09th Feb2016

I Blame Dallin

by Michael Chandler

Dallin Evo X Revisited CAMautoMag-13

I blame him for me desire for an Evo X.  Why’d you have to build such a cool one Dallin?  HUH?!?

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
28th May2015

When the Flame Dies Out

by Michael Chandler

Dallin Evo X Revisited CAMautoMag-15

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

Nothing lasts forever.  Memories fade, seasons change, and projects run their course.  Such is the case with La Flama Blanca, Dallion Felton’s Evo X street car/RallySport Direct’s project car.  After two years and 80,000 miles, it was time to say goodbye.  So I made Dallin, and his little doge Hiroshi, drive to an office park so I could say goodbye to the car.  And also to play with his dog, but mostly to say goodbye to the car.

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The car looks mostly the same, sans all the vinyl decals.

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It still has the APR splitter, vortex generators and GTC 300 wing.  It sits on the same red 18×10.5 Volk TE37RTs, and it still has the Ohlins coilovers.  To be honest, this thing is pretty much the exact same as it was back in February.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  Back then it put down a healthy 293 horsepower and 289 lb/ft of torque, which is pretty good considering what power adders were installed.

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Fairly simple straight forward things: Tomei Titanium cat-back, test pipe, Big Mouth downpipe, and upper intercooler pipe.  A Mishimoto intercooler, oil cooler, and radiator are things you would find on a lot of street driven Evo Xs, as are the AEM intake and TurboSmart blow off valve.  The biggest changes are ones you can’t see.

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Those big changes?  A set of 1300cc fuel injectors from Injector Dynamics, a Cosworth high volume fuel rail, a TurboSmart fuel pressure regulator, and an AEM E85 capable 320lph fuel pump cradled in a Cobb Tuning fuel pump holder.  Oh, and a Cavalli Stage 2 Turbo.  The ball bearing, single scroll turbo has a 58mm inducer and 56mm exducer, and fits like the OEM turbo.  Despite fitting like the stock turbo, it makes more power than the stock turbo.  How much more?  With a fresh tune on 91 octane the car put down 330 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque.  On a  tune optimized for E70 (ethanol, corn fuel, stuff you can’t get at a pump in Salt Lake County as far as I know) it made 408 horsepower and 345 lb/ft of torque!

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Those are respectable numbers for a street car!  And there’s more room for the next owner to turn up the heat.  The turbo can move enough air for 600 horsepower.  And yes, I said next owner.  By now the car, and many of its parts have found new homes with other Evo Xs.  Fear not, Dallin is on to bigger and better things.

Suchmodelsoposemuchlookwow CAMautoMag Michael Chandler-1

And he still has his dog.

BONUS GALLERY!!!

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.
10th Feb2015

La Flama Blanca

by Michael Chandler

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag

If you’re familiar with RallySport Direct, then you’ve undoubtedly seen this car.  If you think that this is the company’s car and I had to twist a bunch of arms to be able to take pictures of it, then you’d be wrong.  All I had to do was ask Dallin Felton, because he’s the guy who drives it and has been molding it into what you see here.

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-2

Dallin is a regular guy, just like any of us.  The biggest difference is that he happens to work for RallySport Direct, whereas we do not.  That, and he has a history of building some awesome cars.  He had a Daytona Violet M3 and a Voltex Evo VIII, so having him take the reigns of the Evo X project wasn’t that huge of a stretch or risk.

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White is the color of choice for the Evo, as it is for the rest of the RSD fleet; however, this one is accented not with blue, gray and pink like the rest of the cars.  It’s strictly white and red, aside from the windshield banner of course.  For everyday use the car rolls on a set of 18×10.5 Volk Racing TE37RTs, covered by a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE760’s.  The Potenza’s measure in at a healthy 275/35.  Behind the red Volks you see the factory red Brembo brake calipers and the Stoptech slotted rotors they clamp down on.  The slotted rotors are part of Stoptech’s Sport Kit which comprises of the slotted rotors (front and rear), stainless steel brake lines and their Street Performance brake pads.

La Flama Blanca Evo X Michael Chandler CAMautoMag-3

The car has an aggressive stance, but not crazy like a Bond villain.  The Ohlins Road and Track coilovers allow for the height adjustment, while a lengthy list of Whiteline components (ball socket end links, 27mm sway bars, control arm bushings and rear control arms, and roll kit) round out the rest of the suspension set up.  Why the high dollar coilovers and half the Whiteline catalog?  Because La Flama Blanca goes and gets it on the autocross course in the Street Mod class.  That’s also why there’s a set of 18×10 Advan RZ’s with Hoosier A6s sitting in the garage.

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There is a healthy amount of APR Performance products on the car.  From the front splitter to the big GTC-300 wing.

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Even the Vortex Generator is an APR piece!  The short antennae is from Cusco, and calling it short is very generous.

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There’s no massive diffuser, or uber rare bumper on the back of the car.  It’s almost entirely factory save for the APR spoiler, a La Flama Blanca decal, and the tip of a Tomei Titanium cat-back exhaust.  Ahead of that is a Tomei test pipe and Big Mouth down pipe.  There’s also a Tomei upper intercooler pipe made of Titanium.  Aside from the shiny pipe and the TurboSmart Dual Port blow off valve, there’s nothing screaming performance about the car.  The AMS front lower motor mount and shifter bushings are hidden down under the motor, and the Exedy twin plate clutch is a piece that never sees the light of day.  Even the interior is deceivingly pedestrian, save for the AEM UEGO, AccessPORT V3, Fat Perrin shift knob.

All of that go fast stuff you don’t see, or don’t notice because you’re used to seeing EVERY Evo X with parts like that, adds up.  The numbers they add to are 293 horsepower to the wheels and 289 lb/ft of torque.  That ain’t bad, but it’s also subject to change.  If you owned a company that sells parts for a living, wouldn’t you want to throw a bigger intercooler or turbo or cams or whatever else suits your fancy at your shop car?  Stick around.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMautoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

28th Aug2014

Gumball WRS: A Study In Cool

by Michael Chandler

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (2 of 25)

What makes a cool car?  I heard someone say that “the scene” considers a car cool if it’s lowered and has wheels on it.  Others think cool is a full on race build, with street legality and budgets thrown in the trash with the stock struts.  And others think if it isn’t adorned with the rarest of the rare it’s a waste of time.  And it has to be daily driven, or else why build it? David Arellano’s 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS is low, and on a rare set of wheels.  It has the heart of a WRX, and enough power to embarrass some people’s dedicated track day toy.  And it sees regular street duty.  If this isn’t cool, then I don’t know what is anymore.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (7 of 25)

The search for his “Gumball” began three years ago.  While biting into a sandwich, he was bitten by the urge to spend a large amount of money on a car.  After mulling over such reliable, and easily modified chassis such as FD RX-7s and twin turbo 300ZXs, David finally settled on the mildly rare 2.5RS coupe.  After looking at two other coupes he finally found the 2000 coupe you see here sitting in the corner of a shop.  The shop was in the process of building the car, and swapping in a 2.0L WRX motor.  With the promise of “prototype” coilovers, David was sold.  After some hemming and hawing by the shop, they finally dropped it off in David’s driveway.  No coilovers, but some blown struts and what would turn out to be a mismatched transmission and rear differential were in the car (which eventually failed), but so was that lovely WRX motor.  Soon after arriving in his driveway, David got to work making this car his own.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (3 of 25)

First things to go were the US spec lights.  David made a call to Japan and had some OEM clear corner markers and red/clear tail lights sent over, along with some Chargespeed clear bumper markers and clear signal lenses.  With the scourge that is amber lighting removed and banished to the land of wind and ghosts, it was time to address some other visual cues.  After running through a Bugeye WRX lip, and a Bakemono replica of a JDM V5/6 STi lip, David finally settled on something that is no longer in production: Orciari 1 piece front lip.  Sitting above the Italian made lip, are his OEM fog lights which were hiding behind the OEM fog light covers.  Out back there’s a purple Rallytech tow hook, and a set of Honda Accord spats.  According to David they were easier to install than his OEM JDM spats, and they look better.  He’s also sporting rolled and pulled fenders, because low car problems (the tires were munching the fenders before the rolling and the pulling) and also because wheel whore.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (21 of 25)

