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Old 10-07-2000, 10:31 PM   #1
Overtime
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Member#: 1346
Join Date: Apr 2000
Unhappy Identity crisis: making my car "grow up" (advice?)

Oh jeez, I know this is going to be long-winded... just skip to the bottom if you can't take it... I am going to make myself look very stupid in the next couple of paragraphs and I hope you readers understand that beforehand.

After hitting up tonight's hockey game, I got the chance to drive home some. And I realized a few things.

1) People either avoid me on the road or flip me off. Especially after hearing my car and/or seeing my spoiler/exhaust. This is unnerving.

2) At the same time, some people are taking it upon themselves to pester the hell out of me with constant "race" threats.

3) However, I have no intentions of neutering the Impreza' look. But all this stuff is making driving more and more unenjoyable for me.

4) And yet I have more and more people who give me crap for my car. I normally wouldn't care, but it's starting to influence people and I don't know if that's something I want to carry on for a few months.

As you can probably tell, I'm a bit frustrated. This car is turning out great so far performance-wise. I have picked parts that I had been told were top quality and for the most part they were.

But more and more I'm starting to realize that my car is going to have to "grow up" this year or I'm going to have some problems in college. It has been awfully tough talking business and handling job interviews in a car that screams adolescence.

***IF YOU WERE SKIPPING TO THE BOTTOM, STOP HERE***

With that in mind, how would you suggest my current car "grow up"? This is going to cost me, but it's going to have to happen if I'm going to net the kind of job I want and make the kind of impression I want to make with people in the future. On one hand, I hate having to do this; on the other hand, I guess I'm kind of happy, because this car is almost too loud (figuratively speaking) for me. I don't need this hassle from cops/people and I don't crave this constant attention from the same.

I'll list my mods here and what I'm planning on "switching" to. Of course, understand that this is going to cost me a ton of money in both labor and just plain cost, but I'm going to end up committing to it one way or the other.

Please offer advice/warnings/ridicule in a polite and organized manner.

FHI 18mm sway bar -> Whiteline adjustible 18-22mm bar
Underdrive pulley -> (same)
Turn3 Cold Air Intake -> Rallispec or Cobb Tuning intake
5Zigen R-Rate springs -> FHI STi v.5 takeoff springs or H&R Springs
FHI STi v.5 takeoff struts -> same
Whiteline rear swaybar links -> same
5Zigen Fireball catback -> Borla/2.5" custom midpipe

And I plan on doing a complete debadging other than the fenders and the front badge. No more decals for me.

God, I feel like Imprezive...but someone please tell me that this car won't be so damn outgoing like my current one? I just can't take all the negative attention I'm getting now.

Tips from anyone who's been here before would be nice.
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Old 10-07-2000, 10:34 PM   #2
MikeYOX
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2002 S4
Nogaro Blue

Talking

Let's see some pics of your car right now.
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Old 10-07-2000, 10:54 PM   #3
AllWheelsDriven
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Post

Just a thought...and im guilty of this big time...

Living your life catering to what others think or what you think they think is a long hard way to burn calories...

By driving this car, you have rejected driving such things as a SUV, minivan or soul-less Honda/Acura. There are many out there who wish they could drive something as unique and fun, but for many reasons possibly spouse related they dont, and these people will resent and act out around you by wanting to race.

Mike
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Old 10-07-2000, 11:01 PM   #4
MikeYOX
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Nogaro Blue

Talking

AllWheelsDriven, I agree. I've driven a 512TR before and ever since then I call it the finger mobile. You get dirty looks obscene gestures, everything from jealous a**holes who hate you because you have something thats cool and different. Don't let them bother you at all, just ignore their sorry a**es.
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Old 10-07-2000, 11:19 PM   #5
markus
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2004 STi
White on Gold

Post

Overtime,

I hear you!! I too am constantly second guessing myself as to what mods I am going to do (I don't have many...yet), but my situation is likely unique.

You see, I am in sales and I work for a company that gives me a car allowance every two weeks so I can use the car for business purposes. Therefore I can't go too overboard. That being said, my better choice probably would have been a Legacy, but I chose the RS since it suits my driving style better (that would be a FAST driving style)

As a result, I have the RS Sedan and I plan to keep the low profile spoiler, despite the fact that the V5 wing is my favorite. In addition, any exhaust I choose will have to be fairly quiet and I can't slam the car too low (wouldn't want to anyway). Also, I'm still strugling over the functionality of 17" inch rims and 45 series tires being condusive to 12-hour road trips (believe me I do them on a regular basis).

However, it is your car and in the end since your only representing yourself, and I'm assuming the mods you have are a reflection of your true self, let everyone else go blow mountain goats.

