Who/What Exactly Is a Rice-Boy?
Rice-Boy is a stereotype. The typical Rice-Boy can be identified by his car, or rather what he does to it. Generally, Rice-Boy will start out with a car that was not meant to go fast (typically a Honda Civic), and attempt to "fix it up," usually consisting of aftermarket rims, lowering springs and an aftermarket exhaust system with a large exhaust tip.
Most Rice-Boy cars (or "Rice Rockets") have the usual complement of stickers proudly displaying features that the car might or might not have, most notably, the Honda VTEC sticker from the later model Preludes, and the plaques from the later model Integras.
Rice-Boys do not exclusively drive Japanese cars. There are quite a few fake Mustang '5.0's and Camaro Z28's out there, as well as quite a few strange looking Neons. Under the Hood of Rice-Boy's Car
Of course, most of the modifications done by Rice-Boy do not actually increase the Performance of his car by any significant amount, but rather, try to give the appearance of high-performance. What most Rice-Boys seem to not know is that many of the things they do to their cars to make them faster actually hurt the Performance.
For example -- I have seen many a Civic with aftermarket rims with the wrong wheel offset, or just plain lowered incorrectly. Sure, the car looks nice, except for the tendancy for the wheels to slant inward, preventing the tire's full contact patch from touching the ground, which results in poorer traction, leading to slower acceleration and poor cornering. This of course defeats the purpose of lowering one's car (to acheive better cornering).
Now, a slight amount of negative camber can aid in cornering, however, the slant I am describing can be 4 degrees or even more, which is an excessive amount, far more than could ever be useful on the street, especially on stock-sized wheels.
Another interesting point about lowering cars: it really needs to be done properly. I ran into a Rice-Boy who drives a White Civic EX Coupe (like how many of these are out there??), who, after replacing his aftermarket "performance" lowring-springs with his stock springs again (he was taking his car into the dealer and didn't want them to know he messed with the car), exclaimed, "Hey you know, my car handles BETTER with the stock springs!". I'm not surprised. I'm sure some Honda engineer spent days working on those springs... why mess with them? Appearance vs. Performance
What sets apart Rice-Boys from normal Performance enthusiasts is that they are more concerned with the image of speed than they are about actual performace. Few Rice Rockets add the one option that can make a Civic begin to go fast -- a Turbochager.
Take for example, the above pictured Civic. It looks pretty mean and fast with its rims and super-spoiler (another staple of Rice-Boy technology), but closer inspection will reveal that this is a Civic DX. The Mirrors
and liscence plate frames are FLAT BLACK, whereas LX and EX models are painted and would be shiny. A noble attempt at fooling people (as black plastic would stand out more on a red or white car as opposed to a black car), but the outside appearance doesn't change what is under the Hood
-- a Civic DX economy car engine.
It's not so much that Rice-Boy is trying to make his car look good. There are lots of people out there who just want to make their car look good, and don't care about speed at all. Rice-Boy, however, says that he is making his modifications to enhance his car's Performance, when really, all he cares about is fitting some sort of image. For example, he may lower his car, saying that it is for a lower center of gravity, and thus, better handling, but if he doesn't do a good job of it (i.e., his car is bouncing around from his shocks being able to handle the higher spring rates... or he cuts his springs making his car uneven) then we know that really, he cares more about looking low then he does about better cornering.