Article by Konnor Derkach | Photography by Joshua Eller | Owl Staff

Nothing can describe the feeling I get when I see that brown box outside of my garage – it means I’m going to have a good time modifying my car just in time for all the shows coming up in the summer.

For a car enthusiast, summertime offers the chance to finally show off all the hard work and time spent in the garage. Most events occur annually, like Cruisin’ Ocean City in May, which kicks off show season.

When I come home, I dive into making my car as unique as possible, so it stands out from other Scion tCs. When I buy a car, I can’t keep it stock because I love cars and my car should look a little different, sound different, and go a little faster.

“It’s escapism for us, to forget the problems around us and make our cars an extension of our personality.”

Modifying a car is mainly about how much money you want to spend. Wheels and suspension could cost you almost $2,000. This is because wheels are typically over $500 and depending on which type of suspension modification you choose, it could end up costing somewhere within the $1,000 range.

Some people might want to invest their money into something practical like a savings account or remodeling their house. To enthusiasts, the investment could pay for itself; a manufacturer may sponsor you for using their parts and helping sell their brand.

Most car shows even offer prizes for first in show. The Internet provides the utilities for someone to learn about the variety of car scenes out there. Websites I check daily are and Both provide great images of cars to gain inspiration as well as updates on upcoming events.

The next time you are walking to class and hear the unmistakable sound of an aftermarket exhaust revving over the speed bumps and think, “Is that even necessary?” or “Why are you wasting money on that car? You’re never going to get it back,” remember this is something that almost every car enthusiast has heard before. The passion we have towards the cars we own is something that outsiders may not fully grasp.

The car culture isn’t just people standing around talking and looking at cars; it’s about the bonds forged with fellow enthusiasts. When you love cars as much as my friends and family, you can appreciate the work someone puts into their car.

You can form bonds with people you may have met at car show, or just in a parking lot at school. It’s escapism for us, to forget the problems around us and make our cars an extension of our personality.

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