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aug11tuner jim pix 009-1


Old school and tuner car guys share a common interest because both camps are dyed-in-the-wool car guys.


But their philosophies about go-fast rides are decidedly different.


Old school hot-rodders are all about brute force from V8 monsters that have little appeal to the tuner car generation.


The tuner guys also feel that need for speed-but it’s how they get there that is radically different.


They get their kicks on Route 66 (or any pavement for that matter) via high-revving twin turbo shrunk-in-the-wash four-banger dynamos that owe their heritage to NASA-not NASCAR.


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The net result is the same for both types of speed junkies because they get there in a hurry. But the sound of a tuner winding up is about as appealing as a double musical dose of hip- hop and techno pop for a big block guy. It could actually kill him.


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Give the old school guy some Stones and Doors on the radio and big displacement under the hood to make him dance to the right beat on the street.




We attend a lot of car shows and have witnessed the interaction between tuner guys and hot-rodders. At best, there is a sense of tolerance while both parties work on acceptance of each other’s car worlds.


The wild card in this stand off may actually come from the original speed merchants from the 50s rod clubs. We have noticed that the boys from the James Dean era are not as hard-line about tuners as the 60s muscle car guys.


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What a difference a decade makes when it comes to philosophies. So we at MSCC decided to ponder the reasons behind the acceptance from the senior members of the car fraternity- street warriors division.


The first thing that occurred to us was that the boys from the 50s are now the granddads of the tuner generation, and it has often been said that grandkids are the darlings of grandparents. So maybe the tuner crowd gets a pass from the 50s hot rod guys because of a binding emotional contract between the two generations.


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Maybe it’s because the 50s guys have already walked a mile in their younger car guy generation’s shoes when they built speed machines in the 50s. Both old and new car guys operated on a budget based upon available vehicles and parts for speed.





Today’s tuner guys have an ample supply of foreign and domestic tuner cars that are affordable, efficient and play well with a limited budget. The tuner guys may rely more upon computer skills than mechanical skills than their predecessors, but the obsessive goal for all car guys is more speed.


That is the ultimate stamp of approval for all of them, young and old- that is the unbreakable bond for every generation of car guy. But we still don’t have to love each other’s choice of music.


That will never be a ‘Kumbaya’ moment.


Jim Sutherland


DENNIS:”The big difference? The kids buy their speed parts, we made ours.

BOB:“I usually read your editorial before I make a comment but in this case I must come down on the side of the old school. The new type of sliding or what ever you call it turns me off big time!

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