Words and photos by Michael Chandler
Since that fateful SEMA, all those years ago, making your car wide has become a lot easier. There are rivet on fender flares for all of the popular chassis: FRS/BRZ, 350Z, 240SX, E36, I even saw that there’s a Pandem kit for EG Civics! If you have a Porsche, you can have Nakai-san fly to you and make your 964 or 993 chassis 911 insanely wide. This is great and all, but seeing a hand made wide body kit, where the fenders were cut and shaped and re-welded and repainted is a rare sight. Hardly anybody is doing that. Jon Truong is no stranger to making something work on his bug-eye WRX. For a while this thing was known for sporting some Voltex pieces, pieces that weren’t made for the 02-03 WRX’s. How do you improve on that little project? Well let’s talk about that.
A pair of bright red Bride Low Max seats with 5-point Takata harnesses brighten up the interior. An Auto Power roll cage provides some extra security in case things get a little wild, which hopefully they don’t. Jon lays his hands on a gorgeous, limited edition Sparco Champion steering wheel, which is attached to an NRG quick release hub. Between the steering wheel and the gauge cluster are an AEM UEGO wideband gauge, and one of his Defi gauges. Atop the dash, dead center, are the rest of his Defi gauges. They monitor oil temperature and pressure, exhaust gas temperature, and boost. The shift boot has been replace with a JPM Coachworks Alcantara piece. All those gauges and that cage would be ridiculous if the engine was stock, but thankfully that is not the case.
Definitely not stock. Far, far from it. Very few OEM pieces remain. The crankcase is the on that came with the car, but that has been filled with some shiny new bits. The block received a set of Darton sleeves, a crankshaft from a 2008 STI, KillerB pickup tube and baffle, King bearings, Rallispec connecting rods, and Cosworth pistons. ARP headstuds hold the ported and polished two liter heads to the block, with Tomei headgaskets in between, and those heads are like a pinata: filled with goodies! BC 1mm oversized valves, titanium valve springs and retainers, and 272 degree camshafts. Supertech valve guides let those big valves move smoothly. NGK spark plugs, one step colder than stock, supply the bang for the Otto cycle. Samco radiator hoses, a Grimmspeed thermostat and a Koyorad radiator keep the engine cool, and a Tomei timing belt connects the new crank to the lumpy cams. Hiding the alternator (hey, that’s stock!) is a gorgeous Abbey Road Company, more commonly known as ARC, alternator cover.
Sitting atop an Agency Power manifold and TurboXS rotated up-pipe is a massive Garrett GT3582R turbo, featuring a TiAL hotside. That’s quite the hair dryer! That beast requires a bit of fuel, which is provided by a Walbro 255lph fuel pump, Agency Power fuel rails and Injector Dynamics 1000cc fuel injectors. An Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator makes sure the flow is consistent, which is an important thing when you’re dealing with any larger-than-stock turbo setup. Keeping the boost in check are a wonder trio of bits: a TiAL 44mm wastegate and Q blow off valve, and a Hallman boost controller. Jon is running an AEM 3.5 BAR MAP sensor, because reasons and there’s no place for a MAF sensor. The brains of the operation aren’t behind Jon’s bespectacled eyes, but in the COBB Tuning Accessport. Keeping everything lubricated is oil, and sending that oil to the places it needs to go is a Cosworth high volume and pressure oil pump. At the end of this whole thing is an Invidia G200 catback. Ok, while all of that is awesome, it’s not what makes this car special. While beauty in people is on the inside, the opposite is true for this car.
Now, all of the power needs to go through some stuff so it becomes what they call “usable”. As you know, or not, Subaru transmissions are known for having 2nd gears made of glass. Thankfully an upgrade to a six speed trans out of a JDM 2007 model should have that situation remedied. Holding that new transmission in place is a Perrin transmission mount, and connecting that to the rear differential is a PST carbon driveshaft. Helping with the gear shifts are a Kartboy short shifter and a Goodrich stainless steel clutch line. With great power comes great necessity for a clutch that can handle that. A Carbontec carbon clutch is up to the task, and an ACT Streetlite flywheel helps with engine response.
Actually putting the power to the ground are a set of Yokohama Advan AD08Rs, which are mounted on a massive set of CCW Classics. They come in at a staggering 18×11! Behind the gargantuan wheels (11″ wide! On all four corners! ON A STREET CAR!!!) are Brembo calipers harvested from an STI, which clamp Hawk HPS pads upon DBA T3 slotted rotors. All hail the magical kangaroo paw. Feeding brake fluid to the calipers are some Stoptech stainless steel brake lines. The suspension is fairly simple, a set of Zeal Function coilovers bring the car down and make the lateral transitions sharper.
They say beauty is on the inside, and while the insides of this car are very pretty, the outside is much prettier. You can clearly see that the license plate say VOLTEX. This is for good reason. Jon was bold enough to graft Voltex parts not meant for his chassis on to it. For the longest time this was just the Voltex Bugeye, and that was good. The rear diffuser, sidesteps and GT wing, and Greddy lip proved to be starting points, because things just went from there. In the rear we have 04-05 tail lights, and a rear bumper and fender arches from yet another STI. Oh, and there’s also the widebody setup back there too. But why throw a widebody on the rear, and not the front?
Before we get to that, let’s talk about some of the other stuff on this car. There’s a wide assortment of JDM goodies on this: STI V7 hood scoop, grill and headlights; Spec-C roof vent; side markers, and ion fog lights. There’s a roof vane behind the roof vent, and the corner markers have been plugged with carbon fiber.
As you can see, there are no rivets on the exterior of this car. And the wide fenders on the front didn’t arrive at Solid Autoworks in a box. Those are handmade in metal. Seeing someone with legitimate wide metal front fenders is a rarity, in an age where you can order FRP over fenders and slap them on. A lot of craftsmanship went into this bugeye, proving that sometimes the only way to have the best is to make it yourself.