I figure it is about time to start a journal. We’ll see where it goes but I always like reading through others so hopefully someone learn or like something in mine like I have in many others.
Automotive Background, with life in there too:
I was never really into cars. I was part of the mass population that viewed cars as a way from point A to point B. My first car was a 1987 Ford Thunderbird. In hindsight it was a pretty cool car. It was an AT so in my view now it autofails but it was actually a pretty sweet car for a 16 year old. A 5.0L V8 RWD would do work it turns out. In any event the tranny died after a year or two. I didn't abuse it, it was 14 years ago I would admit it by now if I did. It was a "replace the tranny for more than the car was worth or buy a new car deal."
A new car was bought, drumroll...a 1994 Nissan Altima! There was absolutely no way I could complain. I was on my second car at 18 years old and I had not paid a cent for either. I was lucky and I'm not going to say I wasn't. The Altima was great IMO at the time; great mileage and it served me well on a couple trips from the Midwest to the Pac-NW.
I lucked out again later as my mom passed down her 1998 Toyota Corolla to me as a college graduation present and I sold the Altima to my roommate at the time. The 'Rolla was basically the same car as the Altima besides being a different color and having a sunroof. I drove the 'Rolla for another three years. It made many trips from South Bend, IN to Chicago and back on a weekly basis while I was working as a consultant and flying in and out of Chicago to various places around the country.
In late 2005 I decided I was sick of traveling and living out of a suitcase. I wanted to buy an STi but I knew I didn’t want to keep working the same job. It was one or the other, so I resigned from my position. I had always loved the Subarus in Gran Turismo growing up. I played GT1 in high school and GT2-3 throughout college. When I was traveling all over the country I would pack a slim ps2 and play GT4 in my hotel room after work. Living out of hotels and being by yourself in, for the most part, rural towns is not much fun but I made the most out of it working hard and logging miles in GT4.
In my unemployed time the ‘Rolla made the trip from South Bend to San Diego to Seattle and back in the course of a month or so while I was looking at graduate schools on the west coast. In the end I knew Seattle is where I wanted to be having spent my college years there. I knew people, I knew the city and it was on the best coast.
After searching around for a couple months I found a job and started getting back into the employed life. With the job came a steady income and I started to search around for a different car. At the time I frequently browsed [insert other Impreza web forum] during lunch at work. I was amazed at how far the STi had come since 2004 (this was late 2006). I continued to browse/lurk and started to check out the classifieds. Prior to holiday break I came across a very nice Aspen White STi for sale. I wasn’t sure I was ready for the purchase but after thinking it over during break I decided I wanted to check it out.
On a chilly and clear Saturday morning in January I drove over to Doug’s place in my Corolla to check out the STi. He pulled it out from the garage and I was instantly in love. I had been lusting after a 2004 since they launched in the US. I spent many hours reading through every review online from owners on websites I can’t remember and probably don’t even exist anymore. Now for the first time seeing one up close and personal was spectacular. He showed me the ins and outs, took a walk around and then we went for a drive. We took a loop down Madison and back through the arboretum. On a tight turn into the arboretum he got after it a bit and I wish I had a picture of the smile on my face when he did. It was a sale at that point. I bought the car and loved it.
I was stoked I finally had an STi but it wore off quickly. I had the car 18 months and put about 4k miles on it. Yeah, I drove it that much! /sarcasm. I was commuting about 90 miles round trip each day so I just kept racking up miles on the ‘Rolla. I got sick of having a car that sat in the garage. It reminded me of my dad several years earlier. He bought a C5 Vette and rarely ever drove it. He sold a year later for the same price he bought it for. I never understood why he didn’t drive it. I now know. It’s not that you don’t love it; it’s just a cost/benefit ratio. I had an econobox that was great for commuting so why not drive it all the time? If it needs brakes/tires/etc you can buy the budget brand. When you have a nice car you want high end performance parts.
So the 18 months concluded and I sold the STi. I was sad to see her go. It was in excellent condition with very low miles. I think it had 32k on the clock in mid 2008 when I sold it. I saw the person I sold it to put it up for sale a year or two later with ~90k on it. Who knows where it is now. I hope it lives on and creates passion in the owner.
“2.5 RS.” If you’re on this forum you understand what it means. You know the history. Two letter acronyms that start with G and end with C, M or F are more than just two letters. I never knew the impact that it would have on me. Flash back to the STi purchase. The owner had two different sets of seats to choose from for the STi. One set was in his other car. I was serious about buying it so I drove him to meet his wife in his “other car.” It turned out to be an RS coupe. I should have known then to not make an offer on the STi and hunt down an RS.
