Respect All Builds?
The Dark Side

When I was at Subaru Summer Solstice in San Diego last weekend I saw a huge mix of builds, from near stock dailies to lifted Outbacks to super-slammed show cars. While I enjoyed checking out the attendees rides as I relaxed and chowed down on a food truck lunch, I have to admit that I left with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.

Before I go on, I want to be clear that I’m not sandbagging this community or any individual’s car. What I’m about to say applies to nearly every decent size meet I’ve been to in California. This is nothing against Subarus, or this meet, which was very well-organized and a lot of fun.


I also want to start out by saying that there was a healthy mix of genuinely cool and tastefully modified cars, which most of my photos reflect. But there was another side to the event, as there are with most large meets of this nature.


Finding myself in a sea of Subarus, there were plenty of knock-off wheels and builds that just weren’t quite cohesive. For the most part I didn’t bother taking photos of them and instead pointed my camera at stuff that looked nice, which there was plenty of.

But personal taste aside, you have to draw the line somewhere. A little attention to detail goes a long way. Shouldn’t we be taking pride in our hard work, our hobby?


I’m sure we’ve all heard or at least seen online the ‘Respect All Builds’ mantra, but is that the right attitude? I totally understand wanting to be inclusive, because that’s what car culture is about. But at the same time, plenty of groups are super exclusive.

So what’s the right balance?

Keep It Real

I don’t know the answer to this, but I know a good place to start is real wheels. I totally understand that they’re relatively expensive, but there are plenty of genuine, quality wheels that are entirely affordable, especially when you consider the cars they’re going on.

If you’re pressed for cash — which, believe me, I understand all too much — you can often snatch high-quality, genuine parts for a good price used. And best of all, authentic parts hold their value so you can always get a good bit of your money back if you resell them for an upgrade.


The same goes with aero, steering wheels, seats and so on. While many reps aren’t outright dangerous like they used to be, there’s no replacement for original design and well-engineered, function-first parts.


On that note, it’s worth mentioning that I had a replica seat and super-cheap Kosei K1s, which were poached from a parts car, on my Miata. But I needed something quick on short notice (mostly to check fitment and ensure I wouldn’t crack my skull on the roll bar) and I’ve since picked up a used Momo fixed back to replace the questionable fiberglass bucket.


So don’t think I’m sandbagging anyone, because I’ve been there myself. And the Subaru in the lead image of this story was, besides the questionable wheels, a nice right-hand drive car that I imagine makes for a really fun daily. But, as something that costs significantly more than a Miata and finds itself parked at a show, the expectation is, by default, a little bit higher.


But really, nitpicking someone’s choices isn’t the point of a car show. It’s about kicking back, meeting up with friends, and having a good time. If seeing aero that doesn’t really work is enough to ruin your day, you’re probably doing it wrong.


Loads of cool cars did show up for Subaru Summer Solstice and I don’t want to take away from that.


There’s something to be said for a car that’s built with a goal in mind and the sky is the limit when it comes to the Subaru aftermarket. Aired out or lifted, there were definitely at least a few cars here that anyone could gravitate towards. And again, it was a well-organized event at a great venue, and all I saw were people having a good time.


But is there such a thing as going too far, or not far enough? Is ‘Respect All Builds’ the answer? Personally (and in the opinion of most of my friends), hard work, time, and dedication towards a build is what should be respected when it comes to any car. These things will take you much further than raw cash will any day.

Plan your build from start to finish, or at least some reasonable, cohesive mid-point. Check on forums (remember those?) and search for the right setup. Don’t just throw the catalog at your car; go the extra mile and make the car community proud. That’s just me, though. What really matters is what’s the balance for you.

So, what do you make of the ‘Respect All Builds’ philosophy?

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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I can't afford my $500 coilovers and autozone spoiler if I have to buy real wheels... jk

I don't get it either. If you want a proper build, up your game and get a better job or save more money and do it right. On the other hand, there are plenty of us who have cars that are in pieces for years as we search for the right parts and money to get everything put together the way we want it. So while our cars sit in a garage, theirs are out and about, albeit with sketchy parts. I guess that is the main motivator for people to skimp in many aspects.


Amen.. this is what I spent the evening on, figuring out just how much rust there is :| Been buying tools for close to 15 years, built a workshop last year, time to use all of it now i guess!


Finally!.. The most real life topic ever! The short comment is - some cars are builds and some cars are not even their owners consider it as builds. A agree with the statement "appreciate all builds" but it is about builds. I have two cars which are not builds it are potential but dismantled long waiters. I used to drive one of them just slammed a few for a couple of years but it shouldn't be considered as build and nobody must appreciate that I cut it's springs it and enjoy it quietly.

The topic of money... fu*k yeah that is real life! As Bustien said: we have cars that are in pieces for years... Damned! That is true! I struggle for years to solve my "first" issues to own proper tools and build my cars properly which is definitely not cheep. I struggle to improve my career continuously. That motivates even it is suffering sometimes.

There are everywhere topics like "car culture is about have fun", that makes bias, people want to have fun with no labour. At the same time we know that Magnus Walker and Mike BURROUGHS not always were like they are now. This is labour, this is a way of life which we choose when the passion is realized.

Conclusion. Build what you can, where you can and from what you have. Do your best. Enjoy your creations. But don't thrust forth it like a "build" until it is. Cheers! Happy garage days, brothers!


For sure! Hard work is the only real way


Unless we ignore the fact that there are correct ways to build things.

Bastien Bochmann

I completely agree with the article.

Cars should be about fun, true enough. However, I definitely noticed an increase in cars that left me very cold at shows in the past few years, because they just seemed quickly thrown together with the first five parts that came up when you search on ebay for "Car xyz + Tuning parts". Cheapo coils, cheapo rep wheels, stickers that celebrate that fact ("No money for BBS, haturrrr!") and everything just thrown together with a build quality that is sometimes downright appalling.

