In the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, the Black Pearl is the fastest ship in the Caribbean and is “nigh uncatchable”. This 1996 Subaru Impreza coupe ruled the unlimited AWD class in Lap Battle, and for a while was battleship gray. The next season it returned in its black and gold trim, and was even quicker. And then it disappeared…
It wasn’t destroyed or taken off to rule other tracks, it just went into Zane’s garage. See, Zane sells cars and to really make a living doing that, you need to be there on Saturdays. Lap Battle happens once a month on a Saturday. Push came to shove, and Zane decided to sling cars, learn his family’s business and generally make a living instead of burn expensive gas and shred expensive tires. During this time the car sat in the garage, battery attached to a trickle charger, waiting to be unleashed.
Pirate ships like the Black Pearl were small ships either bought or captured and then outfitted with arms. This Impreza is no different. The beating heart of the Pearl started with a Rallispec short block stuffed with Cosworth main and rod bearings, and 9.2-1 pistons on Manley H Beam rods. The heads are packed with Cosworth cams (274 intake and 278 exhaust), valves and high RPM springs and retainers.
A built motor like that NEEDS a proper turbo set up and fuel system to truly fly, and the Pearl is no exception. An Ultimate Racing GT3076 rotated turbo kit sits at the center of the setup, with a Tial 44mm wastegate hanging off of the turbo. That big turbo pushes air through a giant TurboXS front mount and into the engine. A Walbro in-tank fuel pump gets the fuel to the 850cc Deatschwerks fuel injectors, but when things get serious, the fuel in the Sard surge tank gets set to those injectors by a 280lph fuel pump.
After hearing that list you might be thinking this whole set up is run by AEM or MoTEC, but it isn’t. A Cobb ACCESSPort v2 runs this, and runs it well.
Backing this setup is a complete 2004 STi 6 speed drivetrain because it is rather stout. Other stout things are the Tein Super Racing coilovers, the Whitline swaybars and lateral links, and the APR extended wheel studs. The Michelin slicks are stout and meaty as are the StopTech 355x32mm ST40 brake kit in the front and the STi Brembos in the back, both of which are filled with Hawk DTC70 pads.
All of that is serious stuff, and you might be thinking the wheels are Volks or Weds Sports, but you’d be wrong. Those gold 18×10 wheels are Rota SVN-Rs. Yes, those cheap wheels you see blasted on forums for being fake and see destroyed in photos are on this 400+ horsepower race car. A car that laps the 3.08 mile outer course at Miller Motorsports Park in two minutes and 4.7 seconds!
The Impreza coupes are the lightest Imprezas ever brought to the U.S. This one has been lightened slightly. EVERYTHING was ripped out, and eight things went back in. A Sparco Circuit seat, harness, and steering wheel went in. An STi dash and cluster replaced the old ones, and DEFI gauges went in the dash. A Beatrush division panel sits where the back seat used to be and an Autopower six point roll cage provides moar safe.
Much like the ship it gets its name from, this car is purpose built for speed. There aren’t any frills outside, unless you consider that huge APR GTC300 wing a frill. The Seibon carbon fiber doors, hood, trunk lid and front lip shed weight. The 22b widebody kit and rear fender flares allow for the fitment of those massive wheels and meaty slicks. The custom front canards and rear diffuser help channel air in the right direction to allow this car to run as fast as possible.
At the end of this week this car shall make its return to competition. It shall rise from the depths of the garages of Miller, but Zane doesn’t need to make a pact with a dead man to do so. All he has to do is open the garage door, fire her up and take her out.
Words by Michael Chandler, Photos by Michael Chandler and Trent Bray, Video filmed and edited by Trent Bray
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