An innate desire in some that puts fear in others, the need for speed when it comes to automobiles is not new; and when it comes to finding ways to achieve it, the use of nitrous oxide is not without controversy.
A colorless, odorless gas used in World War II as an oxidizer to enhance engine output in aircraft, nitrous oxide soon became a go-to method to increase speed in vehicles. When used in an automobile, it's stored as liquid in a tank and upon injection it mixes with gasoline, allowing the engine to burn fuel more quickly, thus increasing speed.
(Read more: How to hustle a deal at an auto auction)
Many gear heads and drag racers love it. But according to Jeff Allen, the owner of Flat 12 Gallery, and his right-hand man and technician, Perry Brandt, using nitrous oxide is the fastest way to ruin your car.
"It's like a person taking speed. What happens? You start seeing their teeth are decaying and falling out. And they start aging," Allen said. "They could be 20 years old and you think they look like they're 80. That's exactly what [nitrous oxide] does to the inside of your engine."
Brandt goes on to explain that nitrous oxide is very hard on an engine's main bearings and rods.