When it comes to building cars, we often draw inspiration from a variety of sources. These days the most common form of inspiration comes from what we see on the Internet. The web has provided us with an outlet to see how others are building their vehicles worldwide, and thanks to online commerce you can get virtually any part you seek. Another form of inspiration comes from the people around you and your fellow automotive enthusiasts. Car meets and shows, as well as local track days, provide a variety of different cars that you may draw inspiration from. Some guys are lucky enough to have parents who were car enthusiasts as well; their love for cars flows in their blood. There is something that is just so undeniably cool about having a parent who you can share a mutual interest in cars with.
Don Gozum has been a "car guy" as long as he can remember and he attributes that to his father's love of automobiles. His dad spent his earlier years modifying a '79 Toyota Corolla, and Don has very vivid memories of watching his dad enjoy his hobby. The Gozum family line bled gasoline and motor oil so when it came time for Don to finally start driving, it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would acquire a vehicle that he could tear into. "Every car that I've ever owned I have bought with intentions to build it," Don says. "I've owned a Corolla, a Civic swapped with a B18C5 with JUN internals, but I think I've always had a thing for the (Mitsubishi) Lancer Evolution. This Evo VIII is actually my third; I've also had a heavily modified Evo V, and an Evo VII that was a complete sleeper."
Once it came time to build his new Evo VIII, he had his sights set on creating one of the best in the country. Don's dad had helped develop his love for cars since he was a child but this time around, he drew inspiration from a true Japanese time attack legend-the one and only Cyber Evo. If you've been into modified imports for any length of time, then you have most likely heard of the Cyber Evo. Even guys who don't follow circuit motorsports closely know of the Eiji "Tarzan" Yamada-piloted beast. The two-time World Time Attack Champion is a marvelous piece of machinery that many often look up to, but there is perhaps no other enthusiast on the planet that was more obsessed with the Cyber machine.
"My ultimate goal with this build was to basically create the street version of the Cyber Evo. The only problem with that plan was that there were some parts from that car that were made exclusively for it. Getting a hold of those parts was basically impossible," Don says.
The first step in creating his rendition of the Cyber Evo was achieving the visual aggression that it displayed. This was conceivably the easiest portion of the build. Easy, of course, all lies in the wallet of the beholder. Voltex aero is by no means cheap, but it is available to the public. In its most current state, the Cyber Evo no longer wears the Voltex armor, but it did originally serve as the testbed for the kit's creation. The Cyber car saw most of its success when it featured the Voltex kit, so acquiring it for his build was a no-brainer. Don had no intention of building a carbon copy of the WTAC champion so duplicating the graphical livery was unnecessary. Instead, Don chose to respray the entire car in DuPont Graphite Gray Pearl.
Suspension dynamics were a vital part of the Cyber Evo's success, and Don certainly did not forget to address that area of his build. Seated on Ohlins DFV dampers, the entire structural rigidity of his Evo has been upgraded with a multitude of products from Cusco and Kansai Service. Stopping power has also been significantly improved via six-pot Endless brakes up front and matching four-pot brakes in the rear. Mounted to the blue stoppers are a boxed set of 18x9.5 bronze Volk Racing TE37s. Gripping the pavement are super-sticky Toyo R888 tires.
Taking priority over the suspension and aerodynamics is the turbocharged powerplant. After all, what is a Cyber Evo-inspired project without the performance to match? Granted, there are still some mysteries that surround the Cyber Evo but the 2.2L Tomei stroker motor under the Voltex hood of Don's Evo is comparable. Other than the JUN valves, valvesprings, and retainers, everything inside this 4G63 is a product from the Tomei catalog. Differentiating itself from the Cyber machine is the absence of an A'pexi Isamu RX-6 turbine. Instead, Don has opted to go with an HKS GT3240 turbo along with a wealth of supplementary boost-related components from the company. Enhanced fuel distribution is handled by Sard, while distribution of power to the ground comes by way of a carbon Tilton clutch and flywheel.