I use that last term lightly.  Having a garage full of Rotas and other OEM whatever make you drive wheels, makes you a wheel street walking hooker.  Having the stuff David has had makes you a wheel high class escort.  The streets aren’t littered with Volk CE28Ns or Work Emotion 11Rs, and coming across a set of Volk C-Ultras isn’t as easy as walking to the store.  He’s had the CE28Ns and the Works, and the C-Ultras are being repaired (they were in pretty rough shape) and custom center caps are being designed.  Enough about the past and the future, let’s talk about the present.  Specifically these 17×9 +38 Desmond Regamaster Marquis Promadas.  An exceedingly rare, Russian made wheel.  Normally you see Regamasters on Hondas, and while that’s not terribly unusual (but still cool, so if you’re doing that keep doing that) seeing them on a Subaru is VERY different.  Wrapped around the wheels are a set of Achillies ATR Sport tires, measuring in at 205/40.  Also of note, he’s running some adapters to make the wheels work.  They’re 15mm 5×100-5×114, and they’re made by a local company called Grapple Parts.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (4 of 25)

To achieve his stance David had to not only throw on coilovers, but things that allow him to make suspension adjustments.  The coilovers are BC Racing BR series coilovers with camber plates fore and aft.  For more camber adjustment, he is employing OEM camber bolts up front, and Eibach’s in the rear.  Joining the OEM camber bolts in the front is an OEM WRX swaybar, while an STi sway bar joins the party in the rear.  Also back there are some Cobb end links.  Back to the front, and in the engine bay, is a Cusco Type ST strut tower bar.  And speaking of the engine bay…

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Here it is, in all its glory!  There is the afore mentioned WRX swap, which came from a 2004 WRX.  No longer is the wrong transmission behind the motor, a 2006 WRX transmission has taken its rightful place on the back end of the motor.  Between the motor and transmission rests an Exedy light weight fly wheel, and stage 1 clutch.  For enhanced shifting pleasure there are Kartboy shifter bushings, and a stainless steel clutch cable has been installed.  Holding the transmission is a STi Group N mount.  Rigged Performance performed an internal stub axle conversion and a 2001 2.5RS 4.11 final drive conversion to pair with the 2001 2.5RS viscous limited slip differential.  Bracing that rear differential is a Laile Beatrush rear differential brace.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (16 of 25)

The motor has been hepped up on goof balls accentuated by digging through the massive Subaru parts bin, and picking up quality aftermarket pieces.  The OEM supplied parts are a VF39 turbocharger, top mount intercooler, and 565CC fuel injectors all from an STi.  The aftermarket bits are a K&N Typhoon intake, a no name one piece header and up pipe, an Invidia Bellmouth downpipe, and a Cobb cat back exhaust.  There’s also a Hallman Pro manual boost controller, which helped Jason Cleverly of Cleverly Tuned tune the car to make 286 horsepower and 240lb/ft of torque at 18psi of boost. Prettying up the bay are a Cusco turbo heat shield, Rallytech fuse box cover and radiator shroud, and a Beatrush alternator shroud.  The engine bay has been semi-wire tucked, and the battery is now in the trunk.  The coolant reservoir is now hiding in the fender and the A/C has been ditched all together.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (15 of 25)

The interior has also received its share of JDM goodies.  JDM STi pedals and Type-RA front seats have been installed, along with a Nardi Torino steering wheel, Splash steering wheel hub and Omori boost gauge.  The Beatrush Duracon shift knob sits on a stock length shifter, which has a Zealous Interiors blue suede shift boot with cherry blossom red stitching.  The shift boot matches the emergency brake boot.  Black WRX carpet and STi floor mats have come to rest at the bottom of the passenger cabin, and the door panels have been recovered in blue suede.  All the lighting is LED, and tunes come courtesy of an Alpine deck, which has an ipod cable weaving out of sight through the center console.

Gumball Impreza Michael Chandler CAMautoMag (24 of 25)

Former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart is famously quoted as saying “I know it when I see it” in regard to hardcore pornography.  Cool is definitely subjective, but when you see it, you definitely know it.  Will there be a unanimous consensus on what is cool in the automotive world?  Probably not, but if there is ever an argument to be made for it, I shall submit David’s Impreza as my exhibit A.

Words and photos by Michael Chandler

*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners.

 

18th Oct2010

Lexus IS350: Worth Waiting For

by Michael Chandler

All good things come to those who wait.  We’ve all heard it, and some of us have gone along with it.  Sometimes the wait isn’t long, like killing the last 3 hours at work on a Friday so you can go home and enjoy the weekend.  Other times it is long, like scratching the seemingly endless days between Halloween and Christmas.  And in extreme cases it is excruciating, like being told you’ll get something in a month and receiving it six months later.  Dat, IS350 owner and parking enthusiast, went through the latter with his car. (more…)