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THE CAR                                                          THE TIME (1/4 mile ET)

 2000 Acura Integra GS-R                                                15.7

2000 Honda Civic Si                                                       15.8

2000 Audi S4 Quattro                                                     14.2

1998 BMW M Roadster                                                  13.7

1986 Buick Regal Grand National                                    13.9

1998 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS                                       13.6

1997 Dodge Viper GTS                                                   12.2

1999 Ford Mustang GT                                                   13.9

1996 Honda Civic EX Coupe                                            17.1

1998 Honda Civic DX                                                      18.1

1998 Lexus GS 400                                                       14.3

1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am                                      13.4

1999 Toyota Corolla LE                                                  17.6

1995 Volvo 850 T-5R                                                      15.0

2002 Chevrolet Corvette z06                                            11.8

 With that said... I would like to say I own an import, one that was actually brought over on a boat from another nation. (honda/toyota factories are in America.) I enjoy the eye-candy that is several imported cars. I enjoy the company of import enthusiasts. I can name off a pretty long list of Foreign, and even Japanese cars that Ilike. The Toyota Supra TT is undisputably a beast. The Nissan Skyline R33 GTR is something id like to give a drive. Turbo honda's for as much as I will rant about their extraordinary expenses later, will give many people a run. For autocrossing, nothing can even come close to touching the AE86 corolla, or Nissan sylvia copies. For what they lack in power and straight line speed, as i will rant about later, they can lose their rear ends due to being rear wheel driven, and effectively maintain speeds drifting thru corners and wide turns. However... For street racing, drag racing, and any kind of fun on a daily basis, you are going to come face to face with certain issues, issues which - when presented - make even the most avid FWD enthusiast wonder...

There are many fast Foreign and Domestic cars on the road and there are many different Ways to measure their performance... Most Automobile owners have their own Ideas on what makes a car fast. There’s basically 4 different types.

-Some People Prefer Top speed over all other abilities.

-Some people want a Car that can Run 1/4 or 1/8 of a mile quickest.

-Some people think that Stability and cornering are most important...

+Most Production cars are a mix of all three and enthusiasts can modify their own cars to bring out whatever of these factors they prefer.

-The last kind of Car owner (which is usually not an owner, but someone who's car is in their parent's name) ignores all performance preferences and Tries to LOOK or SOUND like one or more kind of performance car, with a wide arsenal of stickers and more than 1 in-car television. This type of person has been labeled as a Ricer Or Riceboy.

 Some Simple Facts -

 1. NOS is an acronym that means NEW OLD STOCK. Nitrous Oxide Systems is a trademarked name and is not a definition.

(See Also : Zex, Nitrous Express, Edelbrock.)

The best way to simply explain this is that you cannot put a Systems in your car, nor can you put a Company into your car, therefore you can't put NOS in your car.  (but for conversation amongst people with a clue, we can accept it as common usage)

2. Wings Create as much as or more Drag than downforce. if this was not the case Indycars would have HUGE Sprintcar type wings on them. Wings, while creating downforce, also force air upward, and prevent it from filling the vaccum created behind the car by the cars own movement.  This vaccum sucks the car backward and is detrimental to performance. Anyway, whats the point of downforce over the rear wheels of a front wheel driven car?

3. Clear markers and taillights are illegal in all 50 states.  They do nothing more than attract attention.  The attention attracted is more often that of the police than anything else... Coupled with a wing, your car is now attracting so much police attention, its not likely your getting out of your 8 mph over ticket.

4. Performance Chips, Headers, Cat back Exhaust systems and Cold Air intakes are all designed to work together as a package not seperatly. A Cold Air Intake will make almost no performance gains on a Stock car, other than a neat sound.  In other words... such simple little tweaks and tunes make so little of a difference by themselves, they are worthless without accompanying parts.  Especially on a car that is already plagued with a small underpowered motor.

5. Larger engines make more power than smaller engines. Period. Even the import Drag racers run strokers. If they could make more power with a smaller engine this would not be the case. An engine runs on an incredibly simple principle - it burns fuel.  The more fuel it gets the more power it makes... are you still with me?  Fuel doesn't burn by itself, it needs oxygen. (air)  So acknowledging that adding fuel makes more power - realize that a proportionally larger amount of air must also enter the cylinder for it to burn properly.  Smaller Engines will hit a wall when they can no longer get enough air into their small cylinders to burn a large amount of fuel.  Even with a turbo or nitrous - over a certain point, the jig is up.