I don't get it. Whenever I've set out to mod a car, I've thought first about how I want it in the end and then set about making it happen - wether that took a few months or a few years as it did with my E36 Touring, which in the end sat on genuine BBS 3-pc splits (that cost me 500€ in 8.5 and 9.5 x 17, yes, you read that right.) and a genuine AC Schnitzer bodykit from the 90ies, along with an AC Schnitzer exhaust and some other stuff. It took a lot of time and effort to even source all the parts, let alone for a price that didn't break the bank, but in the end I managed to complete the build as I had envisioned it.

People nowadays are all just about instant gratification though and the car scene seems to be no exception. "I want my car to look good on facebook pictures NOW!" and the next thing that happens is the ordering of the most readily available cheapest parts around. Nothing to take pride in, imho.


Would love to see a shot of that E36 Touring. Sounds like you went about things just the right way

Bastien Bochmann Here's some pictures of it. I do have a full build thread on Stanceworks, somewhere. I made the biggest mistake of my life two years ago when I parted it out! So much regret.


I'd definitely agree.

The attention whores who do things that are obviously mechanically wrong, and then dismiss any criticism - no matter how legitimate - as "haters gonna hate," just to get looked at, are a big part of the problem.

For further details, see that Morohoshi guy. He's the prize example of what I mean.


Morohoshi clearly set out to build something with a vision in mind.

Building something loud and flashy to inspire others, to have a good time, and, yes, to attract attention is a lot different than what you're describing.

It sounds like you don't like his style which is obviously subjective. This is a rare case where the haters will hate mentality seems justified.

Malcolm Craig

On the subject of wheels, I find myself conflicted. My current car is a 1995 Eunos Roadster, which I've gradually been modifying over the past three years. But, the one thing I chose not to spend big money on was wheels. For a variety of reasons (not just – but including – price) I went with Rota Grid Vs. Genuine Rays TE37Vs would literally be 4-5 times the cost over here. There's no way – at this stage – I could justify (either to myself or to my partner) spending somewhere around £2000 on wheels. Instead, that money has gone on high quality coilovers and engine work done by an excellent motorsport workshop. Would I like to have TE37Vs? Of course. But everyday life, home ownership, and all sorts of other stuff means there has to be a trade off between what I want and what I can get. So, I don't see this as skimping, more a rational assessment of "where will the money I have available at this stage get me the most extra performance?" I have ambitions for the car, but those ambitions are long term. At the moment, those £120-a-wheel Rotas look good, are solid, and do the job.


EXACTLY!! Also.. economy its not the same in all the world. The rims i really want are TE37 in 18 x 9.5 and 10.5 in the back but those mofos would cost me nearly 5k here in central america. NO WAY IM GOING TO SPEND THAT ON RIMS!!! I drive a 95 LS400 that cost me 3k (my father died and i got that money) so never in life im going to spend money on rims that cost more than my car. I bought rims from a brand called SSA (dont remember the name of the rim) and are like RPF1'S and they cost me $480 and im running 45 series tires to protect them because roads here in are sheeeeeeeeet. But im using BC BR coilover and im just finishing a overhaul process with the engine. It all comes to economy and priorities...


I really like this comment about 'economy isn't the same in all the world'.

If you live in Melbourne where minimum hourly wages is AUD 719 a week, maybe RAYS or ENKEI that costs US$ 5k is affordable to you.

But how about when u live in Indonesia where the minimum wage is $350 a MONTH? With house, food, and other spending maybe there's no way to buy REAL wheels how much u want it and how much u love it.

I would live to hear your take on this Trevor


I really like this comment about 'economy isn't the same in all the world'.

If you live in Melbourne where minimum hourly wages is


There are plenty of affordable, well made wheels for the MX5 (at least in the States, not sure if these are a good deal in the UK). 949, Konig, Avanti DST, and Kosei wheels are pretty light and not super derivative imo.


Haha that's pretty much why my NB still has those Kosei.

While i can't conscionably purchase direct knockoffs, there are lots of good looking options in the 6UL price range that I'll probably go for eventually, if not the 6ULs themselves.

this aint it chief

buy 949 6ULs


There's no reason for anyone to be rocking rep wheels. Plenty of oem wheel + midrange wheels to choose from. Reps cost $5-600 usd, you could have honestly saved up for a couple months and bought 949s or enkeis.. Or for a similar price second hand. People who buy reps honestly just wanted a look they could not afford.


Maybe people that buy reps have other obligations that are more important than getting name brand wheels.
If I were in the market for wheels, I'd consider rep wheels. I have a house, a family, and other hobbies. Name brand wheels aren't the most important thing in my life. Rep wheels would be a way to stretch the dollar so I could put a little more towards something more my daughter's tuition.


I understand and respect your decision to go for cheaper wheels. But, cheaper wheels and replicas are not the same thing.
Buying TE37 replica Rotas instead of buying a set of Enkei for the exact price is really what grind people gear.


Why should a choice made on the basis of cost vs. benefit + the look of the wheel upset other people? Rotas are a solid wheel for the money. For me, they offered a good compromise between price, weight, looks, and how annoyed I'd be if they got damaged. Enkeis – good wheels that they are – are always more expensive here in the UK + those at a price point similar to the Grid Vs were quite far from the look I would like.

A lot of this seems to be that there are those who are unwilling to accept that there are others (like me) making choices on what to put on their cars based on a rational assessment of a variety of factors, i.e.:

1) They had to be within a certain price range
2) They should be new (I've had my fingers burned by second hand wheels before)
3) They should fit certain specifications (15" x 7", ET20, etc)
4) They should look a certain way

Having spent time and having taken advice from people in the UK MX5 community and further afield, I picked the Rotas. As I said, they're solid, are within a reasonable weight bracket, and look good. Hell, the top notch motorsports garage that has done work on the car's engine has zero problem with them, and they work with multiple MX5 race teams and run their own team. If they're good with them, then that's good enough for me.


And that's the thing, isn't it? It all comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. The gains I've got from buying £850 coilovers rather than £250 coilovers make that cost totally worthwhile. Likewise, the other mechanical mods on the car. Do I see spending £120 per wheel (with – should point out – very good tyres on them) as a better proposition than spending £250, £500, or more per wheel? At this stage, yes. Do I pretend they are anything other than what they are? Nope. Still have the Rota centre caps on them, so I'm not trying to kid anyone that I have super-fancy wheels. Moreover, if I had TE37Vs (for example), I'd be terrified to ever take the car out, given the terrible state of the roads round these parts. I also pretty careful when it comes to parking, but would be petrified about curbing expensive wheels. In the end, the benefits of having more expensive 'name' wheels just aren't there for me at the moment.


I understand your point and I respect that. Your choice perfectly justify the purchase on your set of Rotas. It's an MX5, and you have a purpose for it, so it's a logical choice.
But have you look at those who spent 30K to buy a Subaru STI and slap on Rotas making them looks like TE37? Those are the ones under the spotlight here.


Bingo. I run TRM C4s because they're cheap and fit my car. It's a 6 spoke design that's derivative of TE37s, but there's no I'd buy actual TEs. That money went to Ohlins, tires, and seat time.


See your smart, you actually put some performance mods on your car but you know you can't blow all of your money so you just put on some decent looking .cheap wheels for the time being


I respect all of peoples cars no matter how much money they did or didnt spend on it. Whether its a backyard B-series swap in a Civic or a fully built motor installed professionally. Both have elements that make car culture great. Enhancing and improving cars to get maximum enjoyment out of them. I'll always respect that even if I dont particularly like the car myself.

That being said, there is one aspect of car "builds" I have no respect for. It's people who modify (usually outsourcing to shops - which is fine) ONLY to impress others or get e-fame. Not really caring about the car itself but doing what gains them the most attention. I personally feel like those are the wrong reasons to get into this culture and I've seen many cars "built" just to gain attention and instagram likes.


I agree! People spaffing loads of cash on JDM parts then only ever posting "lifestyle" photos of them leaning on the car fiddling with their phone is the bullshit that needs to be called out far more then someone running a set of reps.


ur just full of insightful commentary.


if i can save with help from others for super rare ncp131gs parts from japan used on the fleek then you too can save for real wheels in the us or buy off ebay. if i can do it. whats youe excuse for saving for the real thing and getting quality that doesnt depreciate but goes up in value.


Two things immediately came to mind when I read this article:

1) You don't have to respect anyone or anything in life. Respect is earned.

2) It will be funny to read the comment section now that a writer from the site has formally brought up the question. Watch all the bandwagon enthusiasts do their best to explain why we have to respect a Subaru with 9 degrees of negative camber with blown ebay shocks.

The reality is this hobby is highly technical and most people couldn't tell you what ackerman is actually used for on a car more less how boundary layers interact with the APR-1000 wing they just bought. I respect things that are built well and serve a purpose.

If it's "stance", onikyan, rice or nonfunctional BS that garnishes some cool name to try and get kids to buy more crap that doesn't do anything you can miss me with it.


Think about it this way a car is a block of clay people can do anything they want to do with it (as long as they are a genuine auto enthusiast).


Since we are using the clay analogy.

If a famous sculptor had paid someone else to sculpt the clay and claimed it as their own work, bragging about how they are "killing the game". Is that deserving of respect?


Watch all the dip shits who will now be saying "Yeah, Trevor is right bro. We really don't have to respect people's builds. This is some real posting right here bro. Yeah....totally." *hits vape*.

This will be a fun post to check in a few days.


You should respect all builds except for ricers and I'm not counting bouzkou. The people who build those cars have an amazing level of craftsmanship. I'm talking about the teenagers who are just looking for attention and don't give a crap about cars.


It's called bosozoku


I strongly disagree. I don't think all builds deserve respect.

The ones that're obnoxious and done only for attention, the ones that're downright dangerous and the ones that're grossly inappropriate for their operating environment should not be respected, and their owners should be encouraged to try again and do it better next time.

Remember this guy?


Hahaha! I hadn't seen that thread before. Started off thinking "Well, this isn't going to go well, but in what direction will it head?" and then, Post 24.


This is my opinion on the real vs fake part topic. If you're able to afford a new Subaru like most of these in the pictures. You should honestly be able to afford real wheels or a majority of real parts. I would assume you're financially stable and have a decent income.

However if you're a teenager or young adult who saved up $3000 the whole year for a old mazda (FC) Rx7. I think that is excusable to buy replica parts until you're getting decent income. Getting payed near minimum wage and buying $3000 TE37 is just not a good idea. "But you can get other high quality wheels for just as much as replicas". Well what if they don't want those other quality wheels. They want a wheel similar to TE37's and they're replicas out there they can afford.

I honestly think we should respect people builds if it is executed properly. Some people work really hard to try to get some of those replica parts. Some people arent as lucky as us to get real parts. Then for someone just to discourage them is just plain rude in my eyes. Its like someone finally saving up for a 600sq ft home after living in a apartment for years and then telling them its shit because others have a 1000sq ft home with a pool and garage. That's all they could afford.

I will agree with one comment though I read on here. I hate people who build cars for E-Fame. That burns me up a bit.

Bastien Bochmann

I think you're missing the point a bit.
Money plays a factor, sure enough. But Trevors main point is more about cars build without any thought, just with the cheapest sick illest dope ebay special parts, just to get the car to look "mad tyte" as quick as possible. No one is ragging on the college kid with no expendable income building whatever they can.

The point is just, people who should be able to do better skimp out a lot on execution.


Honestly, if it's a $3000 car, replica wheels are fine for me. There is no chance in hell I'd spend more on wheels than what the car cost me. And I don't believe in the whole 'replica wheels will break' crap. I've seen pictures of quality wheels that have buckled and broken just as well as knockoffs. Besides, if all you're doing is hard parking there's hardly any danger.

this aint it chief

lmao nah miss me w this


My two cents, just to get it on the record.

The only builds I don't respect would be those that severely compromise the real-world functionality of the car - and that LOOK like it - but there are really only three types.

1 - Cars with mega negative camber. Wheels and wheel bearings aren't designed to be loaded at those angles, and tires are meant to put their whole tread down on the road, not just the inboard tread blocks. It's not safe, and that's coming from someone who believes that safety is a matter of perspective.

