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Rare JDM Parts Collector - Spotlight

Mar 1, 2009
Htup_0903_01_z+spot_light+rare_jdm_parts Photo 1/1   |   Rare JDM Parts Collector - Spotlight

Well, it happened again. I knew it was only a matter of time. There goes lip number...uh...five? Oh hell, I don't even know anymore. I've gone through so many that I've lost count. Pulling out of a local Pat and Oscars (SoCal outsiders are missing out on the best breadsticks ever, by the way) meant making my way down the steepest incline I've come across in ages. I tried, but the angle just wouldn't give me a break on this fateful day as the familiar sscccccrrrrrrape was followed by a healthy crunch! My passenger looked at me with the familiar "oh man, that sounds really bad" look on her face while I just shook my head and chuckled. In all honesty, if this had been 10 years ago, I would have been raving mad. But I'm used to it, and there's no need for anger anymore. Besides, the lip was a piece that emulated a Spoon Sports carbon-fiber lip, and I'd purchased it at a discount thanks to a good friend who took care of sourcing the others I'd broken. In fact, I had another spare collecting dust in storage that I wiped off and swapped out for the newly demolished version. Also in storage, I found my Backyard Special lip and wing, an SiR lip and wing, as well as an original Spoon lip. Then there's my spare "road warrior" bumper that's painted flat black and is matched with another damaged carbon lip that loves to kiss the candy canes on Spring Mountain's road course. Behind the lip and wing combos are a few sets of aftermarket mirrors and a new set of wheels, still boxed up. Looking at all of this, one would assume I was stockpiling parts, preparing for the end of the world. I stopped for a moment to think about what exactly prompted me to hang on to all of these goodies when I just have one car. I could easily sell them off and help pad my wallet. I mean really, since my biggest concern is the way my car handles and performs, everything else should come second. So why then would I even waste my time hunting this stuff down and spend my hard-earned money only to lock them up in storage? The answer: It's a simple way to change my car around a bit when I get bored. I quickly swap out the lip, wing, mirrors, and wheels, and voila, I've got a new setup for a while. So it's worth it right? I mean, I'm not crazy or anything. Right? That's what I keep telling myself.

For some, there's an uncontrollable urge to collect. Whether it's the guy hunting down rare JDM parts or the guy scooping up old-school memorabilia, there's a large portion of the Honda population that's got that insatiable urge to horde as many cool parts as possible. I did the same thing as a kid as I sought to increase my G.I. Joe collection. I needed as many action figures as possible, including a spare Snake Eyes and Firefly in case one got lost or damaged. I've seen it a million times over the years with friends, clients, and feature car owners. I remember shooting a guy's car at his house, and in his garage sat his pride and joy: a 17-year-old chassis with a few hard-to-source parts, surrounded by 15 sets of even harder to source JDM wheels. He had a story and a timeline for each set, and he glanced at them proudly, like a father looks at his son, the star quarterback. His excuse was that their value would never dramatically drop, and so the addiction was like putting money into a savings account. According to him, if he ever needed the spare money, he could just sell a set and cash out. The problem with that plan was that he would never dare sell a set, which makes his theory meaningless. But it was the mere idea that he'd always have that cash option that kept him sane enough to justify his spending yet crazy enough to continue hunting for more "investments."

Beyond the collecting and the hording lies the excitement of receiving something new for a build. If you're anything like me, you probably look like an 11-year-old kid on Christmas morning when the UPS guy delivers a box of new parts. You drop everything you're doing and rip into the box with a vengeance, ignoring any friends or family that might be staring at you like the deranged lunatic you really are. They can't seem to grasp the level of happiness mixed with the sigh of relief as you inspect and admire your newest treasure. Some call it a sickness, others a hobby. But between you and me, we both know it goes far beyond being a hobby, possibly flirting with uncontrollable obsession. So my advice is to ignore those strange looks and don't bother trying to explain any of this to the non-possessed. They probably won't relate to our way of life anyway.



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