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Caution Tape

Friendly Advice

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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It was many years ago at this point that someone I knew was in the process of modifying his car to be his ideal performance car, and I told him to put the brakes on it.

No, I don't mean modify the brakes on his car. I mean I told him to stop what he was doing and go no further.

This person is a very intelligent sort, but I could see him falling into the same traps I did. He was attempting to re-engineer his car based on random stuff other people had done in the hopes of having something better — his beloved car, but improved to match his preferences and imagination.

The problem was that this wasn't a fully fleshed out plan, one with a well designed, engineered, and tested concept used to achieve specific, attainable criteria.

No, this was a dream based on hope.

Hope actually is a wonderful and critical component of life, but hope by itself achieves nothing but a nice feeling inside for a while.

The reality is, unless you have a well designed, carefully engineered, and thoroughly tested concept, cobbling together a random set of parts you hope will work together to produce your dream car is worse than rolling at a craps table.

It's more like Russian Roulette.

Except that this version of Russian Roulette has all six chambers full of bullets and you are betting it all that one is a dud.

Your chances of success are really, really slim.

My friendly advice to him all those many years ago still holds true today: if you want a faster car, go buy one. One that is factory designed, engineered, and tested. It will drive well, it will perform well, and guess what, no matter what you believe, it will take less time, you will waste less of your life doing it, and it will be cheaper, with a considerably better return on your total investment.

He listened.

He got exactly what he wanted.

It was cheaper.

He was happier.


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