Automotive culture is largely driven by the Internet. Technology has taken over and anybody who isn’t seemingly “connected” could be considered almost as an outcast. Every day, there seems to be a new tuner-related website or blog appearing, recycling the same automotive content you’ve seen on a similar site the day before and the almighty “online feature” has become the pinnacle that every enthusiast strives to attain. “We”, collectively, have become incredibly over-saturated and overwhelmed by cheap thrills, even cheaper trends and flooded with replicated parts. Quantity has consumed quality and function pushed aside in place of form. The tuning culture that our elders fought so hard to build for us—is dying.
There are those who have fought very hard to keep tradition alive, however. These select few are the enthusiasts who have always held true to a more classic way of tuning and refuse to take shortcuts in favor of Internet fame. Japan is still seen as a source for inspiration and their influence is still seen in the parts that they acquire, no matter the cost or wait time. They are unwavering in their ideas and never bend their beliefs to support companies that deliver counterfeit products to our community. Jay Bryan, or known by the Internet enthusiasts simply as “dropjay”, is one of these defenders of the old guard. If you have ever heard of “JDMEGO”, then you’ve probably encountered the name of someone or some website that has stolen or copied another site that has stolen/copied the authentic, original JDMEGO. The OG JDMEGO, was created by Jay Bryan years ago, back before blogging was all the rage and in the days when the JDM acronym actually meant something. It was a little website that used to contain cool and random images of Japanese automotive builds, toys, and whatever Jay was working on at that particular moment. JDMEGO was one of the first, true private tuner blogs. There was no funding other than out of Jay’s own pockets and as such, it also served as a medium for Jay to express his ideas and displeasures about the tuner community. JDMEGO is still around even amongst the wild influx of car blogging the last few years, but he doesn’t dedicate a lot of time into providing constant updates anymore. Why? Well, probably because he despises the current state of things. Every now and then, he will even take the site offline completely and disappear for months, only to reappear at his own discretion.
Knowing Jay, he probably wouldn’t even care too much that we’ve said so much about him already. He’d rather us focus more on his 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution IX than talk about a life that he feels is utterly mundane. We, on the other hand, feel that now is as good a time as any to shed some light on this polarizing figure. Some love him, some hate on what he has to say, but many if not all, simply don’t understand him. Those who have supported him through the years have probably never even seen him or know his face. He’s a bit of an enigma. You would know him more for his words than who is really is.
In reality, Jay is kind of a weirdo—and he would be the first to tell you that. His face is unknown to the current generation of enthusiasts because he’s a bit of a hermit and doesn’t ever go out. He spends much of his days playing video games, collecting rare Japanese toys and walking his dogs. He’s is also an incredibly talented graphic artist and has a long-time girlfriend, Karen, who is as much of a car head as he is. They met at a car meet and this Evo MR that you see on these pages also once belonged to her. Back in the mid-2000s when it was in her possession, it was much more active in the community and was a MULTIPLE-time car show winner. If anything, it was probably the most dominant award-winning Mitsubishi of that period. Jay has since transformed it in his own vision, but this car’s reputation precedes that of both Jay’s and every Evo-owning friend that you have. The most important feature of his personality that you should immediately come to understand is that he (excuse our French) just does not give a flying F*@k about almost anything. Don’t let his indifference indicate anything about his character of course; he’s actually a very kind-hearted guy. Jay has just come to realize what and who he cares about and is unwavering in his beliefs, as we all should be.
When it comes to his love of cars, he’s been especially adamant about what he stands by. As stated previously, “JDM” used to mean something much more. Not only did it stand for goods specifically from the Japanese Domestic Market, it also stood for quality, rareness, and most of all, authenticity. He wants nothing to do with counterfeit/knock-off/fake parts because he feels that it ruins our industry and he’s never been afraid to voice his opinion. You will never find such parts in any of his builds, whether it be the Subaru WRX wagon he built in the early 2000s, the Evolution that followed, and definitely not in the BNR34 that he had at one point. It has and will always be a goal of his to defend authenticity. Every car that he has ever touched represents that principle. The backlash from his detractors has been fervent, but as you will see from this build, he has pressed forward in his mission.
After Karen retired the Evo from the competitive Southern California show circuit, and Jay had his R34 Skyline unceremoniously taken from him, they decided it that it was a good time to give the Mitsubishi a revamping. The two had teamed-up to create a collection of some of the finest (and rarest) Japanese aftermarket upgrades ever produced for the chassis but Jay was itching to get some newer, more up-to-date components so a refresh was an appropriate plan of action. Today in 2013, Voltex aero is almost commonplace in the Mitsu-community but 7+ years ago when these two first started using Voltex gear, it was only a wish-list item for others here in the States. Low-grade Voltex copies are even popping-up in our market now, allowing every Evo owner to achieve the look that took Jay years to save up for to acquire his complete Voltex kit! To further differentiate this Evo from the copycats, Jay sourced an authentic C-West carbon hood, Varis carbon trunk and rare Ganador side mirrors. The details are what are important to Jay so you’ll find other rare JDM goods like Ralliart wipers and carbon door trim from Japanese tuning shop, Colt Speed.
In the midst of his alterations, something catastrophic occurred—the 4G63 blew-up. He proceeded to utter every obscenity that ever existed, and even created some of his own, before ultimately deciding to go with a brand new long block. Though it was going to take a ton of time and money to get the car going again, he saw it as an opportunity to get some more reliable power out of his Evo IX. The car was towed to Road Race Engineering where he entrusted them with the task of pulling the dead motor out and installing the new 4G63 MIVEC block. RRE would then stroke the motor to a stout 2.3 liters utilizing a Manley crank and Wiseco pistons/rings. Boost would also see drastic improvement from a CBRD BBK turbine. The unit uses the stock Evo IX turbo housing with upgraded internals that still allows for it to mount correctly to his existing Tomei manifold. The engine bay plays host to an ARC intercooler and signature Super Induction Box, but RRE removed the intake piping to create their own due to the altered positioning from the new HKS Kansai intake manifold.
RRE wasn’t assigned to just engine-swapping duties. During the months that the Evolution was at their shop, Jay also purchased a set of 42-way adjustable Ohlins coilovers. The car had ridden on HKS Hipermax RS over the years and was in need of a stiff upgrade. Mounted to the hubs of the all-wheel drive RS were brakes from Endless Racing Japan and over them a set of black 18-inch Advan RS-D. He jokes that he’s sorry that his car isn’t “stance-blog friendly” but does indicate that it is corner-balanced and floating high for function. In the cockpit is more Japanese goodness that he’s accumulated over time. Some are more traditional mods like the Bride Vorgas seats with matching custom-wrapped Bride rear seats and panels, whereas others are recent additions like the less-commonly procured Prodrive steering wheel/safety harness combo.
We could spend days just telling you how many rare items Jay has amassed over the last decade but it still wouldn’t do this Evo IX MR any justice. Like the owner(s), the car has an incredibly rich history and will always be invaluable to the fellow enthusiasts that had the chance to see it in person. You’d be lucky to have the prospect of seeing it nowadays as it rarely sees an event of any sort. Jay will take it out for a cruise to run errands but that is only for the purpose of giving the motor a quick jog around the block. Other than that, it takes on the life of a recluse like its owner. The times of our import scene may have changed, but the old hermit dog walker never will. He’s slowly been hoarding rare Japanese parts for his newest J-inspired project, a Scion FR-S—but you’ll probably never see that thing either.
2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR
Hometown Murrieta Hot Springs, CA
Occupation Graphic designer
Engine 2006 Mitsubishi 2.3L Stroked 4G63 MIVEC; ARC intercooler, Super Induction Box, oil cap w/titanium bolts and SMC Prestige R radiator; Wiggins radiator clamps and piping clamps; custom suction pipe, polished radiator hard pipe, powercoated valve cover and radiator mounts; Colt Speed filters; Tomei plug cover, downpipe, header, turbo outlet, heatshield/manifold cover, fuel rail and cam belt; Trust oil cooler kit; HKS Kansai surge tank/intake plenum; GReddy spark plugs; CBRD BBK turbocharger fully-parted; GSC 272 cams; Manley 2.3L crank; Cosworth head gasket; Wiseco pistons and piston rings; HKS Titanium Spec R exhaust; Forge Custom anodized power steering tank and overflow tank; Stillway engine dampener; Agency Power lower motor mount and side motor mount; ARP head studs; Carbign Craft carbon fiber cam cover; carbon fiber fuse box cover; YR Advance intake scoop; Baller Bolts titanium bolt kit
Drivetrain Road Race Engineering clutch
Footwork & Chassis Ohlins DFV 42-way adjustable coilovers; ARC titanium mirror finish front strut tower bar, rear strut tower bar and chassis brace; Swift rear sway bar; Whiteline chassis control bushings and roll center kit
Brakes Endless 6-pot Mini front brake calipers, 4-pot rear brake calipers, 2-piece front/rear brake rotors, steel-braided brake lines and CC-X front/rear brake pads
Wheels & Tires 18x9" +25 ADVAN Racing RS-D; Yokohama ADVAN Neova AD08 tires; T1R titanium open-ended lug nuts
Exterior Voltex front bumper, side steps, carbon-fiber rear diffuser, carbon-fiber Type 8 wing, exhaust guard and front under diffuser; C-West carbon-fiber hood; Varis carbon-fiber trunk; Ganador side mirrors; YR Advance tow hook; JDM EVO 8 headlights and rear bumper; PIAA Ralliart wipers, Super Tone horns; Colt Speed carbon-fiber door trim and short antenna; Moonface rear wiper delete cap
Interior Bride Vorgas carbon-fiber seats, custom-wrapped rear seats and custom-wrapped door panels; Prodrive steering wheel and 4-point racing harness; Sparco harness bar; 42 Draft Designs triple gauge panel; Works Bell QRS, Rapfix short steering boss; Ralliart trunk mat, carbon-fiber center console, rear view mirror, pedal set and gas cap; custom black roof-liner, A- and C-pillars; Road Race carbon-fiber B-pillar; Tyrant carbon-fiber arm rest cover; Moonface titanium shift knob; Sony Handicam HD video camera; I/O Port video camera mount; Defi-Link boost/oil pressure/exhaust temp meters and Control Unit II; Blitz SBC i-Color electronic boost controller and FATT DC IV turbo timer; Alpine IVA-D-106 head unit; MB Quartz speakers
Thanks You Honda Robert and Mike at Road Race Engineering; Mike and Hugh at Evasive Motorsports; Eddie and Steve at Mackin Industries; Fatlace family; Brian at High End/Auto Concepts; Phaze2 Family; Ryan and Lisa Uchida