Readers' Rides: It's the Inside That Counts

There’s something intriguing about a car with modified performance capabilities: knowing it can change initial perceptions in an instant with just one rev. Whether achieved through an engine swap, different tires or simply a good attitude, it’s beautiful to watch someone reach his or her goals and break expectations with a car they’ve transformed themselves.

Remember: Don’t judge a book car by its cover until you see what it’s truly made of.

This story originally appeared in Driving Line Magazine, Print Issue 11. To be featured in an upcoming issue of Driving Line’s Readers’ Rides, send a few high-resolution photos (min. 300 dpi) along with a brief bio and explanation of why your car’s special to you to: editor@drivingline.com.

Laurie Peterson – ’63 Studebaker Avanti

Engine: LS Swap  |  Tires: Nitto NT05

'63 Studebaker Avanti by Chris Shelton

We had Studebakers when I was growing up. The Avanti is sort of the high-water mark for Studebaker, kind of like the company’s version of the Corvette. So why not make it go like a Corvette? Some people call it quirky, but the design is so very ’60s, especially with the oddball asymmetrical stuff. It’s way more extreme than anything the other manufacturers did. It’s the kind of face that only a mother can love.

(Photo: Chris Shelton)

Alex Tan – Mazda Miata

Engine: S2000 Swap  |  Tires: Nitto NT01

Alex Tan's Mazda Miata by Luke Munnell

This car is special because it was the first F22-swapped Miata built in California, and it's definitely the only one done like this or being used so seriously on track. It has been the championship car in Roadster Cup and VTEC Club two years in a row, with Nik Romano, David Martinez and Will Wattanawongkiri as drivers. It's still being developed and will be back again—even faster. We made and assembled everything in-house at Indotech Motorsports, so it means a lot to get such great results from it.

See this Miata in action in Luke Munnell's VTEC Club coverage on Driving Line.

Coralee Lack – ’12 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited

Engine: Stock V6  |  Tires: Nitto Trail Grappler

Jules the Jeep by @crawler_chick

I often joke that my Jeep, named “Jules,” is an extension of myself, but it really is such an important part of who I am as a person. The first time I ever rockcrawled was the day I learned what Jules and I were capable of. Since then, we’re always finding new challenges, improving skills (driving, recovery and wrenching) and pushing boundaries. Jules is a symbol of personal growth: a daily reminder to step out of my comfort zone and find adventure despite suffering from a chronic illness.

Learn more about this @crawler_chick and Jules in Driving Line Take 5.

Ben Chong – ’13 Scion FR-S

Engine: Coyote Swap  |  Tires: Nitto NT05

'13 Scion FR-S by Danny Nguyen

The Scion FR-S, or now the Toyota 86, is a wonderfully balanced vehicle from the factory. But I also enjoy the power, sound and feeling of American muscle and was fortunate enough to build a car that encompasses all these qualities I love. To me this car has the perfect blend of Japanese engineering on chassis and suspension tuning, and the raw power of an American V8 under the hood. Pure excitement!

Learn more about this FR-S on Driving Line: A Coyote in Sheep's Clothes

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