2 - Street cars with near-zero ground clearance. When you need a 4x8 sheet of plywood to drive into a car show - and you still scrape - you've done something wrong. Yeah, I get it - some of them are on air, but air suspensions add weight and failure points.

3 - Donks and lowriders. The giant wheels on donks put enormous stress on the suspension - brakes and wheel bearings - that they were never designed to handle. Lowriders have similar problems, as they're running wheels and suspension modifications that shoot their ability to drive properly all to hell.

The only real exception to that function-first attitude is hatchbacks, and that's only because I think they look ridiculous. Coupes, sedans and wagons will always look better to me.

Context matters, of course. Near-zero ground clearance is fine on a race track, and some negative camber is acceptable for even a street car.


Great article Trevor, hitting the nail on the head.

In all honesty, I'd say the political correct part of me wants to say that I respect all builds...but looking deep into my heart, I have to admit that I don't. Seeing a build that has more thought/planning/creativity/blood, sweat & tears/... than a car that's been modified with a bunch of cheap knock-off parts (made by companies that want to cash in on the latest fad), it just wins my respect and fills me a sense of awe.
For me, it's so amazing to see how someone has done the effort: this could be a creative soul who's thought long and hard about out-of-the-box ideas, a crafts(wo)man whos hands can make whatever their minds want, or even someone without those talents (more like me, I'm afraid) but who is worked hard in some sh*t job, saving cash and making sacrifices for building it right. Either way, that kind of buildis awesome and wins my respect any day.

So, I think I'd have to say that I tolerate all builds, but not respect all - if that's making any sense. Seeing strong reactions to a build with fake wheels proves how strong we feel about cars and builds, and about doing it right.


"Respect all builds" is complete nonsense.
Its a synonym for "It hurts my feelings when people call out my BS" or it's the - everyone gets a trophy and we don't keep score version of little league baseball in the car world.

Should a person respect all people? Of course not....respect by nature is earned, so it shouldn't be given away to anyone for any reason. If that is the case, then its not even actual respect. What is your respect worth if you don't save it for things that actual deserve respect? How can I treat someone that spent hundreds of hours and tons of money to build something amazing the same or even similar to someone that did something stupid or lazy?

In fact, I say the opposite, people don't need to be unnecessarily rude, but respecting things that don't deserve respect just promotes more improper work. Calling them out in an honest way makes them be better...if they care.

Also, a person doesn't have to spend a ton of money or have an amazing car to have a respectable build. I've seen cars that were very simple and low budget that I had way more respect for than some cars that had 100k put into them.

Lastly, a lot of it is about perspective and intention. If someone wants to build something cheap and sloppy just for fun...that is fine, just don't expect to deserve respect. If the person has the self awareness to admit that they didn't do it right, but they don't care cause it was just for fun, then I have no problem with that. It's really only an issue with the people that expect respect when they know deep down that they took short cuts.


I want to push back a little against the "respect is earned" line there. I've always disliked it. my default intention, whether or not I'm always successful, is treating others with respect, and a big part of that is recognizing their circumstances and motivations.

a kid who's kind of into cars and just wants something that looks cool? hey, if he gets what he wants out of a Subaru with eBay coils and a modified vape pen, he's getting what he wants. if he wants likes on Instagram, go get em, tiger. he doesn't want what I want, but why on earth would that be a reason not to respect him?

I love cars, and I could consider my cars more "real" than someone else's. but it's not my place to judge my wants as more valid than someone else's. that's just tribalism. if we're going to start ranking the correctness of our cars, the obvious answer is a bone-stock Corolla, because it's better at what you *need* a car to do than anything any of us drives. so why would we submit ourselves to that hierarchy? fuck it. they're cars. they're awesome, but they're a supremely indulgent hobby, and we should recognize that we engage in it at great expense and to little practical benefit. it's all just fun. taking custom cars so seriously that you *decline someone respect* because he wanted his car to look better than it drives is ridiculous.


put another way: I want my cars to take me quickly around the track or the canyons and look clean. I'll put in the money and effort for that. Hypothetical Vapemaster wants a car that looks cool for his friends and a flat-brim cap. why should he spend more money on "real" tires and suspension when his wants are met with Racelands and Prime Wells? both of our sets of wants are silly compared to the base need to get from A to B. the Corolla driver, whose wants start and end with transportation, is equally judgmental about our loud, impractical toys, and no less wrongly.

the only way out of this trap is to say "to you yours, and to me mine". to "Respect All Builds" is to reject the attempt to rank, because ranking is a losing game for everyone except that smug little shit Corolla Joe.


BOOM! All good points, and this is pretty close to how I feel.


Well said my man. My point of view is this: I will respect your build, whether I like it or not, if it is a true build. But a set of cheap reps, smoked headlights and a pointless spoiler is not a build. And don't expect any respect if you just dropped your car off at some shop and said 'go crazy'. I think what really earns respect is the effort and time you invest in building your car. If you did not put any work, any effort into the build, then you'll get no love from me.


Absolutely do not respect all builds, but respect people. here is some crap I do not respect. Ugly combination of colors. Crappily welded things. Crappily painted things. Ugly flashy things done to be garish and seek attention. Following trends so closely just to fit in without any thought or trying to express their own idea or thoughts on whats cool. Slapping the same stupid stickers all over that don't mean anything anymore and become cliche. An old car with the wrong paint a new car with the wrong wheels etc. there are so many things to complaing and not respect. That doesn't mean one has to be rude and insult the owners of cars we dont respect. I might be contradicting myself but there are times when I don't like a car and think its ugly but the owner had great skill in welding something or painting something and I respect it because of that. There are also times when one sees a car that does something new but is rough and I think this still needs respect. To me though if something doesn't function as it was intended than it is a failure and does not deserve to be respected. Anything unsafe or just plain ugly doesn't either. Fake parts do not deserve respect.


