Tag Archives: Subaru

Highlights From First Class Fitment 2015: Part 1

First Class Fitment Volkswagen Mk1 Golf Slammed

First Class Fitment is a stance/modified car show held at the Airport in Princeton, NJ every fall. People come from all over the region, bringing nicely done rides of all sorts. The event is mostly stanced cars, as you might expect, but there are a few other gems sprinkled in for good measure.

This year was quite good. Lots of really well built cars with interesting details. That’s one thing I love about modified car shows, each car has so much personality. They’d all stand out parked on the street alone, but the ones that catch my eye at the show are always extra cool.

I took quite a lot of photos at the event, so there is much more to come. Enjoy the first gallery!

Continue reading Highlights From First Class Fitment 2015: Part 1

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Carlos Lago puts the new Miata against the BRZ. What will win?

The BRZ and the new Miata are similar in that they are both bona-fide sports cars for less than the cost of a well-optioned Toyota Camry. They’re also both blessed with four cylinders, rear-wheel-drive, and a sporting chassis with good build quality. Carlos Lago takes both of them to the streets in this episode of Head 2 Head. Notable as well is that this was Carlos’s last film work with Motor Trend–he’s outdone himself. Then, he hands the narration off to Randy Pobst. Take 25 minutes on your lunch break, and watch this–but listen to what both have to say. I’m revealing nothing. I still want to drive both back-to-back myself, but this taught me a lot of what the ND has to offer against the BRZ.

-Albert S. Davis

My Subaru Scare, Something Many Enthusiasts Will Go Through

Subaru STI Glow

I just got my Subaru STI back from the shop last weekend, after spending $1,300 fixing a few parts that had worn out over the years… such is life when you drive a car with nearly 130,000 miles on it. It was running strong, and all seemed right in the world, until all of a sudden it lost all power during a light, half-throttle pull, and the dashboard lit up.

The motor began missfiring and the CEL was blinking. I got to a spot where I could pull over and I checked the code. It was a missfire on cylinder 4, specifically, often a death sentence for the EJ25 motor. I had heard nightmare after nightmare about it from other Subaru people and now it was happening to me!

A cloud of dread seemed to hang over my very existence, and I completed the drive home with a sort of “Well, I guess this is it” sort of gloom. My best mechanical friend in the world, and my most prized posession, was fatally stricken, and there wasn’t anything I could do but accept it.

Now, yes, a busted motor can be fixed, but it is pretty damn expensive, especially for a young fellow like me just starting out my career. Typically fixing an STI motor, with stock parts, will run you about $3-4,000, but it can be $6-8,000 or more with upgraded parts. Having just spent $1,300 on it, fixing it soon was out of the question, and financially it would have been stupid to even try that at this point.

My realistic course of action was to sell the car for what I could, and use that money to buy a Miata. Then I’d save up, pay off my Volkswagen CC in a year or two, and replace it with another fast car that would really be the STI’s successor…. first world problems, I know.

I literally felt the same way I had felt when my dog, Peaches, died a few years back. I know my Subaru is an “inanimate object”, but when you’re a car enthusiast, there are some cars that seem to take on a very real personality, a companion of sorts. My STI was my first car, back when I was 16, and I’ve owned it more than 8 years since. We’ve been through a lot together, and it is basically ingrained in my indentity at this point.

You can ask my girlfriend, on Wednesday night I was legitimately depressed, and obsessed with trying to figure out what to do.

But this story has a happy ending, and it boldly shows off one of my biggest personal flaws. I always seem to assume the absolute worst, and I put blinders on that  stop me from seeing other, less serious possibilities. It is a flaw that has caused me a lot of angst over the years, and surely something I need to continue to work on.

When I got the call from the mechanic yesterday, I was overjoyed to hear that it was only a bad coil pack, an easy fix. He said the spark plug from cylinder 4 looked good and that cylinder 3 had missfired when he switched the coil pack. Relieved does not even begin to describe my mood after that call.

So this story was just one big false alarm, but it is a scenario that many other car enthusiasts will identify with. Like anything else you can love, cars will often bring as much angst as they bring joy. There is much I can learn from what happened this week, but the biggest thing I learned was how much I really do love my Subaru STI, even after 8 years with it. That is why we enthusiasts buy the cars we buy, and spend the obscene money we do to keep them going. Our cars are like our close friends/companions, much in the same way as a dog or a horse.

Obviously I would’ve just gotten another fun car, but it felt more like losing a friend at the time, rather than some cold piece of property. If anything, I got to realize my deep passion for cars this week. And it came at a time when I really needed such a reminder in the midst of the chaos of everyday life.

To anyone else who finds themselves in a situation like this, just stay calm, don’t assume things, and do some research. Begin with the simplest explanations first, before considering the more serious problems. Also be open-minded, because you will learn a lot more from dealing with the situation, rather than obsessing over how screwed you are. That’s something I clearly needed to learn again, hopefully this time it’ll stick.

-Nick Walker

2015 Subaru Forester Reviewed (Grade: B)

2015 Subaru Forester Front Angle

Monday morning, I go out to start the Subaru Legacy GT, back in early December 2014. It’s cold outside and I’m in no mood to deal with things going wrong. I’m greeted by an angry-looking little red light on the dashboard shaped like a battery. When it’s getting colder outside, this is the one light I wish didn’t exist. Too bad. My alternator had started to fail, and fail it did, just 12 hours later. I got a tan Forester as a loaner, which was miles better than calling a cab that smelled like pee for five days. Continue reading 2015 Subaru Forester Reviewed (Grade: B)

Awesome Burnouts and Accelerations at the CF Charities Supercar Show!

