2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo

Subaru has had a really long racing heritage that was attractive to me. I was searching for an older chassis, such as a GC, GD chassis, or whatever I could find that was a clean slate with lower miles. It was really impossible for me to find an example like this. My impatience brought me to the newer chassis, the VA.

2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo
2017 Subaru STI - Josh Castillo

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2017 Subaru STI

Josh Castillo

Instagram: @stijosh_

Photographer: Zack Hendershot/ @Itwitchdaily

Website:508productions.com

My name is Josh, I am originally from San Jose, California, but I reside in Central Florida now. I've lived in Florida for about 10 years and counting. I am currently in transition to completely taking over my father's automotive repair shop.

He's had his shop for over 15 years now and has been with the company he's franchised with since I was a newborn. I started off doing the basics things at his shop, like checking tire pressures and oil changes, learning to inspect cars and such. The technicians we have at our shop have been there for a very long time, and they all showed me the ins and outs of everything relating to car repairs. After understanding the technical side of vehicle repairs, I became a service manager and overall operator of the shop, making sure the boat sails smoothly so to speak. I am now learning the backbone of running the shop.

In my free time, if I'm not doing car-related things, you can find me doing something artistic, like painting. I also enjoy PC gaming whenever I have the time for it. The majority of my friends are car guys (and girls), I enjoy spending time with them, cruising, taking photos, and going to car events locally, and throughout the state, even out of state in some cases!

My father has been working in the automotive repair business for over 30 years, so I had been exposed to cars all my life. Growing up, I always had toy cars, I enjoyed anything with wheels. When I think back on it, as I got older, I was subconsciously exposed to cars by older family and friends. I have a cousin back in California that has (and still has) an MK4 Toyota Supra, and several Hondas, that he was always modifying. A family friend of ours had 3 Nissan 240sx, one with an SR swap. He was big into drifting. I thought it was cool, but it never stuck to me until I was in my mid-20s. Even though I did not pay much attention to these things in my youth, I do believe they left an influence on me as I got older.

My background is art, it's what I pursued after high school. Admittingly, my introduction to art was through writing and painting graffiti, which I did for several years. The concept and application of style, something that is heavily learned and applied in graffiti, was something that became embedded into different parts of my life, from fashion to art, design, and so forth. When I got hooked on the car scene, it became no different. In retrospect, I approached my car like a blank canvas. I knew what style I enjoyed, and I wanted to make something unique to me and a reflection of my personality. I owe a lot to one of our technicians, Jonathan, who showed me the ropes when I became interested in modifying my car.

Subaru has had a really long racing heritage that was attractive to me. I was searching for an older chassis, such as a GC, GD chassis, or whatever I could find that was a clean slate with lower miles. It was really impossible for me to find an example like this. My impatience brought me to the newer chassis, the VA. In 2017 I ended up buying my Subaru STI, brand new. This was really my first endeavour into buying a car completely stock and having the resources and abilities to modify the car. My dad is a Porsche guy, I always found it funny and ironic that we both ended up liking flat motor platforms. 

My interest in cars spiked when I learned about time attack racing. Although I have a deep appreciation for all types of automotive competition, time attack was by enlarge my favourite. Mainly due to how the cars look. I really geeked out over all the excessive aerodynamic parts, and aggressive looks. Everything relating to my car comes down to a balance. I knew I couldn't just make the car look cool, or look fast, without it being faster than stock. At about 15k miles, I started making changes to the motor, running a stock location turbo set-up. After asking questions, researching, and doing my homework, I knew I wanted to be around the 500 all-wheel horsepower range. The car makes over that on E85. Once I had all of that done, it was on aesthetics and looks.

The car has seen several phases, running a flared body set up on 18x10.5 Work Meisters. I had been a fan of manufacturers like Voltex and Varis since around the time I had purchased my Subaru. One thing that attracted me to their kits and parts was the attention to integrating factory body lines into their kits effortlessly, everything flows and works in union with one another. I kept my eye on Varis body kits for a long time for my car, entertaining different options. I was beyond convinced when I had seen release regarding a widebody version of their kit for my chassis. I knew I wanted to bring my car to that level. I wanted to make a time attack-inspired vehicle, but also put my own twist on it. The style of track/time attack-inspired vehicle was one that was always on my agenda, since having my car stock. The Varis kit along with paint was completed fall of 2021.

When I look at my car, I remember all the time and effort, and frustrations that went into getting it exactly to where it's now. It humbles me, knowing I pushed myself to achieve where I wanted to get to. I am beyond proud of what I have done. When people ask about the car, about the kit, about the colour, or the smallest of details, it all carries a personal story and connection for me that I love to share. People don't even know it's a Subaru at times because of the debadged logos, I've only left STI logos on the car. It brings me so much happiness when people are excited, confused, or have questions about my car. Nonetheless, I know I made every right decision on the car, after all, they say if you don't look back at your car when you park it, you bought the wrong car, right? I look back, every single time I park it. That feeling is absolute bliss.

I consistently make choices for the car parallel to the style I truly enjoy. I thought I would get a lot of questions about why I didn't choose to put a wing on the car to compliment the rest of the body kit. Instead, many have found appreciation for the carbon fibre duckbill trunk. Every detail of the car, I have tried to think methodically on, allowing only my influence in order to create something that is a direct reflection of my personality and likeness to what I love most about modified cars. I loved the older generation Subarus more than I do the new generations. Many things that I've done to the car are an ode to those older generations.

