today?" When I answered in the affirmative, he told me that I was never going to get my lunch money back. Using the analogy that my aftermarket parts were much like the ten dollars I had spent on my lunch that day, the dealer, quite bluntly, informed me that I was not going to get the money invested in parts back, either.

Modifying a car is not an investment. An enthusiast certainly does not buy parts to increase the value of the vehicle. He buys parts to create something unique. He buys parts to feed an addiction. Modifying is a pastime, or a hobby, to some. To others it is a more serious recreation. To others, a genuine passion. There are different degrees of automotive enthusiasts. It is no secret that I am discriminating and particular when it comes to choosing parts for my cars. My goal is to build a car that one cannot see anywhere else but my driveway. One that is distinctly mine. I have already gone through two big brake kits, I am currently debating changing exhaust systems, as well as looking into different wheels... Among other things. To say the least, I am never satisfied. My projects are never complete.

So, when I ponder the irksome inquiries of those scrutinizing masses that cannot seem to grasp the notion of what it means to be a true enthusiast, I consider a sticker I currently have resting on the back seat of my G... Eat, Sleep, JDM.

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