I have been a Subaru enthusiast since 1994 when I was rolling around in my 1987 Subaru GL sedan. That little flat 4 E-82 was all of a hamster on a wheel but the dang thing was amazing in the snow!
Not my pic but the same car.
It died and I left Subaru for a Chevy and learned that I didn’t like that brand. So I moved to a Jeep Wrangler (which I still love as well and own 2 Jeeps currently) and fell to the darkside of wheeling. That has stayed with me and I have been rocking the Jeep thing for years.
Still though, I missed Subaru and the flat 4.
When the 2002 WRX came out I was one of the first people on NASIOC and had my heart set on one. I learned all about them, what they could do, what people were doing to them, and most of all that they were beasts in the WRC.
I never got one.
Time progressed and in the Spring of 2011 I decided that I needed a new Subaru WRX. I put the deposit down, ordered it from Gunma, Japan, and waited the 4 months for delivery. Some of you may remember the Tsunami that hit Japan that year and devastated the country. Commercial trade all but stopped and I thought my new WRX would never make it. Amazingly enough the car made it out on the ship a day before this happened?! I still can’t believe it.
When I took delivery I was stoked. I had a brand new WRX Premium in Satin White and a list of goodies ready to go on it. I had finally got my WRX!!!
The day I brought it home I ripped the entire interior out and Dynamatted the whole car and installed a $4000 stereo system at the same time. It was amazing to say the least.
Time went by and I was modding everything I could. As we all do, every last dime went to my WRX. It was the exact car I thought it would be and I loved it. Or so I thought.....
My Wife and I were on the hunt for a house and we needed to free up some money to get a loan. So the WRX left my possession after less than 2 years of ownership.
I was Subaru-less again. But I still needed something. I found that something when I was working on my Brother’s 1981 Subaru wagon one night. I realized that I wanted a Brat. Yup, the old truck-like Subaru Brat. But I didn’t want the commonly found second gen Brat. I decided that if it were to be a Brat it had to be a first gen with quad headlights. So I found one.
$400 and a 6 hour trip later.
I tore in to that Brat with ruthless intent. I pulled the motor and trans, rebuilt the transmission and motor, did the body work, welded parts back together, added the rear jump seats, added WRX front seats, did mods galore and basically had a one of a kind Brat. It was amazing. I sold it before paint for $2200 and recouped all of my costs. I still miss it.
Notice the 6-lug conversion on the hubs?!
It was during this time that I decided I needed another turbo Subaru in my life. I now had a family and thought I couldn’t possibly have another WRX. So what is the next step? That would be a Legacy GT Wagon. Not just any wagon, I had to have a manual wagon and was on the hunt.
When I finally found the 2005 Legacy GT wagon it was amazing! It was a manual with 72,000 miles on it and I was in love. It was even more fun than the 2011 WRX.
Like every other car I have owned, especially Subaru’s, I modded this one as well. COBB exhaust, Grimmspeed this and that, a pro-tune and all the other goodies for a “Stage 2+” tune.
I even located some really rare 5Zigen wheels and refurbished them.
The car looked great and it ran like crazy!!! One of my favorite races was against a fully built JDM Peanut with a Hybrid 2.0. Easily a $10,000 motor build and it was fast. After we hit 110 in a 45 zone we both let up and then stopped at the next light. He was humbled and I was shocked. That Legacy GT was fast. I miss it as well.
I sold that GT for a brand new F150 and absolutely loved that truck. It was in the garage for a while with two other Jeeps and it was perfect. I of course modded that as well because I simply have issues with modding.
When I got laid off on New Years Eve 2014, I had prepared and sold that truck. I was rocking a 1998 Cherokee which I still have and love. But guess what?! The Subaru bug was biting at me again. I needed AWD and turbo back in my life.
When I found a new job I decided it was time for another WRX. The Wife was game for a 2016 (it was 8/2015 at the time) WRX Premium and I all but signed for one at Heuberger Subaru here in Colorado Springs. I loved the new 2.0 direct injection motor. I had a list of mods ready to go and yet I still didn’t do it.
I went home that night and felt my heart was not in the right place; it was still in a dang Bugeye WRX. I was still haunted by the desires I had felt almost 13 years ago. I needed to get what I really wanted, an old WRX.
One last time I looked at Craigslist and there it was! The quintessential WRB Bugeye with gold wheels. It was what I wanted. I called the guy and he expressed how flaky every “kid” was in relation to buying his beloved “toy”. 5 or so people had made deposits and fell through. So he was leery of me when I said I would be there in an hour with $500 to hold it. I agreed to purchase before I even had drove it!!
It is a 2003 WRX with (at the time) 97,000 miles and was a dealership owner’s toy at one point. JDM goodness abounded with this little gem. Extra wheels and tires, mods, and best of all, timing belt and water pump completed as well as all maintenance records. It was mine!!!
Did I pay too much, probably. But a clean Bugeye here in Colorado is like dating Jennifer Lawrence - if it might happen you have to do it!!!
Turns out this little gem had way more built into it then I was aware of.
|2||Cobb Stage 1 W/AP1|
|3||Dunlop Sport Tires|
|4||JDM “I” Grill Badge|
|5||JDM STi HoodScoop|
|6||KYB Excel G Struts|
|7||Mishimoto Aluminum Radiator|
|8||MOMO Shift Knob|
|9||Rear Deck Spoiler|
|10||Rota Tarmac 1 Wheels|
|11||Security System Upgrade|
|12||SPT Cat- Back Exhaust|
|13||STi Fiber Shift Pattern|
|14||STi Key Blank|
|15||STi Shifter Bushing|
|16||STi Short Throw Shifter|
|17||Strut Tower Brace - ?|
|21||Up Pipe - unknown|
|23||Whiteline Front Sway|
|24||Whiteline Rear Links|
|25||Whiteline Rear Sway|
To some this is not impressive. But for a well maintained Bug, this was great!!! I had really found what I was looking for.
So of course, I modded it!! I found more JDM parts, JDM wheels, modded the engine with supporting mods for Stage 2+ again. Basically I have what I consider to be an 2001 JDM STi clone minus the wing and any STi badging. I feel the love.
So why do I write this long diatribe on my experiences with Subaru? Simply put, today while driving to work I realized that after every Subaru I have owned, I have the one I have always wanted. Sure the newer ones are nice and have a bunch of electronic bells and whistles. I have a non-traction control, non driver assist anything, manual Bugeye that is fast, handles like a large go-cart, and simply makes me smile. This is the best Subaru that I have ever owned!!!
Here is what I have added to the car in less than 6 months!!!
|1||2002 WRX Factory Brochure|
|2||2003 Road Test - Road &Track|
|3||2003 WRX Factory Brochure|
|4||2004 Sti Taillights|
|5||COBB AP V3 with Stg 1/2|
|6||COBB Bushing Pack|
|7||COBB Shifter Bushing Set|
|8||Denso Oxygen Sensor|
|9||Gorilla Acorn Lock Kit|
|10||Gorilla Small Acorn Lug Kit|
|11||Grimmspeed 3-Port EBCS|
|12||Grimmspeed Catted DP|
|13||Grimmspeed Hella Harness|
|14||Grimmspeed Hood Struts|
|15||Hella Sharp Tone Horns|
|16||JDM STi Grill|
|17||JDM STi HID Headlights|
|18||JDM STi Version 7 Wheels|
|19||Mishimoto Intercooler Hoses|
|20||Prodrive Battery Tiedown|
|21||Rota “Z” Caps - Matte Black|
|22||Shell Rotella T6 (5W-40)|
|23||Subaru OEM Cabin Filter|
|24||Subaru OEM Donut Gasket|
|25||Subaru OEM Weather Strip|
|26||Subaru Oil Filters|
|27||Subaru Oil Washers|
|28||Torqued Performance Tuning|
|29||Weathertech Floor Mats|
|32||Window tint 15%|
|33||Window tint removal|
|34||Wiper Arm Plugs|