I bought my first Evo in April, 2003. It was the 2003 model and I didn't know squat about aftermarket parts, tuning, upgrading or anything besides window tint, stereo's and rims. It's amazing what a really fun car, some internet forums and a quest for speed & knowledge can do!
I had that 2003 Evo flashed, hell we actually flew a guy in from California with a laptop and had about 20 Evo's from 5 different states all organized together in November, 2003. While I got some more power, that was also the first step down a dead-end upgrade process for me and that car. There were a lot of people that tried to tune cars back then, and a lot of them gave the Evo a bad name especially in the used car arena with unsafe tunes, 'bathtub' shaped dyno charts, $1000 tunes that yielded 15whp, etc.
Fast-forward to 2006 when I got my current Evo. A lot of those crappy tuners had dissapeared, and there were a few shops still leading the way with lots of happy customers. My decision process included only a few of the more well known shops and with one of them being very close it was an easy choice. Within a few weeks I was at the first AMS Performance tuning day in April where they tuned a few 2006 models; the first with Mivec. Since that day, I've only trusted AMS to tune the car and I've been happily rewarded with power and reliability. A couple years later in 2008, I was back for a racegas tune and the familiar stickers found their way onto the car. Another update for 2011 seen an even better smoother tune that helped lead the way to dual NASA Regional Championships and a podium at NASA Nationals.
What's next in store for the car? We've got a pretty aggressive plan for 2012, so stay tuned as the next few months will bring some really big changes both internally and externally...