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Illegal Performance Modifications
Posted December 29 2006 03:54 PM by DPImpreza 
Filed under: Editorials


Well it finally happened.  After all this driving around a mildly modified Subaru WRX for over a year and a half, I finally got pulled over for driving not-stock.  Sure I've gotten a speeding ticket here or there, but up until last night, I have yet to have been pulled over for driving a modded car alone.  My titanium exhaust didn't really help me to fly under the radar either.

Call it a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (and running a loud turbo back exhaust).  After leaving work, I decided to check up on a certain sold out video game system at the Best Buy right next to the office.  Apparently, this particular Best Buy is the site for a parking lot car club meet, and I had no clue that this was going on.  The instant I left the parking lot, I saw the red and blue in my rear view.  

At first, I had no clue why I was getting pulled over, I stopped at the red light, couldn't have been speeding, windows were down to hide the tint, and a front license plate on from the last encounter with the 5-0.  After getting all of my information, the cop asked, "What do you know about Best Buy?"  I was trying with everything I had not to be a smart *** since I had no clue what he was talking about.  Something like, "They sell great electronics at reasonable prices sir, and I think they might actually be hiring!" But then I realized who I was talking to and just how illegal my car was, so my response was "What are you talking about, officer?" since I really had no clue what was going on.  Then he proceeds to grill me about my whereabouts as if I'm wanted for murder (apparently there is no difference in the eyes of the law whether you kill someone or drive a modded car).  "I just saw you leave Best Buy!  Step out of your car and open your hood, now."  Just fantastic...

Before popping the hood, the cop points at the large STi hood scoop and asks, "Did you put on that blower?" thinking I drive some shaker-hood muscle car with a supercharger underneath.  "No sir, its stock, this is how these cars come."  The only thing under the hood that is noticeably modded is the intake piping and blow-off-valve.  From the previous statement, its clear the cop has no clue what he's talking about when it comes to cars, but he told me that the owner of Best Buy wants to get rid of these car meets, so they just sit there and pull everyone over.  He also told me that they only receive training to identify 'illegal parts' under the hood.  "You know, NOS, illegal manifolds, emission restrictor removals, blowers and timing changes, things of this nature."

Long story short, the cop sends me to the referee for having an "illegal intake system" throwing out words like "manifold" and "NOS."  It was blatantly obvious he had no clue what anything was under the hood (even though its stock).  They are trained to find any thing that's shiny or polished, and then send you off to the good old referee that can actually tell their *** from their elbow.


The one thing that makes me absolutely furious is the fact that 'ricers' and idiot drivers make the world that much harder for the rest of us.  I'm talking about the people who rev their engine at everyone at stop lights, who claim they 'street race', throw 'NOS' on their cars and think decals add horsepower.  It's because of you that anyone with the tiniest modifications gets drilled by the cops, already a suspect of street racing.  Now the cops are just looking for fast and furious individuals who live their life a quarter mile at a time...

One last little interesting poster to this story - as I'm sitting there waiting for my ticket, a highly modified EVO is sitting at the light right next to me, fully caged (illegal), 5 point harnesses (illegal), exhaust louder than mine while idling, and covered in sponsor decals like a mobile billboard for the performance aftermarket.  While I'm checking it out, a pair of Hondas with deafening fart can exhausts go blazing past us trying to keep up with a modded STi following a Lotus Elise.  Meanwhile, a stock exterior, basically stock powered WRX gets pulled over and sent to the Ref.  Go Figure.

Johnny Hokayem
Johnny Hokayem

why would you modify your car if you're not a street racer you idiot


Because some of us like to enjoy our cars. This does not make us street racers or idiots

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