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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

First a little preamble. Been coveting a 2.5 RS coupe for about a year and was finally able to make it happen. My ideal find would have been something that had already been STI swapped and maybe just needed a little TLC for some superficial issues or an "almost done" project that needed a cash injection. Anyways, after a long search and a couple deals falling through (sellers deciding not to sell, get scooped on the deal, etc.) I jumped at the opportunity to snag a 1998 garage queen. It's basically completely stock (save for some clear marker lights and a cd deck), 9/10 interior, 8/10 body, no rust, brand new crate motor, a real gem of a find.

I don't exactly have the need for speed, basically just looking for something fun drive on the weekends, maybe a little autocross, and something that will appreciate in value over time--which brings me to my question today.

See if I had a ready to go RSTI with some battle scars I wouldn't have to think about this but since my '98 is such a specimen I hesitate to tear into it too far and ruin whatever collectable status it may enjoy in later years. To make matters worse, it's an automatic.

Curious for inputs from the community on a good tack to take to preserve the value of this car while still making it something fun to drive. I'm kind of leaning towards just doing things that aren't too difficult to reverse and holding onto the stock parts, an exception to this being I'd REALLY like to get some kind of manual transmission in there but that's probably the number one thing I'm worried about effecting the long-term value of the car.

Besides the transmission, I'm thinking some kind of decent coilovers, strut/sway bars, maybe some brake components, grounding kit, and some quality of life stuff (tint, security system, sound system, etc). But I'm open to suggestions!
 

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2.5RSMatt
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196 Posts
The automatic transmission isn’t holding or going to raise any future value.

My opinion is that these cars won’t ever reach 911, Integra Type-R, or FJ40 territory. I think people who really want themdo so because they love the body style, lightness, and overall driver feel.

Ditch the auto, put on the fun suspension components and enjoy the car! Like you said, just hold onto the factory parts.
 

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I had the same question about my MR2 Spyder. It’s a nice, low mileage example but since the 1ZZ engine burns oil like crazy and even with rare driving, it needed serious engine work. So I went with a used 2ZZ instead. It still looks stock and is very clean but now has about 60 more HP, a 6-speed transmission and is a lot more fun to drive.

I probably could have sold it for $6-8 as it was, but with the 2ZZ, when I get the CA BAR sticker should be worth $10-12. Mine isn’t concours quality so it will never be worth the $30k absolutely mint versions are so I’m ok with the depreciation.
 

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2000 Impreza RS
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I agree with FIMeets, completely. And I wouldn't let the idea of this being an investment stop you from doing what you want with it.

If you want to keep it as stock as possible (that's what I am basically doing), I opted for StopTech performance brakes while retaining the stock calipers, and I am very happy with the performance for some spirited weekend driving. The other thing worth doing is weight reduction, in my opinion. I'm repainting the car, so I haven't installed them yet, but I got the "JDM" front and rear bumper beams, which I imagine is going to save me a boatload of weight. Though, I have a feeling any collision with them will probably result in a totaled car. I mention these specifically because the rear ones are basically discontinued, but that popular dealer in CO (Hem-something) still has them last I checked.

Good luck! Don't think about it too much. (and make a journal when you do start working on it!).
 

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Super Moderator
2000 RSTi
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Like Nike, "Just Do it!"

an joke that someone from Holland or their former colonies will get:
"Just Duit"
 

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I'm gonna beat the dead horse like everyone else has.
First off, it's not a 1998-2001, 5MT, low mileage RS in pristine condition. Anything above 100,000 miles is not going to fetch crazy car money. The automatic isn't doing you any favors.
Your approach to saving your oem parts is a good idea. i would just keep them because if you can't get your hands on replacement aftermarket parts, atleast you have your originals.

For reference,my RS is approaching 200,000 miles, leaking oil from most places, with rusty quarters, and nothing about it is going to get me anywhere near Barrett Jackson. It's a fun car to drive, I like it, enough people have pestered me to buy it, and I know one day I will pull it into the garage to paint it and build it to the point that I no longer want to daily drive it.

Do your research and do the manual swap. You will have plenty of fun doing the maintenance and fun little mods. Know your end goals and stick to them. You don't need to drop 20 grand into this car to try and make 400hp.
 

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Yeah I've been debating this myself but I figure, you bought it to enjoy it, so enjoy it before it's too late. It's not a car that's going to appreciate like crazy because in it's stock form it's still just a body that enthusiasts will want to do all sorts of modifications to.

This isn't a s2000 or an evo where there's a demand for the car in it's stock form. Most people do not want a RS for the stock drive, they want a clean chassis to execute their project on. Very different use cases here in comparison to the typical cars that appreciate over time, so I think you're free to do what you want to the car without having to worry about diminishing its value.
 

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Drive the shit out of these cars guys. Unless it has low mileage (under 75k) none of the enthusiast buyers looking for these cars really care about the mileage. The highest priority Ive seen is that people want a car with no rust and a 5spd. Everything else doesn't really matter, I dont see the cars ever being so rare that they fetch $50,000 at barret jackson. Even then it'll be an all-original car with 50,000 miles in minty fresh condition.
 
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