5 Years ago today, I picked up a 2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Hatchback from Stan Olsen Subaru (now Baxter Subaru). There's really been no looking back since then! Ask anyone who knows me. I bleed Subaru!
On the one hand, yeah I could probably be "Brand Bias" which can easily be frowned upon. However, in the last 5 years, the experiences I've had with Subaru ownership and the community I've discovered around it, it's become a great part of my life. Are Subarus the best cars ever built? No, I'm not sure anyone can make that claim 100%. But with everything I've experienced with Subaru so far, it's been the best for me.
Literally the day after I bought my car, I went to a local Subaru meet. I already knew a couple of the guys there. A friend had taken me to a meet even before I owned my Impreza. But there were tuners, outdoor adventurers, mechanics, daily drivers, such a wide variety of people who enjoyed these cars but all came together to hang out. Many of the people I met through those first couple of meets have become great friends over the years. They've helped me fix my car, fix my house, come over for dinner, gone on trips together, it's a whole family! I would've missed the chance to meet them had I owned something else.
Through owning Subarus, I've also been introduced to Rallying. It's gone from casually watching videos online to building and competing with my own Rallycross car, to going to a Stage Rally to spectate and see this awesome form of motorsport unfold before me. And now, thanks to people I've met through going to events, I'm going to start the pursuit of actually competing in a Stage Rally someday! If you had asked me 6 years ago "hey Mike, are you ever going to be a rally driver?" I'd probably ask "what's that?". It's been so fun working towards this new goal and the road taken so far has been rewarding!
Since I picked up that 2012 Impreza, I've had a few Subarus. In September of 2013 I picked up a Project Car: a 2000 Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe in need of some serious care. I turned that into a rallycross machine and sold it to a friend of mine. In October of 2015 I picked up a 2016 WRX STI Series.HyperBlue and donned "Higgins 75" logos on the wing to support and commemorate the Perfect Season he and Craig Drew had that year. Last summer I replaced my '00 Impreza rallycross car with a "new" '99 Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe and have been competing with that car now.
The running joke among my friends and family has been "If you know Mike, you either own a Subaru now or you will." My Wife had a '04 Outback and has a '15 Forester XT now. My mom has a '13 Outback. My dad had a '14 Forester that he gave to my sister after he got a '16 Forester. My father-in-law has had two Legacies and a Crosstrek. Most of the Groomsmen in my wedding own Subarus, too! These cars have taken care of the people I care about, so I keep recommending them to friends and family.
Consider this my "Thank You" to everything Subaru. From the people who built my car in Japan to the friends I can now call 'family' that I've met over the years, thanks for all the great experiences so far! Here's to "what's to come"