History of Import Tuning

Topics: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza, Sport compact Pages: 2 (586 words) Published: October 23, 2006
Modifying cars has been a popular hobby for American youth since the 1950s. Modifying, also known as tuning, started when teens in the ‘50s wanted to make their V-8 muscle cars faster. Fast-forward forty years to southern California in the early ‘90s; the gas prices had risen and teens still wanted to go fast. A small group of people, mostly Asian Americans, began to modify their compact import cars. These people began a trend that would impact American culture for years to come.

When import tuning began, it was mainly limited to a few types of cars. The cars of choice were mostly 4 cylinder Hondas such as Civics, Crxs, and Accords. Other popular cars for tuning were the Acura Integra and the Mitsubishi Eclipse. The basis for choosing these models of car was their low price and good fuel economy. As time passed and tuning evolved, many other makes and models of cars made their way into the compact car scene, again the popular trend being 4cyl imports. Car companies such as Toyota, Nissan, and Subaru began to produce cars that would be popular in the compact car market. Eventually companies would even come out with their own tuned cars, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru WRX STI, and Nissan Skyline GT-R. Cars such as these would revolutionize the market and make it what it is to day.

Like the cars in the tuning scene, parts were very scarce when import tuning began. At the time, you could do very few things to make your car faster. A few of these things are: replacing the muffler, replacing the factory air intake, and removing things such as back seats and air conditioning. Replacing the muffler would open up the exhaust system to allow it to flow better, while replacing the intake would allow more air to get to the throttle body or carburetor. The removal of the back seats and air conditioning would lighten up the car. Again like the cars in the scene, the parts available for them increased as time went by. Companies began to...
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