Inspiration comes in many forms, but it’s not every day someone brings up a pair of Nike Air Max 90 “Infrared” shoes when referencing his car. Then again, most people have never owned hundreds of shoes by the tender age of 24. Dan Chi is a sneakerhead, ladies and gentlemen, and he’s not afraid to admit it.
“Sometimes I’ll buy some, then sell some, but the last time I counted, I was at about 400 pairs of shoes,” says Dan, an Atlanta resident. “I’m finishing up school, so I’ve been living at home and pretty much took up the whole basement with my shoes. Then I took up an entire other room.”
When he’s not out waiting in line for the newest Jordans, Dan can be found in his ’05 Mitsubishi Evolution MR, a car that was actually featured in Modified way back in the day (“Pretty Fast in Pink,” Nov. ’05). While most people who have their pride and joy featured in a magazine are usually pumped up to see it in print, Dan didn’t have that kind of satisfaction the first time around.
“I was in Korea at the time the first story was being done, and the shop that worked on my car pretty much sent the info over,” Dan says. “I wasn’t involved and didn’t get to talk to anyone about it. This is a second chance for me to get all the details in a feature!”
We’re not big on second chances here at Modified, but we’ll make an exception for Dan and his visually appealing sneaker on wheels. Prior to owning this colorful EVO, he rolled around Maryland and Virginia in an Acura TL before his extremely patient (and generous) parents gave him a one-shot-only chance at a new car back in 2004. As a Gran Turismo fan growing up who used to race R/C cars, Dan didn’t take long to make up his mind: “I was like, oh my God, the EVO is my car. It was always one of my favorites.”
As is the case with so many other car junkies, one modification led to another, and it started to become an addiction. The Volk TE37 18x9.5-inch gold wheels (+22 offset) and back seats that were reupholstered to match his Bride Gias Low Max front seats are some of his favorite additions. The Royalton Blue powdercoated rollcage helps set his EVO apart from similar builds.
“I guess you can say that people wouldn’t normally do crazy colors on their cars,” Dan says. “Originally, I was going to have the wheels powdercoated the same blue as the ’cage, but I decided to stick with the gold. In the same way with a lot of my shoes, I try to go for things with really bright colors. I don’t like plain white and black shoes. In a way, that goes with the car, too, and I like to have a lot of colors. It’s not every day that you see someone with a bright-blue rollcage.”
It’s not every day that you see someone with a bright-blue rollcage.
Dan’s EVO is a show car that he likes to drive hard (and responsibly) on the weekends, but it didn’t used to be that way. A while back, he was doing some highway racing with another car, and the police intervened. After being sideswiped by the other car as its driver attempted to get away from the cops, who were hot on his tail, Dan took the next exit, hoping to sneak away from the whole incident. In his haste, he took a corner too fast and the tire popped because of the damage inflicted by the other car. Dan’s wheels and body kit were ruined, and the EVO had to be towed. To make matters worse, the police tracked him down and handed out some hefty tickets.
“Ever since then, I’ve been trying to rebuild the car into what it is today,” Dan says. “That kind of stuff definitely makes you think twice about something. All the parts are a lot of money to replace, and I love to take care of my car now. That’s why I decided to go the car-show route.”
Dan is involved with the Team Emotion, an East Coast car club that has members from New York to Florida. The club gets together for big shows like Import Alliance and Hot Import Nights.
“I use my car mainly because I love the lifestyle,” Dan says. “I want to motivate others who share the same passion to want to build a car, which is something unique.”
It sounds like he definitely has the modification bug, and with so many sources of inspiration in the basement and bedroom, it will be interesting to see what direction Dan goes next. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be seeing him for round three with a Jordan Son of Mars–detailed EVO X. (His parents will be thrilled by that.)
Specs & Details
'05 Mitsubishi Evolution MR
Engine Mitsubishi 4G63 turbocharged inline-4
Engine Modifications Slow Boy Racing 2.3L short-block; built race head; Buschur 272 camshafts & ported throttle-body; Cometic head gasket; ARP head studs, main studs & rod bolts; Shearer Fabrications Precision 6262 turbo kit; Tial external wastegate w/ open dump tube; GReddy Type-R BOV; AMS F1-I intake manifold; Sparktech ignition system w/ individual coil packs; M&W ignition amplifier; AEM TruPower adjustable cam gears; Perrin test pipe; Megan Racing exhaust; Turbo XS intercooler; custom intercooler piping; Hallman Pro manual boost controller; AEM intake; custom MPFab oil catch can; CBRD aluminum radiator w/ slim-line fan & upper radiator hose; ARC radiator shroud, spark plug cover, oil cap & radiator cap; A’PEXi grounding kit w/ equalizer; Perrin fuel rail; Aeromotive adjustable fuel pressure regulator; 1,200cc RC fuel injectors; custom fuel surge tank; Bosch 044 fuel pump; stainless steel fuel line w/ Earl fittings; AEM EMS stand-alone management system w/ 5-bar map sensor; Powerflex solid motor mounts; custom battery trunk relocation
Drivetrain Shepard Built five-speed transmission (converted from six-speed); Exedy twin-disc clutch
Exterior Rexspeed carbon-fiber front lip, carbon-fiber front bumper air ducts, side skirt extensions, JDM VA-style rear diffuser; Tyrant carbon-fiber EVO side spats; JDM MR headlights, EVO VII taillights & EVO IX rear bumper; custom-painted aluminum roof; OEM Mitsubishi window rain guards; S2000 shorty antenna; Voltex GT Type 5 V-mount carbon-fiber wing
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Volk TE37 in gold 18x9.5” +22 offset; Rays lightweight aluminum red lug nuts; Dunlop DZ111 Tires 245/40R18; Rotora 6-piston big brake kit (f) & 4-piston big brake kit (r); ATE Super Blue DOT 4 brake fluid
Suspension JIC FLT-A2 full coilovers; GT-Spec front strut bar
Interior Bride Gias Low Max Seats, seat rails, reupholstered rear seats & custom door inserts; Royalton Blue powdercoated rollcage; Auto Power 6-point rollcage; black suede headliner; Works Bell short hub & quick release; Personal steering wheel; AEM wide-band gauge; Auto Meter gauge pod; A’PEXi boost gauge, water temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge & gauge control unit; GReddy turbo timer; JVC KDAVX1 head unit