Tags:
  1. Killer300

    Killer300 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    59

    Teens and Car Modification

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Killer300, Sep 11, 2019.

    Specifically, would it be plausible to have someone whose say, 17, to already know how to do performance modifications and the like on a car? I'm specifically thinking of someone who could work, but can't for age reasons, in a car tuning shop, like Mugen, or Hennessey except way, way lower scale.

    I'm sorry if this sounds like a ridiculous question, either way, but I don't know much about car culture, much less about car tuning shops like this. I didn't even know about either Mugen or Hennessey until like, a few months ago at the earliest. I was vaguely aware performance shops were something that existed, but didn't realize how large scale they could get. I'm assuming there are much smaller scale versions of that, and so...

    Well, in relationship to a book I'm in the early stages of writing, is it plausible for someone relatively young to already have enough knowledge to do some performance tuning themselves? I'm writing this because, for story reasons, I'm looking to write a character whose relatively young, but can also do lots of vehicle modification for plot purposes. More on what the culture and commonality of these performance/tuning/what have you shops would also be appreciated.

    Sorry if any of this is stupid/ridiculous/what have you.
     
  2. thirdwind

    thirdwind Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,621
    Likes Received:
    3,095
    Location:
    Boston
    I knew a couple of kids in my neighborhood who worked on their cars in their garages. They did this for fun and didn't make any money from it. They learned how to work on cars from family members and tinkering around on their own. They probably knew more about fixing/tuning cars than anyone else in the neighborhood.

    In today's times, it's possible to search for how-to videos and articles and use those as guides. You can get used parts for performance upgrades on places like Craigslist, so while it's not free, it's something a teen could afford depending on the part.
     
  3. Killer300

    Killer300 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    59
    Thank you!

    And that's enough, what's important is that such a person could have the skillset for it.
     
  4. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2016
    Messages:
    970
    Likes Received:
    1,097
    Have the kid belong to a car club of some sort. That way, he can learn by working on other members' cars, or just learn from looking over their shoulders as the work is done. No age limit there.
     
  5. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2019
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, North America
    Work experience internships at high school? I did 6 weeks at a garage when I was about 15. That was almost 30 years ago though.

    I was tightening lug nuts on car tires, moving tires from the rack to the car or from the car to the rack, draining oil from the reservoir (?) and pouring oil back into it.

    It wasn't much in terms of developing the skills to customize cars but it might have led there eventually if I had the innate talent for it and if the internship had been more than 6 weeks.
     
  6. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    20
    A question, because I'm interested. What resources does it take, to repair things and make modifications? A set of tools in a box? Or a full mechanics workshop?
     
  7. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Messages:
    1,575
    Likes Received:
    1,386
    About half the boys in high school in the 1950s and 1960s "souped up" various hot rods, some quite sophisticated. Many raced them, legally or illegally. Listen to the Beach Boys. So much real skill has been lost in this "information age"
     
  8. Merley

    Merley Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    10
    My older brother and his best friends are part of the "diesel gang" they spend so much time in the garage and their trucks are tuned, deleted, have the muffler cut off, straight piped, they work on those trucks more then they spend more time with them than in school
     
  9. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    1,192
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    The second I read the original post, "409" popped into my head. Also Grease. Cars, however, have become way more complicated, precise, and expensive.

    You could also watch some "Home Improvement" for inspiration. Brad Taylor built a hot rod with his dad, he'd be probably one of the most skilled teenagers I could think of when it comes to more power.
     
  10. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    4,826
    Likes Received:
    8,548
    The teens in question are also probably going to stand out from their peers, too...In 2019 the US cultural trend is toward teens not caring about cars at all, to the point of preferring to Uber around and saving for things other than car ownership. So much so that it's affected the way cars are marketed in the US. It's a trend that obviously affects larger cities most, though. It's definitely the case here in L.A.. My neighbor was saying he had to practically force his son to get his driver's license, and his friends are the same way.

    So for the purposes of your story, making the car geeks the outcasts might work really well.
     
    matwoolf likes this.
  11. Accelerator231

    Accelerator231 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    20
    *glances*

    Well, I'm Singaporean. And I tried to get a driver's license... But anyway, you know something? That lone garage right next to the house, that father and son works at to do things? The one where in the 90's tv shows where our gearhead or wrench wench goes out to fix things and get up to their elbows in grease?

    I've literally never seen it. All the car fixing garages I've been to were large, multi-person facilities, with power jacks and pretty much the size of warehouse.

    Its 2019. Most mom and pop stores are closed or out of business. Economics of scale is a thing. Where did the protagonists get to learn and polish their skills?
     
  12. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2017
    Messages:
    5,181
    Likes Received:
    8,957
    Location:
    The great white north.
    Up where I am, car culture is still a pretty big thing, pretty much any motorsports really. So lots of kids know their way around a vehicle and more than a few have one they bought a year or so before they got their license just so they'll have it ready by the time they're able to drive. But my area's a little more rural and spread out and people without vehicles tend to have a hard time actually functioning. It's also a little more... what's the term... redneck up here. The Fast and the Furious franchise was almost a major cultural influence for the area and I know at least one person that owns a General Lee lookalike. So, yeah.
     

Share This Page