lmao some of these comments. It's not that serious! All you gotta do is not insult someone's car in front of them! If you hate it, cool! Keep it to yourself until you're around the corner! Easy to do and easy to master, and yall making out like it's an absolute indignity and no one should ever have requested it from you. Just be nice to PEOPLE
No one is telling you to like everything (and anyone who mentioned participation trophies needs a good slap). They're just saying, hey, maybe don't be an asshole directly to the guy whose car you hate. Chill out, have your opinions, but don't offer them to people who don't want to hear them. I was at a stupid Goodguys show over the winter, filled with row upon row of boring, interchangable muscle cars, nearly 50% of which shared the exact same candy orange paint. It was lame as hell, but none of the owners I spoke to knew about how much I hated it, because I'm not an asshole. All you gotta do is not be an asshole. "respect is earned" piss off! the show car isn't asking to marry your daughter


"I was at a stupid goodguys show."
"I'm not an asshole"
"it was lame as hell"
"but none of the owners knew"

You sound like a sociopath who takes great pride in hiding your hatred from other people Adam. I wouldn't be surprised if you've setup anonymous instagram accounts to channel this energy. "Somebodies waaatchin meeeee"


He sounds polite. Sparing peoples' feelings is not sociopathic. It's quite the opposite.


Clearly a participation trophy winner who has never competed in anything^^^

Daniel P Huneault

not a fan of sticking on company stickers of parts that were never sponsored on your car, if you paid for their parts why put there name on your car? some use these as bragging rights, which I could care less about


If a sticker comes in a box with my parts, I'm sticking it on my car.

I like shiny new parts, I like shiny new stickers that come with them.

Daniel P Huneault

I stick them on my paint cabinet, unless your giving me the parts for free, its not going on my ride


i see it more as showing your appreciation for the parts, just like some people wear tshirts of their favorite bands, those guys will put stickers of the parts they use onto their car.
it's an entirely different story if they put those stickers even tho they dont have the parts/used knockoffs


I respect most builds, but then again I'm also happy to postulate that wheels and an exhaust aren't a build. A nice starting point maybe, but not a build. And I have a lot tolerance for fake stuff.

I'm currently putting together an(other) early Miata - there is a plan, and there will be high quality parts. Which means that in the end, it'll probably cost me more and take longer than some Internet (in-)famous build that's been thrown together with cheap/knockoff parts. Not to mention that the cost of the parts alone is likely more than I paid for the car. I'm making up for some of this by trying to source at least some of the parts used. But in the end, the modifications will actually be an improvement over stock, and not only visually.

And yes, somewhere in there might be a knockoff set of wheels (Rota Grids) because trackable car, and I'm not risking a set of $2000 TE37s on the track for anything but a parade lap. But I wouldn't rock up to a car show on these, that's what the small, nice and quality selection of aftermarket wheels is there for.

The knockoff industry has already causes all sorts of havoc (combined with the financial crisis) when it comes to aftermarket manufacturers. If you're a manufacturer, your R&D money isn't well spent if you know that three months later, your potential customers can buy a visually identical part from a fly-by-night merchant with the right contacts on a certain Internet auction site. In the longer run, that's not going to do good things to our hobby.

And yes, sometimes that means waiting if a part isn't in stock, even when I can buy the knockoff one right now for cheaper. But if I and everybody else does that, then there won't be any parts to knock off in the first place.


Oops, that should read "I haven't got a lot of tolerance for fake stuff".


"Respect all builds" sounds like some "be inclusive, feel good, non offensive" millennial bs. If you half ass build your car to get attention on the internet I don't have any respect for your car. If you buy cheap wheels because you don't have the money for real ones, I think you are a fool but I understand. If you have no taste, if you have no skills and if you have no game plan but insist on building a car, Im going to refer to your car as a piece of crap.


"Fuck You" cars should not be respected, even if money and time were spent. Replica wheels are not respectable either; you could just find other wheels. Respect all builds is a blanket statement, and not all builds will apply to it oddly enough.


If you don't respect the build, don't add it to the show report on the website. If you don't respect the build on the website, just scroll or click through it. If you are at the show and don't respect the build, say nothing and keep walking. Simple common courtesy.

And if a build never gets any comments or postings on the web, the builder gets to decide whether to step up his game or go home. Or not give a crap in the first place. It all works for me.


There is only one category I will NEVER have respect for. Brodozers. Like those lifted diesel trucks with the shiny ass undercarriage and the oversized wheels and the 6 inch lifts. THOSE ARE NOT BUILDS. THAT'S JUST SHINY PAPERWEIGHTS. They're also dangerous as fuck, since you basically raised the center of gravity so much, and they almost take up more than one road lane. Stupid fuckers driving them are also inconsiderate as hell too. If I was president, my first order of business would be to impound every brodozer then exterminate then. Other than that, I can respect any other build that isn't a brodozer, even a truck that looks lifted and such and ACTUALLY gets use offroad, not worrying about getting it dirty. Tuners, lowriders, hell, even ricers get more respect from me than any brodozer.


Oops forgot to add, by ricers i meant car ricers. I know that brodozers are basically riced out trucks by concept, but even car ricers get more respect than brodozer drivers, and car ricers don't get much to begin with, so that's saying something. Brodozers are the biggest waste of money if you ask me.


Every car that stays in a garage more than 2 weeks are shit. Im more impressed with people driving it and using it than any build.. there are no builds except the one the factory that produced the car made. Drive it like you stole it.. fake wheels or not!


They're not going to like you much around here if you keep talking about all that driver > build nonsense.


It should not be "respect all builds", it should be "respect hard work".
Hard work may be busting your back to afford "real wheels" and other genuine parts or it may be beautifully applied paint etc.

Most enthusiasts will understand and appreciate the levels of work that go into a good build (in any shape or form) and that is what should be respected. It is the "slap on these, put on that ebay item, blah blah" weekend "builds" that we don't need to respect, but we all understand.

The other part of the equation is that cars entered into shows should have a high level of attention and those cars not up to a standard should be critiqued. The cars that aren't to a standard should be parked outside wanting to earn the respect of those inside the show.

Cars attending meets or drives on the other hand, I let that slide so long as they aren't doing the wrong thing and letting the wider community down.


I've just got one question, why does everyone hate Rota Grids so much? I at one point believed (albeit based on not much more than their being included in a video game once upon a time) that Rota made reasonably decent wheels.


