If you’re one of those people that spends a decent amount of time on the road, then you have seen it. If you have an open window next to a freeway, then you have heard it. If you are one of us, you have felt it - the excitement of modding cars. To be able to elevate something to a whole new level is a form of art and packed full of passion.
How it started
Interestingly, this can be dated all the way back to the late 19th century. At this time the cars were not so standardized so enthusiasts, our ancestors, were able to plug in their flavor of mechanics and engineering.
Then came ‘Hot Rods’. Sounds like a mod itself but it refers to heavily modified cars between 1920s and 1950s. The modifications included immense changes in performance and body to unlock speed and style. These were typically Model T Fords and the biggest motivation came from the desire to beat others in drag races. Some things never change.
As we rolled into the 1960s and 1970s, car manufacturers produced Muscle Cars. These were likely produced to give consumers high performance right out the door. Alas, it did not work completely. Our grandads wanted to extract more power from those huge engines and they did so. Thanks in large part to these actions, we have Ford Mustangs, Dodge Challenger etc. Nobody can deny the beauty they have carried over the years. Except some years maybe but we can ignore those years. To this day though, a 1970s Mustang will get you to turn your head.
Somewhere around the 1980's there was an emergence of Tuner Culture. Gears were switched and Japanese imports like Toyota Supra and Honda Civics became more popular. So did the ability to tune cars for better handling, acceleration and aesthetics. This culture continued to grow and as the years went on, aftermarket parts like body kits became popular. As did engine swapping. The first Fast & Furious really popularized this era.
Thing about humans is that we get bored pretty quickly. It is why we are constantly evolving our interests and it is why things always get better. And so the progress over half a century was not enough for us. We brought drifting into the mix. For those of you who have any experience in drifting, you know that those few seconds bring a different kind of joy and sense of accomplishment. The market also noticed and the mods adapted to make drifting easier and safer.
Over the years and today, we continue to perfect our approach and products. There is a DIY culture that has also become very prevalent so mods today come with instructions and methods that are easy to follow. You do not need to be a mechanic or an engineer, but you will feel like one once you are done.
The downside is that while a lot of us are motivated by elevating the ride experience for all of us, there are those who want to make a quick buck. This mentality floods the market with cheap aftermarket stuff that just fails at every level.
Modding is not about money. Modding is about taking what you have and making it better. It is about extracting more out of your car without compromising the integrity of it. If you spend time and money to mod your car and it comes out looking and feeling worse, you have wasted your resources and will likely need to undo your work. So it is our responsibility to make changes that improve what we have - not destroy it.
Thankfully, it is very easy to find the right stuff and the right people. If you have read this far, you are in the company of those that will help you elevate. So we can work together and continue the legacy of modding into the future.