Custom car culture is based on a rather arrogant premise. The basic idea behind modification is that you can make the car better than manufacturer produced. But as the graveyard of modified cars with shot engine blocks, blown head gaskets and spun bearings attests, developing a better car is significantly more difficult than many enthusiasts expect.
That’s what makes this car so interesting. A(nother) sixth generation civic, the modifications on Vinicius’ car comes with the blessings of The Honda Civic expert in the city of Curitiba. From the lowered suspension, to the upgraded exhaust system, every modification has been carefully thought out to not diminish Honda's vaunted reliability.
But since the goal is to improve the car without reliability problems, the Honda doesn't look as extravagant as other more daring builds. But that seems to reflect Vinicius' personality well. A great demonstration of Vinicius’ characteristics happened during a drive where we had a lengthy conversation about a helping vs “helping”.
According to Vinicius, many people “help” each other – meaning that their assistance isn’t entirely altruistic. But Vinicius himself prefers to assist in a much more quiet humble way. Rather than seeking reward or other sorts of positive reinforcement, he prefers to not draw any attention to himself. He would prefer that his actions speak for himself.
To underscore his point, this entire conversation took place while he was driving me to an event that he had coordinated my press pass for.
This almost mute, “action without publicity” mentality isn't just limited to helping people though. As the administrator of The Local Honda Club in Curitiba, Vinicius organized events, printed out windshield decals and herded club members at events.
But more important than the typical administrative tasks, he is also happy to contact his Civic Expert for problems that members have. As other DIY enthusiasts can attest, finding accurate information, especially with forums can be tough. So having a resource like this on hand is invaluable for members in the club.
While this may seem normal in the regular world, it is a sort of an anomaly in car culture. Remember how car culture is built upon an arrogant premise? Well turns out that this self-selecting group of people tend to display that arrogance in other areas.
And I don’t mean to paint all of car culture as some sort of Dom Toretto (Fast and Furious) hyper masculine group of egoistical maniacs. In reality, car culture is a bunch of guys (with a few girls) who want to hang out with other people who share their passion. But that’s not to say that the aggression and power imagery associated with cars has zero influence on how people interact with each other.
The slightly higher than average amounts of aggression in car culture are why Vinicius stands out so much. His more humble approach to car modification and open and friendly method of running the Honda Club group is a refreshing deviation from the norm. And fittingly, his car reflects that mentality with its restrained modifications.
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