Cheers,
MB

PS lose the stickers...a little ricey IMO.
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Old 10-07-2000, 11:30 PM   #6
Red-Imp
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& a fast red car ;)

Post

OT,

I've not really been in that position, but I know your concern. I'm a 35 yr old professional and I need my car to be professional as well.

I'm not saying I disagree with the previous opinions. The RS styling is a little over the top (I've seen the word "adolescent" used in magazing reviews). So, no matter what you do to tone down the "bad-boy" racer looks, you're still going to have to look "grown adults" in the eye with a grin and say "I like the looks and I'm proud of it."

That said, here's what I did. First, I bought the sedan (MY00, SRP). Personally, I like the styling of the sedan better, but it's also a little more practical and subdued. (If you don't want to trade your coupe in for a sedan, you might consider buying the sedan spoiler and painting it RBP). Second, no stickers, no clear tail lights, and no silly graphics. I'm not saying I don't like the graphics and stuff. I just don't think they look professional unless you're actually racing the car. If any company wants me to advertise for them on my car they can share the payment with me. Third, I got the Subaru Performace muffler instead of a loud aftermarket muffler. It is very quiet, yet it still has a very nice deep tone. It sounds like a stock sports car and not like a high-school kids ride.

It's sometimes hard to keep my enthusiasm from getting the best of me, but restraint is the better part of valor (or something like that) when it comes to a lot of things. Automotive styling is one of them.

And, if anybody can't accept that... flip them the bird and bury their @$$!

-Red
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Old 10-07-2000, 11:33 PM   #7
Red-Imp
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2000 Imp 2.5 RS, SRP
& a fast red car ;)

Talking

Markus, ROTFLMAO! Hadn't thought of the mountain goats. That's a much better answer.

-Red
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Old 10-07-2000, 11:37 PM   #8
Snoopy
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99 Impreza RS
Silverthorn Metallic

Post

Nuthin wrong with standing out of the crowd.

Be yourself! Let the lemmings run the rat race!
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Old 10-08-2000, 12:02 AM   #9
markus
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2004 STi
White on Gold

Post

Yo Red!

Looks like you and I are in the same boat. I turn 35 next month and I'm an Engineer so I have to be careful with the car looks too.

Glad you got a kick out of the "Mountain Goats" comment.

Cheers,
MB
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Old 10-08-2000, 04:22 AM   #10
Templar
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Aprilia Racing Black

Post

I personally don't care what other people think. If they want to think I am a boy racer, fine. If they want to flip me off, I think it is kind of them to warn everyone else of what their IQ is. But, if you really want to tone down the styling a bit, their ae only a few things you can do, and changing the modifications you have done is not one. First, swap the hood out for a standard L hood. Second, get rid of the wing and replace it with an L rear spoiler. Third, dump the stickers.
After all of that, if you feel you need to look even more normal, you might consider replacing your 5Zigen springs with the stock springs. On the V5 struts, they should be great, and the car wouldn't sit as low. So you would be less agressive. But still, If people are intimidated and feel the need to show their asses because you have a sweet car with a big scoop, IMO that is their problem.
My opinion, not valued by most at .02
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Old 10-08-2000, 04:49 AM   #11
Buckbomb
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Smile

Overtime,
I feel the same way that you do. I got my scooby last year because I loved the unique stile but realy because of the performance. Alot of people see the RS and dont know what to think. When I bought mine the exhaust rattled my teeth out. and people stared and gave me dirty looks. I only kept it for a week before I changed it. I am realy not that desperate for attention!
But the thing is, I still get the gestures and stares! And I am realy tired of every kid with a honda trying to race at practicly every intersection that I come to. Even when I humor them, and show them the back end of my car for the better part of a quarter mile, they still persist. The other day some kid in a hatchback civic rode my tail for a good 20 min.(giving me the bird the whole way), after I left him in the dust. Insecure people get negative when they are intimidated. I try to just let it slide.
But anyway,(sorry for rambling I think that you should keep the suspension the same. I think that the flashy stuff is what draws the attention of stupid people.(the stickers, decals and especialy the exhaust). I knew a guy who bought a bosal brospeed exhaust and it was pretty quiet, and fast! I know that they don't make the whole system for scoobies, but you could use the muffler. I saw an ad for it and it said "for those who like power and not noise" or somthing like that.
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Old 10-08-2000, 05:11 AM   #12
Pipercub
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82 BRAT with 12 in. lift

Post

My best advice is F em' I have a RS with 22B vents, a 22B wing, 1.5 in drop, Stromung duals etc... I am an engineer in the Sat. industry and I have never had anything other than positive response/curiosity etc. from other people in the company with the exception of one person who drives a minivan with a Million Mom March bumper sticker and opposes my support of the 2nd ammendment. So when she is outside on a smoke break I will come down the hill at 35 in 2nd with my foot off the gas letting it burble and growl teh entire way. I usually folow that up with a loud coughing spasm as I pass her cloud o' cancer. NOTE- I don't hate all smokers, just her.
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Old 10-08-2000, 07:51 AM   #13
Turk
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Post

Overtime,
Don't sweat it man. First changing swaybars and intakes and everything else isn't going to change anything. Those are performance mods. Nobody see's those things on the road or job interview. Thats alot of money spent to just be replacing parts with close to the same thing. Besides your car reflects you. If you can go to a professional job interview and have a "young" speedracer car it means you are professional because you have both aspects of your life in check. Besides it's a job interview. How often does the guy interviewing you ask you a whole bunch of questions then say, "alright now lets go outside and look at your car" . They don't care and won't even see it to begin with. I hope everything works out man.

