Mason's Monolog

This week I’d like to talk about a true passion of mine: cars and the many scenes involved. I’ve touched on this topic previously, but I’d like to elaborate a bit.

There are many scenes in the car world. To clarify, a scene in the car world correlates with people’s tastes in building them. People who like muscle, modern or classic, may fall into the muscle scene category. People who lower their cars and, in most cases with this specific group, add camber to their wheels, or set the bottom portion of them out, would be associated with the stance scene. In short, scenes are basically little communities of people who enjoy a certain style or brand of vehicle.

Personally, I find I involve myself in more niche communities. One of them is the Saturn community. In my opinion, they’re extremely underrated little cars. I may not own one anymore, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t love the car or the community. Saturns will always hold a soft spot in my heart, for the reason that they’re cheap, but reliable transportation.

Another more popular community I enjoy is the tuner community. Tuners are typically German cars like BMWs, Volkswagons, Audis, etc. I find Beamers and Audis are overrated, and that Audis are the same car every generation except for a few small changes to the body style. They’re all right cars, but they’re not my cup of tea. VWs, however, I like. They may not be much as a stock vehicle, but with some decals, nice rims, coilovers, and maybe a few bolt on cosmetic parts, they really are some nice looking cars; Golf GTIs especially.

Now for a little background. The tuner community gets their name for a simple reason: tuning. Tuning is the process by which the ECU (engine control unit) is swapped with an aftermarket one with different performance profiles. These ECUs have four different stages, with a stage one being the cheapest and least performance oriented while still adding power, and a stage four being the most race oriented of the set. Of course, with higher stages, engine components must be switched out as well, with a stage one taking little to no modification and a stage four requiring the most modification to the engine. German cars are popular tuners because their engines are so receptive to the different tunes available for them.

The car scene I find myself in now is also kind of a niche community. I currently own a Monte Carlo. I could do a few different things with this car. The MC Intimidators came with a 5.3 liter, V8 engine called the LS4. I could swap my engine out for one of those and make it more of a muscle car. Alternatively, I could keep the stock engine and build it as a tuner. Cosmetically, I’d like to lower it a couple inches, throw some nice rims on it, maybe some decals and some accents along the side skirts and maybe even a new hood with a cowl of some sort. I have plans for this car, and slowly but surely, hopefully I’ll see them come to fruition.


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