“As a kid I fantasized about building a car based upon my liking and imagination. I have now made my childhood dream into a reality.” Those are subtle yet strong words to come from any automotive enthusiast, but it comes as no surprise once you get to know JM Yang of West Covina, CA.
Many enthusiasts say they developed their love affair with cars at a young age, but once they become adults they simply look back and acknowledge their beginning in a general fashion. But JM remembers specifically what sparked his passion, and it has stuck with him all this time. I’ll give you a couple of hints: It was a movie that had wild cars in it, and the title of the movie has two words in it that start with the same letter. Yea, I know, this is an easy one, right? Think you got it? No, it was not Fast & Furious. The movie I am talking about came long before F&F. "I got into cars at an early age, and as I remember Mad Max was the first car-related movie I watched and liked," he says. That’s right, Mad Max. How many of you remember that movie? It wouldn’t be all that surprising if it doesn’t ring a bell. For those of you who don’t know it, look it up and watch it. It’s kind of way out there and doesn’t even really have that much to do with cars, even though that’s what many people seem to remember it for. In that sense, it is the same as F&F. Anyway, let’s get to the beautiful Evo X you see before you.
JM’s choice to build an Evo X was based on logic. “I think it is one of the most capable cars on the market,” he says. “It can handle dirt, snow, and the track and at the same time be a dependable four-door, five-seater sedan for daily driving.” The history of the famed Mitsubishi Evo and the accolades contained within need not be enumerated by me, but there were some major changes that were made when Mitsubishi went from the famed VII-IX generation to the X—most notably with the introduction of the new transmission. The new transmission is known as TC-SST, which stands for Twin-Clutch Sport(ronic) Shift Transmission. This tranny uses dual clutches to change gears, allowing it to make shifts quicker than a driver could in a conventional manual tranny as well as quicker than an automatic tranny using a torque converter. It does this all while allowing no drop-off in engine power. Oh, and all of this can be operated by magnesium steering wheel paddle shifters. Yea, I want one, too.
So with the decision made, JM went out and got himself an Evo X. He wasted no time and started modifying the car within a week of purchasing it. “My goal at that time was to do the basic upgrades for the X,” he says. Even at this early stage in the car’s development JM addressed multiple aspects of the car rather than focusing on just one, such as aesthetics—the focal point of many newbies. He put on a Do-Luck carbon-fiber trunk, got an ARC Super Induction Box as well as a Tomei Ti exhaust, and lowered the car with Eibach springs. For wheels, he selected a set of Gram Lights 57G in Hyper Bronze initially, but ended up switching them out for a set of Gram Lights 57D in Luminous Yellow. What is considered basic to some may be much more than that to others. Many enthusiasts would be more than happy with an Evo X MR with those mods, but they proved to be insufficient for JM after just a short while, especially after spending time perusing forums and reading and studying automotive media, like magazines and blogs, as well as the major tuning shops from Japan.
“There are a lot of people in the industry who I look up to, both locally and abroad. Jay of JDMEGO, Bill of JDMphasis, Ben of Bulletproof Automotive, and countless other builds have served as inspiration for me,” JM says. “They have been advocates of innovation over imitation, and that motto I have used as a cornerstone in my build philosophy.”
JM clearly does those individual’s names justice in his build. His selection of top-tier parts has created a beautiful Evo that can withstand the test of time and make any JDM fanboy damn near lose his mind. For the exterior aero, Varis units were selected coupled with names, such as CWEST, Voltex, and Ganador, all of it flowing smoothly with the one-and-only Volk TE37SL wheels in the Pressed Graphite finish. Sitting behind the wheels is an Alcon big brake kit from the UK FQ400 model X. The red decals on the wheels tie the Bride Cuga seats and Coltspeed engine cover in perfectly. The combination of the parts and colors chosen in this build create a build that is about as close to perfect as possible.
When we asked JM what the purpose and goal of this build was, he said, “To build a well-rounded car using reliable and quality products.” It is evident by his choice in top-shelf manufacturers that he stayed true not only to his goal but to the spirit of the builds of those who came before him and inspired him, and who provided the credo and inspiration that were the building blocks of his own perspective. Most importantly, the result of this type of perspective in a car build is satisfaction and contentment. That may not sound like much, but how many of us in our own build ever get to the point where we are truly content with the vehicle as it sits? “For now, it is safe to say that I am satisfied with my current setup and that there won’t be any major changes happening soon. I want to enjoy it as it is and it will serve as my daily driver.” Congratulations, JM, you have achieved what many seek and never find. And you get to enjoy it every single day.
Behind The Build
West Covina, California
Cars, food, music, travel, toys, and artwork
To follow my passion and fulfill my childhood dream.
2010 Mitsubishi X MR (CZ4A)
Output: 314 whp/325 lb-ft of torque
Engine AMS short-ram intake, downpipe, high-flow cat; Blitz Nur Spec DT cat-back exhaust, pipe stopper; HKS R Type 2 intercooler kit with pipe set, oil cap, radiator cap; Samco radiator hose kit; Coltspeed engine cover, hood dampers; Cusco catch can
Drivetrain Stock TC-SST (Twin-Clutch Sport(ronic) Shift Transmission)
Suspension KW V3 coilovers; Cusco front strut bar, rear strut bar; Whiteline front sway bar, rear sway bar, roll center correction kit
Wheels/Tires 18x10.5 +15 Volk Pressed Graphite TE37SL; 265/35-18 Nitto NT05; Project Kics R40 NeoChro lug nuts
Brakes Alcon FQ400 big brake kit; Goodridge brake lines
Exterior Varis ’09 version front bumper with carbon-fiber underboard, carbon-fiber double hyper canards, side skirts with carbon-fiber underboard, carbon-fiber rear diffuser; Cwest carbon-fiber hoodscoop; Voltex Type IV carbon-fiber wing; Ganador side mirrors with turn signal; Mitsubishi side wind deflectors
Interior Bride Cuga front seats, seat rails; Coltspeed carbon-fiber steering wheel cover; Dallas custom-wrapped steering wheel; Varis S-Series Champion Commemorative Edition carbon-fiber shift knob; Broadway rearview mirror; Mitsubishi all-weather floor mats
Electronics Cobb Accessport; AEM UEGO; DEFI Racer boost gauge; Escort Radar 8500 X 50
Gratitude “Import Tuner for this opportunity; Sean Klingelhoefer; Tony, Mike, and the entire staff at Evasive Motorsports; Bruce “Balok” Amurao of Wheelers LLC; Thomas, Johnny, and staff of Jung’s Autobody; Ant and Ronnie of Cobb Tuning SoCal; my Evo family: Albert Sanchez, Ben Vakarchuk, Brian Duong, Cheston Chiu, Jeremy Noblejas, Joey Fok, Nestor Luis, Sang Jeon, and Sheila Dano; novice photographer friends Jeff Fernandez and Wrigley Corales; my girlfriend, Jao; my sister, Trina; and all my friends and family for their love and support.”