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 |   |  2004 Subaru WRX STI - Pretty Ricky
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2004 Subaru WRX STI - Pretty Ricky

An STI that looks so good, you simply can't ignore it

Jun 10, 2017
Photographer: Brett Walters

Sixteen years ago, did you ever think we'd be sitting here as the eighth installment of The Fast and Furious series passes the $1 billion mark at the box office? Hell noooo! But even with its circus-like stunts, flying cars, and submarine action scenes, it's hard to knock the franchise's success. And while later movies have veered away from being about cars, we still have to remember where it all started, especially as the earlier films were the main reason why many friends and fellow enthusiasts joined the car scene.

2004 subaru wrx sti chargespeed side skirts Photo 2/11   |   2004 Subaru Wrx Sti Chargespeed Side Skirts

Take for example, Ricky Gomez. Ricky was only 10 years old when the original F&F hit the big screen, but he tells us that film was what ignited his passion for modified cars and made it a community he wanted to be a part of. He'd attended meets and become acquainted with other car guys for years, but it wasn't until 12 years later, at 22, when he finally picked up his first and only project car, this '04 Subaru STI, and he's never looked back.

2004 subaru wrx sti cobb intake Photo 3/11   |   2004 Subaru Wrx Sti Cobb Intake

Like many of us at that age, Ricky didn't make the dough to go out and buy all the parts in one go. He had to save money where he could, which inevitably became a four-year journey with his STI. He spent the first year getting to know how to drive the 300hp 2.5L sedan and familiarize himself with the all-wheel-drive grip Subaru's are known for. As time progressed, he set goals for himself, and little by little he improved each category of his STI, starting under the hood.

First, he had the stock turbo ported, then added bolt-ons like an intake, downpipe, exhaust, headers, and uprated fuel components. The car is tuned via a Cobb Accessport and running strictly E85 and is now pushing 366 whp—well over 100 hp more than the factory output.

The chassis was tackled next with fundamental upgrades such as Fortune Auto coils, Whiteline sway bars, and a roll center kit to dial in the vehicle's suspension geometry.

2004 subaru wrx sti voltex type 2 gt wing Photo 7/11   |   2004 Subaru Wrx Sti Voltex Type 2 Gt Wing

One of Ricky's main goals was to own a car he'd be proud to display at a show, so he took steps to make the Subaru's appearance aggressive and meaty. The exterior parts include fender flares, Chargespeed skirts, and a custom-ordered Voltex rear wing. He tells us the front splitter and rear diffuser have been modified to be a bit wider than usual, while add-ons like the GT3 mirrors and intake duct in the passenger-side headlight demonstrate he hasn't skimped on the little details. Paint is still factory Java black, however Ricky had his body and paint shop add an extra green flake to make it pop a bit more than usual.

For wheel selection, he's elected to go with the "can't go wrong" Volk Racing TE37SLs wrapped in Falken Azenis FK453 rubber. The Hyper blue finish matches the interior—Braum bucket seats and a painted rollbar.

Ricky still plans to tear down the engine and amp it up for more boost, but right now his car is as good as the best of them. It might not have 1,000 hp or $50K in rare parts, but in a sense it's much better than that, with a solid list of parts, a mean appearance, and a humble owner who's taken his time to build his first and only project car—even if it was Fast and Furious that started it all for him...

2004 subaru wrx sti aeroflow dynamics front splitter Photo 11/11   |   2004 Subaru Wrx Sti Aeroflow Dynamics Front Splitter
Sam Du
1026 Articles
2004 Subaru WRX STI - Pretty Ricky
Tuning Menu
Owner: Ricardo Gomez
Hometown: Costa Mesa, CA
Occupation: Inventory Control
Power: 366 whp; 390 lb-ft of torque
Engine: Ported and polished VF39 turbo by SoCal Porting and Polishing; Cobb intake; Invidia Race cat-less downpipe and N1 exhaust; Perrin UpPipe; Agency Power UEL headers; Injector Dynamics 1,000cc injectors, fuel rails; Grimmspeed boost controller; Mishimoto radiator
Engine Management: Cobb Accessport; E85 tune by 5150 Racing
Footwork & Chassis: Fortune Auto 500 Series coilovers; Whiteline Performance sway bars, endlinks, roll center kit; lwrclssgarage front chassis brace
Brakes: 88Rotors drilled and slotted rotors
Wheels & Tires: 18x10.5" +15 Volk Racing TE37SL wheels in Hyper Blue; 285/35R18 Falken Azenis FK453 tires
Exterior: Karlton fender flares; Chargespeed side skirts; 1600mm Voltex Type 2 GT wing; modified Aeroflow Dynamics front splitter with APR support rods; APR carbon-fiber GT3 mirrors; custom rear diffuser and intake duct in passenger-side headlight; bi-xenon Morimoto Mini Stage D2S III kit; Visual Autowerks window vents
Interior: Braum Racing seats; Vertex King of Vertex steering wheel; Autopower four-point rollbar; Beatrush rear seat delete; Prosport boost gauge
Thank Yous: Team Daily Driven Revolution, Falken Tires, Tred Wear, Whiteline Performance, JVA Autobody, 88Rotors, Meguiar's USA



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