Well, all is at a halt in the shop this week! The Seattle area has been hit with a winter storm which has knocked out shops power... how wonderful! Currently, Rat2 is working on about five projects, all of which are held up by the need for electrical juice. As we wait for this to be repaired, let's go over a few ideas for building a successful build.
The automotive customizing world is a vicious place. The entire automotive market is vicious actually. We are all judged on what we drive, how it looks and what is says about our personality. The moment we start throwing custom parts on our cars, this critiquing only becomes more apparent, if not directly, behind out backs. For those who are proud of their builds, some flaunt it and use it as a talking point for their self-image, while others humbly admire their toy and appreciate compliments. For some of us, budget constraints and/or lack of technical know-how can lead to builds which shouldn't really be labeled with that description in the first place. Where ever your car may be on this spectrum, you are very aware of where you are on the spectrum.
Opinions are as common as dirt and about just as valuable to many. The complication with customizing cars is the variety of opinions. Even if a gear head knows how to turn a wrench, and has plenty of coins in the piggy bank, the next enthusiast may despise their style. This being the case with every vehicle on the road, the pressures to build a car all your friends and their uncles love is more and more difficult.
This is where our long worked introduction has a very short message: built it for yourself. It may be a cliche, but it is for a reason. Some stance, some track, some ACTUALLY track, some lowride, some lift. Loud, quiet, smooth, harsh, flashy, sleeper.... its takes all sorts to make the automotive world a dynamic, diverse culture which allows everyone a spot at the show. If you are one of the people who bags on stance Honda (pun intended) because your tracked build is a "real" car, try out some humble pie. There are just as many people who stare at fake race cars and laugh. No car scene is stupid or useless. By definition, the customized world it built on cars as a canvas for unique ideas. We all have played with Legos. After building the kit following the instructions, they inevitably get taken apart only to be reassembled as some custom creation. Don't be that kid who builds his Legos and leaves them, making fun of the kids who take them apart again and make something new.
People often assume chassis must be builtrespectivet to their "intended" design. This is also something I try to diminish. A stance GTRversus a tracked VW Jetta: neither one is necessarily correct, but this is what makes things interesting. Cars were not originally built to go fast or look great until one guy came around and said, "I can make mine go fast than yours..." We know Civics can get groceries, but can they run a 9 second quarter? We know a Camry is a family car, but can you make it into a luxury vehicle? This passion for changing the norm is what's fueled the start of a long era of modifying cars. Don't be someone who gets in the way of letting new ideas emerge. Even if a build is not groundbreaking, at least let someone enjoy building their favorite style without criticism. They are inspired by others who give them the same excitement as you do for your build.