Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quality Critics

Confused. Annoyed. Perplexed. Disappointed.

The emotions I feel all too often when I browse the forums. Reading some of the sentiments of my fellow G37 "enthusiasts" (Yes, I use that term loosely...) often leads me to frustration.

I am not suggesting that I want every person who modifies his/her car to share my taste in parts or modding ideology. I do not claim to be an expert or an authority. I have often stated that I enjoy the diversity in modifying tastes. However, why modify at all if the parts with which you are replacing your stock parts are of questionable quality? It is sad when I see G37 owners replace their OEM Enkei wheels with cheap $200 replica wheels. Or when the stock exhaust is replaced with poorly-constructed eBay pipes.

My ideal is that the modifications to a car should, at the very least, be in proportionate range to the quality/cost of the car itself, if not far surpass that standard. Afterall, we modify to improve, right? Whether it be a popular modification or not, nobody should change their car for the worse. When I alter something on my car, rationally, I am doing it because I feel it makes the car better.

That said, I fully acknowledge that there are two sides to every debate. Take, for instance, the ever-popular Replica vs Authentic argument. I could spend hours defending my opinions on that matter. I can also concede that they are just that - my opinions. They will not be shared by everyone, which is precisely the reason that cheap replicas and knock-offs will continue their assault on the industry.

I digress. 

My issue here is not the fact that I will refuse to vote in this month's G of the Month contest on the forums, because, in doing so, I would be fostering and endorsing corner-cutting (as each of this month's three candidates are all sporting knock-off body kits). My issue is based on a thread in which a member, who I have come to learn, via private messages and e-mail, shares my constitution towards quality, supporting authenticity, respect for all that is JDM, and a loathing of replicas and knock-offs, posed a question to forum members about two exhaust systems. Neither system is cheap. They are both quality exhausts and, as far as I can tell, this person is quite serious about purchasing one of these respective systems.

One of the systems this member is considering purchasing is made by Power House Amuse. With Amuse, no introduction is necessary. I do not need to argue in support of the quality, attention to detail, and sheer artistry of every piece of titanium that exits the Amuse facility in Japan. We all know about Amuse.

Maybe I am being overly sensitive and just nit-picking when I say that I become annoyed when I witness a large majority of members commenting on how "ridiculous" and "absurd it is to spend $5,000 on an exhaust system," or that they would "rather spend that money on forced induction," etc... Maybe, to some people, it is ridiculous. Maybe, to some people, boost would be a more worthwhile investment. Everyone has a right to an opinion. Mine is this: The thread was created because someone is going to purchase one of these two exhaust systems. He is not asking people if they would buy an Amuse exhaust. He is not looking for financial criticism or advice. Before creating the thread he had made up his mind to spend his money modifying his car with quality, authentic, JDM parts. Plain and simple. 

Along similar lines, I came across a post by a person who does not believe a particular member to be valid and legitimate in his public inquiries as he leans towards purchasing a set of Endless brakes for his G37. (His post: "Spending $10K on a $40K car? I don't think he was serious.")

It is somewhat staggering to consider the disapproval and denunciation of these enthusiasts simply because they have the nerve to modify using QUALITY parts... 

But, then again, what do I know?

It is comical to then consider the very real possibility that if I commented on the "absurdity" and "ridiculousness" of members creating threads debating modifying their cars with cheap, subpar quality parts, I would very likely be on the forums all day long...

It is what it is. To each his own. 

My position is simple. Support authenticity. Represent the real. Modify with quality parts. JDMphasis...


  1. Who's surprised? Same junk happens in the EVO scene. Rotas this, Rexpeed that, and finish it off with some crappy coilovers and performance parts that end up souring the owner, repeat and rinse. I see people replace OEM BBS wheels with "Varrstoen" or "XXR" and I wonder how many people simply don't care about quality or just plain bought a car they can't afford.

  2. You're right. I think the mentality is often backwards. Instead of questioning the people who are putting quality parts on their cars, shouldn't we be questioning/calling out those who are not? Thanks for the comment, Aaron...

  3. totally feel you on that why replace quality factory parts for, crappy poorly developed parts just to achieve a single look. I'm not telling people the have to buy the best parts out there but at least try to buy up not down. Enkei wheels for example are quality and pretty affordable. I think it was in an earlier post about ark's exhaust and their shipment container. Looking at the burns on the tips made me sick to the stomach how do you let your products leave looking that inconsistent. makes you wonder if they even to any QA