Well, first up I thought I’d share a pretty cool experience I had on my most recent trip, a nice little 1100 mile drive up the coast, eventually right up to the border with BC. I’d been dying to get some extended time in the WRX, and she was just ready to cut loose on some of the most beautiful stretches of road in the country. Got to say I don’t really know if there’s anything better than unleashing on the open road and her torque vectoring plus all-wheel drive (not to mention the four-piston front brakes) made her just perfect for those sweeping bends of the Oregon Pacific Coast scenic byway. She was just as agile as I’d heard, and I really had a good long chance to enjoy the much smoother gearshift than a couple of the older models I’d also tested.
At the top of my trajectory I ran into a pretty cool guy who was on a family vacation out in North Cascades (I’d heard good things about the scenic highway, and they were absolutely right—nothing beats ripping through a chain of gorgeous rugged mountain passes in a car as responsive as the WRX). I’d stopped off for lunch, and this guy, name of Henry, comes over to chat with me after he sees me step out of my ride. Guess he’s stretching his legs, been driving with the family for the better part of the day and it turns out he was something of a gearhead himself and he’s asking me about the ride, saying he had a buddy with a 2015 BRZ, and he’d been coveting it ever since, and I admitted it’s a pretty fun drive, although it’s just not quite up to snuff for what I’d been in the market for.
Well we got to talking specs, and I gave him the whole run-down (2.5 liters, 4-cylinder, 305 hp, you know the drill), and when I told him my trip plans, he seemed pretty shocked that I was going such distance with its mpg being what it is (and I told him, you know, you don’t buy a WRX STI because you’re looking to be conservative in mileage…you buy it because you can feel it when you drive, and because there’s not much else I’ve ever driven that’s as much fun, and he chuckled and agreed). Turns out he owns a carpet service, and they do a pretty good deal of car detailing, cleaning interiors and such.
I told him I did my own detailing for the most part (she’s my baby), and he said it actually looked like I’d been doing a pretty impressive job with it, I said of course I take this stuff pretty seriously, and he chuckled again saying he could tell. Told him I’m still trying to figure out how to keep that new car smell around for as long as possible, and he said it might be worth it for me to pick up a portable air compressor. Said one of the reasons the smell changes over time is dirt or dust that gets stuck to the duct walls behind vent grilles, so if you take a compressor to it and blast it off periodically, you’re gonna get to enjoy that (intoxicating) new smell for a good deal longer. I told him I just might have to take his advice—small price to pay for keeping that brand new feeling.
All in all, he was a pretty cool guy, we chatted for maybe thirty minutes and I showed off some of the accessories I’d installed before the trip. Namely the shift knob I’d upgraded to, which is pretty close to the perfect weight balance, pretty important for something that’s going to spend a lot of time at my fingertips, plus the SPT Boost Gauge (which was something of a pain on the install, but matches stock cluster almost perfectly). He offered a few more tricks of the trade as far as detailing and interior work goes, and made a couple recommendations that I’ll definitely be keeping in mind next time I rework the interiors.
It’s always awesome to meet another enthusiast, especially out on the road, and (as you’ll probably see soon enough) there’s not much I like more than talking cars with someone who’s as excited about them as I am. The trip was beautiful throughout, and some of those scenes, those expansive vistas, massive mountains with sheer drop offs and the joy of turning it out on those sweeping curves—all of it will be burned into my memory forever.
And I’m already starting to get eager for my next chance to hit the open road! I’m planning to give a more thorough write-up of the highlights in a future post (hopefully once I finally get some time!) but just wanted to share briefly one of the many reasons it was such an awesome ride.
Til next time!
P.S. Check out this sick video and hit me back with yea or nay on if you would mod your WRX like this one: