I am in the US Navy, have been for the last seven years. Part of the joy of my chosen profession is that I can be stationed overseas. I took advantage of this, and took my first posting to Japan. Initially, it was confined to fandom, as rules that you have to be a certain rank to own a car, and I was not of that certain rank. So first, car stalking by stealing dealership adds.

Then, it was physically going to carshows. Tokyo auto show, and the Tokyo auto salon, which I had attended once apiece. I got to see this very very sweet BRZ GT300 Super GT car, competing, to me, in the most competitive race series on the globe.

Also, the production BRZ, six months before release.

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Okay, after a little bit, I gained enough rank to be able to own my own car. I had looked around, and because of various tax and licensing rules, I found out that most cars bought at dealerships are beyond my price range. So I found out that through a friend I could go to auction and save myself some money in doing so. So I went to the auction, which was pretty impressive, and this gem.

Of course, I couldn't well keep it alone. I loved the power of the WRX, but I kept getting lost. Also, the ten year old teenage boy in me wanted to watch the car come on boost, as well as the more responsible part of me wanted to make sure the turbo was operating optimally after I had the car for a few minutes.

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And because I was getting lost all of the time, a car navigation.

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I didn't like the wheels (they're legacy GT wheels, with old Potenzas, which I didn't like at all on the car. So I got some locally sourced buddy club P1Rs and Star Specs in 225/45/R17. First Unforeseen consequence, the rub on the inside under hard breaking....future project 5mm spacers.

I had drove it as is for a little while, then had realized the shocks had blown and my car was making me seasick. (I've been through a typhoon on a DDG, I didn't get seasick) So I decided that I had needed suspension work. I bought myself coilovers because I wanted to track the car(track days are much cheaper in Japan vs the USA).

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I went with Feal coilovers with my car, and am extremely impressed with it. The swift springs are excellent, and the damping matches the springs and the car perfectly. Its one of my favorite part. Not pictured, was me throwing half of the the whiteline/turn in concept catalog at the rear suspension, trying to make the car handle up to my standards. It took a while, but it handled perfectly for me.

After that, the next project was brakes. Having improved the basic handling of my car, I decided to go with a "winding road/light sports setup for my car." To that end I bought some new pads, lines and rotors for the brakes. (the JDM WRX post blobeye already came with the excellent sumitomo 4/2 pot calipers) So to that end, I bought these pads, which would have been wonderful, from my local super autobacs.

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My Japanese reading comprehension failed me... And I bought the brakes for the 20K instead of my particular model. So, being chastened by the experiance, I bought these from the local Subaru dealership.

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If you are not familiar with zerosport, they are to Subarus what J's racing is to Hondas or RE-Anemiya is to rotary Mazda. They are a semi-official tuning house (and dealer) that is often affiliated with dealerships, as is their parts. In part two, I will go through my turbo swap and the process of working with a Japanese tuning house. Also a little bit about my driving through the Touge.

Here is Part 2.

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Here is Pt 3.