So I was talking with someone about car modifications and he said something that I’d never heard before. Paraphrasing:

A car is designed to perform over a broad range of conditions and driver abilities. When you modify a car to improve performance or handling you trade off something else. In some cases the margin for driver error is reduced.

Philosophically that explains so much — like why it’s so easy to put a Porsche into the ditch and why that’s o.k., or at least the Porsche is functioning (read: failing) as designed. For someone like me, an aspiring track driver with little experience and a noob mechanic, it’s good to keep this in mind when considering upgrades. Even seemingly little modifications like adding a short shifter has a tradeoff: yes the throw is shorter but it takes more force.

August 29, 2012 quotes