Perhaps it's simply me getting older, but modifying cars holds zero appeal to me. When I watch Youtube videos of car shows and see people drop many tens of thousands of dollars on top of an already expensive vehicle to personalize it (a set of quality wheels are nearly 5 grand these days), I feel glad to have never fell into that money trap as an adult.
My own car-related money trap is swapping perfectly good cars every three years - variety is indeed the spice of life. In hindsight I should have leased instead of paying full tax which is never recovered when I sell the cars. Taxation is theft, by the way.
I used to love the thought of tuning cars. The early Gran Turismo games have me dreaming of mega horsepower turbo-kits and racing suspension systems. I absolutely tore into the my first car which the parents kindly purchased, and as my modest college part-time worker's budget allowed I incrementally swapped out the wheels, replaced suspension parts, redid the most of the braking system, put in LED tail-lamps, and various other bits.
With the modifications the car became a distinct representation of my style, which other than chasing performance numbers is the primary reason why people are so wont to dump money into their vehicles It's why the showy, "Stance Nation" sector of the car culture is magnitudes more popular than true track-rats. A stock vehicle is the blank canvas and the tinkered result is personalized art.
So I completely get the appeal of car modding, because I've been there; but I stopped. Starting with the first car purchased with my own money the decision was made to not modify anything, partly because of the hefty car note and I'd be stretch super thin to afford parts, and secondly I rather put all money and energy towards driving.
This is mirrored in how I play modern Gran Turismo games: I hardly ever venture to the tuning sections and simply drive the cars as they come from the factory.
I said in a previous blog post awhile back that I was going to start modding again. Well, the Miata have been sold; mind has changed. I've decided that if I want to better a car, I'll just buy a better car.