The colour is inspired by the GC chassis, steel blue mica, which was an OEM colour for that generation. The triple centre gauge pod was a choice I made based on the fact that was a popular gauge set up from older generation WRXs. I chose BBS wheels, knowing that BBS has had a long history of being an OEM wheel for Subaru for years. Overall, the influence of the older generation mixed with new technology was something that I wanted to execute. This was really a byproduct of my personality, like new and old school things. I believe those things are what makes it different from most.

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Spec List

Engine- 

  • OEM Case Halves
  • ARP Block Bolts
  • OEM Crankshaft
  • King Racing Bearings
  • Manley H-Tuff Connecting Rods
  • Manley 99.75mm Forged Pistons
  • ARP Rod Bolts
  • OEM 11mm Oil Pump
  • ARP Head studs
  • Phenolic Thermal Intake Manifold Spacers
  • TGV Deletes
  • Air Pump Delete Plates
  • 3"  Turbo Inlet
  • Cobb Flex Fuel Sensor Kit
  • Cobb 3" Downpipe
  • Tomei Single Exit Exhaust
  • 1500cc injector dynamics 
  • Radium Fuel pressure regulator kit
  • Radium Dual fuel pump hanger
  • Cobb Fuel Pressure Sensor
  • Cobb Fuel Rails/Rail Line Kit
  • Walbro 450 fuel pump 
  • Blouch Dominator 1.5XT-R 10cm^2 Turbo
  • Tial Q BOV
  • Tial 38mm External Wastegate
  • Visconti Plug/Play Speed Density Conversion Kit w/ IAT Sensor
  • AEM 3.5-BAR Boost or Exhaust Back- Pressure Sensor Kit
  • Koyorad Radiator
  • Gates Timing Belt
  • Competition Clutch Twin Disk Organic
  • Killer B Equal Length 4-1 Holy Header w/ External Wastegate (with up-pipe)
  • Killer B High-Performance Oil Pan / Baffle / Pickup
  • IAG Air/Oil Separator Competition Series
  • IAG Motor/Transmission mounts
  • Boost Control Solenoid
  • Cylinder 4 Cooling Modification
  • ETS Front Mount Intercooler Kit (3.5” core)
  • Kartboy Short Shifter
  • Tuned by JR

Exterior:

  • Varis Widebody kit
  • APR Carbon Fiber Vortex Generator
  • Seibon Carbon Fiber Duckbill Trunk
  • Custom headlights and tail lights
  • LED Turn signals and fog lights
  • Custom LED/RGB Front STI Logo
  • Liberal Red Carbon Fiber rear STI Badge
  • Custom chassis mount front splitter

Interior:

  • Recaro RS-GS Bucket Seats
  • PCI seat brackets
  • NRG Harness Bar
  • 4 Point Cusco Harness with Recaro Harness pads
  • Custom Carbon Fiber and Alcantara steering wheel
  • Triple gauge carbon fibre gauge pod with AEM gauges
  • Varis shift knob
  • Various carbon fibre trim parts

Wheels:

  • Custom 3 Piece BBS LM
    • 18x9 +0 offset (Front) with 25mm spacer 
    • 18x10 -20 (Rear) No spacer
  • BBS McGard lug nuts

Suspension and Brakes:

  • Airlift Performance 3P Air Suspension
  • ISC Rear lower control arms
  • Whiteline Front and rear stabilizer links and rear toe arms
  • Whiteline front lower ball joints
  • OEM Brembo Brakes

Anything done mechanically to the car, from motor, suspension, fueling, electrical, and the interior has been done by myself. Body and paint is an area that is not my strong suit due to not being exposed to them on a daily basis. Body and paint were done at Dark Matter Designs in Lake Mary, Florida. Initial body kit fitting and chassis mount splitter were fabricated at JF Customs in Miami, Florida. I owe everything that I've done to the car to Jonathan Dawsey, a lead technician we have at the shop, who has had an interest in modifying cars well before I started working at the shop full time. He truly showed and taught me everything I applied towards the car, and what I know now.

What do you think of this story leave your comments below, Thank You

Future Plans

I am in an awkward place where I feel like the car has taken a final form. I did recently purchase EVS Tuning carbon fibre GTLM aero side mirrors. I have been considering a potential wheel change, but at this point, I am truly just enjoying and driving the car. The last phase for this car would be to truly convert it to a time attack vehicle, keeping the exterior the same with a large wing, and removing the back seats for a full cage. At that point, a large rotated turbo kit, and reverse intake manifold were set up. I don't anticipate that happening soon, but I know that would be the next thing.

Advice/Tips

As cliche, as it may sound, buying quality parts the first time around, will take you further along. Do research, and don't be afraid to ask questions, whether it's part stores, your tuner, or peers in the community. Set realistic goals. And carry tools in your car with you. Always.

Looking for a new club? Have a look at the ones featured on our site HERE

The Car Scene

What I learned and enjoy about the car scene is the willingness people have to help, teach, learn, and encourage one another. This has created friendships, bonds, and family, like nothing else that I have experienced. I am eternally grateful for everyone I have met since day one, and for those that I continue to meet along the way. 

Dream Car

Porsche 964 RWB. I blame my dad.

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