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Hi all,

I currently have a 2017 WRX which I purchased brand new. It's a great car, but a bit big and heavy, not to mention mods for it are quite expensive. I've always wanted a coupe RSTi, and I think I found the perfect car to pick up and have as a project. I've been looking across Canada for the last couple of years for one in decent condition, and not too highly priced. I've seen a few coupes which have been partially swapped but have always been really rusted or priced way too high.

I think I finally found a good car, and wanted a bit of a sanity check. The car is located in BC which is 2,200km away from me (1200 miles). I'm planning on flying out on the weekend, getting the paper work transferred over and driving it back. I'll be checking a bag with some basic tools, zip ties, etc. to get the car home just-in-case. I've chatted with the seller and we've agreed up $12,500 CAD ($9,500 USD) for the car. A bit about the car, I'll include pictures at the bottom.

It's a '00 2.5RS, sold originally in Idaho where it moved to California for 11 years before being imported into Canada. It has a clean CarFax report (5 owners over last 20 years), 300k km on the body, 200k km on its second engine from a '99 Forester. The current owner has gotten a local shop to swap in an '04 STI transmission, R180, and Brembos all around from a donor car with 75k km (46k miles). While doing the trans swap, the underside was cleaned of any rust and undercoated.

The owner has sent videos of the car running and driving, it all sounds well and there's not strange noises. In my opinion this seems like a fair price for the car given everything in it. But I wanted to ask for a second opinion since I'm by no means an expert on GC8s.

My goal is to turn this into an OEM+ car, update the interior, eventually swap in a turbo EJ and in general just learn more about cars since working on my current WRX doesn't seem worthwhile given aftermarket parts are very expensive for it.

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I think it's a cool car, what do I think you are missing? You won't actually save any money versus your modern WRX. If you can accept that, it's going to be a fun classic.
 

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I think it's a cool car, what do I think you are missing? You won't actually save any money versus your modern WRX. If you can accept that, it's going to be a fun classic.
I've been tracking my WRX more this summer and I've found that the open diffs and braking system are a bit of a hindrance. Poking around a full set of Brembos and STI trans is something like $6,000+ to swap in myself. This year I drove a few smaller / less powerful cars at the local track and had as much fun in them as my WRX.

I figured selling the WRX, and picking up a weekend/track car project that I can learn and grow on as well as a daily makes a bit more sense than starting to heavily modify my daily. I'm not anywhere close to a mechanic, all my car knowledge has come from my second dad, YouTube, as well as helping friends with their project cars. But it doesn't seem like this car it too much of a stretch of my abilities. It also seems like it's more and more difficult to find a relatively clean coupe, so it's maybe not a last chance to get one, but especially up here in Canada one of the last few.
 

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1998 JDM Impreza STi v4 GF8
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I've chatted with the seller and we've agreed up $12,500 CAD ($9,500 USD) for the car.
OMG :oops:

Believe me, I'm not trying to be a dick... but I think you'd be absolutely crazy spending that kind of money for that car! Even if it was in absolutely mint condition, which it clearly isn't, IMO it's not worth anywhere near that amount. It's already rotting away on both sides!

Where the heck do you live in Canada? And where in BC are you planning to fly to? Here in Vancouver, I'm pretty sure a nice condition JDM GC8 STi could be picked up for the kind of money you're planning to throw at that car. Spend some time looking over the Vancouver Craigslist listings. I haven't looked lately, but you might be surprised.

Hey, you asked for it! ;)
I think I finally found a good car, and wanted a bit of a sanity check.
 

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OMG :oops:

Believe me, I'm not trying to be a dick... but I think you'd be absolutely crazy spending that kind of money for that car! Even if it was in absolutely mint condition, which it clearly isn't, IMO it's not worth anywhere near that amount. It's already rotting away on both sides!

Where the heck do you live in Canada? And where in BC are you planning to fly to? Here in Vancouver, I'm pretty sure a nice condition JDM GC8 STi could be picked up for the kind of money you're planning to throw at that car. Spend some time looking over the Vancouver Craigslist listings. I haven't looked lately, but you might be surprised.
Nah you're not being a dick. This is exactly why I made this post :p

I'm in Winnipeg. The ones out here have quite a bit of rust, or are half swapped as well but people are asking upwards $20k CAD for them. I'd want to avoid RHD, and the 4 doors don't really do it for me, this car is also in Richmond.

I've been seeing stock coupes going for around $7-9k with minimal rust. Given this one has the STI swapped trans, diff, brakes done by a shop and cleaned up underneath and coated it seems like a not bad deal. The rust doesn't seem too terrible to fix, the current owner was going to widebody it which is why he had left it. Other than the rear quarters, the rest of the car seems clean.

Looking around on the Vancouver CL, manual coupes are going around the range I've seen before. On Kijiji there's on with a 5-speed and Brembos going to half the price, but a bit more janky looking.
 

