The ‘90s/early 2000s was the last time messing with cars was a commonthing among teens and 20s. These were the “ricers” and “tuners” – kids who worked on mostly Japanese stuff, especially Honda Civics and their higher-brow Acura cousins, which came with the hotter engines . . . from the factory.
Italicized for reasons that will become clearer below.
The signature Ricer mod was a loud exhaust with a disproportionately huge muffler. Some put whistles in the pipe to mimic the sound of a turbo spooling up. This was Gen Y’s version of Gen X’s flipping the air cleaner lid over so that you could hear the four barrel moan when the secondaries opened.
But you don’t hear the buzzsaw sound of a tweaked out Civic or Integra much anymore.
The ricers have . . . retired. And no one has taken their place.
Amazon.com Gift Card i…
Buy New $50.00
(as of 09:30 EST – Details)
Yes, there are still some kids who mess with cars. But it’s not common anymore. Most gatherings of the car cognoscenti are populated by those long out of high school – and often well into middle age.
Several reasons come to mind.
The main one is – probably – lack of suitable raw material. Gen Y (which was in high school and college, the prime car-centric years, during the ’90s) was the last generation that had abundant, easy access to viable used cars.
Cars they could afford to buy on a teenager’s budget – and cars they could wrench on, without master mechanic skills and tools.
These have largely disappeared, because new cars have become orders of magnitude more complex since the early 2000s, with systems beyond the ken (and finances) of most current high school/college-aged kids. Drive-by-wire, direct injection . . . more app…