It has never been easy to build a project car. Even if your goal is to add simple bolt-ons, lower it, and throw on a set of wheels and tires, you still need to put some thought into how it's going to look and how well it may perform. Everyone's looking to do something unique. However, that uniqueness may be in their eyes—and sometimes you need a little help to take a build to the next level. Let's face it: Building a project isn't easy, nor is it cheap. Sponsorships can help alleviate some of the financial burden, but it also means you are obligated to fulfill your requirements to support them by representing their brand. Free suddenly isn't as "free." Ultimately, to be in full control of your build means you become the full-time boss. You get the final say in what gets done and how it's executed.
Quincy Yuen from British Columbia, Canada, is one such enthusiast who wanted complete control of his Subaru STI project. Make it unique—no corners cut. "One of the main points in my build was to do it without any sponsors," he says. "Many builds these days are sponsored; they don't have to pay for parts, and they settle for second best. I wanted mine to be top notch, built without compromise, and for me to say that I did it without any sponsors."
Purchased new in 2012, Quincy's STI has gone through several different phases. It's hard to believe, but at one point, he was happy with keeping it fairly stock with wheels, coilovers, and an exhaust. Within two years, during the second phase, he added a wide-body conversion and lots of bolt-ons, which produced 382 whp on the stock block. His next move was to build the engine and convert the vehicle to a full track car. After he saved up money and collected parts, the project became a roller coaster of emotions for Quincy.
To see how far Quincy's STI has come, one need look no further than his epic spec sheet. It reads like a greatest hits compilation of some of the world's best parts that happen to be seamlessly integrated with top-notch fabrication work by The Speed Syndicate. What can be classified as a purpose-built track car also doubles as a complete show car. "It may not have A/C or heat or a factory dash, stereo, airbags, or seatbelts, but it's going to turn heads one way or another," Quincy says. The Speed Syndicate helped modify the rear quarter panels and installed the Varis kit while it was still white. Quincy continued to add more parts and took his track racing more seriously, then he decided to go all-out with a built motor from IAG Performance.
"A big overhaul never goes as planned," he adds. "You have to work through the delays and tackle uncontrollable situations as they happen." The STI went from Canada to Tacoma, Washington, for tuning but ran into issues. Even without being able to sort those out, the car then left for California, where it would be painted at DTM Autobody. Though he intended to keep it the original Subaru Satin White Pearl, he saw a new NSX pass by and he fell in love, so he changed it to Acura Valencia Candy Red. But after the bodywork was done, the car remained in California for another year, untouched because of the engine problems. Dreams of hitting big car shows and track events never materialized and wouldn't until he had the car shipped home to have it back up and running again.
With as many different build phases as Quincy's STI has gone through, the final outcome is one that's made the long journey worthwhile, and then some. "Patience is definitely key, and it's tested mine many times," Quincy says. "But it's come a long way, and I couldn't be happier."