Kevin Chiang bought the 2006 Subaru WRX in 2013 as a present to himself for completing his 4 year term in the United States Marine Corps. " Initially, I never thought of building the car," Chiang mentions, "I just enjoyed the scene as a whole."
He served in the United States Marine Corps straight out of high school. "From 2009 to 2013, I signed a blank check to the United States government," he states. Chiang was deployed in 2011 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and along the way they made a pitstop for humanitarian relief in Japan due to the tsunami incident. "Operation Tomodachi 'Operation Friendship' showed me how much the military lifestyle can change the perspective on everyday civilians."
Chiang has always had love for the JDM community. "My first car was a Nissan S14 240SX," he remembers. Eventually, he had the opportunity to buy a Mitsubishi Evolution 9 or a Subaru WRX STi.
"Yes, I know everyone says I should have gotten the Evo," he laughs, "but nonetheless, I am happy with my choice!
Like most people, Chiang didn't have the knowledge in parts or what companies were good for modifications. So essentially, he began building his car on what was cheap and affordable at the time, without regards of replicated parts.
"It wasn't until I met Luigi Arroyo (@squeegie) from LMTLS where I began my drive in building my WRX completely," Chiang mentions. Molesting every part of the car from exterior to engine bay, he learned and understood the value of authenticity. "From rags to riches, my car changed dramatically within the next couple years of his friendship," he states, "but, my poor wallet."
Currently, Chiang's WRX is constantly growing, "not just because he's waiting for parts to ship from Japan," he laughs.
PASMAG: Why did you choose this vehicle / platform?
Kevin Chiang: I've always loved the AWD community. EVOs and STis have always been cars that I enjoyed in the scene.
Do you have any prior build experience?
I had a S14 240SX prior to the WRX. It wasn't built other than coilovers, wheels and an exhaust. I sold it to buy the WRX.
What got you into building in the first place?
I have always enjoyed the car community. Unlike the world with Fast and Furious, I was first introduced to the art of racing and touge from Initial D. Along with this influence, I was always surrounded with friends that were older than me that also enjoyed the art of building cars.
What is your favorite aspect of the build?
The iconic Subaru rumble! It is the best sounding exhaust tone hands down. Nothing beats hearing the roar of the rumble as you hit higher RPMs, along with the loud whistle of the BOV and crack of the backfire.
Were there any major challenges you experienced in the build?
Finances. I was in a very toxic relationship, where my ex would refuse to find a job and would constantly be physically abusive. When I finally broke up with her (after finding out she cheated on me with multiple guys) she still haunted my future relationships with friends. She would call my friends talking smack about me saying how I treated her badly and how I never supported her needs. (even though I was the only one working and she was living with me without helping with rent or groceries)
What were your original intentions with the build?
Every race car is a show car! I will continue with that Moto!
Why did you choose certain brands for your build?
Voltex. I have always been a fan with the Voltex kit with every vehicle make. Volk / Rays Racing TE37s were my dream wheel, cliche as it sounds.
What influences or inspiration helped you over the course of your build?
Following different Subaru guys around the world definitely inspired me the most. Being able to talk to them and ask questions helped me as well. Currently, I am friends with other Voltex GDB owners around the world.
Is there anything personally or about the build that you would like readers to know?
Stay motivated. It took me 7 years for my build to be what it is today. It is better to take your time with your build. Keep it authentic.
Any interesting facts about your build?
My exhaust and front mount intercooler came off of an EVO 9 (LOL). I made it work!
Owner: Kevin Chiang
Location: San Diego, CA
Vehicle: 2006 Subaru WRX
ENGINE & PERFORMANCE
- EJ257 Motor
- COBB 1000cc Injectors
- COBB Electronic Boost Controller
- COBB v3 Access Port
- Tomei M8265 turbo
- AEM Intake
- AMS FMIC
- HKS SQV 3 Blow of Valve
- HKS Carbon Ti exhaust
- HKS Catless Downpipe
- DEFi Boost Gauge
- DEFi Oil Temp Gauge
- DEFi Oil Pressure Gauge
- DEFi Water Temp Gauge
- DEFi Central Control Box
- HKS Turbo Timer
- COBB v3 Access Port
- Tuned on E85 by Churches Performance
- 5 Speed WRX TransmissioN
WHEELS & TIRES
- Volk Racing TE37 Saga Time Attack 18x10.5 +22
- Project Kics 11mm conversion spacer
- Project Kics Iconix R40 LugS
- Toyo R888 285x30
- R1Concepts Rotors and Pads
CHASSIS & SUSPENSION
- D2 Racing Spec R Coilovers
- Cusco Strut Tower Bar
- Cusco Upper and Lower Sway Bars
- Voltex Racing Bumper
- Voltex Racing Rear Diffuser
- Voltex Racing Type 5 Wing
- Chargespeed Side Steps
- Seibon Carbon Fiber Vented Hood
- Karlton Fender Flares
- Spyder Auto Projector Headlights
- LED Interior cabin lights
- F1 Style LED brake lights
- BRIDE Gias II Seats (2)
- BRIDE seat rails (2)
- Cusco 4pt Harness (2)
- Works Bell Short HUB
- Works Bell Tilt Wheel
- Personal Steering Wheel
- WC Latheworks Titanium Shift Knob
- WC Latheworks Titanium HiVac Dials
AUDIO & MULTIMEDIA
- Pioneer double-din head-unit
"Voltex! I have always been a fan of the Voltex product. My original plan when I first began building my car was to have a Voltex kit for my WRX. Now that dream is coming along sweepingly."
- Voltex GDB side skirts
- Voltex 1700mm Type 5 wing
- Color change
- Custom cage
- 6 speed transmission swap
- Rebuild motor
- Retune for at least 450awhp
- LMTLS Auto
- Spyder Auto
SHOPS & MECHANICS
- Infinite Auto Design
- Monrovia Spec