Friday, March 11, 2016

Looking Back - Going Forward

March 15th of this year will mark exactly 4 years that I've owned Subarus.  It certainly feels like it's been a much longer time, but my enthusiasm for the brand has only grown tenfold since I first rolled that Impreza off the lot.  As I look forward to even more great things to come, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back and retrace when Subaru got into my blood.

There are three times I can think of before I owned that hatchback when I was like "man, I want a Subaru".  The first happened back in the Trapper Keeper days.  There was a kid in my class who had a folder with a 2002 World Rally Blue WRX sedan on the front and back... and somehow I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  Well, of course I did!  2002 was the first year I started driving in High School and I had been handed down a "vantastic" 1992 Ford Aerostar.  Literally everything else seemed like a cooler car!  But there was something that stuck out with those bug-eyed Imprezas driving around in the dirt.  It seemed pretty cool, so I asked dad if I could get one.  Not a chance!  Oh well.

The second time came when I was in college.  I want to say it was like 2007?  Anyways, some friends were going out to eat and it was snowing.  My '00 Celica wasn't getting around very well.  A friend of mine had just sold his '86 Nissan Z31 and picked up a '02 WRX Hatchback.  He offered to give me a ride and I remembered "hey, this is that cool car from that folder in High School".  He explained how that hood scoop, unlike on my Celica, was actually working supplying cold air to an intercooler for the turbocharger.  I asked what that meant and he kicked it sideways in the snow onto the main road and smiled.  The quick trip to the restaurant was even quicker... even in the slick conditions.  As the years passed and my Celica started to mix oil and fuel while I got rides to the parts store in this black Bugeye that my next car would have to be a Subaru.

In the Summer of 2011, my Celica was not doing well.  I figured I had about half a year before the engine would need a complete rebuild.  A bad catalytic converter had been causing engine problems that were ruining the ringlands and eating oil profusely.  I didn't have much money to fix it OR to buy a Subaru, so I decided to see if it would survive the winter and get something during tax season.  However, my desire to get a Subaru was further strengthened by a video I saw online.  It featured a Vermont Sportscar built WRX STI with David Higgins at the helm climbing a mountain in my home state of New Hampshire.  Beating the record atop Mt Washington's Climb to the Clouds event not only solidified my decision to get a Subaru, but also got me interested in learning more about this "rally" stuff.  That opened up a whole new obsession that would not only lead me to getting a Subaru, but to later purchase another Subaru for the sole purpose of using it for local rallycross events.

I don't mean to sound like a romanticist with Subaru, but these three moments didn't just make me want to get one.  After purchasing a 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Hatchback, a lot of big things happened in my life.  I started my first full-time job working for a Subaru dealership just 6 months after buying it from them.  Thanks to the job, I could afford a ring and proposed to my girlfriend that winter.  The next summer I purchased my first home with a nice big garage... which really came in handy when I purchased a 2000 Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe for rallycross that fall.  In winter of 2014 I had the car running well enough to participate in my first rallycross event.  Later that spring I married my best friend (who also had a Subaru) and everything else just started to fall into place.  I would've happily married my wife at some point or another anyways.  She's made for me!  But I really think getting that car helped set things into motion for us over the last four years.

After looking back, there's even more to look forward to!  I've been incredibly happy at my job at the dealership helping people get hooked on these cars like I did.  In place of my first Subaru lies a beast-of-a-machine they call the WRX STI Series.HyperBlue that I love.  The rallycross car has never been better and my wife now has a turbocharged Forester that gets groceries even FASTER than before!  I also get to meet that driver for SRT USA that got me hooked on rallying.  A caravan of friends I've assembled are headed to our first-ever Stage Rally in Missouri to go see David Higgins and Craig Drew tear it up at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood.  Oh, and that friend that got me hooked on Subarus to begin with?  He's in town this month.  I've gotta thank him for setting me down this path, even if he didn't intend for it to work out so well!

And people wonder why I bleed Subaru now ;)

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