We are on a constant social evolution. Technology has enabled us to receive information within seconds of an event taking place. Social networking and blogging are our new conversational outlets. Media as a whole, has become more stimulating to the senses. Everything is working to grab our attention and take hold. It’s an exciting time and everyone wants a part of it, but what’s the catch?
Our attention spans have weakened. Information comes so quickly, we expect everything to follow suit. Waiting is unacceptable, we want it now. This mentality has infiltrated every facet of our society.
Patience is a virtue possessed by few. We expect to receive everything immediately, so why would it be any different with regards to our cars? Why would anyone want to spend time saving their money or waiting months for parts to arrive?
This entire post spawned from an e-mail I got last week. V has been a longtime reader of A Class and wanted to share some pictures he took, of his friend Chris’ Subaru. Naturally, I wanted to know more. The following day I was in touch with Chris, a guy I’ve never met personally, but always admired for his beautifully constructed STi.
The philosophy behind Chris’ STi is simple, quality over quantity. After discussing some of his inspirations, it’s become pretty clear that we share a lot of the same sentiments, about our cars and the industry as a whole. I decided to ask Chris what motivated him to choose authentic, over knockoff.
My selection for authentic parts is largely rooted in the respect that I have for the industry, not just the scene. You see knockoff parts hurt the companies that invest into proper R&D, not “mass replication”. This naturally will impact the availability of parts that are available to the “scene/tuning community”. As simple as this logic is; it has proven to be exceedingly difficult for some Subaru owners to comprehend, it appears there’s only a handful that get it.
Chris approached modifying his STi with the idea that parts produced by the same manufacturer, are designed to work together.
Years ago you’d see all kinds of these builds. Guys would pick a manufacturer like HKS or Greddy and style their whole car from the company’s catalogue. How often do you see that these days? The knockoff companies we’re always talking about, certainly aren’t optimizing any of their products to work with one another.
Chris has chosen to use only the best on his STi. Apart from the obvious array of Voltex pieces, he’s running nearly everything ARC produced for the GDB Impreza. His most recent collaborator is Tomei, with whom he’s working directly.
In February, I wrote Down In Flames. It’s been the most read post I’ve ever done, since A Class started in 2008. In it, I discussed the state of things and how the “complete car” was a dying breed. Chris’ STi is the answer to that discussion. His car is everything I said cars are not today. He has taken the time to not only style the car beautifully, but to approach his build with the integrity we see so little of these days.
He’s achieved this by having patience. The patience to enjoy the car in it’s current state. Ask any car guy, no matter the level of his build, he’s never done; the car will never be finished. A project car is something that takes on a life of it’s own. It transcends the realm of being an inanimate object and becomes something we care for and cherish, as if it were a living, breathing organism. So if our cars are never finished, how can we do them the disservice of rushing their evolution? How can we be so impatient that we’re willing to sacrifice quality, to achieve immediate satisfaction?
It’s not the final destination, but the journey we take to get there. Chris is someone who understands that.
The list of parts and brands are some of the best Japan has to offer. Rather than trying to go through and discuss all of them, Chris sent me his most recently updated mods list, check it out.
If this isn’t a shining example of a complete car, I’m not really sure what is. His approach and style should serve as an inspiration to everyone who modifies cars or is interested in starting.
I’ll have owned my STi for 4 years on November 5, 2011 and I’m proud to know that taking my time has enabled me to create something different. As I had mentioned before… this wasn’t an eBay sourced build, or a car built in a year. I’ve made it a point to research each component and target the premier tuning companies to work with. You’ve got to see how each component will impact the car as a whole, not just a portion of the car. I genuinely hope that my car will serve as an inspiration to some and a motivation for others to do it right.
As you may have guessed, the car is far from finished. The installation of his Voltex Type 5V rear wing and a Tomei ARMS-7960 turbo are just some of the good things to come.
Sometimes I forget how great the automative community can be. The opportunity for 3 Subaru owners to come together and be so excited about one car is something pretty special. I’d like to thank V for supporting A Class and introducing me to Chris. He’s also provided all of the fantastic photos so make sure to visit his Flickr to see the rest. Finally a big thanks to Chris Walker, a Subaru owner who should be admired by all for his passion to do things right. He’s the real voice behind this feature.
Photos courtesy of yeloh474.