Monthly Archives: January 2016

The true cost of mods / the last car I will ever buy…


You’re likely to spend at least 1/2 as much on parts as your used car, or double if you are looking to modify it. This being in wheels, exhaust, suspension (coilovers, springs etc). If you start modifying the engine or turbocharging etc this will be even more. Modifications are not cheap and they will NOT increase the value of the vehicle when you sell. You have a higher chance of making your money back by selling the performance or modified parts separately and converting the car back to stock.

I have learnt this, noteably, the hard way. With my turbo Mazda I have been building the car for 2 years. Yes, you could do it much quicker by spending more and getting someone to start from scratch. It now has a custom exhaust system on it that has cost well over double what I initially paid for the car or the turbo kit on its own. Am I mad? Yes, probably, but this is something that I can build in my spare time now. It does need some welding to finish off, and then tuning from ground up again. I still need to purchase an oil catch can and some other bits but all along I know that I’m doing this properly. Modifiying a car is not cheap if you want to do it properly. I aim not to cut too many corners on this and I want to complete it. The majority of cars I do want are well outside my budget anyway. And let’s face it, smaller turbocharged engines are the way forward until electric vehicles become affordable.

This leads me on to say that my Mercedes 190 is the last car I will buy. If it lasts me as long as I need to take to finish my MX5 then that will be good, but I have good memories already in it, have already spent a lot more than I bought it for to get it through its last MOT, and don’t particularly wish to purchase another car. Modern cars bore me. I own two cars both 25 years old. Personally, I think their design is timeless. Not one new car particularly interests me. And the ones which do, Porsche 911 Turbo (circa 1970…) or ’66 Mustang Fastback are too expensive for me to even consider right now.

I’ve done V8s, convertibles, four bangers. I haven’t done motorbikes yet but for now I prefer life on 4 wheels.

I’ll hope to maintain this resolution for 2016 at least!