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Old 03-11-2003, 11:18 AM   #1
CoOlSlY
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Default STi turbo lag and Montreal Canada STI allocation...

Two things here in the Montréal area:

1st: My Subaru dealer said they would be allowed 1 STi per month (?) Anybody heard of that for the Montreal, Qc area? Since there is only 3 dealer, that mean 3 STi / month.

2nd: I was mainly calling to know if there will be a STi to "test drive" since I have to say, I had a 99 Cobra SVT (V8 320HP) and a 02 Vette Z06 (V8 405HP) and what disappointed me the most when I tried the WRX was the torque and the terrible turbo lag. I won't buy a STi if the lag is not dramatically improved compared to the WRX so it means I have to test drive one! Any thought on the turbo lag of the STi???

Thank you folks,

Sylvain
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:45 AM   #2
ObsidianRS
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There will definately be some lag. However, STis around there world get reviews that talk about less lag than the standard WRX. So no matter what, it will be better than the WRX you test drove.

Just guessing, but one could imagine the turbo lag will be better (less) on the USDM STi than the others since it's using a larger displacement engine so before the turbo kicks in the car will have better torque due to the engine itself. Turbo specifics haven't been released yet AFAIK, so who knows about the turbo itself and how quickly it'll spool?

And you may have some luck finding a test drive but most likely not right away as most of the cars comming in will probably be bought right away.
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:53 AM   #3
allythom
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Default Torque & Lag

I wouldn't go near a dealership that didn't allow a test drive. You're talking about dropping a lot of money on a car you may not like. Unfortunately there are enough muppets out there who don't share this POV and will happily buy a $30+K car sight unseen. This, sadly, means you may have to wait. On a brighter note: If the UK market is anything to go by. Once supply is established, STis will be outselling plain-jane WRXs pretty quickly.

Its probably not fair to compare an Impreza (WRX or STi) to a Mustang Cobra and certainly not fair to compare to a 'vette. WRXs and STi's look like tremendous performance bargains (for the money, what comes close ?), but at the end of the day a factory 2.0 or 2.5 litre motor, even with a turbo, just isn't going to generate the low-down stump-pulling torque that a big V8 can muster.

That said there aren't too many faster ways of transporting 4 people and their things from point A to point B than by STi. Especially if A and B are separated by twisty roads, the weather is poor and if your driving isn't as quite as good as Walter Rhorl's.

Good Luck

Alun
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Old 03-11-2003, 01:18 PM   #4
ObsidianRS
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Just for a different POV: I wouldn't buy my STi from a dealer that did allow a testdrive! Unless of course they have a dedicated test drive car.

I want my car to be undriven. Test drives are evil on cars: take a car with 5 miles on it and see what it can do? Ugh.

Now, that said. Legally, you have the right to drive the car to make sure it's in working order before you sign the final paperwork. If a dealer didn't allow this step, obviously, find someone else!
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Old 03-11-2003, 04:34 PM   #5
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I spoke with my NoVA dealer last Friday (I'm #8 on 'The List') and he said that i should not expect to take delivery untill January '04 at the earliest!

He said that Subaru is now advising dealers that they will only be shipping 300 STi's per month through the end of 2003 with dealer shipments to begin in May.
Not wanting to panic but attempting to hedge my bet I called a second somewhat larger local dealer and spoke with the sales manager. He repeated the exact same rhetoric, as soon as I mentioned STi, and indicated he has twelve buyers on his list.
He said I could make a deposit ($500) to get on the list but my delivery wouldn't be until the sping 2004.

Doing the quick math of 300 cars/600 US dealers=1 car per every other dealer per month, its easy to see that many of us will be taking delivery during the winter of 2003.

As for test drives, I would never buy a bicycle without taking it for a spin much less a $30K +/- durable good. That's just crazy.
But, I know for a fact equivalent one-off's and factory hot-rods are being sold just that way.
M3/M5, Vipers, Z06, Audi's upcoming RS6 & A8, E55's...heck even Mercury Marauder's are hard to find and have a high demand.

Usually the dealer will have a demo available for test drives & general thrashing. Typically they do not allow cars that were ordered and spoken for to go out on test drives.
But its tough to limit/enforce this as a policy. Trust me, I know.

Also its inevitable that someone on a list that put down cash (aka real interested buyer) will for any given reason want or need to walk away from the deal after taking a test drive (no longer interested, financial reasons, wing too big, scares the wife, whatever...).
The dealer knows & expect these types of issues to pop up and usually rides along with the buyer during the shakedown drive.
Its not until all the papers are signed and the buyer actually takes possesion/ownership of the car that the dealer then lets the buyer truly go wild, if he or she chooses.

As a new car owner what you really have to worry about are the back en folks such as the 'PDI' guys and especially the lot attendants with pimply faces, shiny new learners permits and heavy feet. Again, trust me on this. I know...

- Janq
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Old 03-11-2003, 05:58 PM   #6
banghado
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Quote:
As a new car owner what you really have to worry about are the back en folks such as the 'PDI' guys and especially the lot attendants with pimply faces, shiny new learners permits and heavy feet. Again, trust me on this. I know...
Is there any way to get the mileage info from SOA before the car hits the lot? I assume they have to drive them on and off the boat, and onto the 18 wheeler, but that should be less than 1/2 mile I would think.

Also, in general, if you go to pick up your car and it has fifty miles on it, what would you look for (if anything) to make sure its not been thrashed?


Banghado
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: STi turbo lag and Montreal Canada STI allocation...

Quote:
Originally posted by CoOlSlY
Two things here in the Montréal area:

1st: My Subaru dealer said they would be allowed 1 STi per month (?) Anybody heard of that for the Montreal, Qc area? Since there is only 3 dealer, that mean 3 STi / month.

2nd: I was mainly calling to know if there will be a STi to "test drive" since I have to say, I had a 99 Cobra SVT (V8 320HP) and a 02 Vette Z06 (V8 405HP) and what disappointed me the most when I tried the WRX was the torque and the terrible turbo lag. I won't buy a STi if the lag is not dramatically improved compared to the WRX so it means I have to test drive one! Any thought on the turbo lag of the STi???

Thank you folks,

Sylvain
Lag? Give me a break, lag is so over rated.
Do you drive around at 2000rpm and all of a sudden floor it? Of course there's going to be lag, its a turbo, the turbine has to spin upto 75-100k rpm.
Now with the added displacement there should be less lag, but if you want more hp you have to pay for it somehow, ask the supra guys with 500-600rwhp.
Next time downshift if you dont want any lag its that simple.
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Old 03-11-2003, 08:45 PM   #8
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Accordingt to Specialty Motor Cars in North Vancouver the total initial allocation of STI's for all of Canada is 35. However, I am sure there will be lots more after that. But certainly to get one early will not be that easy and forget driving one before you buy initially.
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by banghado


Is there any way to get the mileage info from SOA before the car hits the lot? I assume they have to drive them on and off the boat, and onto the 18 wheeler, but that should be less than 1/2 mile I would think.

Also, in general, if you go to pick up your car and it has fifty miles on it, what would you look for (if anything) to make sure its not been thrashed?


Banghado
Before I answer your question, let me preface that I no longer work in the dealer trade as I moved on to greener pastures after nearly 10 years in the biz.
After peaking out in the industry and doing just about every job there is I got bored and moved on to other industries and careers.

Now to answer your question, the answer is an emphatic no.
When the vehicle is sold to the dealer there is a bill of lading (BL)generated which travels with the sold lot (a single vehicle or multiple vehicles). This BL includes information toward the lot but it does not specifcally include mileage.

It is literally impossible for a vehicle to be sold off the dealers lot without having been driven. Aside from driving the lot onto the shipping carrier (i.e. semi) and any off-loading upon delivery by the shipping carrier driver, the vehicle is then moved on to and around the lot by any number of dealer employees.
Typically it is the job of the 'lead porter' (porter with most seniority) to take possesion of the lot upon delivery, assuming this occurs during business hours.
The porter compares the BL against the dealers own order sheet which is sourced from the GM and/or New Car Sales Manager.
The porter collects the keys for each vehicle and visually inspects the lot for damage that may have occurred during shipping.
He signs off on the shippers packing slip and copy of the BL to complete the exchange.

Now is when it gets interesting.
At this point the vehicle(s) will have approximately 1 mile on the clock due to pre & post shipping movement. This can vary greatly though depending on the manuf. as its not uncommon for high line manuf. such as BMW & Porsche to randomly 'road test' vehicles prior to shipment from the factory...but I digress.
In the case of Subies they'll typically have 1-2 miles max.
From there the porter moves the vehicle(s) to a temporary storage area on the lot to await PDI (aka 'Pre-Delivery Inspection'). It is at PDI when fuses are inserted for non essential items (ABS, radio, airbags, windows, AC/Heat, etc.).
At this point _anything_ can happen to the vehicle without anyone's knowledge but the porter(s).
The lot is moved out back and its not unusual for them to be hot rodded over short distances at this point. Also engines might be revved briefly at high RPM and worst.
After the fuses & mats have been instralled the plastic is removed from the seats and the paint is rechecked for any blemishes or minor scratches. If scratches/damage is found and depending on how bad they might be then the vehicle is sent to the 'Body Shop'
which for many dealers is off-site.
At this point the car hits the streets via a magnetic dealer tag, also driven by a porter, and potentially can be hot rodded to and fro.

Now lets say the vehicle is in stock for a week or so.
Well that doesn't mean it won't be driven. It could be used as a porter transport to motor around the lot if its a big dealer with acres of land. The vehicle could be used briefly as a demo by a salesperson then put back in invetory and later sold.
A number of things might occur resulting in pre-sale mileage.

I started in the industry in '86 at 15 working as a 'lot porter' part-time after school and through the summers. I didn't even have a learners permit at that time.
During those days I would grab the key of the coolest car on the lot with a good radio (typically an RX, GL-10 Turbo sedan, or an XT-Turbo) and motor around all day on the lot going back and forth from back of the lot to front and anywhere else I wanted/needed. Many miles would be accumulated without ever hitting the 'street'.

After I eventually got my learners permit (the dealers sales manager offered to let me borrow a new car from stock to take the driven test as my parents drove a 4 speed and I wasn't yet good with a manual) I then began accumulating road miles as part of work related functions for all manner of very important 'missions'. These would include picking up lunch for staff, running deposits to the bank, picking up donuts for the used car guys, meeting my friends up the road to show them the latest cool thing (like when the XT6 debuted...woohoo!), what ever. Again many miles accumulated and much potential for damage/negligence. I could go on an on with stories from there...

In fact, fast forward to just this past Saturday my wife and I went to our local Honda dealership to look at a Pilot as a replacement for our Volvo wagon. We showed up with an appt. to see a salesman whom I used to work with and remembered me from when I was a freshman in high school (I'm 32 y/old now!).
He indicated that their demo Pilot had been loaned to a customer just before I arrived.
I had noticed when pulling up that there was a shipping carrier off loading vehicles to the street. Knowing better, I asked him if there were any Pilots being delivered? What do you know, there were three...and one in the exact color and options combo we wanted.
He grabbed the porter and directed him to pull the keys ASAP and meet us over at the back of the building. Now keep in mind we are not employees, just semi-regular folks on a test drive.
Well 10 minutes later the salesman comes back with a gas ticket (vehicles are shipped with a minimal amount of fuel) and we jump in to fill'er up and hit the highway. We installed our baby's infant seat and hit the road.
After filling up at the gas station around the corner he gave my wife the keys and let us go at it. We went for an hour drive travelling from the dealer along city streets on to the highway to our home where I dropped off my wife and baby (about 18 miles away).
The salesman and I then returned to the dealership via surface streets. I drove around back and parked the car myself deep in the back in a shaded and crowded area out of direct sight.
I noted the odometer as reading 39 miles when I closed & locked the door.

Now I intend to purchase this exact vehicle tomorrow evening.
If the odometer reads anything higher than 41-42 miles then I'll refuse it and order another and wait 2-3 weeks for shipment. Reason, because I don't know who else has been driving it and where and why.
If the odometer reads somethign like 50 or so then that means its been out on a 'Road Trip' of some sort and not everyone will treat the vehicle as kindly as I did/would.
While driving it my wife and I both purporsefully stayed away from high revs and did not 'floor' it to see how it is for pick-up, etc.
Basically we treated it as though it were our own new vehicle.
Now later that night we had dinner guests and my wife mentioned that we had gone for a test drive.
Well the first question blurted out was; "Did you take it off road and see how it feels in the snow?!".

See what I mean?

That is the typical expectation of a test drive...dogging out the vehicle and driving it like you stole it.
For proof, just take notice of how badly folks abuse vehicles at car shows. By the end of a four-seven day run they are typically beat to hell.
BTW, car show cars are typically sourced from local dealer stock!
Not the specialty 'dream cars' of course but the regular stuff like WRX's, Legacy's, Taurus', etc. typically are provided by local dealers and then later 're-conditioned' and sold as new or demo's. (!)

In do have a few clues that I look for to indicate the possibility that a new vehicle has been hot rodded/abused prior to delivery.
They include the following;
* Are the pre-sets on the radio set to the local market?
- All radios come off the truck disabled as the fuses have been removed. Once the fuses are installed the radio defaults to the top of the frequency band.
Most test drives are brief and if the radio is used it'll be set by the driver to a station manually. If the pre-sets are set then that can mean its been on a 'road trip' long enough for someone to get comfortable.

* Is there carbon build up at the exahust tips?
- Most vehicles are slightly out of tune as the ECU and other components wear in over time. Often they tend to run rich at first as the ECU catches up & acclimates to things. If the engine has been revved high and possibly abused or driven at prolonged high speed (WOT) you may find a tell tale black soot just inside or on the exhaust pipe.

* What is the condition of the brake pedal cover. Does it look new?
- This is a no brainer. People tend to be lazy and not use the entire surface of the brake pedal. They slide their right foot off the outer right edge of the pedal blipping the brake and wearing the rubber down prematurely & unevenly.
Its a tell tale sign of aging on any vehicle new or used.
Ask any professional wholesaler, they'll tell you the same.

* Same as above for the mats, carpeting and front seat covering and armrest material.
- If the vehicle has low miles (30 or less) but the seat covers, mats and/or carpeting look nappy...then pass on that opportunity.

* Are the tires scuffed, muffed or even cupped?
- You know how new tire & tread looks. It takes several miles of driving to wear them in, dirty them up and get the tread blocks deglazed.
If the vehicle has low miles but the tires look like those on the car you drove in on, take a pass.

* Check the rims & tire sidewall too!
- If you see brake dust on the rims then that car has seen at least one hard brake.
You have to wonder why and from what speed...take a pass.
As a porter I used to purposefully spray down the rims to cover my tracks but almost never did any of us ever actually clean a rim.
BTW, figure that because the tires are shiny (Armor All or even Spray Nine) that all is good. The 'detailer's out back always spray down the sidewalls for bling bling effect. They _never_ spray the tire tread itself. Be fastidious and inspect the tire tread rubber.
If you see pebbles and road stones embedded in the rubber and the dealers lot is well kept blacktop asphalt then you gotta wonder where the wear (and tear?) came from?
Take a pass....

* Does the cigar lighter or ashtray show signs of use?
- If so, walk away...it might have been on a lunch run or trip to the body shop.

* Has the dealer mentioned that car was a "DX"?
- A 'DX' is short for 'Dealer Exchange'. Typically a dealers DX driver is a retired employee or some other highly trusted soul with an excellent driving record and good reputation for being punctual & having driving skill.
Doing DX's alone paid for several semesters of my college books and off-campus living...its a great gig if you can get it. Only thing though is that most often dealers sell each other the worst example of whatever is on their lot and meets the buyers need/request.
Take a pass. I have seen many awful examples DX'd to folks who unknowingly are buying abused/damaged vehicles.

* Catalytics are ticking and/or the exhaust smells funny?
- For Subaru's specifically listen for the well known ticking sound from the cats. If the cats are ticking when the engine is off and/or the exhaust smells a bit like sulfur...take a pass.
Subies when run for a while, or hard, get hot and the cats begin making a very obvious ticking sound from contraction of the metal.
Its normal and not bad for the car...but a new vehicle shouldn't get hot enough in the first place to get the cats hot enough to be ticking.
Also, if the exhaust smeels a bit like sulfur or the engine itself smeels a bit funky even if the hood isn't open...take a pass.

* Take a peek at the temp gauge.
- I once got busted by a salesman for just this reason.
The vehicle was brand freaking new off the truck but I had been out on the back lot 'testing it out' with a tech doing high rev clutch dumps for half an hour. When I eventually brought the vehicle forward for buyer pickup it was nearly overheating. Now this was an early '90's and slightly used air cooled 911 Turbo (a demo) but still, the same rules apply.
He had me take the car out back and spray the engine down with a hose to help cool it off and let it sit to cool off.

* Look for very obvious clues like MCDonalds bags on the floor, audio-tapes/CD's in the radio or center console, floor mats badly misaligned (due to multiple exiting of the vehicle), and general crap about the vehicle...then you might want to take a pass.

