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Tunnel Vision

The loss of peripheral vision with retention of central vision…  At least that’s what doctors say.  Something along those lines is what has happened to Nelson Vincent with his WRX project.  See, it is very seldom that you get to see WRXs being built to this extent and with this level of detail and authenticity in Nelson’s homeland (and mine also), Puerto Rico.

There are a lot of different styles of modifying a street car within the Island’s car scene, and you can get distracted rather easily if you don’t have that strong of a focused mindset.  There are two larger and more mainstream groups: those that only think about street and/or track Drag Racing and there are those who only aim to succeed in the car show scene…  The drag guys usually build their cars for power and nothing more, they are only concerned about dyno charts, 1/4 mile times and trap speeds and go to all sort of extremes to beat the next guy or at least try.  The show guys are more into either loading their cars with expensive and rare parts (or cheap replica ones) with two things in mind hard parking at meets or dodging potholes on their daily commutes.

This is not what Nelson had planned for his bugeye.  What makes this car special is that he built it for himself, no for street cred, not for anyone’s approval, and to this date he has kept his project as low key as possible.  Only his mechanic and tuner knew what he has done to his GDA.

On the rolling department, Nelson went with Enkei’s Limited Edition satin black NT03 in 18×9.5 wrapped in Falken azenis rubber size 255/40/18.  Behind this combo, a set of STi Brembo brakes take care of the stopping.  On the handling department he installed a set of BC Racing coilovers and to further improve on the chassis’ stiffness he went with top of the line Cusco strut bars:  Titanium up front and Carbon Fiber out on the back.

Engine-wise, Nelson left no rocks unturned and went all out with JE pistons, Manley rods, ACL bearings GSC cams and Supertech valves on dual springs, all bolted on a completely revamped block and heads.  Air now gets shoved into that new engine thanks to a Garret GT37 HTA turbo which then pushes it through an APS intercooler.  An HKS SS blow off valve and Tial waste gate do their part on managing the pressurized air.  Exhaust gasses make their way through a cat-less up pipe and down pipe, a Perrin header and finally through a Greddy Ti-C cat back exhaust system which is responsible for the WRXs growl.

The cooling system has been improved using a ZeroSports radiator cap and an APR radiator shroud.  All this is now mated to a 6-speed STi Type-RA tranny with a short shifter kit.  A Walbro Fuel Pump, well, pumps the fuel and a set of Ultimate 1000cc injectors deliver it.  All the power that this setup makes is controlled by a Hydra stand alone ECU tuned by the pros at Predator Performance and Transmisiones PR.

Other goodies like Tein hood dampers, wrinkle red powder coated piping and coolant tank and a trick aluminum oil catch can/wiper washer reservoir combo unit finish off the engine bay.

Outside, the bugeye was given the STi treatment which includes an STi front grille, hood scoop, front splitters and side skirts.  The rear has been updated with a much nicer 2004-2005 WRX rear bumper and tail lights and to finish it all, that infamous STi wing.  Other pieces that help complete the exterior package are the APR front splitter, rear diffuser and side mirrors, JDM window visors and JDM front parking lights delete carbon inserts.

Inside, the STi theme continues with a complete STi interior swap including front and rear seats and blue carpet.  To control his creation, Nelson ditched the OEM oblong WRX steering wheel in favor of  a perfectly round Momo steering wheel and hub.  Behind it, a red backlit STi gauge cluster does it’s thing.  To keep track of all the vitals a matching set of STi Genome gauges by Defi now replace the OEM WRX clock.  An AEM wide band gauge joins the mix on top of the steering column while carbon fiber accents wrap things up for the interior.

So there you have it.  This has got to be one of the best executed Imprezas and certainly one of the best kept secrets on the Subaru scene in Puerto Rico.  My respects to Nelson Vincent for sticking with his vision of what his Impreza should look, handle and perform like…

Thanks to Nelson for the pictures and for sharing his project info with me.