Visit just about any automotive forum for any platform and browse the classified section. Look on the marketplace pages on the various social media platforms devoted to selling automotive parts. You will not see, for example, "FS: Top Secret Rear Diffuser for 350Z." You will likely see: "FS: Authentic Top Secret Rear Diffuser for 350Z." That one word irks me.
In the hypothetical that I stumble upon a post advertising a replica part for sale and the word "replica" is not included in the title or, at the very least, the description of the item being sold, I would feel as though the seller is attempting to deceive potential buyers by advertising the part as something it is not. However, simply listing an authentic part for sale by stating exactly what it is does not seem to be enough these days. We almost always see the word "authentic" somewhere in the advertisement.
Am I the only person who thinks this is sad?
Perhaps I am nit-picking. Nonetheless, the default is to now stress the authenticity of a part. This is in no way a criticism or indictment of the sellers of these items. I am guilty of this as much as the next guy. It is more a commentary on the state of the tuning industry. It has become absolutely necessary for sellers to emphasize the fact that the part they are selling is authentic due, in large part, to the fact that there is an overabundance of replica and knock-off parts flooding the marketplace. It should not be this way. I should be able to post "Top Secret Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser - 350Z/Z33" without worrying that someone may just assume it is a Shine or Outcast Garage or Flavor of the Month Replica Aero Company part.
Again, maybe I am bothered by something relatively insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but when one cannot visit a classified section of a forum without seeing sponsor after sponsor slinging fake parts or look through a marketplace page and scroll down page after page without seeing the name of one legitimate Japanese manufacturer without a hyphen and the word "style" after it (Ex. Amuse-style), there is something wrong. The money-hungry replica parts manufacturers are not going anywhere. They will always be here to steal designs and profit from someone else's hard work. So, I believe it all starts with the so-called enthusiasts. Have some pride in your project. Refuse to cut corners. Refuse to reward intellectual property theft. Accept that a worthwhile build is not going to happen overnight. E-fame and Insta LIKEs is nothing compared to the satisfaction of building a project you can say, unequivocally, you built the right way.
The picture posted below is a few years old at this point and I believe I originally saw it when my friends at Bulletproof Automotive posted it (and I have likely posted it on here before), but I think it is a good visual into exactly what I have stated above. A sad look into the state of the tuning industry and the rampant replicas.
Be the Funk. Don't Fake It.
JDMphasis… Innovation over Imitation