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.

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