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Fletch1
Fletch1 Reader
10/13/10 10:29 a.m.

I blame Youtube. They have all been blown up for entertainment. Really though, fads always change and they have all been wrecked or blown apart. I have noticed something odd trying to sell my Crx Si, which is all stock and decent shape for an Ohio car...not too many people want it. I thought I would have alot of younger guys look at it. I have had more people in their 40's and 50's look or aquire about it. I did have one tuner looking guy around 20 stop by and he said he may be getting a decent paying job so he's wanting a Wrx. I've also been looking for an Impreza for a winter car and they are more rare around here than Crx's. Maybe the young crowd wants to pretend to be a rally driver now.

Junkyard_Dog
Junkyard_Dog Dork
10/13/10 10:40 a.m.
nderwater wrote: All our cars are ten years or more old and I spend my cash maintaining them, not modding or racing them.

My last "new" car, while fairly modded when I bought it, got sways in the 3 years I owned it. That and maintenance is pretty much it. OTOH all my older Miatas and Volvos always needed a repair or two, so I upgraded "while I was in there". I can't help but wonder if those Subarus and Evos dominating the scene now are so much better out of the box than an old Civic that they don't get upgraded nearly as much.

PS122
PS122 Reader
10/13/10 11:09 a.m.
nderwater wrote: ... wife and kid I have different priorities now and my car budget has been slashed. The crappy economy hasn't helped any either...

I'm kinda in the same boat.

I had a CRX and a few other Hondas in the early to mid-90s, though I never really was part of the scene (never purchased a Wings West body kit or obnoxious exhaust). I then moved onto bimmers, saabs, volvos, and land rovers but now find myself with a CRX (toy), Integra (DD), and the wifes ZAV.

There really is no 'scene' for a 30-something with a CRX who has no interest in jdm parts, mugen wheels and the like. The honda message boards seem more about bashing those who don't have the aforementioned parts than creating any 'community'. That's why I love the GRM message board - lots of like-minded individuals here.

Bababooey
Bababooey New Reader
10/13/10 11:29 a.m.

I look at it as an alcoholic having a moment of sobriety and deciding to stop drinking. You look at your Civic with a misaligned body kit still in primer, fart can exhaust, yellow interior, Autozone Altezza's, and just think WTF. Thank God it's over. Unfortunately the former alcoholic now lives in their parents basement so they can afford a new STI.

Klayfish
Klayfish Reader
10/13/10 11:39 a.m.

Hey look, here's one of the former tuner car scene people trying to sell their car now...maybe this is part of the problem too. Can't undertand a friggin thing they're saying.

http://reading.craigslist.org/cto/2003743791.html

kb58
kb58 Reader
10/13/10 11:50 a.m.
PS122 wrote: ...The honda message boards seem more about bashing those who don't have the aforementioned parts than creating any 'community'. ...

It's not as bad as it used to be. I think the Wings West, backward baseball hat and baggy jeans set departed the scene along with their cars. I'm on K20a.org and it's actually quite pleasent. Don't remember ever seeing any other-car bashing.

Fletch1
Fletch1 Reader
10/13/10 11:56 a.m.

Oh, I forgot to mention in my last post I'm glad to see the "tuner" crowd disappearing. I'm also bummed because I just drove across town on my lunch break to get the new issue of GRM and they didn't have it

Fletch1
Fletch1 Reader
10/13/10 11:58 a.m.

In reply to PS122:

Hey, another 30-something Ohio Crx owner. I like it here too.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/13/10 12:36 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote: At this point, Hondas have fallen off the list of top performance bargains, just because it's getting to be difficult to find ones in good shape at a good price. We're at a point where a more "upscale" car actually makes more financial sense than a Civic.

Bingo. It's no longer cheaper to build a honda for the same performance as you could build something else.

If anything, it would be MORE expensive to build a Honda to do what i'm aiming for with the Celica these days.

IMGT3_Performance
IMGT3_Performance New Reader
10/13/10 12:45 p.m.

I think what also comes into play is what is currently available in the marketplace to buy (new or used)

In the 90's affordable cars (about 20k) were not doing 4.3 sec 0-60 runs. If they were, they usually came with a huge price tag. But if you could get a Honda/Eclipse and boost it to holly hell at get a 5 second 0-60 car you were a hero at a fraction of the cost. That is what got young consumers into the "scene" and held them there until they went deaf from the rattle can exhaust.

Jump forward to 2004- I (Chris) fresh out of college was in the market for a sport compact, I end up with an RSX-S as it was the most "bang for the buck NEW car I could afford" and eventually slowly and carefully have converted it to a track car over the years. I still own the car, but it is only for track use.

