You can only make one modification to your next car, what are you upgrading?

By Colin Wood
Jul 27, 2022 | Shop Work, Upgrade, Discussion, Modify

Photography Credit: Courtesy Mercedes-Benz

Congrats, you’ve just been given $1 million dollars to buy and modify your next car–daily driver, track machine or something else–but you can only make one modification to the car.

What car are you buying, and what single mod are you making to it?

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Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/26/22 3:30 p.m.

How extensive can the one mod be?

Say a 1967 Corvette convertible with a c6 chassis under it?   Or is that more than one mod?  lol

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
7/26/22 3:32 p.m.

In reply to Noddaz :

I was thinking more along the lines of coil-overs or a set of specific tires, but I like your thinking.

I'll allow it.

Tom1200 UltraDork
7/26/22 3:37 p.m.

Sway bars if it didn't come with a rear bar. 

If it does dampers/shocks.


bmxr New Reader
7/26/22 3:42 p.m.

$1mm and only one mod?  911 GT3 Cup Car and some fuzzy dice. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
7/26/22 3:43 p.m.

In reply to bmxr :

Color-matched to the car, too?

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/26/22 3:50 p.m.

The solution here is to pick a supercar that doesn't need mods. Went down the list of EV supercars and didn't find one I liked that meets the budget (or doesn't leave too much on the table). So, Gumpert Apollo and a data logger system (more useful than fuzzy dice). If my memory was better I could probably remember which mods made the biggest difference from NFS: Shift 2 Unleashed, but it's more than fine in stock form.

93EXCivic MegaDork
7/26/22 3:59 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

The solution here is to pick a supercar that doesn't need mods.

If that is direction we are going, I'd have to say Caterham 7 of some sort. Probably 620R or 620S plus second set of wheels and tires?


Do replacing tires with better ones one a set wear out count as a mod? Cause if they do, tires. If not, coilovers.

yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/26/22 4:08 p.m.

The bodykit in that photo is the 1 mod I'd love to make to my 190e.

dculberson MegaDork
7/26/22 4:14 p.m.

A McLaren (sadly not an F1 any more) and one of those barefoot gas pedal things.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
7/26/22 4:16 p.m.


amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/26/22 4:21 p.m.


CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/26/22 4:28 p.m.

1991 NSX, white over red, and the mod is having enough insurance that I allow random strangers to drive it.

Dude at the gas station who thinks its a fiero kit car? Here are the keys!

16 year old at Publix checkout says he has a poster of one on his wall? Hope he knows how to drive stick!

Retired banker who almost bought one new when he got that big bonus from Lehman in 1992? Enjoy my brother!

Mechanic at the Acura dealer who was extra careful with the oil change? Can he drive it for a week to see if it needs anything else?

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/26/22 4:48 p.m.
SV reX said:



¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltimaDork
7/26/22 4:52 p.m.

I'm sorry, what?  A million dollars?

Toyota reveals revamped Hilux 4x4 ahead of 2022 Dakar Rally

I guess I'll spend the modification money on lunch.

malibuguy GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/26/22 5:00 p.m.

that mercedes 190 and spend the rest at the 'ring doing laps


Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/26/22 5:29 p.m.

I'll go 911 Turbo S. With an options list that thick (check out their "exclusive " program) I won't need mods beyond a nice set of wheels with track tires.

Wow...I really have drunk the kool-aid after working here so long.

03Panther UberDork
7/26/22 5:46 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:

Retired banker who almost bought one new when he got that big bonus from Lehman in 1992? Enjoy my brother!

"... it's the brunette, in your vette, that turns me on...."

no really a country music guy, but that was a good line!

And I like your thinking, sir!

buzzboy SuperDork
7/26/22 6:16 p.m.

Gold Mesh Wheels

I don't know what car but it will be painted Blue. From the crop of new stuff GR Corolla, CT4 Blackwing, 400Z, or JLU.

7/26/22 6:20 p.m.


codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/26/22 7:08 p.m.

Are driver mods allowed?  If so, then I'm transplanting an F1 champ's skill into myself. :)


AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/26/22 7:43 p.m.

Subaru P25 with a full 555 livery (the one mod).




Appleseed MegaDork
7/26/22 8:03 p.m.

LS swap. Duh

But it's a-


759NRNG UberDork
7/26/22 8:35 p.m.

The G-Force 1320 Ford 9 inch in the V when I get back to Texas cheeky

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/26/22 8:35 p.m.

I would consider tires to not be a mod.  If it is a mod and you are only allowed ONE mod, what do you do when they wear out?


Personally with a megabuck I would want a Citroën Xsara WRC and the mod would be a synchronized manual transmission, because gosh the WRC spec transmissions do what they do very well but they cost like half the value of the car and need frequent deep, expensive maintenance.


Even in pie in the sky fantasyland I cannot get away from practicalities.



