No Longer Attune with Tuning
As a boy, mad with Fast & Furious syndrome, I was smitten with pimped-out, modified tuner mobiles. I swooned over cars with kitted exteriors and subwoofer-decked interiors. And while my contemporaries read themselves asleep with frivolous tales about animate gingerbread biscuits and giant beanstalks, I sat in bed engrossed by Speed & Sound and Max Power magazines, pondering about what crazy modifications I would execute on my ride – when I had the fiscal means and was at least able to see over the steering wheel, of course.
But now, after witnessing how modding can actually ruin a car’s appeal, I seem to have developed an aversion to vehicles draped in the striking embellishments that once enamoured me. No longer do I gaze in awe whenever I see a heavily-tune ride. I simply scoff at the idiot who ruined his car.
The car in question was an Audi A4. The A4, in its standard, unmolested guise is stylish. Its exterior, penned by the legendary Walter Da Silva is pleasant to the eye and beautifies any parking lot or home driveway.
Although the same could not be said for this poor four-ringed motor that I had the misfortune of seeing, which resembled a strobe-light clad spaceship rather than the poised, sleek ‘bahn-cruiser it was intended to be.
The car featured rims of the garish chrome variety, a body kit that made it look like a giant vacuum cleaner and various stickers promoting shrines to tuning, like the Autostyle emporium, adorned its body.
It has dawned on me, in my old age, that automotive engineers are artists too. Sure, the task of creating a motor vehicle is extremely clinical, but the initial concept began as a sketch in the designer’s head and became a beautiful illustration on a canvass in the process of growing into a precise, symmetrical and 3-dimensional object of marvel.
I have learned to appreciate the work of these talented designers in original form – and am no longer crazy about adulterating a car with ostentatious add-ons.
And as I pulled away in a diesel Peugeot, leaving the Audi behind in a cloud of fumes, I also learned that an RS4 badge doesn’t really have an effect on the performance of a 1.8T engine.