Friday, March 1, 2013


Why does it seem as though the bang-for-the-buck appeal of modifying has become the ultimate determinant in deciding whether to pursue a certain modification? Is it really the be-all/end-all when it comes to modifying decisions?

We modify our cars because we believe the changes we are making improve the vehicle. This is not news. I have stated this before. I must admit, however, I do not exactly find myself surprised when I see a modification done to a vehicle with a quality part and people question it. It is rare these days that I see quality modifications, first of all, but when these modifying solar eclipses occur, it is both a breath of fresh air, but also a righteous reminder of the state of the tuning world.

Why do we criticize the guy who modifies with quality parts? Is it jealousy? Envy? It is just a bit peculiar to me because I see, far more often, threads on forums where people are showing off their cheap parts, or asking opinions about an exhaust system that costs $237 and is produced in Taiwan. When those modifying decisions provoke criticism or someone recommends holding on to the stock system and continue saving for something better, the all-too-common, "It's his car. Let him do what he wants with it," or "Are you going to pay for it?" lines come out. Or, more, those discriminating members earn the tag of haters. And for what? For simply stating facts, or better yet, for giving the original poster exactly what he asked for: opinions. 

At the same time, when someone spends the money for quality, we often see, "My system makes the same gains and I only paid $300 for it," or "You could have done X, Y, and Z with the amount of money it took to buy that..." 

Quality, attention-to-detail, and rarity are but some of the factors that many enthusiasts consider when buying parts. That is not a bad thing. Comparing parts (or even vehicles) on the confined substratum of a horsepower to price ratio is shortsighted and, frankly, rather inane. It seems as though there are some people who consider themselves automotive gurus who cannot seem to grasp the novel reality that there are actually loyal enthusiasts who desire more than just raw, tire-spinning power. The whole phenomenon seems backwards to me. Then again, much that occurs in the aftermarket parts scene seems a bit backwards at times...

Top Secret Super Induction Intakes (installed on a V36 coupe)

Carbon fiber filter shields...

Titanium intake tubes...

Beautiful craftsmanship...

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

1 comment:

  1. Those Top Secret intakes are amazing to look at.

    For me that is just as important a part of modding my car as increasing its performance. It's about theatre and art, Why do something if you can't take pleasure in looking at it? A friend of mine is getting ready to start doing work on his Z33. He wanted to start a couple years ago but put his plans on hold when ARC first went out of business. Needless to say when Brazing opened up he began to dust off those plans. He knows he wants an ARC box but couldn't decide on a ARC intake pipe or Amuse intake pipe and asked me what I thought. He told me that the internet forums were not a kind place to either piece really based on price. I said, go with which ever one you can't live without in your bay, if you are choosing between those two options you can't lose.

    He looks at it the same way I do, the car should be considered art. Why treat it as just a machine? We've always thought of the cars we modify as an extension of ourselves...why skimp out on it? I suppose when those cheap Taiwan SS exhausts have surface rust all over them and my Greddy is still beautiful then the difference will be clear.