I just picked up an 05 E46 M3 in May (perfect car for me- I could write a huge thread about it-but wont) The killer is, I paid the same amount for the M3 as I did for the RSX-S 5 years ago. Of course in 05 the M3 was unattainable financially, but now it is.

What happened to me is what happened to the sport compact scene. Higher performance and more refined finished products have entered the market and the new consumers (16-30) can now afford older, yet more powerful cars than the new Civic Si has to offer.

Just my .02

AaronBalto
AaronBalto New Reader
10/13/10 12:49 p.m.

It'll be interesting to see what happens when interest rates go back up and it gets a lot more expensive to carry a car note.

itsatrap
itsatrap New Reader
10/13/10 1:41 p.m.

Ah nostalgia...

I was 16-17 at the time the tuner scene was at it's peak, had a subscription to Sport Compact Car, and no where near the money I was seeing get spent on the cars in the magazine. There where a couple of hangouts for the import guys, but middle TN didn't really get bit by the scene. Even though a lot of the stuff done to the cars during that time didn't really appeal to me, it still saddens me to see the enthusiasm that people put into modifying their cars disappear with the scene.To me it seems Americas car culture in general is on the decline, people view the car as an evil necessity, not something to spend money (maintenance or upgrade wise) on or have a hobby around. Social media makes you out to be a puppy killer if your 20-something, don't drive a hybrid or other bland econobox and spend all your free time listening to indie bands and wearing skinny jeans. It's no longer socially acceptable to modify your car past installing an i-pod adapter (for more of that damn indie music) it seams.

Like everyone my priorities have changed but cars and car culture are still very much a part of my life. I still love the same cars I did when the scene was still going on, but I'm also expanding into older cars form the 40's and 50's. On that note I did see a lot more Cruise-ins this year than I have seen in the past, but it's still an older crowd that those attract, not the group that used to be into the sport compact scene.

Moparman
Moparman Reader
10/13/10 4:25 p.m.

Cruising gas become more popular. I attend some with my Shelby Dak. Most are older people aged 50+ and are very muscle car, hot rod or exotic custom-centric.

Most don't even know that my truck is a genuine Shelby. Most don't recall Shelby ever teaming up with Dodge, but there is usually few in the audience who appreciate it. Cruisers are like ricers with AARP cards. All about the lifestyle

Moparman
Moparman Reader
10/13/10 4:32 p.m.

Someone mentioned how newer Civics gave not found favor with enthusiasts vs. older models. Since my only GRM-type activity is autcrossing I can only speak from that vantage point. I noticed that the seemingly endless parade of newer civics ended when Honda moved away from the double wishbone front suspension in favor of struts. That is when Honda gave up it's advantage.

Ian F
Ian F Dork
10/13/10 4:48 p.m.

The drop in ST and STS numbers at local autocross has much to do with the stagnation of the rules vs. the cars that people own and modify these days.

Whereas back in the day, common bolt-on mods would put you in an ST class, today those rules are rather restricting and common mods put the car into SM. The Philly region is the same way - typically more than a dozen SM cars of all shapes and styles and only a handful of ST/STS/STX cars. At Nationals, there are still competitors who want to compete and prep an ST car to the extent of the rules, but at the local level those are fewer in number.

When the Sport Compact scene was big, I was playing in bands or racing mtn bikes and wasn't really paying attention to cars much at all other than keeping my own running.

Moparman
Moparman Reader
10/13/10 5:42 p.m.

Sounds like ST is going the way of SP

calteg
calteg New Reader
10/13/10 6:57 p.m.

No one has mentioned the huge police crackdowns and rampant theft that also helped kill the SCC scene. Living in California in the early 2000's I saw it firsthand. I had 3 separate friends each rack up $1500+ in tickets (for mods, not poor driving). Planning to leave your modified Civic on the street? It'll be gone by morning. This in turn jacked up insurance rates, nullifying the appeal that Civics initially had.

LainfordExpress
LainfordExpress New Reader
10/13/10 7:05 p.m.

As someone who came of age during the "Fast and Furious" era (class of '03) I've been asking myself the same question. I subscribed to SCC most through HS then switched to GRM when SCC stopped having $5k 240s and Civics and started being brand new Evos, STis and 350Zs. Now, I'm out of college, couldn't get the job I wanted because the economy pooped and people stopped buying Toyotas, I' have the money to put $18k a year for Roth IRA and 401k and still have a little surplus that I could play with cars. I look around and think, What am I supposed to do? Buying a car now just looks like a bad investment, nobody seems into it any more and everything feels too expensive.