759NRNG UberDork
7/26/22 9:15 p.m.

The G-Force 1320 Ford 9 inch in the V when I get back to Texas cheeky

newrider3 HalfDork
7/26/22 9:30 p.m.
buzzboy said:

Gold Mesh Wheels

Came here to say exactly this. Don't know what car it would be but gold wheels are the answer for one and only one mod.

GCrites80s Dork
7/26/22 9:54 p.m.

Is "drop it off at a race shop" one mod?

Bent-Valve Dork
7/26/22 11:44 p.m.

My cheap truck and my mod is ...


03Panther UberDork
7/26/22 11:52 p.m.

In reply to Bent-Valve :

My favorite plan. I'd love to work at my own machine shop. Unfortunately, if I had to pay bills with it, id starve to death! 

ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter)
ae86andkp61 (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/27/22 12:28 a.m.


kevinatfms GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/27/22 9:37 a.m.

2005 Ford GT and a set of sticky tires.

hunter47 Reader
7/27/22 11:42 a.m.

NC1 NSX with the accompanying GT3 kit.

GM > MG New Reader
7/27/22 1:50 p.m.

That most classic performance mod and mandatory safety mod if your are using Taco Bell as power source:



frenchyd MegaDork
7/27/22 1:52 p.m.

A pair of turbo's running on E85. 

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/27/22 4:22 p.m.
frenchyd said:

A pair of turbo's running on E85. 

You didn't say what car but I approve of your hexaturbo M550d cheeky (Good luck with the ethanol conversion!)

livinon2wheels GRM+ Memberand New Reader
7/27/22 5:33 p.m.

Make mine a gt3rs with the budget to campaign it for the next decade at all the good tracks including the ring. And yeah add in one hot blonde German woman with mad skills on the track and in the rack. Now where is that blunt? :)

sfisher71 New Reader
7/27/22 5:53 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

Tightening the connection between the steering wheel and the gas pedal is always the most important mod you can make. And it's the only mod you can take with you, no matter what you're driving.

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/27/22 5:56 p.m.

Very non-GRM, but the speakers.  They just flat out suck in most cars, including mine.

Cactus HalfDork
7/27/22 5:58 p.m.

I'd get an Elan NP01 or DP02 or some other similar car and my only mod would be a seat wide enough for my ass.

sfisher71 New Reader
7/27/22 6:14 p.m.

It used to be common, when someone found out I write about cars, for them to ask me what mod they should make to theirs first.

My answer then as now is: Whatever annoys you the most about your car. 

Having said that... Hagerty tells me my #1 pick, a 1963 Ferrari 250 Berlinetta "Lusso," is outside the range of this particular gedankenexperiment, even in condition #3. 

If it had been in my price range, though, the mod would have been a functional cooling system. 

So staying within the price limits, I'd say this:

Send my 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider to Alfaholics in the UK and have them give it the whole treatment -- engine, suspension, paint and rust repair, new leather, the works. That'd be the purchase part; yes, I own the Spider, but it would be a new car at the end of the process. Right? Right?

The mod, then: In keeping with my comment above, about tightening the connection between the steering wheel and the gas pedal, I'd spend the "mod money" on a series of track days -- Spa, the Ring, etc. -- plus a few European historic rallies, and most definitely follow the Mille Miglia Storica for a thousand miles through Italy. And, of course, take the lovely-and-talented for a ride along the Amalfi Coast, just like in "Under The Tuscan Sun" while we're over there.

At that point I might need a spa day or three of my own, just to do a little Chapman-esque "adding lightness" after the culinary portion of the European adventure. 

Reminds me, said lovely-and-talented bought us a lottery ticket for the drawing due today. I'll send y'all a postcard from the Cinqueterre if we win...

msterbeau New Reader
7/27/22 6:16 p.m.

Volvo's P1800 Cyan restomod.  I'd be tempted to go with a reduced wheel size and corresponding tire.  I don't love giant wheels on older cars.  Nothing that would require changing brakes or other hardware, though.

LopRacer Dork
7/27/22 6:56 p.m.

RUF SCR and the one mod being a Valentine one? I thought the CTR at first but to be honest 700 hp is more than I can really manage.  The SCR has more of a retro look.

The SCR retail claimed 800k ish

WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
7/27/22 11:39 p.m.
Bent-Valve said:

My cheap truck and my mod is ...


What site did you find that posting on?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
7/28/22 12:33 a.m.

A limited-slip diff.

wspohn SuperDork
7/28/22 11:15 a.m.

I think that brakes are simply maintenance not modding (unless you are one of the people that goes for Big Brakes as an appearance mod) and ditto for having good tires on a car.

Therefor my single most important mod would be suspension - suitable sway bar(s), shocks and springs so that the handling is as good as possible. That is also a good (and necessary, although many ignore that) precursor to any significant power increase from later mods.

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