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SP Rides: Keeping it fun and friendly

March 14, 2014
 
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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Name: Astin Aragaki
Age: 24
Occupation: Mechanic
Hobbies: Cars and paintball
Year/Make/Model: 2001 Subaru Outback Sport
Color: Champagne
Build Time: 1 Year
Engine: MS3 UEL headers. Random Tech Hi-Flow cat and Stromung dual tip catback exhaust
Exterior: JDM bottom lip, side skirts and rear spats; and a Yakima roof rack
Interior: WRX seats, Momo steering wheel, NRG quick release and hub, Cusco rear V brace and C pillar bar
ICE: Alpine double-din receiver, Alpine 4-channel amp and door speakers, Alpine sub amp and Eclipse Aluminum 10-inch sub box
Suspension: Cusco front strut bar, STI rear sway bar and D2 Racing Type RS coilovers
Wheels/Tires/Brakes: Gramlight 57DR Wheels sized 17×9 with a +35 offset, and Kumho Ecsta SPTs 215/40R/17s
Shout-outs: Ryan and the rest of the FFRONTBUNCH crew; Bronson and Shane from ESG Graphics; Guillermo from GPR Auto; and Mom, Dad and my girlfriend for putting up with the mess in the garage all the time.

Astin Aragaki has a thing for automobiles. At the young age of 24, he’s been the proud owner of a wealth of enthusiast vehicles ranging from Audis, Cressidas and Jettas, to a variety of Imprezas, a Mark III Supra and even a spritely Toyota Echo. At last count, Astin possessed more than 30 different vehicles, including a truck.

His preferred ride seems to be Subaru-powered, though. Astin’s first heavily modified Impreza was built when he was still in the eighth grade. He enjoys owning an Impreza thanks to Hawaii’s dedicated Subaru community, which he feels is friendly and supportive. When it came time to owning an Impreza again, Astin felt a need to purchase something different — like this 2001 Subaru Outback Sport.

“Everyone was modding the newer Imprezas. No one was building this, so I went for it. I can still carry all my stuff to go play paintball,” says Astin.

This Outback Sport was meant to carry people and go places, so the first thing Astin modified was the sound system. An Alpine double-din receiver was installed along with an Alpine 4-channel amp, sub amp and monster Eclipse Aluminum 10-inch sub box, which is removable at a moment’s notice.

Astin has focused primarily on making his ride a low-slung, asphalt-grabbing portable people carrier.  A Cusco front strut bar with an additional STI rear sway bar enhanced the car’s stability. Fully adjustable D2 Racing Type RS coilovers were installed next and provide a serious drop when combined with the stunning and high dollar Gramlight 57DR Wheels sized 17×9 with a +35 offset. The tires are Kumho Ecsta SPTs sized at 215/40R/17s all around. Stopping power has also been improved with a full 2003 WRX brake conversion that includes swapping out the rear drum brakes for more performance-oriented discs.

With AWD, the stock Sport is no slouch when it comes to performance, but everything can be improved. Power has been increased slightly with MS3 UEL headers, a Random Tech Hi-Flow cat, and a Stromung dual tip catback exhaust.

The ride has been kept low-key, but features additional improvements featuring JDM side skirts, rear spats, and a Yakima roof rack that really provides a nice touch to the ride’s look. The interior sports WRX seats and a Momo steering wheel with a NRG quick release and hub. A Cusco rear V brace and c-pillar bar adds additional rigidity for tracking.

Astin’s philosophy behind the build is simple: He does it as much for fun and family as he does it to keep himself out of trouble. He’s found a sense of camaraderie as well as a way to stay close to his friends while working on each other’s projects. In a sense, a battlewagon like this is perfect for that.