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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
8/30/23 8:42 a.m.

I started laughing at a red light yesterday. No, nothing funny happened and I wasn’t listening to the radio.

Instead, I was laughing because I’d just realized I’d ruined yet another car. It’s a milestone that every project car crosses, as making good cars terrible at their intended purpose is sort of my job.

What car? None other than our …

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Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
8/30/23 9:24 a.m.


David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/30/23 9:25 a.m.

Been there, done that. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/30/23 9:27 a.m.

i would like to subscribe to your, oh wait, nevermind.

roninsoldier83 GRM+ Memberand Reader
8/30/23 10:07 a.m.

It's been a while since I've truly ruined a perfectly good car, but I'm working on it! Solid work, sir! 

docwyte PowerDork
8/30/23 10:08 a.m.

BTDT, have multiple T shirts.  At this point I'm very careful to NOT do that anymore, as I realize the amount of time I spend with the car on track is 1% of my driving time.  I'd rather swap brake pads in for a track day and then swap them back out afterwards so I don't have to deal with the squealing and pick a more street friendly motor mount so the car doesn't shake all around at idle.  When I did One Lap, I pulled all the decals off afterwards so it wasn't a rolling billboard.  

It's just more enjoyable that way on a car that sees 98-99% street use

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/30/23 10:21 a.m.

My favorite transition is the one after that. When you take said vehicle that's been ruined for everything that doesn't entail driver engagement and start eliminating potential failure points. Hydraulic power steering? Gone. Ignition switch and tumbler, gone. Coolant temperature sensor and fan switch, standalone pre-wired flexcool setup. Dodgy 30 year old fuel pump, now a 340lhp setup with enough overhead to support E85 

Traum New Reader
8/30/23 1:40 p.m.

My favourite story is the time when I somehow thought it was a good idea to take STR-prepped Miata to go pick up a girl for a first date -- and this was happening maybe a week or 2 after I've installed high durometer polyurethane engine mounts on the car...


We kinda had to yell during our in-car conversations, but somehow I still managed to get a few more dates with the same girl afterwards -- picking her up in my daily beater, of course...

Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/30/23 2:01 p.m.

If it bothered me at all I would just drive my Wife's stock Honda.

8/30/23 2:17 p.m.

Yeah, been there done that to a 2008 Subaru STi.......modded it to the point it was barely streetable. Loved that car. Driving it in traffic made you feel like predator looking for your next meal. Finding a smug exotic car driver and shutting them down was great fun.

bobzilla MegaDork
8/30/23 2:21 p.m.

I did that to the Rio.... and now I'm promising myself the Forte stays stock. hahahahahahahahaha as if that is even possible. 

camopaint0707 Reader
8/30/23 2:29 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

I've left my one lap stickers on since I did it in 2019

thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UberDork
8/30/23 3:46 p.m.

Haha, "ruined" is how my friends and I refer to our cars too. It's cool though, the lift and mud tires on the Xterra only hurt MPGs a little and the howl is bearable; and the lowered Miata was barely a real car when it was stock...

Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/30/23 5:49 p.m.

Keep up the good work. 

I've ruined a couple over the years and had fun with many of them.

When the Mustang showed up I started shopping for parts to ruin it. I got a list together starting with tires, shocks, sway bars, springs, and all the usual bits and bobs. 

Then I started thinking about how good the car is as it sits. While it's not competitive on a track or autocross course, it's a lot of fun to drive on the stock suspension and all season tires as it slides through the corners. I've found I really enjoy it as it sits. The only part ordered was a shift knob and it only got replaced because the OEM one fell apart at an autocross. 

It will probably get some summer tires when it comes time to change them, but they won't be 200 tread wear. They will be bought with ride and noise taking priority over grip. 

Damn, does that mean I'm getting old?



Tom1200 PowerDork
8/30/23 7:21 p.m.

Yup; my Showroom Stock C Miata was a daily driven car.  It looked ridcolous but it was fun.

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/30/23 7:31 p.m.

I don't consider that ruined...I just call it OEM+.

ProDarwin MegaDork
12/12/23 8:37 a.m.

By far the worst mod to a car that's also a street car is rock solid engine mounts.  Its really a bummer that cars (FWD in particular) can't seem to make a mount that is robust, stiff enough to launch/shift well, and not generate a ton of NVH.

Opti UltraDork
12/12/23 9:33 a.m.

Ive done it with pretty much every car up until the C5. I modified it and hit the point where making it more enjoyable would make it less enjoyable as a car and I actually realized it and stopped.

DjGreggieP Dork
12/12/23 9:35 a.m.

After daily driving a car with "custom made" solid engine mounts (bought the car this way) I can live with the vibration and noise, I am getting tired of things breaking / coming loose because constant vibration was never in the design spec of 99% of the parts used.

Coniglio Rampante
Coniglio Rampante Reader
12/12/23 10:02 a.m.
ProDarwin said:

By far the worst mod to a car that's also a street car is rock solid engine mounts.  Its really a bummer that cars (FWD in particular) can't seem to make a mount that is robust, stiff enough to launch/shift well, and not generate a ton of NVH.

I'm not an engineer but I can imagine my engineer friends saying something that may kind of apply:  "we can give you cheap, fast, reliable...pick two."
Or something like that.

914Driver MegaDork
12/12/23 10:15 a.m.

GTi is a hot little hatch; if you made it better, faster and handle you didn't ruin a damn thing.  heart

Andy Hollis
Andy Hollis
12/12/23 10:54 a.m.

If you think you ruined that one, just wait till you spend a week in the One Lap CRX...

That one has had over a decade of ruination.

Ranger50 MegaDork
12/12/23 11:09 a.m.

I have to yet "ruin" one of my vehicles.... Sure I drove my heaterless, no ac, no insulation/sound deadening, Nitto drag radial and front skinnies, and no front sway bar wearing Fox Mustang in a Michigan November once upon a time.... but it wasn't ruined.

docwyte UltimaDork
12/12/23 11:11 a.m.

the 911 has stayed extremely civilized, the only thing I've changed that makes it a bit of a PITA on the street is swapping the drivers seat for the fixed bucket Euro GT3 seat.  Which is still really comfortable, just harder to get into/out of.  I've wrecked a bunch of my past DD's by modding them too much, and really changing their character.  Given that they all spent 98-99% of their time on the street, not on the track, it was the wrong thing to do.  I realize I should have a dedicated track car at this point in my driving career, both for safety (full roll cage, fire suppresion etc) and to have a car built for it's primary mission, but I don't have the space/time/money to do so.

So I'll just deal with what I have and give up some time on track with my current setup, which still is very nice to live with on the street.

buzzboy UltraDork
12/12/23 11:59 a.m.

One of my friends is so bad about this. 

Buy car to daily

Ruin car to point it makes a bad daily

Buy new car to daily

Repeat until driveway is full

Sell oldest ruined car


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