Car of the Day

Opining on Automotive Opinion

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The Mod Squad

September 16th, 2008 · No Comments


No, not that Mod Squad.  I’m talking about the people that “mod” their cars.

There is an entire industry out there where a lot of people are making some serious coin around aftermarket modifications of their vehicles.  There are a lot of reasons people will modify their vehicles, but they can really be organized into 2 simple categories; “Go” or” Show”.    

If you want your car to look unique, personalized or cooler you throw some “Show” mods onto the car.  This can range from wheels to window tinting, glowing lights under the car to bumper stickers declaring your affiliations.  

If you want to make your car perform better you start bolting on the “Go” mods.  Perhaps cold air intake, an exhaust, a cam, headers, or even a supercharger might fit the bill.  (if you don’t mind paying that bill)

The cool thing about mods is that they are as varied as the customers who purchase them.  It gives an automotive enthusiast a way to customize or personalize their car into their own creation.  

I’ve done a fair amount of modding to my vehicles and I started thinking about why I’m driven to make these modifications to my vehicle.  I don’t really car about having a custom creation.  I don’t care about “personalizing” my vehicle.  I could do that with a pinstripe with my initials in it.  

What it is boils down to is that I simply love my vehicles.  And at times I may want to improve on a vehicle’s deficiency.  Let’s say a car has crappy traction, that is fixed with a suspension mod or some really sticky tires.  And other times I may want to improve on a vehicle’s strength.  Especially, if that strength is one of the reasons that I like my car. 

For example, a 6.0 liter V8 LS2 is a very nice engine.  And the aftermarket has a number of parts to improve the power output of that engine.  I’m not talking about risky modifications.  I’m not talking about one-off custom changes to a motor.  I’m talking about tried and true, installed on thousands of motors all over the world, proven improvements. 

There a folks out there driving cars that have strong aftermarket support for them.  Not strong support because their car is a the bestselling car in the land, but because is a platform that has significant racing support behind and room for improvement. 

The GM LSX engines have a vastly superior aftermarket for their powerplants when compared to say the bestselling sedan in the country the Toyota Camry. 

People aren’t buying Camrys to mod them and make them better.  They are buying them to go from point A to point B.  The entire automotive enthusiast world is lost on them.  Camry drivers are really looking for a good selection of beige and other dirt-ish colors so they don’t have to wash their car.  I’ve actually heard Camry owners beam about their slop-brown colored car by saying “oh yeah, and you can’t even tell when its dirty.”  To which I think, “Great, a car that looks dirty all the time.”  I’m going to stop my Camry rant now.  (If you want to read more Camry ranting go here.)

Anyway, I love the way my car goes.  I now want to make it go faster.  I like the way it looks. I now want to make it look better.  These are the base thoughts at the heart of the aftermarket customers. 

(excuse me, I’ve got to go study what my next mod should be)


Tags: Camry · Cars · Horsepower · Miscellaneous · Toyota