What does "built" mean?

Photo Credit: Brandon Pinnon Photography

Photo Credit: Brandon Pinnon Photography

Where do we even begin?

It's an age old question, isn't it? Car enthusiasts lose sleep over defining what constitutes a car being built. Is it motor work? Or what about a suspension overhaul? Absolutely no way it could be plastidip, right?

"There's no way it can be a build with just wheels and suspension!" - Said the 46 year old man online while having his Bud Light.

The argument doesn't end on Facebook either. Generations mesh together like Trail mix when they attend events in Wisconsin. It's not uncommon to see a Ford Model A or early 70's Camaro next to a bagged Genesis or Mitsubishi Evo. And that's when you hear those words....

"What is even done to that?"

"All I see are wheels, that's not a build"

"How did they let a Kia in here?!"

These guys go home, only to argue more on how or why their vehicle is considered a build or not a build. After the egotistical battle online that extends past my bedtime, people like myself have to go through the 90 minute argument to delete comments and ban trolls. it's greatttttt.

The topic itself is pretty interesting though, because it argues on perception, not fact. It's what makes people boast and determine if other vehicles are worthy of carrying the caption of "built."

Photo Credit: AM Productions

Photo Credit: AM Productions

But it really isn't even an argument, because 99% of the time people aren't using the right terminology. Let's break down the bigger issue; the word itself. Built, for me, has always been defined by motor work or physical performance parts being added to a vehicle. The vehicle itself may not have much aesthetic modification, but if the motor is built like a freight train, i'm going to say it's built. With newer cars, it doesn't take a major overhaul for them to reach double stock numbers. Intake, tune, exhaust can outperform an entire 350 engine build.  that's where people get messed up.

Common words that people use instead of built: build, modified, bolt-on's.

What's the important thing to note? Built is not the same as build. Built is not the same as modified. A vehicle build is the vehicles entire progression and includes engine modification, internal modification or restoration, aesthetic modification or restoration, and additional work that is done to a vehicle to reach a final "vision." Being built, is motor modification.

Modified, on the other hand, is where most vehicles sit when in between being "built" and stock. 99% of cars on an enthusiast page or forum are inherently modified. Plastidip is not a mod? Tell that to people who spend $1,500 on autoflex. Wheels aren't a build? Tell that to the person who just ordered 20" B-Forged 3 Piece wheels. Modified vehicles have various parts that progress an enthusiasts vision towards their final build. Modifications can be everything from bolt-on's, paint adjustment, bodywork, aesthetic, internal modification, suspension modification, and much more.

Photo Credit: Luke Crigger Photography

Photo Credit: Luke Crigger Photography

So where do we go from here? Understand that a car build is the progression someone makes on their vehicle to make it theirs. A built car, is one that is heavily mechanically modified. Modified is the basic term for any vehicle that has something on it that isn't stock. So yes, that means if a car is dipped, then it's modified. That DOESN'T mean it's built or it is a build.

Stop misusing the words please, I get tired of cleaning up internet arguments. ):