A larger engine can fit more air into itself, and with it, more fuel... therefore it will make more power... Imagine a regular motor, now envision a titanic motor the size of a blimp... would the bigger motor be more powerful?  although the size difference is not as dramatic, that is a factor. If you can put a turbocharger on a 4 cylinder to boost it up to 8 cylinder power - what happens when you put a turbo on an 8 cylinder?  Well I know of at least one 427 Ford running Dual Y2k turbochargers approaching 4000 horsepower running 5's on a tube frame mustang chassis.  The budget on this was not incredible or even sponsored, it was privately built and owned by a Ford enthusiast I happened to have met in Central Florida.

What I have just said is not theoretical, it is the simple case, outside of the sanctioned import classes that are simply made as a harbor for the imports to play in, funny cars and professional tube frame race cars, without limitation - who only seek the fastest most powerful cars regardless of make or model, all use big bore, large displacement V8 engines.  To make V8 power, you burn V8 fuel, no matter what most people say about racing hondas for economy purposes... Hondas get great fuel economy BECAUSE, and only BECAUSE they have no power and are slow - to make them fast and give them lots of power, is to take away their fuel saving properties... so fast cars all burn mega-amounts of fuel, get used to that.

 Facts that some need to be reminded of more often -

1. 90% (at least) of Skylines are Boring SLOW commuter cars. The GTR is the only fast model…

2. Skyline GTR's have 280hp stock, weigh 3800lbs and runs high 13’s in the 1/4 mile. This is a very respectable ET for a car of its size and weight.

3. Most Toyota Supra's aren't Twin Turbo.

4. 50% of the twin turbo Supras Are Automatic.

5. Twin Turbo Supras run 13.60s stock, this is an awesome achievement for this car… but is easily tagged and surpassed by domestic pony cars costing on average 20,000 dollars less…

6. Skyline GTRs cost $90,000 to bring to the US (approximately) and are not legal for use on US roads.

7. 1,000hp skylines usually have $15,000-$20,000 in modifications and are usually NOT Legal for use on Streets in USA, JAPAN, or anywhere else in the world...

8. Supra TT 6speed cars Cost $60,000 and your insurance will cost as much as your car payments.

9. 1,000hp Supras have $15,000-$20,000 in mods, see number 7 for details.

10. 1,000hp cars get horrible mileage, in the range of 2-4 mpg… 1,000hp cars cannot be driven on a day to day basis. 1,000hp cars cannot be driven in poor weather. 1,000hp cars must run on race gas which can go for as much as 8 dollars a gallon, at 3 or 4 miles per gallon, just try to get to the beach on 500 dollars.  (this list is epically long, assume a never ending list of problems with a completely re-engineered automobile)

Using these points I have made lets assume that a 1,000hp import will cost you an absolute minimum of $50,000 if you found a good deal on a used Supra and did all the work yourself.

When you are finished you will own a Garage Hoarding Dust magnet that can only be driven about 3 months out of the year. You will own a car that will either be insured as stock(A $30,000 loss to you if its ever stolen) or you will have insurance payments approaching the payments on a new Ferrari or at least a really nice porsche.

This Awesome import will make you the envy of every 12-25 year old delinquent in a 50 mile radius if your home.  16 year old Import fans are the absolute bottom feeders of the Automotive scene. They show their appreciation of a car that is nicer than theirs by Keying your paint, Slashing your tires, breaking windows and stealing stereos or gauges, snapping off antennas, dumping coke on hoods roofs and hatches knocking mirrors off, Stealing badges etc. etc.

Now a Honda 4 cylinder motor, to make 500 horsepower, must run an incredible amount of boost, with all forged, reinforced internals placed inside of an extensively modified engine block, it will only run for a few minutes at a time before warping, and can only make 500 horsepower while running on race gas. (115-118 octane) This Honda motor by itself outside of the car, will cost nearly 20 thousand dollars.  This motor will have average lifespan of 6 months to one year, and will race horribly compared to other engines with the same power due to the properties of that engine.  Honda’s running this motor will not last either, as the civic’s unibody design cannot take the intense power of the motor, it will destroy the car quite literally… sooner than later the rear and front wheels will begin to point in different directions as the car twists and warps, this car will not break 10 second quarter mile ET’s.