I dunno, maybe I'll just stick with hunting and fishing and camping. New guns and tents are cheaper and as much fun... In a different way.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/13/10 7:08 p.m.
Keith wrote: I think it's simply a reflection of what cars were selling well 5-10 years ago. In 2000, a 1993 Civic was 7 years old - sorry, I never was cool enough to know the chassis codes. Most of the cars being tuned were about that age, because they're still new enough to be easy to find and have depreciated nicely.

I think the age is key. Old enough to be cheap and young enough to be reliable. Generally people aren't interested in dealing with dried out door seals and windows that don't go up and down or just plain knackered cars. They just want to put the fancy go fast bits on the car and look cool. Modifying is fun, not fixing previous owners broken crap half assed fixes.

I think what Calteg said about insurance rates are also key.

3Door4G
3Door4G Reader
10/13/10 7:09 p.m.

I never had the money to mess with my cars 10 years ago when I got interested in "the scene", and I still don't have it now.

Trends come and go like they always have. It was inevitable for the interest to subside somewhat. Those who want an ugly space-pod car no longer have to buy a ridiculous body kit. They just need to head to their local Toyota, Honda, Scion, Kia, or Hyundai dealer.

dj06482
dj06482 GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/13/10 7:17 p.m.

I think a lot of people ended up moving upscale into BMWs, STIs, EVOs, Porsches, etc. When I see a nice STI, it's commonly owned by someone 25 or under. That's a car with a $33K sticker!

I would have to think the shock of finding out fair market value for a modded car has to make one think about future purchases. After you sell the car you've invested $20K in for $7K (if you're lucky), you think twice about doing it again. Invest the same $20K in something like an M3, drive it for a few years, and you're taking no where near the depreciation hit. Plus, most women seem to be interested in guys with a grown-up car as opposed to a modded Civic. Not saying it's right, just reality...

ccrelan
ccrelan New Reader
10/13/10 7:31 p.m.

I am 36 years old and my newest car is my 91 B13 se-r. I also currently own two BMW e30s.

I have bought and sold probably 20 cars in the last 20 years. I am trying to keep the sentra for a long time- it is one of the most entertaining cars I have owned for sure. It is super clean and in superior condition compared to most. It was one of the first tuner cars that no one here has mentioned. I have gone through the car extensively. The only thing left for me to do is turbo the car in order to keep up with modern rides. My only real concern is getting in an accident as the book value of the car is peanuts.

The e30s are similar to the sentra in that they are easy to work on, have great visibility that modern cars lack, and have a number of modifications. There just aren't many modern cars that I could afford or would find that entertaining to drive. I can fart around with these older cars and not break the bank. I am mildly intrigued with e36 M3s, but am a bit leary about their durability.....

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
10/13/10 9:06 p.m.

I will second that on visibility. my last new car was a 1999 Hyundai Tiburon.. as I used to drive big trucks for a living, the horrible view out the side rears never bothered me.. but now that I drive a 318ti and a Classic 900.. I could not imagine having to deal with horrible sight lines again

Nitroracer
Nitroracer Dork
10/13/10 10:44 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: Honestly... I don't know.. but I think money had a lot to do with it. I turn 40 today.. and yet, my newest car is 14 years old (and looks it, unfortunatly.. but I am working on that) Today's kids all seem to drive much newer and more expensive cars. One group I hang around with sometimes is full of 20 somethings with 5 year old VWs that have more money spent in mods than I have in my cars. Where these "kids" get this kind of fundage, I will never know.

I am one of the twenty somethings, currently off at college. I see new camaros, evos, stis, etc running around all over the place, and I have no idea where the money comes from. I sure as hell don't have that kind of dough. I bought cheap cars fixed them and sold for a profit so I could move up the ladder.

92dxman
92dxman HalfDork
10/13/10 11:56 p.m.

I am in the twenty something flock as well and don't have the money for all the big boy cars nitro mentioned. Before I bought the Yaris, I never paid more than $1500 for a car. I tinkered with the Escort and Civics I owned but those could be done for cheap. I just can never see myself spending $3k on a suspension or turbo upgrade. Plus with all the traveling I do for work, I needed somewhat of an appliance that I could just put gas and tires on. I wanted a car that was as close to my Civic hatch as possible (bare bones, no options, lightweight) and the Yaris is the closest you are going to find out there. Bolt ons aren't terribly expensive for it either (springs and rear bar for under $500 total) and it yields solid improvements. I'll probably be holding onto this one for awhile. I've kinda moved onto tinkering with bikes as well.

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