Hello, my name is Brian Nutter and I have an addiction. I'd like to openly discuss the advanced stages of the disease and hopefully save you from the pain I suffer. After you've added all the power within your budget, you may be tempted to start subtracting weight. It's a nefarious disease..the lure of cheap speed. It affects enthusiasts of every type; autocrossers, drag racers, road racers, drifters, and rally drivers. There are two distinct progressions dependent on age demographic.
Early Progression: It primarily affects kids in their teens and early twenties....although sometimes witnessed in older people who made bad life choices.
Stage 1. You run around with no more than a 1/4 tank of gas at all times.
Stage 2. You clean out the cigarette tray, seat crevices, glove box, etc.
Stage 3. Out go the spare tire, jack, floor mats...replaced by a can of tire inflator and a AAA membership.
Stage 4. You eject the AC compressor that seized up 4 years ago and the rear seat for good measure.
Stage 5. Out goes the front carpet, headliner, passenger seat, door panels, stereo, misc brackets, and you begin drilling holes in everything.
Stage 6. Sawzall the whole damn dash and hvac unit...just leaving a few gauges stuck in place with Duct Tape. You go through Harbor freight hole saws and cutoff wheels like nobodies business.
Congrats young man! Your girlfriend may not ride with you any more, but you've earned your Mancard! You've dropped 200lbs out of your car which is good for 3 tenths in the quarter, .85 seconds on the autocross, and 1.3 seconds on the road course. You'll be forever haunted by leftover wires that could be snipped without bricking your ECU and ABS.
Later (chronic) progression: It usually affects those of us in our 30's and beyond. Although some manage to hold down a soulless job, the habit is often fueled by credit card abuse. Like a crackhead, you'll find yourself Ebaying off of irreplaceable interior parts and old speed parts purchased during the earlier stages of the disease. Money is often laundered into paypal accounts hidden from the family.
Stage 1. Lightweight Wheels
Stage 2. Lightweight (but obnoxious) exhaust system with fake catalytic converter heat shields
Stage 3. Lightweight control arms, 2 piece rotors, and radiator
Stage 4. Lightweight clutch, flywheel, and carbon driveshaft that leaves you stalling at every light and drive-through.
Stage 5. Lightweight seats and carbon hood
Stage 6. Carbon fenders, door panels, trunk lid, and front facia
Stage 7. Carbon Racepak dash, carbon roof, and Wilwood steering column.
Stage 8. Horn, lights, and one windshield wiper.
Congrats Racer Joe! The last hope for selling your car is with a Grassroots Motorsports magazine classified ad. It only took $30k to remove 199lbs from your $15k car. Although divorced and your kids won't be going to college; it's not SO bad because you feel TOTALLY ALIVE during those two brief track-days a year. Despite it being 93 db and 120F in the car, you're elated because you're 1.5 seconds faster than the looser that stayed straight. Sure, your car is now trailered and still gets passed by an occasional ratty-ass Miata on used up Hoosiers, but dammit...you live by a CODE!
If your car begins to look like this, seek help immediately: