Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and everything in-between to all my readers, fellow Subaru owners, and friends I've made along the way!

Whatever you celebrate, may it be a wonderful and special time for you and yours.  We are all so lucky to be part of and to contribute to this great community.  The year-round support is something to treasure.

So, as you celebrate this holiday season, remember that it's more than just enjoying these great cars.  It's about the friends you make at events.  It's about the advice and expertise of the community you're part of.  It's all these things that make this so fulfilling and satisfying!

Happy Holidays, from All We'll Drive!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Seasons of Launch Control!

On April 17th of 2013, Formula Photographic ponied up with the Subaru Rally and Rallycross Teams to create a series highlighting two sides of a similar coin.  On one side, the coverage of competition in the RallyAmerica series that Subaru has been strong in for several years.  On the other side, a newer program battling through the growing sport of Global Rallycross.  At the heart of all of it: Vermont Sportscar, some WRX STIs, and a handful of drivers, mechanics, engineers, and other team members fighting for the top-spot of the podium.  This... is Launch Control.

The series just completed it's second season, covering the trials and tribulations during the 2014 series.  I've been linking them since April 17th to this page as each one has been released on YouTube, and for good reason.  Launch Control has done a fantastic job capturing the details you can't get from reading the times off of the stages that David Higgins and Craig Drew just blew through.  The heart and soul of both of these teams that they put into their work has been etched into this series from day one, arranged with gratuitous amounts of slow-motion rally cars getting sideways and slinging mud everywhere.  What's not to like?

Launch Control has done a lot for the fanbase of enthusiasts, but it has also shed light on an often overlooked sport in the United States.  By making the series free to watch on YouTube, they've made it accessible to a huge audience.  It's an addictive show to watch, too.  You would think the drama is scripted the way things play out sometimes, so it's exciting and engaging for both veterans and newbies to the sport of Rally and Rallycross.  The first season also made it to BluRay so folks can take the action to their living room.  I know I've had friends over for "Rally Movie Night" where we share great films with flying dirt.  Exposure for rally is important to help it grow for fans and drivers alike, so it's encouraging to see a series like this out there.

I have no doubts that a 3rd Season is on the way for Spring of 2015, as Launch Control has been well received as it grows.  Subaru's Rally programs have also been growing, both with it's drivers and the machines they pilot.  Vermont Sportscar has a lot of fun ahead of them with the new WRX design, Travis Pastrana has made a fantastic return to the sport, Bucky Lasek has become a very capable driver, there's a lot on the up.  There's also a lot of good that will continue with the teams as David Higgins continues to dominate the field, Sverre brings his Rallycross expertise to the track, and a fantastic team behind them to keep the cars fighting for the podium at each event.

If you've missed it, need to finish up, or just want to watch those episodes again, they're all here on my blog and Subaru's YouTube page.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

RS Revival: Rear End Sealed Up!

Just days before the Rallycross event held on November 2nd, the RS was not looking like it was race-ready!  Thanks to the help of Russ' Garage and MT Heads, we rebuilt both rear quarter panels on this coupe in time to compete.  It wasn't easy, especially considering how bad the passenger side rust was.  However, because we re-used metal from the damaged fender when the RS struck a deer back in October, following the fender lines wasn't all that hard to do.

IMG_4116They did an awesome job welding and rebuilding the fenders.  The passenger side saw the worst rust, so there was a lot to replace there.  Once the metal was in, we used body filler and smoothed out each side.  Then we used seam sealer to follow along each new panel line to block out mother nature.  After the body filler had been sanded over, we went over all of the new metal with self-etching primer, some silver paint, and closed it all up.

Instead of trying to blend factory paint together, the silver paint underneath was simply put down for graphics to stick to.  Right now, the RS has a quick Plasti-Dip job over each fender to cover it up until some rally-esque vinyl graphics can be put on.

The rest of the photos can be seen in the gallery below!

Monday, November 3, 2014

RS Reborn!!

Earlier this season, this '00 Impreza Coupe was struggling to put power down with these grippy tires because of a hurting engine.  I've loved the transformation this car has gone through in just over a year, but I really feel like the last few months have completely changed the car.  At the heart of this change was the heart: a rebuilt 2.5 liter N/A H4 motor out of a 2001 Impreza 2.5 RS, and it's this power that has breathed new life into the car.  There's an obvious difference between the June Bugs Rallycross and the last Points event that was just held on November 2nd.  It's not just something felt by the driver, but reflected in the times with the car, too!

At this event, the RS had two drivers.  The cone-smashing gate-missing newbie driving was done under #4 (me) while the time-attack champion driving was done under #14.  One of my good friends, who also owns a '01 Impreza RS Sedan, co-drove in this car and did a fantastic job wringing results out lap after lap.  He won the Prepared AWD class and came in 5th overall!  I learned a lot riding shotgun with him and it was fun seeing what the car was capable of without having to deal with my noobish driving.  I improved my own driving throughout the day, but was no match for his cone-hugging skills!

Once the dust had settled and the medals had been handed out, I took the RS out for a few more runs around the course.  A Legacy, WRX, Escort, and Miata joined me for some "Fun Runs" as I tried to improve my times.  54 and 52 second runs were quickly replaced by consistent 49 second times, and even a 47 before we called it a day.  I was quite happy with the adjustments made to my driving!

One of the workers at the RallyX noted "Every time I see you two come in after a run, you're both smiling and laughing".  That pretty much summed up our day in the dirt!  We both had a lot of fun throwing this car into turns and kicking up dirt into the crisp November air!  For me, the satisfaction came from having such a solid performance out of the car.  Having my co-driver mop the floor with my times showed me that the limitations aren't something I need to fix with t the RS... but just being a better driver myself.  It will be more fun improving my abilities behind the wheel instead of hoping the car is capable of performing.  It was a great finish to the 2014 Rallycross season for the NRSCCA and now, thanks to this event, I'm itching to have another go at it for next year!

See more pictures at

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

RS Revival: Rear Quarter Repairs

imageImage 006Earlier in the fall, my RS met up with a deer and messed up the front end a bit.  I managed to fix that, but I didn't expect that busted front fender to help with repairs to the rusted-out rear quarter panels.  By cutting pieces out of that fender that follow the wheel arch, it's been making work a little easier as we rebuild the rear end of this 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe.  The hope is to have it repaired and sealed up by November 2nd for the Rallycross event, but time is quickly slipping by!

The drivers side repairs are nearly complete, but the passenger side (which was in much worse shape to begin with) still has a ways to go.  The rust managed to eat part of the wheel well as it's destructive cancer spread.  We'll need more than leftover metal from the wheel arch to patch that portion!

Once things are patched, we'll refinish the surface and seal the snot out of everything.  It may not look pretty for the event, but at least it will be buttoned up!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Prep for RallyX!
The nights are getting longer, the crisp air and crunchy leaves paint the season, and there's one more chance to whip your car around the dirt!  The Nebraska Region SCCA is holding another Rallycross at I-80 Speedway.  This was the same location used for the National Championships for RallyX this year!  Registration was only recently opened, so get on MotorsportReg and gear up for another fun event!

I've only managed to bring the RS to two events this year due to my busy schedule and repairs to the car.  A lot has happened since this car's last run through the mud back in June, so I'm hoping for a positive result of all the hard work that has gone into it.  I'm less concerned with beating others in my class and more just looking forward to the car working right.  

Sign up for this event with the links below!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The "Forester Turbo" from RCR

"For a male, driving a Forester is a way of forever throwing yourself at the feet of every NPR reporter begging for forgiveness on behalf of your gender."  For those that know the owner of this swapped '98 Forester... this opening line for the "Regular Car Review" featuring one of Nebraska's own was quite the gut-buster.  If you haven't seen these videos before (there's a whole bucket-load of them on YouTube), it's probably more of an acquired taste.  Somewhere between the drone of technical aspects about the car, high-five handouts to the 90s, and gruffly-spoken crude humor remarks, there's not really anything else like a Regular Car Review out there on the internet.  They're certainly worth a watch if you're a car enthusiast, especially if you own one of the cars he happens to review.  In this case, the 1998 Subaru Forester featured in this review belongs to a good friend of mine!

Amidst everything said in the review, they hit the nail on the head at 4:25 about this swapped Forester.  Everything works!  This '98 Forester started off as a project car and devoured a 2002 WRX wagon driveline in the best possible way.  You've got all the space and utility that made the Forester a great family car with the beating heart of a rally car hurling you in and out of every turn.  This car feels like it came from the factory like this the way everything went together, which is either a compliment to the "Subaru Legos" at work or the guy who put it together... or both!

The transformation of this car started last winter and was buttoned up before the first NRSCCA Rallycross Points events in the spring.  Outside of the initial swap, the rest of the work is just JDM dress-up to further suit the look of this "Rex Box" to the owners liking.  I've really enjoyed seeing what he's done aesthetically with this car, but the initial charm of this car has always been how solid it is.  When someone see's this car for the first time, it's almost always one of the first things the owner mentions to them: how it drives... and I think that's something that gets lost when the majority of people are working on a project car like this.  I'm guilty of it, too... being too eager to get it looking good but still accepting the fact that it drives like crap is a tricky bug to get over sometimes.  That's certainly not to say that EVERY swap or project car falls into this rut, but this is one that came out on top from the get-go.  This Forester's owner did the homework in the garage first to get it buttoned up RIGHT and then proceeded to make it pretty.

The review itself is actually kind of neat if you take a step back.  It essentially serves as a review for two things.  First being to 1st Generation Foresters.  "It's a staple of yard sale Dads who write the words 'Like New' in quotation marks on the cardboard cut out from a box of store-brand shredded wheat and tape it, with electricians tape, to a Hitachi chop saw that has been the star of many plays and seen better days."  Then there's obviously the more specific review at hand about this particular Forester concerning the swap, JDM, STI, EJ20, and all the other acronyms that Subaru loves.  The video still gets all the "Regular Car Review" jabs and quips that viewers expect, but this Forester still manages to receive the best compliment any swapped car can get: everything works.

This past weekend, the WRX Box joined fellow owners for the NSOC Fall Meet for an afternoon winding through scenic roads in Eastern Nebraska.  I've seen the car dozens of times before, as I know the owner and see him at lots of events that our group holds.  His wife purchased a '15 Legacy from me at the dealership I work at, too!  When I saw the car at this meet, it was kind of funny thinking "Hey, that's the Forester in that YouTube video!" like it was some sort of famous icon.  Internet cred or not, it's still a great car thanks to the work the owner put into it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

NSOC Fall Meet!

Usually the dealership is closed on Sundays and the only people on the lot are lurking about trying to figure out why on earth a car maker would offer every vehicle with All-Wheel Drive standard (except those crazy BRZs).  This time, the lot was filled to the brim with a colorful variety of new and old Subarus alongside their equally unique owners!  It's the Fall Meet for the Nebraska Subaru Owners Club!

Over 30 cars and their owners showed up to this great event held up at Stan Olsen Subaru in Omaha, NE.  WRXs, Legacies, Foresters, STIs, and everything else in-between made quite the showing as owners checked out other local Subies and caught up with old friends (and made some new ones!)  Once everyone had gathered, a familiar rumble filled the air as cars lined up to head out on a scenic cruise route through the hills.  After the twists and turns, the group landed at the Florence Mill just before the Iowa/Nebraska border to wrap things up.  A few more photos, a few more faces to learn, and talks of where the next event might take us, things couldn't have gone better!  It was a wonderful way to enjoy the perfect fall weather before things get chilly!

While some owners pack their pristine machines away for the winter, others (myself included) are making preparations to hoon on the inevitably snowy roads coming in the days ahead!  This cruise is always a sign of the changing season from the track-day weekends of Summer to the winter-beater months on this frozen Midwest tundra!  Whatever the plans, the Fall Meet is always a great way to transition and keep in touch with our fellow owners and friends!

Here's a link to all the photos I took at this event!
2014 NSOC Fall Meet

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hybrid Tail Lights on my '12 Impreza Hatchback!

I finally did it!  After almost a YEAR with this idea sitting on the drawing board, I finally took the plunge and fixed a set of 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid tail lights to my 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Hatchback.  I absolutely love the end result and it wasn't too terribly hard to do!

The hurdle to jump with this conversion is the plug for the wiring harness between the car and the tail light.  While the wiring layout is IDENTICAL between the Impreza and XV Crosstrek Hybrid, the plugs are shaped differently, preventing this from being a simple "Plug-n-Play" swap.  However, it is still quite easy to take care of by depinning the plugs and re-using the Impreza housing for the Hybrid tail light wiring.  Just keep track of the layout between the two so you don't mix it up, but other than that... it's a relatively simple conversion in application.

While it is quite easy to do, you probably won't see a lot of Impreza Hatchbacks toting these sharp tail lights.  Unless you manage to meet up with a Hybrid owner who isn't attached to their beautiful LED tail lights that would like to swap with you, these parts aren't cheap.  Mix in the fact that trying to find these tail lights in the used market will be quite difficult as the car (as of this post) hasn't even been available for purchase for a year in the US.  They don't make too many of these Hybrids either, which will make any shot at finding a used set even tougher.  Purchasing the necessary parts from a local Subaru dealership will cost you quite a hefty chunk of change.

My little Hatchback is more confusing than ever, what with WRX wheels, quad-tipped exhaust, and now sporty-looking tail lights, it doesn't look much like the base model economy car that it actually is.  I'm really happy with the results and will keep working to make my Impreza unique, but still somehow look like it was some sort of factory-option that never was.

Monday, September 29, 2014

We can Rebuild it... again...

At the beginning of the month, the RS Revival project car was at an all time best!  Body looked great, interior looked great, engine ran great, it was a far cry from the beat-up rusted-out misfiring car it was a year ago.  As luck would have it, things wouldn't last.  Not even a week after the car was running like this, the front drivers side of the car decided to meet up with a deer.  Hood creased, grille shattered, fender punched in, and some nice stress marks on the newly repainted bumper.  Yes, it could've been worse... MUCH worse.  But it was still heartbreaking to see the car beat up so quickly.

The next day was spent searching for replacement parts.  It took a couple of weeks, but everything is finally lined up and on it's way to repair what we technically already had repaired before.  There's a couple of slight changes with these new parts going on, but they're for the better I think.  The first is the addition of Fog Light Covers.  These should help keep rocks and bugs off of the OEM fog lights.  We're building metal brackets for them so they're easily removable when it's "Rally Time".  A Rally car HAS to have big fog lights, right?

The new grille we found has the Subaru logo in the middle instead of the Impreza "I".  As cool as that "I" is, people had a hard enough time figuring out what kind of car it was... let alone who built it!  Having the Pleiades Star Cluster on the front again should clear those questions up.

Lastly, we are actually replacing BOTH fenders, as one of them is hailed/dented/pretty beat up.  Instead we'll have two factory-painted fenders that have been rolled to fit wider wheels.  This is good because the rally wheels barely fit on the car.  When we rebuild the quarter panels, we'll be making the same adjustment.

In the meantime, I've been cleaning engine bay stuff up quite a bit.  I cleaned underneath the windshield wipers / bottom of the windshield and got a lot of grime and dirt out of those tough-to-reach spaces.  Everything should be on the car and buttoned up by the weekend, so it'll be good to keep moving forward on this project instead of redoing more work!

2015 Impreza Facelift

It's a formula that worked well for the 2013 Legacy and Outback that's coming next to an Impreza near you!  The 2015 Subaru Impreza is set for a facelift midway through it's generational lifetime.  The 4th Generation Impreza, which made it's debut as a 2012 model, has been received remarkably well thanks to it's new grown-up look and great gas mileage paired with the All-Wheel Drive system we already love and know.  Much like Subarus before it, the Impreza will see small updates inside and out to give it a little more competitive edge for the next two years until it is replaced by the 5th Generation model in 2017.

Announced on September 25th, the 2015 Impreza will have an updated front facia and interior, as well as incorporate EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, joining the ranks of the Forester, Outback, and Legacy for that "Top Safety Pick +" category by the IIHS.  As with all 2015 Subaru models, it will have a standard rear-vision camera displayed on it's new touchscreen radio.  The tachometer has been updated, as well has taking up a sharper rear spoiler for sedan models.  The new facia has some obvious cues from the Impreza and WRX concepts that enthusiasts have been clamoring for, which is nice to see coming through as Subaru moves ahead.  They have also managed to wring out another MPG or two with the design, likely from the new aerodynamics of the revised front-end.

Click the link below for my personal take on the changes here and where the Impreza lineup may be headed!

Monday, September 1, 2014

RS Revival: One Year in the Books

On September 6th of 2013, this 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe started a long journey toward recovery.  This "RS Revival" has seen quite a bit of progress from that day that it changed hands to nearly a year later.  Today, when that new motor fired up for the first time and it wasn't shaking uncontrollably under the hood... it just hit me how this car has improved by leaps and bounds.

With this rebuilt 2.5L SOHC Boxer Engine breathing new life into this car, it sort of acts as a placeholder for a years-worth of work on this car.  The work has not been a solo act.  There's a long list of great people who have helped get this car to where it is today.  From simple advice to help working on it to sourcing parts, there's not only communities that I've tapped into that have contributed... but also a great little community that has gathered around this car that continues to grow.  I've really enjoyed working on this car in their company so far and I am convinced we would be nowhere near the point we are now without them.

The photos below really tell the story of where this car came from and the journey it's had up to this point.  As it continues to improve, it's neat to look back and see the progress that has unfolded in that short year.

There's still more to come with this car.  For now, this is a good point to pause.  The new motor is fantastic.  The body isn't trash.  The interior is a nice place to be.  It's just an all-around better car than it was when we started.  I'm very proud to see how far it's come and am excited to continue working on this great little Subaru!

Friday, August 29, 2014

RS Revival: New Motor... almost!

For months now I've been saying "new motor" and "I'll fix the motor" and other excuses.  Last night, I put some truth to those claims as we lifted the original 2.5L SOHC motor out of the RS.  Bit of a recap, if you've missed it, but this motor was a bit tired.  It's main issue was Cylinder #4, which was fabulously holding a whopping 20% compression when we ran tests on it back in November of '13.  It's been like this since I picked it up and, while it idles rough and just doesn't quite have the power it should, it somehow never managed to break down.  Thanks to this hurting motor, this project car has always been mobile under it's own power from garage to shop to RallyX event.

Last night, we hoisted this Rotary Boxer Engine out of it's holding cell.  With the help of some friends and a borrowed lift, it came out pretty easily.  The new motor is from a 2001 Impreza RS Coupe that was rebuilt 7k miles ago.  It also has an Exedy clutch, STI oil pump, and other minor tweaks to it.  We transferred the alternator and water pump over from the old motor, but also found out that we needed to transfer the oil filter adapter and thermostat too.  Were it not for those two bits, we probably would've had the car buttoned up and running!

Alas, that glorious moment when this car is fired up WITHOUT a misfire, WITHOUT shaking itself to pieces, and WITHOUT that flashing Check Engine light will have to wait just a little longer.  I won't have time to tackle it until Sunday, so hopefully by Labor Day, this RS will be running around happily with it's new motor!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dusty Trails

Decided to blow the dust off my '12 Impreza Hatchback by putting a fresh coat of dust on it like I used to.  My focus has been on the RS Revival for so long that I neglected to do much outside of commuting to work in my sporty hatch.  What better way to do this than by bringing a friend along and tearing up my favorite dirt road in the area!  The Waubonsie Loop of the Loess Hills National Scenic Byway is full of winding gravel and dirt roads, but this one section (just south of Glenwood, IA) takes the cake.

The fella in the dark blue RS sedan just picked that machine up.  It reminds me a lot of how the RS Revival started out, as it has many of the same problems that we've tackled for almost a year on the silver coupe.  Shot suspension or not, he also had a great time getting sideways on these awesome roads.  With one of his buddies riding shotgun, it was great to have them along for the ride.  They had never been up this way, so it was fun being their tour guide for this slice of rally heaven.

More pictures can be found in this Flickr Album> Glenwood Glee

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

11 Months

It's hard to believe, but this project is nearly a year in the making!  While there's still much more work to be had, I realized how far the car had come in that time.  I thought I'd take a step back and recall everything that has happened since last September.

Matching Wheels & Tires
New Rear Wheel Bearings
New Clutch Slave
2002 WRX Wagon Rear Crossmember
2004 STI Exhaust
KYB Exel-G Struts w/RS Springs
Aluminium Front Control Arms
Primitive Front Skid Plate
Primitive Rear Diff Skid Plate
Gorilla Top-Mount Cold Air Intake
Replaced Drivers door
Repaired windshield frame/New Windshield
Patched hole in the floor
Clear Headlights, Corner Lights, Side Markers
New Hood & Front Drivers-side Fender
Version 6 Grille
Version 6 Front Seats
Duracon Shift Knob w/Leather Boot
New OEM Carpet

Major preparations to repair the severely rusted Rear Quarter Panels have been made, but new metal won't be welded in until September.  Still, it's not the same car it was a year ago!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Some Lines in the Dirt

On the one hand, I'd love to hit these routes below every day if I could, but I haven't got the time!  I've organized Gravel Cruises on these routes before with great success, so I thought I'd share 'em for local owners to check out on their own time if they'd like.

When these routes are used for events, we space cars out 2-3 minutes between each car leaving the starting point to give folks space and to avoid eating a windshield full of rocks.

The three maps listed below are among my favorites.  I still go out and try to plot out new routes, but it's tough connecting bits and pieces of great roads if there's miles of straightaway between them.  They're all in different parts of the Omaha area, too.  One out west, one northeast and one southeast.

View Hitchcock Highlands in a larger map

View Gravel Express in a larger map

Waubonsie Run won't display as a map on here, but you can check out that map here> MAP

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The "Throwback" Cruise

I'm always down for cruising around with fellow Subaru owners, winding through scenic roads on the outskirts of town.  This next event coming is a little different, though.  We're turning back the clocks about 15 years to a time before the WRX hit US shores and doing a "Pre 2002 Chassis Meet" up in scenic Ponca, NE.  It's the same location the Midwest Subaru Meet was held at, so it's more than just a pretty place to take pictures.  It's a fantastic place to drive!

The event is on Sunday, August 24th.  I'm hoping to have more done on the RS Revival in time for this, but at least the car is still driveable.  I've been noticing more older Subarus rolling around, finding owners that are breathing new life into them, so this should be a fun event to get those cars together for some great pictures and an enjoyable ride!

For more details about this event and to sign your Subie up, follow this link to the Facebook Page for it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

RS Revival: Weekend Work Pays Off

This past weekend, the project car really made quite a transformation!  The fresh paint on the front bumper was only the tip of the iceberg with the work put into this '00 RS Coupe.  The world-class hole that had rusted through the drivers-side floor pan got patched up, which meant a whole slew of things could happen to the interior!  After some Seam Sealer and some new undercoating, the new OEM carpet was able to go in!  The old one was gross and had some holes in it that would just allow more moisture and junk to get under the floor and cause more problems, so I cleaned the interior up thoroughly before installing it.

With the new floor in and the interior trim pieces making their way back into the car, there was one more "new" item to make its way into the RS.

I'll explain later this week why these awesome Version 2 STI seats are coming out of the RS.  It's a nice story, but for now, I'd like to show you what replaced them.  These are Version 6 STI seats and, from the bit of information I've managed to pick up, these are not "normal" seats.  Most of the Version 6 interiors had red bolsters on them while these ones have blue.  They're very similar to the Impreza P1 seats from the UK, but instead of saying "Prodrive" in the middle of the seat, there's the World Rally Team logo etched in alongside a "Subaru Tecnica International" logo.

The logos aren't in the best shape, as they seem to have fallen out over time.  Even the Version 2 seats (which are older) seem to have retained more of their stitchng.  Regardless, they look fantastic, they add that bit of "color" I think the car needed.

There's obviously more work to be had, from the engine to the rear quarters, but a lot of "new" has happened to the RS in a short amount of time and it's been wonderful to work on it!  More updates coming soon!

Monday, August 4, 2014

NSOC Platte River Run!

Photo courtesy of Knightsabre75
Had a great time this weekend with local Subaru owners meeting up and taking a spin around some roads nearby the Platte River.  The route is the same as the first one I ever organized with the Nebraska Subaru Owners Club back in April of 2012.  It may not be the longest route or be the most exciting, but it's easy to take big groups through and it doesn't take all day to do.  About 30 Subarus of all shapes and sizes gathered, along with two Evos and a BMW.  We met in a parking lot at the Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall, took some pictures and talked cars, and then set out on the route.

Near the end of the route, we stopped by the Strategic Air & Space Museum for some more photos.  It was nice taking pictures of rockets with rockets in the background!  At the conclusion, a few folks managed to stick around to go grab dinner together while others jetted off for other plans that evening.

It was a great event with no real hiccups or issues, so it was nice to close out the weekend with a flawless meet!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

RS Revival: No More Black Bumper

This '00 RS was starting to get known by local Subaru owners as "The Black Bumper RS", but those days have since passed.  This week, the Project Car got a fresh coat of paint on the mostly black bumper that used to adorn the front end.

On the one hand, it was kind of crummy paint job to begin with, as the whole thing had flaked off down to bare plastic.  It has been like this since before the project started.  On the other... it was quite easy to repaint because of this!

Factory-correct paint went on Friday.  Over the weekend, we buttoned up the front end to see that "this might not be a junky car" look we had never seen on this RS before!  It really does look fantastic from the front now... and that Version 6 STI Grille ties things together beautifully!

Overall, the front end of this car has transformed quite a bit.  This car had obviously been in an accident before, which the flaked-off paint already hinted at.  Both front fenders still had part number stickers on the inside, which they wouldn't have if they were original to the car.  The hood had body filler (with rust coming through) and had also been repainted poorly.  Many parts have been replaced or repaired, but things still aren't quite aligned on the front end.  It's not enough to be noticeable, but it's still a matter of cleaning up past problems to help bring this car back to it's glory days.

There's still a lot more work to be had this month for the RS Revival.  While this car looks great from the front, every other angle still shows the obvious exterior problems plaguing it.  It's been a tough battle against the rust on this car.  The engine has also been hurting for awhile and, while it still has never managed to break down yet, we cannot take this luxury for granted.  The ability to drive this car from shop to garage to driveway as it is being worked on has been helpful, but I fear luck might run out if we stretch it too far.

Next up: Interior repairs and additions are made while preparations for new metal in the quarter panels and a new motor are underway!