Here is some fun stuff from the CF Charities Supercar Show last year. Naturally, when you hold a car meet on an open airstrip, some shenanigans are going to take place… in fact, the more, the better!

It was a motley crew of cars at the show, everything from everyday tuner cars to a mighty Bugatti Veyron and a straight-piped Porsche Carrera GT.

If you love hearing some engines being thrashed, and you love some tire smoke, then you’ll be glad you gave this video a watch!

-Nick Walker

Our Highlights From the 2015 New York International Auto Show

NYIAS 2015 Empire State Building

We went to the 2015 New York International Auto Show this past weekend to get up close with all of the cars we’ve been hearing so much about and commenting on in the last few months.  NYIAS is always a fantastic time, but this year was the best it has been in 10 years. The show is a bit of a tradition for us to do with our friends, and this year we chose to forgo the press days so we could go with the group. I’ll admit up front that we didn’t get to everything that was at the show, but we had a blast with everyone. Here are our highlights and opinions on the cars we saw.

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Okay, fine! The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Are Mediocre

Subaru BRZ

Yea that’s right, people, I’m saying it! Toyota and Subaru’s supposed christchild of a sports car is actually pretty meh, and sales are dropping off. Here’s why…

So Much Hype

The GT86 may well be the most over-hyped car in recent memory. In reality, people liked the idea of the car more than the actual car itself. And because they wanted more companies to make cars like it, everyone raved about the GT86.

I really liked the manual FR-S when I drove it, and I hated the automatic. The reason comes down to the fact that all the FR-S really has going for it are its wonderful driving dynamics. In many respects it actually does feel like a Porsche Cayman, and that’s awesome! But when you remove the manual gearbox from the FR-S or BRZ, then you remove most of the driving engagement. That leaves the car’s more mediocre aspects completely exposed, and in my opinion, ruins it entirely.

Continue reading Okay, fine! The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ Are Mediocre

The MK7 Volkswagen Golf R, and why the Subaru STI should be scared

2015 VW Golf R

Volkswagen’s new Mk7 Golf R seems to be something special, something that ups the ante. In fact, it appears to have improved so much so that I think it will serve the Subaru STI it’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an extra smack in the face for dessert. And I say that as someone who owns a Subaru STI.

A Stagnant Subaru

But I don’t own a new Subaru STI, no, I own a 2004 STI, and the car that I bought back in 2006 was a very different car than today’s. The STI I bought was one that was legitimately, wheel to wheel, a Porsche 911, BMW M3, and Corvette competitor. The 2004 STI was a world-beater ten years ago. But here is where we come to the problem with the new STI… it has barely changed one bit since 2004.

Continue reading The MK7 Volkswagen Golf R, and why the Subaru STI should be scared

Our Picks, the $40,000 question

In today’s market, $40,000 marks a sort of barrier between “normal” cars and “luxury” cars. You can basically find any sort of car for under $40 grand, so it can be argued that nobody needs to spend more than that unless they’re interested in fluff. It is a realistic budget for many middle class Americans, and that is why we have chosen to kick off our new “Our Picks” segment with it.

We will give our picks for two $40,000 budget scenarios, one as an only car, and the other as a second car. We will also give our second choices for each. Keep in mind, this is how we would spend our own money, with our rather discerning tastes in cars, and not necessarily our recommendations for more average buyers.

Continue reading Our Picks, the $40,000 question

Subaru gives Roadkill some money…chaos ensues.

When it comes to making lemons out of rotten lemons, Roadkill does quite a job. From supercharging a Chevy-powered Jaguar early on, to doing an engine swap on a ’68 El Camino in a parts-store parking lot in Reno, to dumping a motorhome-worn 440 Chrysler V8 into a rusted-out Dodge Charger shell, David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan work for Hot Rod Magazine and Subaru brought them a few Legacy sedans to compete against in three separate contests–a barrel race vs a beat-up Ford Ranchero, a rallycross race between a Legacy 3.6R and the “General Mayhem” (a beat-up 1968 Dodge Charger with a smog-choked 440 and worn-out axles), and a road race through an abandoned neighborhood against a turbocharged, Chevy V6-powered Datsun 240Z with more rust than sheet metal. I don’t want to reveal the ending–the video is worth watching. Go ahead, take an hour, and watch the video, it’s worth the time spent.

-Albert S. Davis

Happy Birthday, America! Today, we celebrate burnouts.

Nissan 240SX LS1 Burnout Side

Hello everyone, and welcome to Independence Day. On this day in 1776, our forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia to mark the birth of our great nation, the United States of America. And on this day in 2014, I would like to feature some of the best burnout pictures we have from the CF Charities Supercar Show last month in Warminster, Pennsylvania–just a stone’s throw from Philadelphia. The burnout may not be distinctly American, but few other automotive gestures are quite as fitting in this great nation as stepping up to the plate and spinning the rear tires into a pulp of rubber, smoke, and mayhem. These great citizens, some of which brought a few foreign cars (this cementing this American smoking institution as a great melting pot), were more than happy to show off their tire-shredding skills. Everything from a slightly crunchy BMW E36 coupe to a hard-boiled Ford F-350 dually packing a 7.3L PowerStroke turbo diesel V8 (with copious amounts of added diesel soot) took part, and much fun was had by all. Enjoy the photos, and happy Fourth of July. Continue reading Happy Birthday, America! Today, we celebrate burnouts.