Are Tuner Shops still making it these days?

Just wondering if Tuner Shops, those that are distributors of car parts and some tuning, still making it these days? Around you.

Reason I ask is cause a new “tuner shop” just opened up around my area that sell the “good JDM stuff” (like Drag, PWJDM, ROTA, BLOX, SKunk2, you know Chinese parts?..) however they don’t do any kind of tuning at all. With the Internet I bet prices are the same if not better than what these guys will be offerring. I suppose the whole shipping costs come into play as they are a dealer.

I give them a <5 years in this market before they close their doors since my area doesn’t have a good import following as the good ol’ days did when Fast and the Furious was the rage.

What do you guys think?

Racing Trenz in Denver still seems to be going strong. They actually work on cars there though. They’ve been around since before Fast and Furious though.

Racing Trenz is a horrible shop. I don’t even know how they’re still going. Around here ImportSports (I’m not a big fan), PFI, and Revolutions Tuning are the big tuning shops that have been going for years.

But most their business would be from tuning services and not from sales?

I imagine some of their income is through online sales. The shops that ARE doing well probably have some kind of online sales department. As well as, like mentioned, actual mechanical work and tuning services.

CNC Engine Dynamics in Winchester, VA is doing awesome, but they don’t have much of a “parts sales” department. They are more of a pure tuning facility, that also does some of the absolute finest machine work that is available.

the whole auto/import scene is on a downward trend. It’s not very popular due to just how expensive it is and how gas prices are nowadays.

On my TL/acurazine forum you gotta have a pretty good job on the side if you want to do nice mods (not counting the kids doing random stuff). It’s very niche now.

True. It definitely seems like the quality of cars are improving dramatically, and also getting seriously worse at the same time. Seems like nowadays, the NICE cars are getting REALLY nice, and the shitty cars are just getting worse because they are buying cheaper crap.

I will agree that it seems like things are just slowing down, as a whole. There aren’t anywhere near as many rice rockets around, and I think that’s a good thing. The few modified cars I’m seeing, lately, are usually pretty nice. Most people are starting to realize that buying cheap parts gets shit results, so it is deterring the average Joe from actually buying crap. He either saves up for the nice, hard to get stuff, or just doesn’t buy at all.

There is another place that is semi local to me, who’s main business was car audio for a while. But, when the Honda scene started getting really popular, they decided to start selling “performance” parts. Most of it was just wholesale stuff from various places. Most of which was ricer equipment. Tenzo R, OBX, BOMZ, etc. Marked it up like hell. They did offer a few decent parts. Some AEM parts, and at one point, were even selling genuine Volk wheels. Now that less people are buying that cheap crap, their business has declined dramatically. At least their parts selection, anyway.

I’ve sent tow trucks to a few people to go there over the last year or so (at their request) and they all have personally known Yi or another employee there. Seems like the people who like them, also know them, which makes sense of course. Even back in the day I seem to remember that other shops would acknowledge that Yi had a lot of knowledge about what he was doing, but was reluctant to share info with people he wasn’t close with.

I’m wondering if the new influx of technology into the cars these days are causing people not to modify them as much. Everything is electronic, which would make modifying very expensive. Either that, or any modification would probably throw so many error codes in the OBD system that it make the car cry ‘foul’.

I’m 30. I need to get to work and I’m too old to play “will my ‘tuner’ car get me to work today?”. I pay $290 (lease+insurance) for a 2012 civic LX that I know will get me to and from work or if it doesn’t Honda is covering that bitch for another 29k miles.

Many of the cars I’d like to own are either 1) extinct or 2) do not exist in the condition I’d like to own them in. I remember seeing 92-95 civic hatchbacks 90-93 integras and 88-91 crxs all day long. Now the ones I do see are very beat to shit from rusting or poorly executed mods.

Last night I was coming home from the Eight On the Break (one the longest running video arcades in the country) around midnight. I was going the speed limit (50mph) on route 22 when a set of purple ebay hids get so far up my ass I can taste the beverage in the driver’s cup holder. I change lanes and to let him pass and he too switches and gets right on my ass. At the next traffic light he pulls up next to me…

1988-1991 Civic hatchback. Door/fender/hood and bumper are all different colors. Various performance stickers and a sticker from a shop known on another message board (rhymes with z20 c-tec dot com). Kid driving looks like he’s about 12 and just learned how to drive period. He starts to rev on my stock 4 door automatic gray civic 4 door. Typical sound of a lawn mower on crack from an ebay knock off exhaust. Light turns and he’s off (exhaust sparking from slapping the ground due to weight transfer, ebay drop springs and excessive negative camber). About 3 exits up he’s pulled over with 2 cops behind him.

Cliffs: I and many in my age bracket have outgrown the “scene” and the cars that would make good mod platforms are gone. Its difficult for some shops to make money in this climate . Some shops have a reputation or are associated with forums full of idiot street racers and don’t deserve my money.

Haha love reading your stories.

No point in a tuner shop when you can get the same Taiwanese parts on ebay with free shipping…