So they say once you go black, you never go back. Given what I ended up replacing the RSTi with, I can vouch for that being more than somewhat true.
Amid the screams and cries of 'WTF! Why did you sell the Impreza? YOU'RE DEAD TO ME' (you know who you are ) I was hunting around for a suitable replacement. The requirements were more along the lines of 'this is what I no longer want to have in my daily driver' based on the experience of owning a 400bhp Japanese milk crate on wheels. Priorities change, life takes new directions, and we adjust accordingly. The requirements:
i) Proper suspension setup for cruising at highways speeds for 1hr+ without a hiccup
ii) Proper gear setup for above (3500+ RPM for extended periods gets really old, really fast)
iii) Good condition body and paint; no cancer or inability to wash/wax/polish at will
iv) Good reliabilty, fuel economy, power, torque (not requiring 94 octane, big +)
v) Fun. To. Drive.
Without boring you with the other potentials, I'll get to the point.
1999 Mustang GT (35th Anniversary)
- Rust free (never winter driven)
- OEM paint, 8-9/10 condition (no imperfections visible at 5ft)
- Black leather interior; power seats, windows, mirrors, locks
- BBK cold air intake
- OEM mid-length headers
- Bassani stainless X-pipe w/ high-flow cats
- Bassani stainless catback
- Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft
- Rear upper and lower AFR control arms
- BBK frame connectors
- Custom dyno tune (ecu program [87-91 octane])
- Taylor battery relocate kit (trunk)
- Pro 5.0 short shifter
- Stage 3 clutch
- BBK underdrive pulley
- 3.73 differential gears
- Lowering springs, Bilstein shocks.
- Drilled/slotted rotors, Hawk HP+ brake pads, red calipers (adds 5hp)
- 245w front and 295w rear Kumho tires
- 18x8.5 front & 18x10 rear chrome deep dish wheels (Dale Earnhart Jr. somethingsomethingredneckrice... not bad, but could be changed when budget allows)
- 2003/04 SVT Cobra hood
- Aftermarket front bumper (some 'Stalker' kit piece worth its weight in gold apparently... will be sold and replaced with matching 03/04 Cobra bumper)
- 2003/04 SVT Cobra black housing headlights
- OEM Mach460 sound system with JVC head unit, MTX Terminator amp, and Rockford 10" sub in trunk box
- White ball retro shift knob (to be installed)
- Tinted windows (also adds 5hp)
I don't have much time to get into detail about it, so I'll hope these pics will tell the story well enough. When I'm back from the weekend I'll be happy to answer any questions anybody has; I know I had to hurdle a bit of 'personal American vehicle anxiety,' but I'm quite happy that I got over my stereotyping and purchased something I believe I can truly enjoy 7 days a week.