Worst and Best:

Modifying my first non hand-me-down car.

I put an intake, headers, and exhaust on it. Result? My wallet was almost $1,000 lighter and the car made approximately 0 additional horsepower. The car had a horrible weedwhacker exhaust note and an awful freeway drone. I then added a big brake kit despite never having tracked the car (because bling), a set of heavy Mazdaspeed protege wheels which I paid too much for and Mazdaspeed protege springs which caused the rear to sag. I swapped out motor mounts with poly so the car was ridiculously harsh (because racecar!). Huge rear swaybar and spherical endlinks caused a clunk that never went away. I was close to adding a Mazdaspeed turbo setup- even had the parts assembled. Then, I blew another $1,000 installing a homebrew car computer that never worked right (it was 2005, after all, and it was running windows XP).

This was when I was in my late teens/early 20s with very little money. All, bad decisions.

But, this car was easy to work on and taught me to work on cars. It was never fast, but that’s probably why I’m still alive today. I owe my current car hobby to the bad decisions of my youth. Just wish I had spent all that money on Auto X fees and track time.