The Impracticality of it all


Derek Kreindler is well educated, well spoken, Toronto based car nut who is not scared to voice his opinions. He recently wrote a article titled Hella Suck for his personal blog Rich Corinthian Leather. Hella Suck touched on his feelings towards what is now known as the stance movement and was published on Speed: Sport Life where Motor Mavens found it and all hell broke loose.

If you have yet to read Hella Suck I suggest that you do, however might I also suggest that you take a deep breath before responding to it.

After reading Hella Suck it would be to say ‘you mad’ to Derek or call him a hater, and plenty have, but if you take a second to look past the harsh words he might have for your particular vehicle or styling prefrence you might just notice that he does raise some valid points.

One of his main points in regards to practicality is fairly valid:

Maybe it will fly in California, but in Toronto, with roads like the surface of the Moon and 6 months of snow, this style is impractical if not unfeasible.

While myself, and a fair number of others in Toronto, drive their lowered  car year round I would be lying if I said it was practical. I’ve pushed snow and scraped speed bumps from Toronto Ontario to London Ontario, and even as far as State College Pennsylvania.

The fact is Toronto’s best lowest, fitted, vehicles are rarely seen in both the summer and the winter months. This is because while six months of the year we have to compete with snow, the other six we have to worry about police officers pulling our rides off the road for being ‘too low‘ a practical mind field of newly formed potholes.

Have not and will not see this car in the winter

So Derek is right this look doesn’t really ‘fly’ in the GTA, it sort of glides with occasional touches on the ground or entangles in the power lines. Those of us who love it, do it, and those that don’t ride their cars a little higher.

The second point of Derek’s really got me thinking:

Setting up a car for drifting is usually ass-backwards to what actually makes a car handle. Still, it has managed to permeate the collective consciousness of young car enthusiasts, who are unaware that buying coil overs with absurdly stiff springs doesn’t actually make a car handle well, but rather masks the deficiencies of a poorly designed car.

I’m not going to pretend that I know the ins and outs about drift setup (or grip setup for that matter) but I know a little bit about both and I have seen a few people set their cars up for killer stance and try and also claim that they have improved their handling at the same time.

I think we all know that lowering a car has a breaking point and once you get past a certain height (which is different for all vehicles based on their initial suspension geometry) handling performance begins to lose ground to aesthetic.

Which is fine!

Yep slammed, but I can't imagine it tracks as well as it could

If the owner of the car, is willing to sacrifice performance for a look that is pleasing their eye than I think they deserve the freedom to do so. This freedom should also be granted to those who choose not to slam their cars as well.

Every aspect of the automotive hobby centers around personal choice and I think it would be beneficial for all of us if we all remembered this rather than trying to force our opinions on one another.

Moving on:

Most of the “cool mods” you can do to a given car makes it ineligible for most timed amateur competitions.

This point is one that really rang true to me and I think that a lot of people missed it because  it was closely followed the “Where else could anyone consider a Corolla as “dope” while keeping a straight face” comment.

While the modifications I made to my vehicle have not made me ineligible for timed competitions (that I am aware of) they have placed me in an autocross class that is not representative of my driving skill or experience which is, and I am not too proud to admit, a rookie.

When I do finally pop my autocross cherry there is a good chance I will be racing against drivers who have done the same modifications I have done not for looks but because they exceeded the limits of the factory components rather than just got sick of how they made the car look.

While I made sure the parts I fitted to my car were from quality manufacturers and took care to install them properly their is no telling how they will have positively or negatively affected my cars track performance and this is because I didn’t build my car with a track focus if I had I surely would have consulted the rule books of whatever classes I chose to participate in.

I think that while all of us become more and more wrapped up in our own preferred tuning scene it’s becoming to easy to forget that people outside of that scene do have valid opinions.

Instead of trying to shove the stance movement, or functional movement, down each others throats lets learn to respect aspects of each others point of view in discussion and go home to build our cars to our tastes.

We don’t have to agree but that doesn’t mean we can’t be civil because at the day we are all car enthusiasts that share a love for our cars that goes far beyond the transportation tool it really is.

If you are interested in reading more responses to Derek’s original article check out “Guys, I think we should let Rudolf play some of our reindeer games before he goes postal.” and “Drift Stylings debate: To Slam or not to Slam


  1. Well said, brother. 🙂

    What really irks me about the whole thing is how quickly it dissolves into petty name-calling. Especially without checking sources and making stupid, completely wrong assumptions. Really, how long does it take to do that? 😐

  2. Personally I enjoy seeing all sorts of extremes in the tuning culture. Long live all of it I say. The more I get into studying car design and engineering and even see home made car builds that others have completed the more I find out that it doesnt matter. If your getting kicks from what your doing its all good.

  3. Derek Kriendler is an arrogant know it all with little insight, is poorly raised and is not scared to be a douchebag. His douchebaggery is a quality he cherishes and is something he likes to call attention to.

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