I don't understand this debate. Modifying cars is a creative endeavor just like art or music. There is no "respect all songs" or "respect all paintings" movements. While taste is subjective, some things are just obviously better than others, irrespective of taste.


Fu-cking cor-rect.


I mean this is a really tough one because you have to consider exactly what the end goal of any build is.

Personal taste shouldn’t really be a factor in the quality of builds in my opinion. To me, three things are key:

1. Is it dangerous?
2. Is it well executed?
3. Does it make sense?

1. This is fairly straightforward but can definitely be a VERY broad topic but in a nutshell, have the decisions made endangered the driver, passengers, other road users or on another level, the car itself.

I don’t think there’s a huge problem in using lower brand parts PROVIDING the areas in which you use them make sense. Safety items should never ever be skimped on, items such as belts, seats, bolts, wheels, cages should be the best you can afford with no exceptions. BUT one thing I see a lot of is very high quality parts being used inappropriately. For example, belt fitment is horrendously poor in some builds to the extent that it’s actually far more dangerous than just using the original belt. This is something which can really expose the underlying ethos of the builder as poor belt fitment shows a complete lack of detail considerations in my opinion.

Likewise I regularly see extremely poor hose routing and inappropriate hose clamp usage on even the most highly respected cars.

These are things which are small but very significant items to do correctly but are rarely picked up on by the masses.

The wheels deal has always confused me because people don’t seem to realise that wheels are consumables and have finite lifespans. Sometimes it makes sense to buy a set of Rota’s if you’re replacing 20+ year old factory wheels or heavily used/damaged wheels. It comes with the obvious that you must respect that these wheels wont be as bulletproof as a set of enkei’s/volk’s/etc but for normal road usage they will almost certainly be better than the afformentioned old/damaged wheels. Buying second hand wheels is definitely a risk in my opinion because you just do not know what life those wheels have been subjected to, irrespective of brand.

2. This is really an extension of 1 but i look for continuity, correct usage of fasteners, correct fitment of safety items, etc.

But it can apply to anything, the recently posted stanced BMW articles have a car with an extremely nice trunk installation. I might not like air ride cars but i will respect someone who has done it ‘right’.

3. Basically this is just does the car come together cohesively and with parts that make sense. Example, why would you cage out a car that wont see track time to make it functionally worse? Doubly so if said car features a stance which would make it unsuitable for track work. Things like that, part, theme and brand continuity are also important.

In short, if you’re going to shit on peoples builds at least make it for the right reasons rather than perceived ones. Dangerous is dangerous and deserves to be highlighted as such, as does poor craftsmanship.

Shotgun Chuck

I can agree with most of what you said, but there are some things that damage my respect for a build when I see them.

1. Roll cages bent around dashboards, rear seats, or other interior parts. At that point, is it really making the car much safer, or is it just for looks?

2. Air ride. I don't care if it's done right or not.

3. Tack-on overfenders. It's well past time for this fad to go away.

4. Stretched tires.

5. Anything that's only there to make the car "more JDM", and that includes stickers up to entire front end swaps. This is a difficult one because I can tolerate JDM parts added for pure style purposes as long as the overall theme and intent remains USDM (or EUDM or ADM or wherever the car is being modified for use), but in practice you can't really tell someone's motive for adding a part.


Who are we to judge? Buy it, build it, show it, drive it. Spend time with friends and family who have the same passions as you.
If someone else has a different approach or gets something different out of there car then you do, that doesn't make them wrong. If you don't like it, walk past, move on, pretty sure they didn't do their build for your approval.


i wonder what the world would be like if everyone applied that logic to people like Stalin. Clearly there is reason humans should judge things.

But hey, if you don't like genocide just walk past, move on, pretty sure they didn't do it for your approval.


The world would be ruined. Good job its not full of people who take things out of context. O wait..........


This is a very tricky subject to discuss! I personally "respect all builds", but only those with a point (which you could argue is subjective): any build that improves on a technical aspect of the car (or at least where the intention was to make an improvement!) has my respect.

Even a (non-performance) car with a massive amount of ICE which, isn't to my personal taste, is improving on something OEM so I respect it for what it is. Conversely my above rule is the reason why I have little respect for any performance orientated car that is slammed to ground and/or stanced. On something non-performance it makes sense, but doing it to a performance car (like an Impreza) is taking away one of the core things that made the car great in the first place.

I'm sure some would argue that slamming a car is improving it aesthetically (and I won't deny that some classic cars I have seen stanced look really good), but if a modification - even something that people could argue looks good - removes a positive aspect from car, then I have no time for it.


If the mod's done mean a car ends up being more of a static display than being something that enhance a particular aspect for the way it is intended to be driven then it does not have my respect. This is perhaps generational and indicative of me being an "old fart". Generations younger than me seem increasingly all about image and less about substance. A lot of people building faux performance cars and copying things done on race cars with little understanding of why things were done in the first place. Comments like "hatters gonna be hatters" just show deep ignorance. So often want-tp-be Speedhunters are not really about speed at all. When some of these types turn up to basic club events it is often quite embarrassing for them. And so it should be that they are out performed by less impressive looking but actually well developed and properly sorted "cars". I guess one either has the world view that a car is an art piece to be looked at and it does not matter how it "drives, or they have the view that how it drives is more important and how it looks is not driven by a "marketing department". Should form follow function or vise versa? Just my own delusional opinion and other will have their own experience.


Yeah, I agree Mortimer. Cars are meant to be driven and, to me, something that takes away from that is just pointless.

Someone else has said it in a comment further up, but it isn't about money either. I have seen modified cars where little has been spent, but a lot of thought has clearly gone in to the choice modifications that have been carried out.

The "form over function" argument is one that has raged in many comment sections here before but, in my eyes, the successful builds with function in mind have form as a direct consequence.


I run expensive Advan Racing wheels on a Skyline GTR bought new and made specially to order > This being said, am I against cheaper replica or "non-branded" wheels. Definitely NOT. Buying expensive new wheels is not a smart financial decision - you buy them because you want them and you choose to ignore the financial logic as there is none. If you decide to spend your money in other areas so be it - Your call. And with respect to buying branded wheels second hand - I Would rather have 'low ballers' buy replica parts as opposed to trying to drag down the value of branded second hand parts.


