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'Ride it like you stole it'

August 09, 2005|by ALAN SOKOL

Sam Leiter likes speed. He likes performance. He likes to compete and win.

And he likes cars.

Sam picked up the fast-car bug in 2001 when the movie "The Fast and the Furious" showed in theaters. He caught the bug for cars and for customizing.

A 16-year-old area teen, Sam loves the outdoors. He played football for Williamsport High School last year as an outside linebacker. He likes to snowboard in winter, jump off cliffs into the ocean in summer, and skateboards when he can. His favorite video game is Need for Speed Underground 2, because the object of the game is customizing your car so other in-game players will get jealous.

Sam is thinking about buying a dirt bike and possibly a Sea-Doo if he can save up enough money. His motto is "Ride it like you stole it."

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Lucky for Sam, he has never broken a bone; his worst injury is a shoulder dislocated while snowboarding.

Sam will be a junior at Williamsport next year. His favorite school subject is math, because he likes solving problems.

Sam bought a 2003 Honda Civic EX earlier this year. He customized it with ICON rims, a catback exhaust, a DC sport header and an AEM cold air intake.

Sam offers some tips to kids who want to customize their own cars:

"It's better to try it yourself and buy the stuff and put it on yourself instead of going to a shop and getting someone else to do it for you," he said. "It's also cheaper because you don't have to pay someone to do it.

"And really, to find parts, talk to someone that knows about it or research online. I've bought most of mine online, which was cheaper."

But because the custom-car bug is so powerful in Sam, he plans to sell his Civic to buy a new car, possibly a Subaru WRX, which is turbocharged and has more customizing options offered by the manufacturers.

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