The Good (?) Old Days

Remember when a Civic or Integra with an AEM intake was awesome?

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Is there a kid who wouldn’t have killed to have this car in high school around the turn of the century? Yeah, there were a lot actually. But I didn’t think so at the time; I was content to chirp the tires from every stop sign and mash the accelerator until the speedo said 120 on the freeway. I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations has passed and YouTube wasn’t a thing back then so I can say without fear of incriminating myself that I was a total asshole in this car.

But the body was straight, it ran well aside from a pinhole leak in the radiator. It had some okay speakers and a head unit, the A/C sort of worked and I was able to get my hands dirty under the hood. As first second cars go, it wasn’t bad at all. It attracted a few would-be thieves who would cruise around my block in the early morning hours after I came home from my obligatory teenage retail job, and I’d sit on the porch in the dark and wait for them to make their round and drive off when they caught sight of me with the 12 gauge across my lap.

Being a broke-ass high school kid, I didn’t get swept up in the expensive new JDM scene, so my “mods” consisted of amber bulbs in the gauge cluster and orange-tinted Scotch tape over the digital clock to emulate the Japanese version.

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I was able to capitalize and sell the car for a little more than what I paid, despite the modifications and a hard rear-ending that necessitated the replacement of a quarter panel. I traded it to a guy for a 4×4 F-150 (the only car I have regretted selling) and cash enough for a pair of S13s to play with. A few years later I saw the car with a new owner behind the wheel. He looked happy, it looked no worse for the wear and I’d wager that it’s still out there on the road somewhere today.

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