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Honda Tuning Passion - Road Rage

Peace, Love & Hondas

Aaron Bonk
May 5, 2010

Somewhere in the midst of losing my train of thought and getting lost online, I stumbled across something that made me stop and wonder what it is that keeps me interested in the Honda brand. Like, really interested. I mean, what exactly is it that keeps me motivated, or at the very least, wanting to collect ASIMO dolls, NSX posters, or pretty much anything else that proudly displays the Honda badge? At the expense of a good part of my income and other activities, like spending time with my non-car friends and family or eating three square meals a day. I know what keeps me going. Do you? There's no right or wrong answer, but there are dumb ones.

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Search the internet long enough and you're bound to happen across all sorts of silly things, especially among the blogosphere, where the teenager who managed to cram some dorky looking rims from a couple of decades back with some ridiculous offset onto his Civic hatchback gains enough forum credibility to attract his own following. To be fair, though, most blogs are harmless enough and leave things like misinformation and bad advice to's e-engineers. Instead, the kid with the blog contemplates things like how he got into the "Honda scene" (back in the day, of course), why he's still involved, or more crucial topics such as how to tell a real-deal TE37 from its illegitimate counterpart. Fair enough; I often ponder what it was exactly that attracted me to the Honda movement. But, not surprisingly, our answers are entirely different.

Predictably, the blogger's rationale has something to do with Hondas, but he then goes on to say that none of this is really about the cars. Apparently it's about the "homies" and the relationships he's kindled along the way. All of this makes me feel all warm inside as my ears perk awaiting for the first few notes from Kumbaya but, sorry, I'm here for altogether different reasons-like the cars.

I first took an interest in Hondas because, well, they're relatively inexpensive and have enormous performance potential. They still do. My first Honda, an '87 CRX Si, was remarkably easy to work on and arguably more fun to drive than my friends' RWD domestics. To be clear, I did not buy that CRX for the homies or because it was the "in" thing-because it wasn't. Even the NSX is simple, its valvetrain, gearbox, climate control system, and rotating assembly are no more complex than, say, a '94 Integra GS-R's. Again, not for the homies.

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I work on Hondas because they continue to make sense. VTEC was about the most complex thing Honda's ever thrown at us-yet, despite its simplicity, it's an engineering marvel. The interchangeability between different chassis and parts makes modifying all the more tempting, not to mention easier.

And, to be sure, I spend my Saturdays at shows with Hondas, read about Hondas, write about Hondas, take pictures of Hondas, race Hondas, and watch Hondas race all because they've been my car of choice for nearly 20 years. And they probably will be for another 20, but who's counting?

Sure enough, I've made many friends along the way, but they're not why you'll continue to see my name in this magazine, nor why my local Honda parts department counter guy sends me a Christmas card each year.

But I'm not the callous prick that you might think. To be sure, if I trade my Hondas in tomorrow to join up with the bros and their lifted trucks, the friends I've made during the past two decades I've been tinkering on Hondas won't be going anywhere. They're just not the reason I do what I do. I'm still here because I'm passionate about the brand. Why are you still here...homie?

By Aaron Bonk
413 Articles



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