With the STi sold I set out to buy an RS coupe, 5MT. I was patient to wait and see what was out there. CL had some sketchy looking ones so I didn’t test drive any. I was hoping for an Aspen White or Sedona Red Pearl one but I wasn’t going to let it hold me back from a purchase. A month or so goes by and I keep seeing a SRP one for sale at a used car lot. I kept myself from checking it out for a couple weeks because I had the “it’s in a used car lot, it’s going to suck” mentality. I’m not a fan of used car purchases from dealers. I’d much rather deal with people than salesmen. Anyway I keep seeing it listed down there so I eventually decide to go check it out. I should have listened to my inner distaste for used car lots. The clutch was shot. The salesman on the test drive had the audacity to ask if it was going to work for me when we got back to the lot. I was like “Well, the clutch is a deal breaker for me.” They said they would get it fixed but I said no thanks and walked. One major noticeable thing was wrong, I wasn’t going to buy it and find out what else was wrong.
An STM RS coupe showed up at a local Subaru dealer shortly after. It didn’t have a price listed online so I decided to give them a call. I don’t remember the specifics of the car but they wanted $11k. No thanks.
After another couple months of searching a one owner STM RS showed up on CL. I immediately emailed to ask about the specifics. The ad didn’t list if it was an MT or AT. It was an MT so I scheduled a test drive for two days later. It turns out the actual owner, recent college grad, was in France at the time so I test drove it with his dad. One owner, complete service history, 75k on the clock, bone stock, some normal exterior wear and a leaky tail light (Lake Subaru)…..sold.
It was a great car. I had no problems with it. I autox’d the car a couple times and it was great fun. I made many upgrades to the car that I can’t recall at this point. Most were exterior/interior/creature comfort as I didn’t mess with engine internals.
This brings a smile to my face. What was wrong with my RS? Nothing. The demographic here is mostly young males. Listen up. If you have a dream, if you have a car you want, buy it; but buy it before you get married. I was engaged in late 2010. In early 2011 I started looking for some RSTi’s. It wasn’t the fact that I had to or needed to or anything. I would have been very happy with my RS. It was bulletproof as far as I was concerned. Regardless I started searching the classifieds.
I found an ad that was interesting. I looked over the details and thought it was a proper swap. It wasn’t running a 6MT/R180 but I could look past that based on the rest of the build. Problem was, it was in Utah and I live in Seattle. You can always dream right?
A week or two went by and the car was still for sale. By that time I had been checking the FS ad every other day or so. There was interest in the car but it hadn’t sold. I had been checking out the rs25.com RSTi FS ads for a while and had seen few cars like this in western states. I had already contacted the owner with a few intro questions. I asked a few more and decided it was worth the look. I talked to him on the phone a couple times and went ahead and booked my round trip ticket to Salt Lake City. I would fly out at 7:10am on Saturday morning and get back at 5:55pm that night. My fiancÚ was like wtf? Her friends were like wtf? My friends were like wtf? Back to the beginning right? Non-enthusiasts don’t get it, or as Clarkson calls them “non-car people” in Love The Beast
. Corolla comment notwithstanding, lol. Great movie too btw, I highly recommend it.
My flight was delayed which was annoying but it turned out being ok as the owner could still meet me. I gave him a ring when I landed and a few minutes later that boxer rumble made its way through the arrivals section of SLC. I hopped in and we took a spin to the old COBB facility to get out and check the car over. There were a couple issues that the owner had mentioned when talking to him and in the ad. Overall it was in great shape and how it was described in the ad. I got in and took it for a spin. It had been several years since I had driven a turbo car so I took it easy. After a test drive and talking it over some more we headed back to SLC. The owner was very considerate about the trip and about selling the car.
I mentioned it was what I was looking for and very interested. He appreciated the comments and said not to worry; fly back to Seattle, sleep on it and give him a call. For being pretty young he was very mature about the whole process. Thanks Dan! I knew my decision prior to taking off from SLC but I would think it over. I called him on Sunday and said I would take it. I would be back next Saturday to pick it up.
I returned the next Saturday on a one way trip, exchanged the money at his bank, talked over a couple details and I was on my way. 14 hours later, some revving from ricer civics and a brief pit-stop on the side of the road for exhaust noise from the 5-0 and she was sitting snug in my garage.
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