Turk http://www.clubimpreza.com
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Old 10-08-2000, 07:53 AM   #14
yebokmj
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Vehicle:
1995 Impreza w/EJ255
Brilliant Red

Post

I also can relate, I dress kind of preppy and I work as a car salesman (selling subarus) But my car is a 98 Blue rally pearl with Primitive rear wing, the gold wheels, P1 susp, 00' bumper swap. I also have the subaru brospeed muffler. I mainly get looks but no one wants to race me my car doesn't sound to racey but boy it puts out. People always give me dirty looks in my car but it's strange how clothing effects people opinion more than anything when your driving such a car. When coming or going from work in shirt or tie cop take on look and leave me alone. When dressed casual the track me the ends of the earth. Just get used to it and enjoy the car. Though I do think I may have lost a few customers when they saw me in my car at the end of the day.
Joshua
MY98 RS
Subaru Salesman
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Old 10-08-2000, 08:13 AM   #15
david2z4
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2000 Impreza RS BRP
Vishnu Turbo/Tec3

Post

I'm 38 and in a street-rod car club. I have a 1931 Ford Model-A Coupe with a 350 & 6-71 blower with +500 hp. They all give me ***** about the Impreza (this was when it was stock) Now with the V.5 wing big tip and $11000 in mods, I'm really getting it from everyone. I drive my S-10 to work.

I still get alot of nice comments, mostly from kids of friends of mine. The kids (4-10) ask "is that a race car?"

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Old 10-08-2000, 08:42 AM   #16
Overtime
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Post

Hey everyone,

Just some background on why I'm considering this "makeover" (besides the obvious):

1) I'm probably going to apply to several extremely competitive schools and I'm going to seek out a parking spot as one of my conditions for going there. I'm also probably going to do several interviews. I don't want my car vandalized and/or bashed just because it sticks out. I can't afford to deal with that stuff.

2) I'm applying to several nicer, semi-professional jobs at dealerships. The Subaru would help a ton if it were a Subaru dealership I was applying to, but the domestic dealerships see that thing as an antichrist Honda/Acura. I can't take the time to explain to everyone what my car is and what my car does.

3) I'm a practical guy. I know that most people are going to be too stupid and shortsighted to deal with a car like this that stands out as much as it does. They'll stereotype it into that "crazy Honda kids" category. Having a teenager behind the wheel helps not at all. I need to change the car's look at least a little.

Now don't get me wrong. My car is not "stickered up". It has two decals on the back-Dale Teague's "boxer4racing.com" and the 5zigen decal. But apparently that's just too much for some people. Once they see "racing" they smash the gas and get their Chevy Caprices and Mitsu Monteros rolling like no tomorrow.

Here's a pic of part of the back:



And the side (you get to see the lowering effect here):



I don't want to ruin the car, but sometimes I wish I could tune the thing down to the point where it would attract attention without looking "ricey" to the unenlightened.

I suppose sway bars and intakes have nothing to do with it, but get me on a tangent and I keep rolling.

Suggestions still welcome. Think of this as your little support group.
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Old 10-08-2000, 08:49 AM   #17
Siper2
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Location: Dillsburg, PA
Vehicle:
2007 BMW 328xi wagon
Silver

Smile

First off, to AllWheelsDriven, a Honda/Acura is hardly soul-less. One of their owners could easily say the same about a Subaru, with its boring flat-four engine.

That said... no it's not boring, but I had to get that in.

Now then! On to making this car "grown up."
I'd say maybe two modifications could be in order, if you really feel this way.

- Sedan rear spoiler (or none at all)
- Impreza L hood (no scoop/vents)
- Foglight covers

That would really accomplish all your needs.
That, to me, is all that makes these cars really "loud" insofar as appearance. And appearance is obviously what you're concerned about.

As for what I really think? If you think your interviews and such are being hurt by this car, then you're looking at the wrong companies. Sorry to be blunt, but that's just the way it is, jack.

-S2-
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Old 10-08-2000, 08:54 AM   #18
T-WRX
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Location: JAX
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08 RS4
05 STi - Gone

Cool

Hey Overtime -

Beautiful car! Don't change a thing! It is not possible to make everyone happy, or at the least, ambivalent. Why try? Just smile and wave.

Edit - S2 is right. Let your work record speak for itself. It is not legal for a company to discriminate against you based on what you drive.

[This message has been edited by T-WRX (edited October 08, 2000).]
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Old 10-08-2000, 09:46 AM   #19
Overtime
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Post

Siper and T-WRX (and everyone else):

Thanks for the advice.

I agree somewhat...but it's difficult to justify such a loud car as a teenager. Two strikes against you before you walk in the door. It's really starting to bother me. I don't need to reinforce any stereotypes.

I think I'm going to end up changing the wing (to a more mild SYMS variant) and exhaust (probably to a stock-looking Borla). I'm going to do a complete debadging of the car tonight. The springs are still something I'm contemplating. Other than that, I have a renewed focus for spending my money.

I'm going to be taking a bath in terms of used parts, and I'm sure you vultures are all going to be jumping up and down! Just kidding. I'll probably be in the classifieds section more than once.

But first I have to rummage up some cash.
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Old 10-08-2000, 10:34 AM   #20
Siper2
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2007 BMW 328xi wagon
Silver

Question

I need to know why you have "two strikes against you" for owning a car other than a Camry. This makes no sense to me. What kinds of places are you applying to jobs at?

-S2-
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Old 10-08-2000, 11:59 AM   #21
jasony
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Location: Westerville, OH
Vehicle:
1996 Explorer XLT
Red

Thumbs up

I agree about the way people treat you... I had a dodge shadow (not the "sporty" model) before my RS. I drove exactly the same (except slower) when I had that car, yet people started treating me like a punk when I got this one.

Also, at night people react to me totally different when I have my foglamps on than without.

About the only thing you can do is ignore it, be the better man and let them pass you or whatever. They almost always realize that you are not interested in what they think, and move on...

As for your professional image... I was worried about that for a while too. A lot of people in the business world do drive sporty cars though, although they usually look stock. Yes, it does tell you something about the person, but the way you dress and talk says a lot more. The thing for me was that I got it after getting my job, so I felt like I was telling my boss I made way too much money. But, the thing that counters that is the fact thst it is a Subaru, so nobody assumes that it costs a lot.

Anyway,

1) I wouldn't say the car looks too low just form those pictures, but It's hard to say really...

2) I would agree with those who say losing the stickers is appropriate. as for the plastic badges, they look stock usually, so I wouldn't worry about them.

3) You could get foglight covers, without STi stickers of course.

Anyway, the RS was a little ahead of its time in the aggressive look it has. look at the new Celica, Mustang, Eclipse, etc... the RS blends in much better with the 200x models that those before it... except for the actual body design which still looks 90's. I guess it's sort of a hybrid style.

Anyway, when people try to make fun of your car, try to give them a look like, "What are you talking about?" and give the impression that your car is just another car. Don't get defensive. And, don't let them know that you are obsessed with your Subie, (you should be, of course.

Also, if you have to sit and stare at your car, make sure nobody sees you doing it
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Old 10-08-2000, 01:04 PM   #22
griffin
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. 2007 STI Black
2001 S2000 Black

Post

Just buy an american car and get over it.
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Old 10-08-2000, 01:09 PM   #23
Siper2
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2007 BMW 328xi wagon
Silver

Angry

Now that was intelligent.

-S2-
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Old 10-08-2000, 01:15 PM   #24
T-WRX
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08 RS4
05 STi - Gone

Post

Just park down the street. If anyone asks, say, "I own a Subaru." Sounds innocent enough, eh?

I have never once asked (or cared) what a interviewee drives. Seriously, if a company didn't hire you because of your car (and it wasn't a legitimate business reason) - they are going to get their butt sued off sooner or later.
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Old 10-08-2000, 01:16 PM   #25
AllWheelsDriven
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Vehicle:
2005 BMW zhp
www.vispoint.com

Arrow

Funny that here in Seattle, which is totally Subaru and Volvo land...there are tons of RS's screaming around and we all wave at each other. Many seem to be driven by couples and are bone stock. We also have a lot of street version Rally cars around and so all the Audi Quattro/CElica AllTrac/Galant VR4/MAzda 323GTX people all gawk at each others cars with a knowing glance.

But again Seattle is pretty progressive that way. I remember being in Detroit and seeing next to no Subarus and few Volvos.

When i have a momentary lapse of reason and give a thought to what some redneck staring down at me from his Ford F350Dually is thinking behind his scowl..i just remember pictures of my car's siblings doing 90mph down a dirt road on two wheels or getting major airtime past a throng of screaming fans and I am content

(and you never know...he might be thinking Wow I saw one of those hauling @ss on speedvision last week...Sweeeeet!!)

man its 1pm already sunday afternoon!!

Mike
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