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Is The Car Not Cool Anymore? - Editorialisms

The automobile isn't a social enabler anymore. For more and more people, it's a means of transportation - and that's it.

I recently had an interesting conversation with a good friend of mine about the state of automobiles in our society today and how much it has changed since we were young. I remember in high school, almost all of my friends were into cars, and owning one that was fast or tricked-out would elevate you in social status quicker than a make-out session by the lockers. The car defined you in many ways and it was a means of freedom, a way to escape from your parents and go hang out with friends. In today's Internet and tech-savvy world, teenagers are more concerned about their Facebook status than what kind of car they drive. You don't need wheels to escape the torments of home - a computer will do that. The automobile isn't a social enabler anymore. For more and more people, it's a means of transportation - and that's it.

It's a shame, too, because the thrill of driving and building an automobile is, at least in my opinion, one of most exciting and rewarding things someone can do. It also builds friendships and camaraderie better than any online chat program can. I've made some of my best friends as a result of us bonding over automobiles.

It's not all bad, though; the recent downturn means our scene is finally a legitimate one with real car geeks and enthusiasts. Sure, it may not grow to be as big as it once was in the Fast and Furious era, but I'm glad to see the bandwagon-jumpers gone. With their departure, they also took the tacky neon lights, park bench spoilers and ridiculous graphics - not to mention the heat from authorities.

It's time we build our community like the hot rodders did 40 years ago, based on passion and true enthusiasm. Only real car guys need apply.

In the Jan. '10 issue, we announced our upcoming Readers' Rides issue, and I want to announce it again this month for those of you who missed it the first time. Be sure to send us your ride if you want to be considered for a full feature.

Readers' Rides Issue
The submission instructions are as follows:
1. Take photos of your car in HIGH RESOLUTION (at least 1mb in size) format. The nicer the photo, the better.
2. Include a brief history of your car and why you chose it/drive it. You can add any details here that you think don't fit into the spec sheet.
3. Include a spec sheet of all the modifications done to your car in the following format:
Car (year and model)
Engine mods
Wheels, brakes and suspension mods
Exterior mods
Interior mods
Power output (leave it blank if you don't know)
4. Your full name and contact info.
5. Send your submissions to peter@modified.com .

A Sneak Peek At Excerpts From This Issue
Honda's 6-speed manual transmission feels amazing, not surprisingly. With crisp and easy shifts, you get the impression that you're driving a sporty kind of car.
First Drive
P.22

The driver is an experienced racer, and even though I could pull up on him in the corners, as soon as we got to the straights he would pull four or five car lengths on me.
The Fast Line
P.32

"The car was pretty quick, but I got tired of barely beating civics!"
Old School Flavor
P.38

Technically speaking, it's a Scandinavian Flick you're learning here, and with the right speed and throttle input, the EVO slides effortlessly around the pylons, smoking all four tires in the process.
Project Evolution
P.68

Holding the record for Unlimited FR wasn't enough for these guys, so they spent the off season and early part of 2010 refining the mid-engine monster.
Clash Of The Titans
P.78

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