Chasing that Feeling

Chasing THAT feeling fuels everything.

By Aaron Gaghagen


I’ve been doing this modified/performance Honda thing for a while now. Actually 1998 is when the bug bit me although I had been into cars in general as far back as I can remember. As soon as I learned that there were ways to make Hondas and Acuras much quicker than their personas would indicate while making them look bad ass, I was hooked. This was before Fast and Furious (I love those movies though, especially the first one.) and before I discovered Hondas on Gran Turismo on the OG PlayStation. So, most of this stuff is not new to me. The simple formula to making a fun and improved driving Honda is simple: intake, header, exhaust, springs and dampers, wheels and tires.



Nerd ALERT: Wayyyy back in the day the dealership I worked for required us to make these cheeseball binders to let the customers know more about us. I sacrificed a page from Super Street that I wouldn't miss. Tommy Hilfiger and Air Jordan 12s for the win tho!


The question is: Why am I still messing with Hondas?

Here I am some eighteen years later still breaking my neck when I think I hear a Civic or Integra with an exhaust screaming down the street with their engine at 8,000 RPM. So many of the people that I first discovered the joys of tuning with have moved on. They’ve purchased more expensive machinery, moved on to drifting or they’ve gotten out of cars completely. Unlike when I first got into Honda performance, I am married, I have a child with a second on the way, I have a career (and a couple of Emmys, NBD LOL.) and I’ve even moved across the country a few times. However, just like when I started with Honda tuning, I still don’t have the budget to do everything I want with my projects and I still can not get enough of Hondas.



Yo, dog! I heard you liked pictures so here's a picture of a picture so you can look at a picture while you're looking at a picture. This was my first modified Honda. Back then if you wanted a quick pic, you used a blurry Polaroid. Ahahaha! Yeah, I'm old.


It’s chasing that feeling of excitement that keeps me going. That feeling when you work on your car and, even if it’s a major pain in the ass or wallet, everything works like it’s supposed to. That feeling of taking something made for the masses and making it perform better and making it your own. That feeling of knowing how your car works inside and out is uniquely satisfying. That feeling of confidence in knowing when something breaks or needs replacing on your Honda or Acura that you can fix it and you’re not left to the will of some random tech at the dealership or shop. Honestly, just thinking about it gets me all kinds of geeked up as I type this.



After everyone goes to bed I stay awake thinking about what parts to get next even if I don't have the funds for them. The mind is constantly working on setups.


I know I am not alone in this sense of excitement. A lot of those people that I came up with in the late 1990s and early 2000s that went on to drifting, Euros (because we’re all supposed to grow up and care about status cars, right?!?) or the turbo AWD movement have come back to Hondas. They’re building the cars that they truly care about doing right. Also, they come back to the quality that Honda stands for. Sometimes it is only after trying something else that you can appreciate what you already had. To them I say “welcome back, I knew you’d see the light!” To the rest of us, I say “keep wrenching!”


Nothing but Hondas. That’s exactly what you’ll find at VTEC Academy. Not because some of the other automakers’ cars that inherently drain the life out of the driving experience bore us, but because Soichiro Honda’s passion for motorsports and his company’s ability to express that in the machines they produce make a whole lot of sense.

VTEC Academy is a place for Honda fans who feel the same way and who seek the most accurate technical information and commentary to continue that very legacy and make whatever Honda it is that they drive just a little bit better. And faster.

The editors and contributors of VTEC Academy are some of the industry’s most experienced and trusted, which means the informative, unique perspectives you need are all right here. And, like you, we’re also obsessed with Hondas.

So, subscribe to our channel and hit us up at or, if you’re into social media, you can get your daily dose of VTEC Academy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. We’re always on the look out for cool and fast Hondas.

Aaron Gaghagen on Email
Aaron Gaghagen
Multimedia Editor at VTEC Academy
Aaron Gaghagen is a veteran video editor and longtime Honda enthusiast. All told, he’s owned seven of them, and has enjoyed every single minute of wrenching on every single one. Except for that automatic one. That was probably a mistake. In 2010 Aaron teamed up with Brian Gillespie who along with another partner launched Nacho Speed Garage, a venture that capitalized on Aaron’s video expertise to do its part in entertaining and educating the Honda masses. Nacho Speed Garage took everything to the next level. Instead of reading magazines and cruising forums for content, Aaron and Brian were generating it themselves. The demise of Honda Tuning magazine in 2014 was the impetus for Aaron to do something even more impactful, though, which led to the creation of VTEC Academy and aims to carry that Honda torch forward in the same spirt of not just Honda Tuning but Nacho Speed Garage.