It's something that goes through all our heads at one point or another. Usually because we've been inspired by a particular ride or event. For Jay Bhee Estacio (aka Jabowski), it was going to Hot Import Nights in Los Angeles a few years ago. And that's when he uttered those very words.
A transplant from the Philippines, now living in San Diego, CA, Jabowski got into cars almost as soon as he stepped off the plane in 2005. "I was exposed to a lot of sports cars that I wasn't used to seeing in my homeland," he says. He previously owned an '06 350Z, but Jabowski is living proof that the pull of an EVO is hard to resist. "Love at first sight," he says of his '08 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X. "I bought it the week it came out." It was a love so strong that this 25-year-old, who had been brought up driving automatics, had to learn how to drive stick, because the only car left in the showroom came with a manual transmission. "I learned to drive it the moment I took it home from the dealership." He spent five months and covered around 5,000 miles with the then-white car still stock. But it's never just about the car. As much as we love them, appreciate their designs and their technical prowess, a car is still a ticket. A ticket that lets us into a community.
Jabowski became friends with Raffy Bautista (sadly no longer with us), who had a modified EVO VIII. That led to a connection with Ben Abutin of High End Performance, who did the widebody kit, which entails custom front and rear bumpers, side skirts, fenders, carbon fiber canards at each end, a Seibon CW-style hood, grille, OEM-style rear diffuser and trunk lid (all in carbon fiber), a Voltex Type V GT rear wing, JUN mirrors, Ralliart tail lights, a Perrin Shorty antenna, and Mitsubishi wind deflectors. The car then went to P.J. Bonifacio in La Puente, CA, to get painted in Aston Martin Racing Green inside and out, but not before some stitch welding in the interior.
A stripped-out, repainted interior needed filling up again. This was done with a Huezo Racing eight-point roll cage, Bride Vorga front seats-with a special, one-off "Kimono Edition" for the front passenger-and a custom Bride armrest and shift boot. The rear seats were ditched completely. Jabowski makes sure he and his passenger are held secure with Takata harnesses, and grabs a Nardi Limited Edition Orido Style steering wheel attached to a Works Bell Quick Release adaptor and a Splash hub. His right hand rests on an Evo-R titanium shift knob and his eyes fall on Defi and STRI Racing gauges set into a custom-made carbon fiber center console.
An HKS Type 1 turbo timer among the car's other instruments hints of the shedload of HKS stuff under the hood, from the GT3240 54T A/R 0.73 turbocharger to the spark plugs, 1,000cc/min injectors, intercooler, plumbing, exhaust system, and the limited-edition D1 radiator cap. Not that Jabowski just closed the HKS catalog and called it a day. He also upgraded the 4B11 with Cosworth cams and valve springs, had the head ported and polished, installed a Beatrush engine roll stopper, then got colorful with purple Samco Sport hoses, gold bolts, and a powdercoated gold valve cover. Oh, and the air conditioning system went the same way as the rear seats. As sure as second gear follows first, a modified transmission has to follow a modified engine. In this case, an ACT six-puck race clutch with a Prolite flywheel.
The thing about being on the modification path is that it could go three ways: track, show, or both. Jabowski has gone for show (the gold bolts were probably a giveaway), but also has other plans. "Once I get tired of going to car shows, I'll do a few changes and make it ready for the track." Hence the engine work (carried out by Road Race Engineering in Santa Fe Springs, CA). It would be fun watching him apply 568.97 horsepower and 383.85 lb-ft of torque to the tarmac. Luckily, he has a good suspension.
If the past couple of years were tough economically for many people, at least Cusco got to sell a set of Zero-1 coilovers plus a whole brace of braces and anti-roll bars to Jabowski (installed by Andy of Aerodyne Industries in Garden Grove, CA). Same goes for Project Mu brakes and the brand's Teflon-coated lines. Show judges and track fiends alike will probably approve of the SSR Professor MS1 19-inch alloy wheels, powdercoated flat black and with green Muteki SR48 lug nuts.
Indeed, this car has won its share of recognition (Best Mitsubishi at RPM, Irvine, 2010; Best Mitsubishi, Nisei Showoff, 2010; exhibited at multiple SEMA booths). What's kind of amazing is that Jabowski has only spent two years working on this build, considering that his job as a nurse must be fairly time-consuming and his hobbies of playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 or fooling around with iPad apps must make the hours fly by. But no man does it alone.