 If somone wanted to they could get a SOLID 650hp out of a 96 camaro with about $5,000 in mods, installed at a shop... this car could be driven year round. would get mileage in the 13-15mpg range and run on pump gasoline.  With this car you will run the same or better times than the Toyota or any of the FWD or 4 cylinder pack, due to often misunderstood circumstances – whatever the case, it is a fact that supra’s run poorly at the track in relation to their phenomenal horsepower on paper, however this is not the case with camaros particularly. So with an investment of $8,000 a Domestic fan could buy and put a car well into the 10s possibly 9s. and have plenty of money left over for Beer and pork Rinds...  Again, not theoreticaly, almost everybody in this world knows at least 2 or 3 people with 500+ horsepower smallblock fords or chevy’s.

 How about them Import Compacts? -

 How about em? A Mustang GT runs out the door next year  with 290 horsepower and a Honda Civic runs out with a raging 125... (EX only, most civics and all hatchbacks have a less powerful D15 - 105 horsepower motor)

The mustang will run 13.4-13.8 second quarter miles from the factory, whilst the other can look forward to anywhere from 17.5-18.5 second quarter ET’s, making it actually one of the slowest production cars currently made.

While one may weigh less than the other, it is by no means enough to make up for that gross difference in power.  The sad truth is... even with most compact cars low weight, their Domestic adversaries still have better POWER/WEIGHT ratios.  The purpose of what I just said was not to claim that these vehicles are equal in price or class - but what it does say is that some cars are simply built to do certain things.  The honda will certainly get better fuel economy, if that’s your bag.  And the mustang will start out as, and always be, the faster car, equal amounts of money and time spent on both.

 It's easy to be fooled or mislead in the world of racing automobiles, and compacts have the advantage of  "picking fights" and street racing everything in sight...  The internet is strewn up and down with videos of cars beating other cars…. Of course a 50,000 dollar super modified racing Honda will beat grandpa’s corvette… A great one is a super-stock Toyota MR2 turbo racing an old man taking his granddaughter out of a drive in his new Porsche boxster… In others, they beat some older 1980's mustangs claiming it to be a 5.0, when in fact it is much more likely a 4 cylinder... how many of the older, more mature corvette drivers were actually racing is questionable however...  Anybody who actually knows all angles of the situation and really knows what’s going on with cars from the transmission shift accumulators to the valve train - will understand the truth behind most stories.  The simple reason we do not see as large an amount of v8 pony cars street racing and beating Japanese imports, is that there is nothing special about it – it is the norm, and incredibly common, why not make a video of your drive to work.  A 4 cylinder beating a Camaro is an achievement, and is documented by snot nosed teenagers who are out to try to prove a point.


 Does making your 96 camaro faster than a civic make it better?  NO!

 Speed is not what makes a car... there are MANY other factors.  I would no more suggest buying a mustang than a corolla without knowing what this person was looking for in a car.  I do not like speed.  I like having no roof, and for that matter no doors.  If you want a solid dependable car - get a Corolla.  If you want a NEW quick zippy car at a good price - Mustangs are becoming incredible buys... The 03 Mustang cobra is slated to have 390 horsepower and run low 12’s with little more than slick’s – for something in the order of 32,000 – 35,000 dollars.

 Nice cars are much, well…. nicer... regardless of speed... I would much rather sit in some leather seats that power adjust 13 different ways, with automatic a/c, power windows, and a damn onboard computer to tell me the news, in addition this car should be very heavy with a soft cloud-ride suspension to absorb the road and make me feel like I’m sitting in a hammock

 Ever seen a Rap video with a gangsta pullin up in his Honda? no? how about his Corolla? still no?  what about that bad ass mutha-what with a gold grill who popped 3 cops and got away in his custom Ford Escort with racing stripes and a big wing? 

exactly...... there is nothing pimp/powerful/romantic/special about these compact cars... Dr. Dre and all of them are always seen driving Mercedes, or "64's" old Domestic V8 powered behemoths.  When was the last time president Bush asked to be escorted in a “hooked up” focus instead of his Lincoln or Cadillac.   Colin Powell for a fact likes vintage Volvos.