The respect all builds bro is just like when you were little and lost a soccer game but they still gave you a participation award, it doesn't teach you anything, respect is given when I see a unique car with rare parts, not a car with an instagram parts list laid out just like the other 50,000 kids with a stupid @swagbaggedfrs. This brings me to another point, today's car scene is buy a 2012-2018 car, big wing, expensive wheels that fit like garbage and throw on a good ole rocket bunny kit and feel prestigious among others, do not forget the really tacky "crazy car wrap color to get followers dawg"


Hold on. There is a huge difference between respect and being able to appreciate a certain car or build.

Yes, you should ALWAYS have respect for another person or something he has built. Respect is the basis on which more people should learn to interact with one another. Take Japan for example; so many wonderful subcultures within the car community could develop because people there are being taught their entire life to be respectful with each other. If they don’t have anything positive to say they’ll keep it to themselves.

So just because you respect the decisions on how someone built his car – am I saying you have to like it? Certainly not.
I don’t like trailer queens, I like street driven and used.
I don’t like cars that the owner has given to a shop to build from ground up and just pay for it, I like cars built at home in a garage with their own two hands.
And so on; everyone has their preferences.

I’m sure this post is not meant that way, but I perceived it as counterproductive because it not only empowers the wrong people to continue with their inflammatory behaviour – it also encourages people to fuel a vicious circle of nay-saying and nit-picking. As the comments already have proven.

And while Trevor carefully selected his words describing what he thinks is worth his respect when it comes to any car I can’t help but wonder how many of the featured LB kitted cars were built by the owner’s own hands.
I love LB and all those widebodies out there, but when looking at all these shop built widebody features where the owners get credited for their “vision” I get annoyed I must admit.

Anyway, I firmly believe that elitism is the downfall of the car community.
So what if people don’t have the budget to fully live up to your standard and/or haven’t quite figured it out yet?
Those people can learn and evolve, and even if they don’t:
That’s the beauty of the car culture - it spawns more individuality and uniqueness than most different walks of life. If we all were the same life would be boring.

Respect is vital.
Appreciation isn’t.
Don’t encourage bullies.

And no, I don’t drive an Opel Astra.


"Respect all builds" as a philosophy is like, "Respect all opinions" as a philosophy - silly.

There are plenty of crap builds out there. Heck, I can walk down my street and see some of them. The moronic Jeep that is lifted on 34s, with knock-off Asanti-style wheels, and an off-road LED light bar mounted on...the hood. That's garbage, pure and simple. Now, I'm not going to tell the owner of that Jeep that their car is garbage, I'm going to go on about my life and do my thing.

But the reality is most builds are pretty mediocre and execution is lacking. And unfortunately, it happens at all levels of car building. Look back at the SEMA "interiors" post from last year here. Lots of mediocre catalog-bought and finished interiors in cars there. Really, actually quite atrocious the lack of cohesion and thought put into the process.

This is also why I've stopped going to car shows. I just can't handle it, personally, because most folks only do "okay" as a job. My philosophy is, when you take it apart and put it back together, it should not only be better than when it left the factory, it should be original, truly unique in its inspiration and execution. Original is a combination of parts and pieces that combine to make something more cohesive and complete.


This car.....


As to the Subaru Summer Soltice 2018 show specifically, there were a lot of garbage cars on display. Part of that was because the organizers had the bright idea of combining paid parking with show cars.
The fact is that these shows are mostly filled with broke-ass guys just wanting to get attention from other guys. Very few cars at this show were actually performance oriented with a tasteful presentation.

As to respecting all cars, no way. If you can't do it right, then don't do it. This is why other countries have strict requirements about what modifications can be made to road cars, and require quality approvals for parts that are sold.
Just like any other enthusiast community, the Subaru world has idiots with ill-fitting wheels in absurd colors, obnoxious exhausts just for noise, and slammed to the ground on poor quality non-engineered suspension, all on a base model WRX driven by a guy with a sideways cap who couldn't truly afford any of it and lives with a mountain of credit card debt.
Then there are those of us that actually go buy an STi brand new, and upgrade it with well engineered parts, true performance wheels, and don't give a crap about trying to impress others because this little car is really not that important in the grand scheme of things.


I used to believe in the ideal of the 'respect all builds' mantra, solely because I had/still have an unusual platform, so I initially thought it meant 'respect all builds, regardless of what platform' but I later discovered it was a catch all for when people wanted to put forth a half-assed effort in attempts to have more 'scene points' to be cool on instagram while calling anyone with constructive criticism a hater.


Coincidence upon coincidence, a build in the Subaru community was finished a couple weekends ago for a big show. While all the pieces are quality, the workmanship was lacking. It just didn't have the time necessary to make it a top tier build.

I think we're conflating "respect" with "appreciate". I can respect you and chat with you about car stuff while we're at a meet or a show. I can not be an elitist asshole about parts. Do I have to appreciate your build as equal level with someone that has put 5+ years and thousands of dollars into their car? No.

When its a meet, all cars are welcome. At shows, I really do think that we need to execute some type of minimum standard. No one should be paying to see a piece of shit car.


little kids love stance cars & race cars the same. FnF had "ricers" trying to race on the highways. Stance slowed the movement down to professional hard parkers, people still complaining. Reps are reps, those consumers are reminded every time they flood your websites, buy your stickers, attend car show venues etc that no one is going to publish an article with a vehicle faking the funk. They put money in your pocket along with those rep company owners.

They make up the majority. Who determines which cast wheel companies get a break, though?

Exclusive is good, distinguishes the die hard and ultimately it comes down to a matter of discipline. Everybody can't get a trophy & don't compete where you can't dominate. Having reps pushed me to make the next set a genuine 1 of 1 set of wheels. People kill me trying to define someone else's happiness based off of personal expectations. They know exactly what they got, what to expect.


Great photos! I really like the photo of my car (silver RS coupe) with the palm trees.

