When it comes to automotive projects, thousands of car enthusiasts around the globe have made the Subaru Impreza WRX their vehicle of choice. For Christopher Martin and his dad, Chris Paschall, of Orange, California, this 2006 Subaru WRX was their chance to hang out, have fun and learn. After years of working on the vehicle, the team wasn’t able to get the engine running, so the car sat at the side of Chris’s house, collecting dust. Christopher’s sister Ciera sent a submission request to the TV show “Overhaulin’,” hoping to have the project completed. The dream came true when show hosts Chris Jacobs and Brock Foose showed up, masquerading as IRS agents, to seize the vehicle. They claimed the seizure was happening to pay outstanding income tax. After a few minutes of torture, they let Christopher off the hook and let him know his pride and joy was about to be Overhauled.
Custom Subaru WRX Design
As is the procedure on the show, after the car was torn down to inspect its condition, the Insider (Chris) sat down with Chip Foose for an interview to collaborate on the look of the vehicle. Foose took the information and created one of his legendary renderings to give the build team guidance. The result is a design style that balances the family’s love of hot rods with an aggressive street-ready stance.
The Subaru WRX now sports Seibon OE-style carbon fiber hood, front fenders, trunk lid and a CW-style deck spoiler. Foose updated the 2006 “Blobeye” headlights and grille to the 2007-and-newer Hawkeye headlights. Chip chose a dark metallic silver paint for the car, then once it was done and reassembled, added what he calls a two-tone “waterline” to the lower panels to add length to the vehicle. A red pinstripe and lighter silver vinyl wrap add classy accents to the vehicle. Chip pinstriped the custom powder-coated Rotiform OZR wheels to match the pinstripe.
Inside the car, a set of Cobra carbon seats were re-wrapped by Bill Dunn One Stop Shop of Huntington Beach in black and scarlet red leather. Chip redesigned the rear seat upholstery to mimic the front leatherwork. The door cards and armrests also got new red leather accents.
Mechanical Repairs and Upgrades
The show brought in Subaru drivetrain expert Heather Holler to oversee replacing the engine and making the vehicle mechanically sound. She procured a replacement 2.0-liter turbocharged engine for the car and cued up a healthy dose of suspension upgrades, thanks to Whiteline. After exorcising a few electrical gremlins, Heather had the new heart of this project rumbling reliably.
Subaru WRX Custom Audio System Installation
If you watch the show often, then you know that Fred Lynch from ARC Audio is a vital part of every recent build that gets a custom stereo system. Fred enlisted the help of Jesse Sprister from Drive Customs in San Luis Obispo to help with the project. The sound system started with a Sony XAV-AX210 double-DIN DVD receiver in the dash and new ARC Audio ARC series speakers around the car.
The front doors house the woofers from an ARC 6.2 set while the tweeters are installed in the factory tweeter location just in front of the door handles. A set of ARC 602 6.5-inch coaxial speakers is in the rear doors. The interior of the car and doors were treated to a layer of Dynamat Xtreme sound deadening to keep the great sound in and the noise out.
In the trunk, Jesse and Fred designed a sealed subwoofer enclosure that aims a set of ARC Series 12-inch subwoofers toward the rear seats of the Subaru. An amp rack on the rear of the enclosure is home to ARC 1000.6 and ARC 1000.2 amplifiers. The ARC 1000.6 six-channel amp drives the tweeters, door woofers and rear speakers and was upgraded with an IPS 8.8 PS8-Pro series digital signal processor card. The ARC 1000.2 powers the pair of subwoofers. The system is wired with Stinger power cable, speaker wire and 4000-Series RCA interconnects.
Finished with a Touch of Class
The amp rack is finished in black carbon fiber textured vinyl and includes a strip of addressable RGB LED lights around the perimeter. A two-piece trim panel was wrapped in vinyl with a second red accent layer around the amps. A Subaru badge at the top of the amps adds a classy touch of personalization to the elegant audio system.
After what surely seemed like an eternity, the A-team had the project ready to reveal. Christopher was, of course, thrilled to have his car done and in working order. The show theme song “Gasoline” by Kicking Harold came on as part of the presentation, but the true listening experience comes from being in the driver’s seat. Experiencing the full tuning capabilities of the digital signal processor and Fred’s amazing audio system calibration capabilities is an extraordinary experience. If you’ve seen the episode (available over on Motor Trend at motortrendondemand.com), then you’ll know how excited the family was to see the car running again. There’s no doubt that Christopher will enjoy his rejuvenated WRX and its amazing ARC Audio, Sony and Stinger sound system.
Images courtesy of Fred Lynch.