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I'm in Winnipeg.
I think you're just looking for an excuse to get out of there! :D

You're probably more in tune with RS prices than I am, but $12,500 seems like a helluva lot of money for what that particular car is. And then factor in that you need to fly all the way out here, plus drive a car you're not familiar with back through winterish mountain passes on the BC/Alberta border. Not the best time of year to be navigating the Rocky Mountains!

And just today, the BC premier is calling for a travel ban into BC (due to COVID)... so that may or may not affect your plans.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that car is worth flying half-way across the country for, not at that price.
 

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I think you're just looking for an excuse to get out of there! :D

You're probably more in tune with RS prices than I am, but $12,500 seems like a helluva lot of money for what that particular car is. And then factor in that you need to fly all the way out here, and then drive a car you don't know through winterish mountain passes on the BC/Alberta border.

And just today, the BC premier is calling for a travel ban into BC (due to COVID), so that may or may not affect your plans.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think that car is worth flying half-way across the country for, not at that price.
Haha, maybe a bit of an excuse. I actually just got off the phone with the shop the did the swap on the car and chatted about it a bit. They said it's definitely worth looking at, and some of the money is there in it and gave some numbers and history on the car. They did mention they didn't look at the inner rear fenders as they weren't going to be cutting into at the time and it might be an area for concern.

The full list of things done to the car are:
  • '04 STI trans, R180, brembos, fuel tank (~83,000 km on these parts)
  • CF driveshaft
  • New clutch and resurfaced flywheel

I think all those parts accounted for, with labour you're looking at maybe $8,000 leaving around $4-4,500 for the shell. I'll definitely get back to the seller and ask for more pictures of the rear quarters, especially around the strut tower and what not to get a better idea.
 

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00 RS cpe, 01 RS cpe, 05 3.0 R
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Coupes are only getting rarer, and harder to find. Prices are going up , as I think the cars justify. These are fun cars to drive, different than any other Subaru I have owned, or driven . Carbon fiber drive shaft- very neat ( IMO ) , Brembos expensive ( though unless you use on the track, not necessarily needed ) . The underside looks very solid- the fender rust is due to poor design that traps moisture- not a structural component .So you have a nice start to a track car, with plenty of great parts still available. The price ??? Only you can determine what it is worth to YOU . Best wishes with decision, from a Kitchener Ont export.
 

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I like it just like that, maybe suspension and that's it, anything else it's going to cost money trust me, enjoy it first , those rust is common on those cars from up north, easy fix, you planning on converting it to an rsti it's going to sit for awhile, my gf8 is now completed after about 2 years and a whole lot of money, I don't think I will sell my 01 rsti for nothing less than 20k that to tell you what it's worth, I've change every thing on that swap, I bought 2 donor sti for my swaps, and I did my conversion myself so can you imagine paying a shop to do it , I'm not saying not to do it, but enjoy it first before you pull the trigger on a project like that
 

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I like it just like that, maybe suspension and that's it, anything else it's going to cost money trust me, enjoy it first , those rust is common on those cars from up north, easy fix, you planning on converting it to an rsti it's going to sit for awhile, my gf8 is now completed after about 2 years and a whole lot of money, I don't think I will sell my 01 rsti for nothing less than 20k that to tell you what it's worth, I've change every thing on that swap, I bought 2 donor sti for my swaps, and I did my conversion myself so can you imagine paying a shop to do it , I'm not saying not to do it, but enjoy it first before you pull the trigger on a project like that
Yeah I wouldn't plan to complete the turbo swap until later in the future or if the headgasket pops on the current engine (EJ21 out of an '01 Forester). I am having a few doubts after @Vancouver98STi comments, and chatting with a few people. The car does have 200k miles, and I'm a bit worried about diving off the deep end in terms of the car having rust. I feel confident in being able to fix small amounts, but if it involves cutting metal and welding it might be a bit out of hand. I did chat with the owner, about my concerns and we've lowered the price by ~$2,000.
 

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Yeah I wouldn't plan to complete the turbo swap until later in the future or if the headgasket pops on the current engine (EJ21 out of an '01 Forester). I am having a few doubts after @Vancouver98STi comments, and chatting with a few people. The car does have 200k miles, and I'm a bit worried about diving off the deep end in terms of the car having rust. I feel confident in being able to fix small amounts, but if it involves cutting metal and welding it might be a bit out of hand. I did chat with the owner, about my concerns and we've lowered the price by ~$2,000.
They worth every penny , take your time with it, fix the rust, then address the engine issues , get a good shop to do it if it's too much for you to handle, they can be stubborn and differcult like wives, but they worth every dime, the value just goes up, I stop counting the money I spent, note I think you will be spending much more on this than your newer Wrx , reading these other guys post do make sense, sometime it might not all seem practical owning these oldest cars, for me I collect and restore them myself, my daily driver is my duramax, these cars are harder to find now and guys who own them knows the values of them, ive seen them sold from 2k crash to 20k rsti fully swap, I had mines down to metal and swap with my donor car, there is where you get frustrated with them and sometimes gives up , so choose wisely what's your intention with this project, cause that's what your buying
 
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