I've always respected well-executed builds, regardless of market. You can have all the nicest parts and even have them work well together, and still have poor execution. I've seen plenty of Volk Racing wheels with base-model or off brand tires and I have also seen close-to bone-stock cars be very well executed because they were kept pristine and well maintained.


Straight up, if you are unable to afford or budget your money to save for genuine wheels and quality parts because you are THAT strapped for money, you should re-evaluate modifying cars in general.

People these days are all about wanting it now rather than waiting. If you can afford $500 one month for rep wheels, save for another 3 months and buy $2000 genuine wheels. Save for however long it takes to get the parts you truly desire, my Mk3 Focus RS was stock for almost 12 months before I modified it, because I knew what I wanted and I wasn't going to compromise. The motto should be "Appreciation given, where appreciation is deserved".

Kevin Angelus Mortis Smith

Honestly, it's just gonna open a can of worms especially if someone is sensitive in such taste that is merely subjective. I mean we're not getting any younger so minus well just have an open mind to things that shouldn't create such a knee jerk reaction. Hence why i prefer the car life in japan than in the states.


I think it’s kinda wack how your take away from the show is that a few cars were running rep wheels, and then you focused the entire article around it. And then you claim “your not sandbagging anyone” multiple times, but by putting down reps aren’t you sandbagging all the cars who run reps? I personally don’t run reps nor am I defending any build that does. I just think there was opportunity to interview and feature unique builds and car owners who came from all over the state and country in you article but instead you wrote a rant about your personal feeling about rep wheels. I mean you didn’t have to come all the way to S3 to do that, you could have just stayed home and written that from your couch at home.


It's interesting to see everyone's takeaway on this. You determined my takeaway based on what? Doesn't really seem like the content, because I dedicated 3-4 sentences on wheels and that's it.

This is a recurring theme at CA shows, and I'm sure elsewhere too. Yeah, have fun with your car and build it for yourself but if you go to a show people should have expectations because they've invested in being there.

Regardless, sorry if I've offended you, I thought the show was fun.


I get where Trevor is coming from, especially in regards to Subaru shows. Last year I bought a 2017 Sti and am building a fun, good handling car with carbon fiber accessories that I use as a daily. When I take it to meets and shows, people come up all day and are like “I love the little highlights and accessories that you have done, but you should add an APR wing and some canards”.

Why? Why do I need canards on the street? I see some Subies that have 8 canards on them (4 out front and.4 in the rear), cars that have ridiculous rear diffusers, and the most fun to me, rear window louvers. These cars aren’t tracked, they are just driven and hard parked at shows. I see race seats, roll cages, and more for cars that have never been on the track, they just have the parts to look cool and get Instagram likes.

It seems with most cars, especially Subarus, people just follow a certain style and don’t think about how to build THEIR car. They look at what’s popular then go to Subispeed and order the most popular products. Everything is so cookie-cutter now that I don’t even bother going to as many meets as I used to since I know what I am going to see anyway. Rather than go anywhere, I can just open Instagram and see it from my couch instead.

Oh and I won’t touch the real/fake debate. I get crap for leaving my “stock” wheels on, even though they are forged BBS. Someone actually told me to replace them with XXRs since it would look “sick”. Hard pass.


I totally understand you. I also have a 2016 STI. I have to save and wait so long to get a set of Gramlights.
It's mind-blowing to see rotas on these new cars...


Paid 25K for a car, but only willing to pay less than $700 for wheels and suspension. That's more than enough to understand the shallow minds of these "builds".
And also, wheels and suspension installation does not mean the car is a "build".


I'm currently looking into wheels for my track car because after the recent track day while cleaning my BBS wheels I noticed 2 cracks in the front left rim. ROTA grids are on the list as they come in the right size and offset for me to run wider wheels and will allow me to afford great tyres. I don't have the money for VOLK and would be to scared to damage them on the track.

I think each to their own. But at the same time I would not show a car that did not flow in design. Which would be something that is thought out and enhances the look or style of the car.

Would wrapping a car be considered cheap knock off of a proper paint job? Yet this seems to be accepted.
How's your tyres? What suspension are you running? What brake disks have you got? You could go on and on...

For me the key is flow in design, not mismatched.


To add further. The "real - wheels" comment. I believe ROTA grids are "real wheels". Yes they are similar to a VOLK design.
VOLKs "new" design the G16 looks alot like "style 163" that came out on the e46 BMW M3. So who is copying who.
I believe they are similar styles but they are not branding them the same. Rotiform are bringing out a lot of old style wheels yet no one bags them out.
Counterfeit is the real problem. Sure old mate may have bought real wheels, but inside the car he has fake brides, fake takata harnesses and a fake nardi. No one will bat a eyelid to these as the fakes are hard to tell. But run some other brand wheels that look similar to a popular wheel style and suddenly your a knob.
There is nothing wrong with brands like ROTA. They have to pass the same test and they come with warranty. Sure you can buy "real wheels" second hand, but you're not helping the manufacture. He got his money off the guy the bought them new. What needs to happen is brands like VOLK need to make a cheaper cast version of their wheels as this is the part of the market they are missing and it will stop a lot of the imitation brands from making their wheels.


Totally agree with you man. My real point of this was exactly was you mention, the car should flow well and make sense.

That's an interesting point you make about a wrap vs. paint. I think the difference is that it's obvious, whereas you can go buy a set of knockoff wheels rather than those who first designed it. But again, you can only do so much with a six spoke wheel and as you mention all manufacturers share some similarity to something.

As for buying used parts, most of the guys I see selling real wheels are buying more real wheels. Same goes for aero, seats, etc. Wheels are just the easiest to talk about, so everyone's fixated on this.


The car scene is becoming more and more elitist, your car gets branded as trash if it doesnt have the latest mods or genuine wheels. Whats wrong with people living within their means? Nothing wrong at all with people modifying cars no matter what their financial position they are in as long as they enjoy it. On the subject of rep wheels, here in the UK with the grit, road quality, and risk of theft, putting £1000 - £2000 wheels on is just silly. Most ridiculous article i have ever read, just feeding the elitist community