That’s from a social Standpoint, don’t make me bring safety or reliability into this picture!  All I'll say is when the shit hits the fan I want to be in a 4,000 pound Crown Victoria not a Honda CRX. (rag doll)

 And I SURELY hope you kids don’t expect that custom riced civics will be collectors items in 40 years as Mustangs and Corvettes are...  The way we know this, is that there are no 1973 Honda Civics restored to glorious stock form, or pimped out - ready to roll on their 20 inch wheels... not that such vehicles would be worth anything at all even in such form.  However people are clamoring to get old muscle cars, GTO’s, Hemicuda’s, GSX’s, Demon’s, and Roadrunners to restore and rebuild them, in a variety of tasteful ways.  There is also a massive sect of people who drive, and restore old 1960’s Lincolns and Caprices, and a small and weird, but loyal group of those who enjoy “Power-Wagons”  I also see a good deal of Early 80's mustangs in good shape, or restored already. Same goes for all the F and A-Bodies.  That legacy is continuing.

 It is also worth pointing out these cars are worth an incredible amount more when restored to, or kept in original factory trim.  To have the original engine with its OEM parts is far preferable to an aftermarket or performance version.  These cars are most appreciated when restored or maintained in their beautiful original forms – which is to say they are truly great cars.

 Older (1920) fords and Chryslers get full custom rebuilds, with extensively modified or redesigned custom quarter panels and fenders, re-designed interior with a new everything.  Hundreds of Thousands of dollars in work, not to mention sweat and tears. 

To hear a car with clear tail lights and seat covers called custom almost hurts... nothing is custom - these parts (Spoiler/taillights/headlights/steering wheel/pedals) were bought at a store, nothing is actually custom, nothing is custom built to the owners specifications… they are just bolt on parts, bought as seen, no more custom than the original bolt on tail lights from the factory.

 But why modify it?  I hear those who say that the Honda Civic is a great car because there is so many aftermarket parts on the market for it.  That indicates to me that it is an awful car, and that you don’t like it… If it is good, why must you change it?  I like my car the way it came from the factory, that is to say I like the car.  To say you like a car but would change this, that, and that, until the car looks nothing like it did originally, is to say that you really don’t like the car!  Find a car you do like!

 One argument I hear for why Import Compacts are superior, and last longer, is that they are all nice and new, and the old "rustangs" and camaros, along with a WIDE selection of older american cars - are old, rusty, and in poor condition... WELL my friends, the reason you don’t see Imports in old, rusty, poor condition is that they have not survived... the Civic (introduced in 1973) outsold the mustang all thru the 70's and 80's but the oldest civic I remember ever seeing is an 85... and even that was a one time occurrence.  Old american V8 monsters may be old and rusty... but they are STILL HERE, and that alone is a testament to their longevity.  In the REAL long run, 1914 Fords are still around, my neighbor has one.  Mr. Honda was not yet born at that time... So it is IMPOSSIBLE to say Honda's last longer... they haven’t been around long enough to prove it - simple concept, isn’t it?

 Another even more ridiculous excuse import owners use, is to say they are slower than you – but that their car is a 4 door, or that their car only has 4 cylinders, or that they are quick for an economy car… this is absolutely absurd.  They were not issued an economy car by the government… they were not forced to get a car with 4 doors – they chose to – and could just as easily have chosen to buy a Camaro SS.  Even if they were issued these cars by the government in some strange parallel universe which would have to be narrated by Orson Wells, I am ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that their parents (or the gov.) did not force them to then waste every pay check modifying and tuning this car they didn’t want, if they cannot admit responsibility for anything else, than for this they must.  The fact is, that there is no “fast for a 4 cylinder”  or “fast for a Japanese car”  - they are slow, bottom line.  What crap is being told “you have a bigger motor than me”  well why don’t you?  No excuse, sorry… you picked the slower car, now play the slower role.

 There is nothing wrong with a 4 cylinder corolla having 4 doors – having such a car is fine with me, its good on gas, room enough for a cooler, and left unmodified it will run almost forever…  The problem comes when someone with such a car tries to make it fast, and tries to make it compete with cars outside of its class, and uses that excuse when he inevitably fails.  It is not fast for an economy car… it is simply not fast.

Any problems with what has been expressed here can be taken up HERE


Created: 06.01.2002 - Aurora Productions