I should probably start off by saying I’m not seriously considering buying this car.

I’ve made it well known that I intend to buy a BRZ before the year is out (but maybe a FiST? Nah, definitely a BRZ. Probably). That day has not yet come, as I intend to completely pay off all my other outstanding debts first and still have a bit left on one credit card, but in the meantime I like to occasionally window shop just to get a feel for what to expect and look for (and look out for) when the time comes.

One of the things I’ve been trying to get a handle on is mods. Not surprisingly, the BRZ has a sizable mod scene, and a fair percentage of ads I’ve looked at have shown at least some amount of modification (usually tint and/or an intake). Some mods aren’t a big deal, little things I can just remove or change back if I don’t like them, others are red flags as to the previous owner and how they likely treated and maintained the car. Which leads us to this particular BRZ, which just popped up for sale within my planned price ranged and a mile from my workplace.

The subwoofer definitely isn’t my kind of thing. If I were to buy this car it would be on craigslist the next day. Admittedly I don’t know much about aftermarket subwoofers and their installation. Does it just sit there? Do I need to worry about possible drilling/bolting/damage that may have been done putting it in there? Or things that may be loose/worn out thanks to constantly being rattled by the sub? The sub also leads us to...


The backseat. Wait, what’s that red wire coming through the back seat? Is that the battery cable?! Is he running the battery cable through the cabin and into the trunk via the split in the seat? I’m kinda amazed the dealer didn’t hide/remove that. I now also wonder where the sub’s other wiring goes, since there’s no other cables visible here. Let’s follow the red wire...


There it goes, leading us to...

Under the hood and boy is there a lot going on. PO seems to like red. Strut tower braces, intake hoses, battery tie-down. Well alrighty then. PO also apparently replaced the filter with a K&N and installed an Optima marine battery. And on said battery we can see our old friend the red trunk wire.


The rest of the car looks mostly stock to my somewhat untrained eye, aside from some WeatherTech floor mats and, um, replacing the handbrake button? Is that a thing?


Okay then. There’s also these exhaust tips...

All in all there’s a lot going on, but just about all the mods seem to be style oriented, not performance. No crazy brakes, no aftermarket tires, no apparent suspension mods, no apparent engine performance stuff. Does that mean performance wasn’t one of the PO’s priorities and it may not have been driven as hard as some other examples? What about maintenance, is there anything here that makes it look more likely/less likely the car was routinely and properly maintained? Where would this car land for you? Acquire and undo what’s been did, or hide in the bushes until it leaves and wait for the next one? What are some other mods to look out for when looking at BRZs (or cars in general)?