If you ever find yourself driving through the suburbs of Portland you might be so lucky to catch a glimpse of James Pepion's daily driven beauty of an STI. From its slammed-out stance to the flashy white Work XD9's in 18x10 +18, it is sure to lay claim to your attention. Upon further investigation, you start to notice subtle features like the factory sunroof, leather seats, and black Brembo brake calipers. Then you realize this is not your ordinary "Street Sweeper Gang" style STI. This happens to be a rare 1 of 800 total made STI "Limiteds". Of this total, 400 were made in Urban Gray Metallic paint and 400 in Satin White Pearl. White was his first choice, but with a car this rare you can't always be picky. This did not stop James from getting a custom show-quality paintjob in the OEM color and adding White Pearl in the mix. By the time you get this far, all you will likely see is a carbon-fiber Voltex rear diffuser, GTSpec carbon-fiber exhaust shield, and a set of taillights. This all-wheel-drive beast not only has the looks that kill but it also has enough power to get you through the gears faster than Charlie Sheen can say "strippers"!
Being into cars for only the past five years, James managed to own six different cars before settling on the flagship Subaru. Testing everything from a '92 Integra to a '02 Corvette, you can say James is definitely not partial to any specific type of car. As a sneaker head and business owner James needed something fresh that would represent his company, Swag Supply. Swag Supply is a clothing company that supports fellow sneaker heads and car enthusiasts with fresh and fashionable gear. Originally having an NSX in mind for the build, James canned that idea and went with the STI since he wanted something to display what the Northwest was all about. Having help from friends, such as Wrong Fitment Crew and Lower Class Men, James was able to form the show car that it is today. One of the biggest issues during this build as expected was fitting what is considered to be enormous wheels under the STI fenders. No easy task on this type of car, the fenders in the back don't leave much material to roll out. Staying true to the legitimate fitment game, James is a firm believer that stanced and fitted cars should only be static. This means absolutely under no circumstance do you ever use an air-ride suspension. James pulled out all the stops to make this work, using a set of BC BR coilovers coupled with front and rear camber plates, and adding camber bolts for even more adjustability. Not ending there, James still needed to stretch a 225/40-18 Firestone Indy 500 tire on the 10-inch-wide wheel. Even still, James had to shave down the rear quarter-panel lips and roll them out as much as possible. This is the type of dedication necessary to complete a legit fitted setup, and we are glad James took the time to do it.
To ensure this car will require an E85 station every 15 miles or so, this EJ25 engine is fueled by a 340-lph Aeromotive Stealth fuel pump that is tamed by a Turbosmart regulator feeding through Perrin fuel rails into massive 1,300cc DeatschWerks injectors. Making sure that you keep all 10 digits on your hands, James added the HKS Super Induction intake system with Samco inlet to feed the Element Tuning GT52 turbocharger. This is then run through a TurboXS intercooler and bypass valve system for the ladies. Keeping the engine together internally so he doesn't blow it on his hot date is a set of Element Tuning rods coupled with Forged CP Pistons and Cosworth 278 cams. The turbo is powered by an equal-length Tomei Expreme exhaust manifold, regulated by a Tial 38mm wastegate. Finally, the engine is exhausted by a 3-inch Invidia open bell-mouth downpipe and pacified using a Cobb 3-inch after-cat system (so your date doesn't wake up when you sneak out in the middle of the night). The power is put to the ground via an ACT XTSS clutch system. Obviously being a turbo car, it's bound to be subject to some heating issues. These issues have been addressed by adding a catalog of parts using a large Koyo aluminum radiator, lower temp thermostat, Carbing cooling plate, and a higher-pressure HKS radiator cap. The ever-so-rare carbon-fiber ARC hoodscoop, ARC alternator cover, and COBB turbo heat shield have cured the external radiant heat issues. Just when you think James has all his bases covered, he goes the extra mile and has a custom slim fan shroud made. I think it is safe to say James does not want to have an overheating issue while he is parking lot pimping on the weekend.
Doing most of the work on the car himself, James left some of the real tedious work to the experts. One of these experts was a man named Bobby at PRE (Performance Race Engineering). Bobby was contracted by James to build the internals of the engine before working his tuning magic utilizing AEM's latest Version 2 stand-alone system and a host of Defi BF gauges (oil temp, boost, EGT) sitting in a carbon-fiber triple gauge pod above the dash. Bobby was able to squeeze out 426 whp and 450 lb-ft of torque from the 2.5L boxer engine.
James stays pretty busy running his company, Swag Supply, and organizing car meets with his club, Proper Attire. When he isn't busy with that you can find him hanging around the local Portland cars and coffee meets, The Rock Vancouver Meet, and Pats Acres Drift Events. Thanks for building this beauty right, James; we love it.
Behind The Build
Owner of Swag Supply
Building cars, fashion, sneaker head, basketball
Motivation: "We wanted to build a show car that would express what the Northwest was about."
2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Limited
Power: 426 whp/450 lb-ft of torque (dyno)
Engine Subaru EJ25 engine; Tomei Extreme exhaust manifold; DeatschWerks 1,300cc/min fuel injectors; Turbosmart fuel pressure regulator; Aeromotive 340-lph fuel pump; Element Tuning GT52 turbocharger; Turbo XS front-mount intercooler, blow-off valve; Tial 38mm wastegate actuator; AEM stand-alone Version 2, 07 custom harness, IAT; Grimmspeed underdrive pulley, boost solenoid; P&L MAP sensor; AN fuel lines; TGV delete; UGM Samco inlet; Perrin fuel rails; Cosworth 278 cams; CP forged pistons; Element piston rods, up-pipe, catch can; HKS oil cap, radiator cap, intake; Koyo radiator; Carbing cooling plate, front strut bar; Tein hood dampers; SPT battery tie-downs; Forge header tank, power steering tank; ARC alternator cover; Invidia V2 downpipe; Cobb exhaust
Drivetrain ACT XTSS clutch; Cobb double adjustable short throw shifter
Suspension BC Racing BR coilovers, camber plate and camber bolts
Wheels & Tires Work XD9 wheels (18x10 +18mm offset); Firestone Indy 500 tires (225/40-18); Work RS-R lug nuts
Brakes Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines; Performance Friction brake pads
Exterior Custom painted OEM headlight housings and intercooler; Benen towhooks; ARC carbon-fiber hoodscoop; CarbonCraft rear license plate filler; Voltex carbon-fiber rear diffuser; carbon-fiber rear window spoiler and windshield wiper tray; GTSpec carbon-fiber rear exhaust shield; Kartboy anodized front plate filler; Hella horns; Subaru WRX side skirts with JDM splitter and AeroGuard
Interior Suede interior pillars and headliner; Takata 5-point harnesses, harness pads; Sparco harness bar; carbon-fiber triple gauge pod; AEM UEGO; Defi gauges, oil temp, boost, exhaust temp; Hella tire pressure monitoring system
Gratitude "I would like to thank Bobby at PRE (Performance Race Engineering) for helping build and tune the car. I would also like to thank PSI (Portland Speed Industries) for sponsoring the car. I would also like to thank Rogers Auto Body-Kevin's Restoration for painting the car and doing all the bodywork. Additional thanks go to Dax Rodriguez, Justin Shreeve, Proper Attire Crew, Lower Classmen Crew, Tony Dau, Wrong Fitment Crew, LowNSlow Crew, Filthiest Fitment, Connor Limbocker, and Shane Wall."