My name is Joe (IG: @boosti.bois) and this is my JDM 2.0 swapped Subaru Impreza 2.5RS Coupe (GC8 or GM6 if you wanna get crazy). I’m a paid ads manager for a marketing agency based in Salt Lake City, Utah, but in my spare time, I like to build cars with my buddies. It’s almost embarrassing to say, but I’ve been addicted to fast toys since the Fast and the Furious movies. When I turned 18, I got my first sportbike. A few accidents and broken bones later, I decided to sell my bike and get into cars. The late Ken Block’s (Rest In Peace!) gymkhana videos were a major catalyst for my growing automotive obsession, but more specifically, they made me fall in love with Subarus and rally cars.
Fast forward a couple of years to circa 2012, there was a small car dealership which had a satin white pearl 2007 WRX on the lot. I drove by the next day and bought the car. The rest is history, and I was hooked. My girlfriend (now wife) liked my car enough that she ended up with a 2006 Subaru Impreza 2.5i, but a few months later, a unicorn popped up. It was a World Rally Blue, 2007 Subaru STi with 23k miles. I had to have it. Without selling our other Imprezas, I went to the dealership and bought it. Our trio of hawkeyes was short lived. The engine on my WRX blew up just after hitting 100k miles. I replaced that engine with an EJ257 and upgraded the turbo and intercooler, but sold the car shortly after.
Shortly after that, a 1999 Impreza 2.5RS coupe popped up on our local classifieds, which I ended up buying. It was black with hail damage and had huge rust holes in the quarter panels. It burned and leaked oil like crazy. I still loved it. The only thing that would make me love it more is if it were faster. I learned about turbo swaps on the 1993-01 Imprezas, and that they were sort of the “Mecca” of Subaru pilgrimage, and I wanted to do the same with mine. That never happened. I sold the car and immediately regretted it. I had a friend with a coupe as well, which I was able to convince him to sell me. This one was blue. It also had rusted out quarter panels, but no hail damage. I started joking with my best friends, who weren’t Subaru people, about all getting matching coupes and doing turbo swaps. My friend, Mike, took me seriously and found an already swapped 2.5RS coupe in Nevada which ended up being super clean, so he bought it. That lit a fire under our other friend, Brandon, to do the same thing. Sh*t was getting real. I found a swapped coupe locally, which Brandon bought. Now I HAD to do mine. Mike also happens to be a painter for a local collision center, so he repainted his car from black to mercury gray metallic. We then painted Brandon’s car glacier white, which I think is an Audi color. I was way behind on my build at this point. My car wasn’t swapped like theirs, it was also rusted out. I bought a widebody kit to hide the rust, but ultimately decided to ditch that idea. I had made some pretty good connections being part of the Subaru community at this point, and was able to find a SUPER clean, bare bones 2.5RS shell about 3 miles from my house, which I bought for $300. It was missing all of the parts that my current rust bucket had. 7 of us literally carried the non-rolling chassis onto the trailer.
I was able to pull the wiring, doors, hood & deck lid off of my old rusty chassis and move it all over to the clean shell. Mike then repainted the whole car rally blue pearl (not to be confused with world rally blue!) since the shell was black and my rust bucket was blue. I then bought a JDM EJ2.0 and had a wiring harness merged from our boys at iWire, to make that engine compatible with my 2.5RS dash. I upgraded the brakes with some Brembos and sourced some BBS wheels from a Japanese Subaru Forester STi, because they had the same look as the wheels from the 22B. Originally, I had an off-brand set of coilovers to get me by, but eventually got a set of ISC N1’s with the upgraded triple S springs. HUGE upgrade over what I had before, and they look great on the car. I’ve currently got an FP71hta turbo with a Tial 38mm external wastegate, Invidia downpipe and a Cobb cat-back exhaust. There are too many parts to fully list, but the full build breakdown can be found here on RallySportDirect.com, although that list is a little out of date, and the color is wrong :) more info on our other projects can be found there as well. The car makes 300whp and 270ft lbs of torque to the wheels, which is just about perfect for a lightweight AWD car.
I love my ISC coilovers. I’ve liked them so much that I got a second set for my 1993 Subaru Impreza L which is more rally car inspired than my blue one. I also have a MK3 Supra project up next, which will also rock some ISC’s when the time comes. I don’t daily drive my coupe, but I have commuted and gone on some lengthy spirited drives, and even taken the car to the track with this suspension. It’s handled everything I’ve thrown at ‘em really well, and at a great price point. Brandon and his white GC also has some ISC N1’s, and our friend Brant just got a set for his GF8 wagon which we’re building right now! We’re all super stoked. I can’t say enough good things about my ISC suspension setup, and they’ve always been super great to work with.