* Oh, and the worst of all possible things to occur.
If the car is sold as a "Demonstration" aka 'Demo', run don't walk away.
- These are often sold at discount to the first sucker, I mean consumer, with money in there pockets and glaze over their eyes.
Dealer demo's get beat on and abused like rental cars.
Forget about it. But if your common sense is over run by wanton lust, do yourself a favor and negotiate a free or highly discounted extended 'bumper to bumper' warranty in the deal.
That way when the clutch fails at 10K and the pilot bearing in the trans begins to chatter and the rear diff fails prematurely and the turbo is found to be blown and the ECU seems to permanently emit fault codes lighting up your check engine light(s), then you'll have some recourse and means to repair the vehicle...while they loan you a 'demo' as your own car is in the shop.

Now of course any one of the above instances might have a valid, reasonable and explainable (by the salesman) reason for being.
For example; "The demo was used by the owners wife/mother/daughter/sister and they babied it". I've witnessed several sales managers tell customer this blatant lie all the while he had been hot rodding and doggin it along with the rest of us for days/weeks.

Finding any one these clues is not necessarily reason to take a pass, per se. But if you do find two or three or more of these clues on one car...well then maybe its prdent to err on the side of caution.

Just keep in mind that buying a vehicle is just like buying anything else. Other folks' hands, feet and butts most likely have been there before you. And most often no one will treat your stuff as well you do.

Caveat Emptor

- Janq
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Old 03-11-2003, 10:51 PM   #10
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Janq,

Thanks for the very detailed info / warnings about broken-in "new" cars...

cheers,
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:46 PM   #11
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It will have less lag than a WRX:

Pro:
+ no pre-cat
+ larger capacity engine
+ AVCS (builds torque better at lower RPM)

Con:
- turbo bigger

Pretty much I'd say the capacity tips the balance towards less lag.

Glenn
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Old 03-12-2003, 07:51 AM   #12
CoOlSlY
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Well...

I can put my 2 cents... I'm a "on-the-road" worker and we mainly do business with car dealers. We often work for GM/Ford/Honda for 1-2 weeks and when there is nobody, salesman are always telling stories to each other about "I tried the Z06 we received" "Have you tried the S2000 from this xx customer"... I can only say, lot's of people will say "Make sure your dealer don't fool with your car and if you suspect, change to another dealer" but for working in this particular industry every week for the past 10 years, I can't say 1 dealer is completly clean and baby all the customer cars...

Either if the car has 1 mile on it, in the dealer parking lot, it's often enough to do almost a 0-60 or rev the engine "high" just to hear the sound... I think you're never sure what happened to your car.

Good story: The only way you are sure is with the device that my girlfriend have in her car! (She work for the company who invented this device and she has one for testing purposes). Hey, it's just a plain ordinary Nissan Spec-V but where she work, they have a device that tracks everything: Top speed, idle time, highest RPM, GPS positionning... When we went to Nissan once for a noise in the front right side of the car, we saw on the speedometer that they made 110 km... At first, OK, 110km because maybe they tried it a few times before finding the exact cause but when we saw the reports it was: Highest speed: 110 mph, Highest RPM: 6700 rpm ... That was enough to call Nissan and complaint but if they have done it with a Spev-V, why does the mechanic won't do it with a STi?... Btw, the device is called Astus but it's not very useful for "end-users", mainly used for buses, trucks (let's say your boss says "Don't let run your engine at idle when you repair a roof", they can see the idle time between every stop-go)...

Sylvain
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:04 AM   #13
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Janq and Sylvain,

Very, very helpful. Thanks a lot.

banghado

Last edited by banghado; 03-12-2003 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 03-12-2003, 07:59 PM   #14
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Alleggerita

As I have family at Subaru dealer in Calgary.

FWIW
90 STI's were allocated for Western Canada alone on the first orders placed Feb 6th.

"Subaru of Calgary" placed 9 orders and all have build dates of 3/3/03 confirmed SOC including mine.

Centaur Subaru of Calgary placed 7 orders with 5 only with build dates confirmed SOC.

Western Canadian Subaru dealers were allowed to place a second order on March 4th.

The 2 dealers in Calgary and 1 of the dealers in Vancouver count for 65% of Subaru sales in Western Canada.

Word is price is creeping up to between 48k to 52k canadian. SOC trying to keep under 50k as obviously this is a big number.
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:25 PM   #15
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The total allocation for STi for Canada is not 35 cars.

Whoever told you that does not have accurate information.

If you would like to confirm please phone Subaru Canada and ask. Always best to get the info right from the source.

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Old 03-12-2003, 08:48 PM   #16
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He said 90 for western Canada in the first allotment.

Sorry, I missed the original one. Tehe.
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Old 03-12-2003, 08:50 PM   #17
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WRX Fan
Well said

jaypride
He was answering further up the thread
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