How many times have you heard the famous line “when I was a kid blah blah blahâ” and it was usually followed by some dull story about whatever it was that that person had to deal with when they were a kid. It could have been a story about walking to school bare-footed both ways in a snow storm or using a rotary dial telephone or using the mail box to actually send someone a letter.Well, when I was a kid a hotrod was actually some sort of domestically produced car that ate gas like chemtrails fall on Ashland, housed a humongous V8 engine that was bigger then a Honda Prius, and could go really fast as long as it went in a straight line. Hotrods are still around and probably always will be but in the last decade their profile has changed considerably. Welcome my friends to the age of Tuner Cars or as my loved ones like to say “tuner transformation.”
Not sure how it all began but my guess is when the eighties hit there suddenly seemed to be this mysterious shortage of gasoline. You actually had to get gas on odd or even days depending on the last number (or was it first) on your license plate and would you believe gas was fast approaching $1 per gallon the horror! This shortage created an economy-car frenzy that gave all the gas guzzling clunkers a quick trip to the junkyard. Sound familiar? Since the Japanese had already been designing inexpensive, reliable, fuel-efficient cars for years it was a no-brainer. They sold like hot cakes! Jump ten years later in the early nineties when it was time for all the practical car owners to pass on these fuel-efficient yet bland cars to their teenage Gen-X kids. These teenage kids graciously accepted the economy cars, after all it was a free car, and right away got busy tricking them out to give them cool credibility. The customization of these small Japanese cars or “Tuner Cars” quickly gained popularity and has now become a multi-billion dollar business in aftermarket automotive parts and accessories.
The Tuner Car spied here in Ashland is a mid-nineties Honda Civic. The owner of this car has installed a custom body kit, which includes the rear spoiler, front and rear bumper covers, and side skirts. A giant exhaust with a sound that matches its size comes standard on a tuner car and the eye-catching paint and wheels are also a must! The 1.6 Liter four cylinder V-TEC engine boasts a whopping 125 horse power and most likely has other engine modifications including a cold air intake. If you are European car owner and enjoy a little harmless impromptu street light race and are challenged by this car or anything like it, it would be best you just hit your turn signal and go to the nearest Human Bean and save yourself the humiliation. These cars can be wicked fast! Just order yourself a triple shot of some sort of caff-cano drink and get your adrenaline buzz that way. Consider yourself warned.