I like stories, so I figure I will share mine and what lead to here.
I got into Toyota growing up; my parents owned matching late 70’s Celica’s for a period of time. My mother moved on to a ’86 MR2 which to my fortune was handed on to me.
That car became a project in itself, going from an auto to manual and then to 20v in the late 90’s (I like to claim it was #3 ~ 5 completed in the US at the time). The car saw some track usage and lead to me getting a track license and seat in a 1st gen Rx7 for a few years. The 20v motor only kept me satisfied for so long, and soon a turbo was hanging off the side of it. Well, after a few popped motors, intake manifold disasters, exhaust manifolds falling apart, and a lot of learning with a pinch of maturing, it’s a half decent project. Unfortunately at the moment, it’s down for another rebuild. Waiting on reassembly with new rods, crank and bearings.
Since the MR2 kept being an on/off project, it was no longer suitable as a daily driver. Plus, a 2 seater was not exactly conducive to hauling a family around. I had a ’96 Camry as a daily for a bit. As uninspiring as a 5sf can be, I did some suspension work and with some 235 tires all the way around, it did surprise some people at local autocrosses.
Well, fast forward to winter 2006 and during a bored moment I went by the Subaru dealership to tire kick a STI Limited. Despite rumors, the lot was devoid of said STI although a 2005 Forester XT sat there. A week later I filled out the paperwork and went home with the car. 13K miles later, and it was on turbo upgrade #1. 30K miles in, turbo #2. 60K, turbo #3 (a 30r), forged pistons and rods, and a 6mt swap. Despite all of this work, it was stuck around 400whp (stupid EJ heads), reliability was questionable and non pump gas was required. Still, low 12’s and all weather capability was fun. It sold last year when my mind kept wandering to bigger and better projects.
Immediately after the sale of the Forester, I picked up a pretty rough ’99 GS300. Plan was for an Aristo swap, big single, build an auto and have fun with it. 80% of the parts were in the garage and I was set to go. Then, TeCKis300’s car popped up. I missed having a manual, and the thought of build a late model Aristo trans (7 solenoid setup) was new territory with little info. Running the numbers, his car was well worth it, and we came to an agreement.
I flew out to TeCKis300 in San Diego and embarked on a 2,000 mile journey back to southern Indiana. Car did well despite getting broken into pretty frequent ice and snow; which is quite entertaining on bald 285 width Michelin PS2’s.
The car is a good amount of fun. It is a shade slower than my previous Forester in current form, but the potential is there. The handling, which was his main focus, is very impressive. As of now, I have only changed out the battery for an Optima. There was a loose connection that resulted in a drained battery and no start, and with the trunk relocation I wanted a non vented battery anyway. So in went the Optima. Cranks right up no problem now.
Plans? There’s a boost logic T4 manifold in my garage. I have a 7675 as well, but I don’t feel it will be well suited for my plans. I’m trying to trade or sell it to move down to a 6766. There’s a set of ID1000’s on their way. I have the SRT pump hanger in the garage (purchased for the GS300), but do not have a rail yet. I’ll either go with twin DW300’s or Aeromotive pumps. I do want to hard line it under the car versus running braided all that distance. I need to keep an eye out for a clutch, but really thinking some variety of twin disc (likely RPS C/C or CM FX850).