After some vigorous discussion in the YouTube comments section yesterday from various experts, I thought i’d respond to some of the common questions.
Why did you replace the speakers and the amp?
The gear in the car was blown and not functioning. If it was working, we’d solder it up and save ourselves some money and some time. Before we had pulled the door trims off Marty had offered to go and get some parts. We are trying to do this make over on a pretty tight budget and that has dictated a lot of our decisions so far.
Why didn’t you leave the car stock?
Well there wouldn’t be anything to watch and our show is about modifying cars. A video of us standing around not doing anything for 20 minutes would be boring to make, and boring to watch. And after driving it for a year there were things I wanted to change.
Why did you buy a Honda?
I wanted to:
a) Buy a car that I would never usually buy (I’ve never particularly liked Hondas)
b) Drive it around and experience what it’s like to try something out of my comfort zone
c) Have a chat with Honda owners and find out what they like about their cars
d) Use it as a platform to try mods I wouldn’t usually try on anything else
e) Get a wider understanding of car culture in its entirety, not just the internets version of what it believes to be cool
My goals were set up so that in the future when someone says “Hondas are crap” I can say “Yes I agree. I owned one for a while and the reason I didn’t like it was…” or I could say “Actually I owned one for a while and these are the things I liked about it”. There’s a huge crowd of people that literally have no idea what they’re talking about with cars and particularly when referring to Hondas - I don’t want to be one of them.
Why don’t you turbo charge it?
Marty and I don’t want to make the same videos over and over again. So when people say “turbo charge it”, while this may be a fun car to drive in the real world, we’ve just done a complete turbo conversion on the MX5. It was expensive and took a lot of time and neither of us feels excited about doing it again right away. If we wanted to get some internet cred, we’d throw on some expensive kit, expensive wheels, an expensive engine conversion, expensive interior then do an expensive turbo conversion. $25,000 later we’d probably get a few favourable comments, and then more comments from people saying we should have left it stock. So we know we can’t please everyone, which is why when you’re modifying your car, you have to be clear on what it is you want to achieve and then just do it. Some people will like it and other people won’t. But once they’ve left their messages about your car and jump back on the school bus, you’re the one who has to keep and own the car everyday and you need to make it something that you’re either proud of, or learned something new and expanded your skills. (Neither of these are possible on the school bus)
Why didn't Marty help you?
Unfortunately there's no exciting conspiracy. He got called into work that day and couldn't get out of it. We've got day jobs just like you guys and sometimes it means our plans clash. He's back in the next video!
What mods are you doing?
Originally there was a list of things I wanted to do with the car, but some of them were not possible so we’ve had to put them on the back burner for a different project in the future. Marty and I sat down and said “What can we do to this car, for our own experience and learning, that we haven’t done before and we may not do again?”
We set a very modest budget and decided to do a make over. This meant going through a process that exposes us to things that we haven’t done before, such as fitting an aftermarket fibreglass bumper, and the mods that you’ll see in the following episodes. It’s not a grand plan to make the ultimate text book internet conquering Honda. It’s us experiencing techniques and challenges that we have not been exposed to in past projects. MCM has always been about doing mods on a budget and while we’re happy for others to go and buy as many brand name parts that their wallet can handle, that’s not where our interest is. I just want to experience first hand why there is so much fuss about Hondas…
Do you really like the Honda or has this whole series been a parody to pay out Marty and his MX5?
Time will tell
Where can I get the CHOPPED fingers from the video and the OBJECTS IN MIRROR JUST GOT CHOPPED stickers?
Both of them are available here MCM STICKERS
Where can I get the music from the episodes?
A lot of the music can be download from the MCM site here MCM MUSIC DOWNLOADS
Why did you buy a fibreglass front bar instead of a genuine Honda one?
The bar I actually wanted was $3000. We’d bolt it on and be done with it in minutes - Easy! But it would chew up our budget and considering you can buy a whole car for $3000 I just couldn’t justify the cost. Instead we chose the cheaper option which made the whole process a lot harder. The bar wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it will be interesting to see what people think once the whole thing is finished.
You guys obviously don’t know anything about audio
Most people that have been watching Mighty Mods for a while know that Marty and I met in a recording studio many years ago. We’d been working together for a while until one day down in the car park he saw my 180SX and I saw hit Twin Turbo Legacy and we both looked at each other and said “WHAT??! You’re into cars?”
Marty studied acoustics at university - everything from speaker design through to the maths of physical spaces and I’ve got an honours degree in audio technology. In the ‘real world’ we actually earn our livings from audio and music - working in studios and writing music and Marty has designed and built a number of professional studios that are used on a daily basis. While I was studying I was a live sound engineer and Marty was setting up and building speaker patch bay systems at car audio retail stores so people could try out different speakers on the wall. I’m also a writer for Audio Technology Magazine and Marty and I co-wrote the home recording and audio technology section of Australian Guitar magazine for around 5 years. We’ve made our own instruments, built our own speaker enclosures and designed our own audio gear. We’ve built theramins, Atari Punk Consoles and produced the audio on hundreds of commercials. A couple of years ago we even graced the cover of Australian Creative Magazine with one of our home made audio creations which was a home made synthesiser. So yes we know a bit about audio - its what we do for a living. Cars are just a weekend hobby.
And then there’s Myles, our local professional whose job it is to install audio on cars. He’s done super cars and he’s done the cars at your local dealership. So it was quite incredible when it was suggested that between the three of us, we would pull out a fully functioning and quality working stereo system, and replace it with something that was not as good. It’s equally incredible that even after explaining that the speakers and amp had to go people were suggesting that we should leave broken equipment in the car instead of replacing it with the working equipment that we had. It boggles the brain really.
Do you like your Honda more than your Nissans?
Hell no. Nissan all the way. It’s why I’ve been wearing Nissan Tshirts while I’ve been working on it. I didn’t lay in bed at night and dream about Hondas. I never wanted one. Never liked them and never understood them... which is why I bought one. My only experience with them in the past was destroying them in my 180SX and finding them inanely boring, slow and overpriced. I could never understand why anyone would own one… until I actually got behind the wheel and drove it. They feel superb, planted, balanced, agile, quality and all those other things that you hear car reviewers blabbing on about. And yes VTEC is not nearly as exciting as forced induction but it just sounds and feels so good in a way thats hard to describe until you try it. Marty and Mechanical Stig have both driven it and both agree.
But of course if I had to keep just one car forever between a Honda or a Nissan I’d take an S13-S15 or Skyline over it in a heart beat. Not even close! Wouldn’t even have to think about it. Nissans were my first love. My first proper fast car. My first car that I imported from Japan. My first time in any turbo charged car was me driving my own 180SX off the docks in Sydney to take it to get complied.
And I’ve driven Skylines in Japan. Driven and owned various Silvias and the GTiR. In fact 5 cars with SR20s in them. I’ve blasted through the Australian outback in an R35 GTR, but I’d never driven an S2000. It’s giving me an experience I haven’t had before. It’s probably not the popular choice because people generally are creatures of habit who are incredibly concerned with what people will think when they try something different, but if you don’t push through that then your world gets smaller and smaller. We usually go through our lives avoiding things we don't like. And that works for us usually. But in this case, I decided to do the opposite. So yes a Nissan guy is driving a Honda S2000 to get some insight into why people love them. I also haven’t spent much time behind the wheel of a V8 or a Rotary… <wink>
The S2000 is more than a one night stand, probably closer to a summer fling. But I’m not putting a ring on it… yet.
If you've got this far, then you probably should read this: http://www.mightycarmods.com/blogs/news/11796969-moog-on-car-culture