Once again, a community of friends is involved, sometimes working through the night to get a job completed by a deadline, offering advice on components and just being there with moral support-especially when parts took their sweet time coming through ("Patience is the solution"). Jabowski sees his compadres in Auto Concept Elite, Autokoto, SD, and High End Performance as his second family. "Nothing would be possible without them on my side," he says. "Abutin of High End has even become a mentor."
A true test of that fraternal bond could be Jabowski's next project: his '02 Honda S2000. "My girl wants it pink with a Hello Kitty theme," he says. Yeah . . . those guys are sure to wat to give up their cherished free time for that one.
Jay Bhee "Jabowski" Estacio
San Diego, CA
Video Games, Apps, Net Surfing (Cars And Boxing Forums)
"It always comes to my passion and love for cars. it's like the source of everything."
'08 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
Output: 569 HP / 384 lb-ft
Engine Cosworth MX1 Grind camshafts (266/10.8 intake, 266/10.4 exhaust), High RPM single valve springs; HKS Racing Suction Reloaded air intake kit, GT3240 54T A/R 0.73 turbocharger, SSQV III blow-off valve, GTII wastegate, Type 2 intercooler, Type S electronic valve controller, Top Feed 1,000cc/min fuel injectors, fuel rail, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, Super Fire M45XL spark plugs, Hi-Power exhaust, 70mm front pipe, turbo outlet pipe, suction pipes, oil lines, intercooler plumbing, D1 limited edition oil and radiator caps, Type 1 turbo timer; MXP test pipe resonator; Mishimoto Performance all-aluminum radiator; Samco Sport hoses (purple); Rexpeed hood dampers, carbon fiber intercooler panels, radiator panel; AMS AC delete kit; ARP head studs; Beatrush engine roll stopper; Greddy radiator breather tank; custom carbon fiber fuse box and battery terminal covers; gold engine bay bolts; powercoated gold valve cover
Transmission Act ME1-XTR6 six-puck race clutch, Prolite flywheel; AMS shifter bushing
Suspension Cusco Zero-1 coilovers, 27mm front anti-roll bar, 25mm rear anti-roll bar, lower floor center brace, lower rear member power brace, rear side brace, front Version Two lower arm bar; ARC aluminum front strut tower bar; HKS rear strut tower bar
Wheels/Tires SSR Professor MS1 wheels (19x11 +6mm offset front, 19x11 -9mm offset rear); Yokohama Advan AD08 tires (295/30-19 front and rear); Muteki SR48 lug nuts
Brakes Project Mu discs, six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, pads, Teflon-coated brake lines
Exterior Seibon CW-style carbon fiber hood, OEM-style rear diffuser, grille, trunk lid; Voltex Type V GT rear wing; JUN Auto Aero mirrors; Perrin Shorty antenna; Mitsubishi OEM wind deflectors; Ralliart taillights; High End custom fender flares, front and rear bumpers, side skirts, front and rear canards
Interior Bride Vorga front seats, shift boot, arm rest; Seibon carbon fiber door panels; Nardi Limited Edition Orido Style steering wheel; Splash hub; Works Bell QRS adapter; Takata harnesses; Evo-R carbon crown meter cover, center temp cover, titanium shift knob; Beatrush rear bulkhead plate; Odyssey battery; Password:JDM battery relocation kit; custom carbon fiber center console; ATI gauge pod; STRI Racing gauges (oil pressure, oil temp and fuel pressure); Defi White Racer boost gauge; Sony XAV-60 audio head unit; Memphis Audio 6.5-inch speakers
Aston Martin Racing Green, as seen on Jabowski's EVO X, is linked to one of the most famous colors in motorsport: British Racing Green. Although there is no definitive version of BRG, it's usually about as dark as green gets before someone thinks about adding "black" to the description.
It first came about early in the 20th century, and became especially popular when the famous Bentleys of the 1920s picked up the green ball and ran with it, as it were. These cars won at Le Mans and took victories at places like the famed banked circuit of Brooklands, not far from London, England. BRG was also the color of many beautiful and legendary Jaguar D-Type racers.
Over the years, British Formula One teams have used BRG in their livery. It's still part of the 2010 Lotus team's livery and also a component of the marque's badge. Many road cars have come in BRG. And not just Brit ones, either. Versions of the Mazda Miata MX-5 have been available in this hue. The Miata was inspired by the Lotus Elan, remember.
When a revived Aston Martin went into endurance racing (like Le Mans) early in this century, its DBR9 cars were painted in a lighter, more metallic variation. Which is now called Aston Martin Racing Green.