"The Cyber Evo may have some secret mods but I've got some secrets of my own. I can't really divulge what those are, but let's just say that I was able to acquire some parts that most people couldn't, even though they had the money to buy them. They are secrets that I'm just not ready to broadcast to the rest of the world at this time. I'll tell you one thing though; if you plan on building an Evo worthy of comparison to the original Cyber car, be prepared to spend some money. I think I could have bought a nice condominium in the city if it weren't for this project! I have no regrets though, because my Evo VIII is going to be a time capsule type of build. I plan to store the car and enjoy it whenever I get the opportunity. Thirty years from now, it'll still be in the same condition as it is today."
In his hometown of Quezon City, he's highly regarded as having one of, if not, the best Lancer Evolution builds that the Philippines has to offer. Don's Evo isn't going to break any World Time Attack records any time soon and it doesn't have to; he set out to build a street car with a desire to follow in the Cyber Evo's illustrious footsteps. The end result proves that a little inspiration goes a very long way.
Behind The Build
Quezon City, Philippines
Field Operation Manager
Time 6 Months
Anything that has to do with cars; mountain bikes; scuba diving; hi-fi audio
"To build one of the sickest Lancer Evolutions in the country and to be worthy of the name 'Cyber Evo'."
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
Engine 2004 2.2L TOMEI-built 4G63T; TOMEI camshaft, cam gears, pistons, piston rings, connecting rods, crankshaft, Empreme Ti exhaust and catalytic converter; JUN Auto Mechanic valves, valvesprings, retainers, pulleys, and valve cover; Power Enterprise timing belt; HKS air intake, turbo manifold, GT3240 turbocharger, turbo elbow, downpipe, up-pipe, SSQV 4 blow-off valve, wastegate, oil cooler, oil filter relocation kit, Super Turbo Racing motor oil, and thermostat; HKS Kansai Service intake manifold; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; Sard fuel pressure regulator, fuel rail, and 1,000cc fuel injectors; Matonetics custom fuel line and radiator fans; Ralliart spark plug wires; Sun Auto Hot Inuzama Volt Stabilizer; Greddy intercooler, intercooler piping, and boost controller; Koyo radiator; Samco Sport hoses
Drivetrain Tilton carbon clutch, carbon flywheel; HKS Kansai Service 4:11 final drive; Motul transmission fluid
Suspension Ohlins DFV coilovers; Cusco front/rear sway bars, front/rear strut tower bars, trunk subframe brace full under chassis brace; HKS Kansai Service front/rear lower control arms, front/rear camber control arms, front/rear toe control arms, roll center adjusters, suspension bushings;
Brakes Endless 6-pot front brake calipers, front brake rotors, front pads, 4-pot rear brake calipers, rear brake rotors, rear brake pads; HKS brake lines
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5 +22 Volk Racing TE37; 265/35-18 Toyo Proxes R888; Rays Engineering Duraluminum lug nuts
Exterior Voltex Cyber Evo Street Version 1 aero kit (front, sides, rear, front/rear fenders, and hood), Type 5V rear spoiler; DuPont Graphite Gray Pearl paint
Interior ARC Titan Series shift knob; Ralliart pedals
Electronics Motec M500 Standalone EMS system; Defi BF Series gauges; Pioneer 4560BT head unit; Focal polyglass front speakers; Blaupunkt rear speakers
Gratitude "I would like to thank, first and foremost, our Lord God, without Him everything wouldn't be possible; my family for the support, even though they would never really understand the feeling of a true car enthusiast; my friends: Otchok, Jed, and the boys of Streetlevel Autoperformance-without you guys I wouldn't have such a car; Pao and Edward for hooking me up; Erwin Bryll Chua and Mr. Patrick Lauder for this opportunity; and to all those who I forgot to mention, I sincerely thank you all."