Form or Function?
Perhaps one of the most hotly debated topic for the last decade or so, and also generating a great load of one-sided hate, as the function group usually despise people who only care about the form, I do believe that form and function tends to be a sticking point in the JDM culture as a whole, however, I don’t actually see the reason justifying for such an outburst.
We can’t dismiss the fact that form, or looks, aesthetics, the exterior plays a massive role in the JDM culture, although controversial, there’s the Bosozoku sub-culture and the one that caused and still causes a massive stir, stance, which is excessive negative camber on a car, to the extent that you can visually see the tyres facing outwards at an angle away from the wheel wells.
People question the purpose of such an impractical amount of negative camber, as it does more harm than good. Personally, I think that stance can look absolutely gorgeous if done in moderation, not only that, I salute petrolheads that stance their cars for the purpose of a car show, as petrolheads are naturally extremely protective of their rides. There’s a use for stance, and that is for show, practical usages however, are up for questioning.
On the other hand we have function, which consists of purists and tuners, purists love their cars absurdly clean and stock, tuners prefer the aesthetics to be functional, like huge brake rotors, intercoolers, properly tuned and fitted exhaust systems, wide body to fit fatter tires. I like the notion of function though, as many of their cars end up looking stunning.
Nonetheless, the function group tends to abhor the form group, they think that people who only care about form is some sort of anti-petrolhead, which is entirely untrue, as people who care about the looks of their cars, are also petrolheads, because they care about their cars. They like cars as well, which is why the modified their cars in the first place.
Then again, there’s a middle ground in between, the form and function group, and even measures taken to unify form and function, which honestly the best solution for both parties, with suspension technology improving heavily throughout the year, airbag are getting more and more common as they get more livable with on a day-to-day basis.
After all of that, it seems like the whole argument has just ended inconclusively, form and function both have their place in the car community, and should both gain equal respect, is the absolute best answer to the age old question. However, If I were to choose a side, it can only be function, just because of the phrase, ‘a race car is always a show car‘.
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