Text And Photos By Luke Munnell

Think back to when you first got into this scene, planning the build-up of your first project car. Like a lot of us, chances are you dreamed of making it a monster—able to pick off big-block domestics in a straight line, out-corner high-dollar exotics, or maybe even pull hard enough on a few crotch rockets to leave their riders afraid to give chase. Hell, the technology is out there, and if all the inked features of today's most wildly-modified feature cars have taught us anything, it's that owning a time-attack-winning EVO, nine-second Civic or 1,500whp Supra is only a few months and several thousand dollars away . . . right?

Good luck. What you won't often hear about are that EVO's $4K dampers that need to be re-valved after every thousand miles, the oversized tolerances in that turbo'd Civic's engine that necessitate a rebuild after every couple races, or the driveline parts on that JZA80 that withstand four-figure power on the dyno, but maybe half that on pavement. They say the grass is always greener on the other side, and if you're fortunate enough to know anyone who has sought after such high-profile builds, rarely would they describe their ordeal as a "walk in the park".

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