Way back when I was in high school, driving oneself to school was a major breakthrough in the quest for coolness. My school wasn't particularly full of well-off kids; driving a Ford Probe meant you probably had a dad who came up on some Netscape stock and was spoiling you rotten. So during the summer between my junior and senior years, I worked at a local sporting goods store in hopes that I could save enough money to help persuade my mom to get me a car. Time passed, I got lucky and ended up with a '91 Honda Accord EX. It was used, had about 60k miles on it, but was in fairly good condition. For weeks I was the big man on campus, walking around with my head held high, hoping to get some female action to christen the backseat. To call me obnoxious would be an understatement. Like most 16-year-old kids with a nice stereo in their car, I was bumpin' it hard. From that point forward I had my foot ankle-deep in the stinkin' pile of automotive modifications.
One of my friends knew a guy named Ron Bergenholtz, who knew a thing or two about fixing up cars. A few days later, my car was about six inches lower and now had a nice hum coming from my Sebring exhaust. Trying to explain why my car was now making such noise was a little difficult, Mom would consistently refer to it as the "farting noise." A few weeks after the lowering and one new student credit card later, I had a DC Sports header installed along with a K&N cone filter. JDM had not been coined a term yet, but we were all looking at the Japanese magazines for inspiration. One-piece headlights, imported sidemarkers that were flush-mounted, wheels that were Veilside knock-offs and, last but not least, the "squash" air-freshener, completed the package. I also installed a modest sound system comprised of six speakers (including two 10" subs) and a 400-watt Rockford Fosgate amp. Being stealthy was the name of the game and I wanted everything inside the car to look stock. Back then, we strived to make our cars as clean looking as possible: No unnecessary parts, decals or goofy body kits. The Bergenholtz Integra was, to me, the epitome of all import cars and it was a great model to follow back in the day. I actually wished more street- and show-cars would aim to be clean, as in sophisticated, subtle and well thought out.