Life Cycle of a Tuner

I had the opportunity to work with Billy Ono here at Kami Speed when I was a distributor for their massive product line. He told me about their upcoming blog and that I’d be welcome to contribute to it… so here we are at what 3 years later from when that conversation occurred? Life happens; we cycle through life’s ups and downs hopefully scratching all the things off our list of things to do as we go. For the typical car enthusiast that list is often chunk full of projects, parts and all the things that take priority right?

CountachJust like the cycles of life we have our own little life cycle as we move from car to car, year by year, for some I’ve known month by month – indecisive ballers. For many of us it all started as a kid… in my day it was the Lamborghini Countach poster I got from Spencer Gifts at the mall that started it all… my mom wouldn’t let me get the poster with the girls on it, you know the ones. Dreams about cars began, many mornings waking up looking out the window to the empty driveway because the dream felt so real…

So onto the day when you got your first car. Domestic, import… doesn’t matter. To you it was the best and on your budget the local auto parts store, neon lights, shift knobs, floor mats and air fresheners were the business. Back in my day it was neons. Moving onto college days or for some just a decent job with some income and some age on you it starts to click… maybe you picked up your first magazine or a friend pointed you to a website but you’re at another level all of a sudden. Exhaust, intakes, wheels, swaps etc…  are now in sight. You are going to spend those student loans on all of it. You know you did but some managed to find other means but either way you now have some credibility out there and you are fully hooked, the car is clean and fresh. Some friends who you thought were all in have started to drop out of the scene to focus on more important things but you are still die hard until..   So through the process of being so badass on Saturday nights at the races you met a girl, come on just like the movies. You’re older now and somewhat responsible and with that, big decisions. You find yourself in a situation, kid on the way, getting married or both and the car is on the chopping block. If you’re not there yet, the day will come. You have to make sacrifices sometimes. It happened to me to help purchase a house and looking back it was the best. You just have to reprioritize that list of things to do.

Ill wrap this up… it’s not a sad ending, really. You think those friends dropped off the scene earlier in life. Well the mix just got smaller but those still in have a bond between them. You weathered the storm together, you rode it out! You see us at the shows together, the races and now were so damn old we throw old school parties and actually call them old school, shell toe Adidas and all, and we embrace it. There is a mutual respect and our cars reflect our unique personalities. At this point in life you are not aimlessly throwing parts on your car. It is a well planned symphony where a simple thumbs up makes it all worth it. Some are still rocking civics, some moved onto high end exotics but they all rode the cycle, the ups and downs and they are still in the game, kids in the passenger seat and all…

So wait I changed my mind, I can’t end anything on a happy note. I am all gloom and doom! Remember it’s a cycle and it starts all over when you get divorced, have to sell your project and start over…  but as long as you start over after your family is taken care of… that’s what counts in my book. I’m in the market for a hood ride right now!  We can talk about hood rides later though.

-James Luedde


6 thoughts on “Life Cycle of a Tuner

  1. Nick says:

    Tuning a car is definitely more expensive now. Not just because parts cost more but because to get some form of recognition you really gotta do work. I can remember when 20 years ago a set of wheels made you the shit! Now the tuner scene has gotten so complex and has evolved so much that its gotten super expensive to play with the kids nowadays. Great article!


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