Jonathan Golden - 2005 Liberty Walk Ferrari F430
"After receiving the car we quickly realized it was built to do one thing: look good sitting still."
More images in the slider above
2005 Ferrari F430
Photographer: Merrick Harding / @merrick_media
I come from a car-loving family, my mom loves cars and got me into cars at a young age. She supported my love of cars and would take me out to the race tracks at a young age and then would even go with me to the illegal street races long before Fast and the Furious graced movie screens. My wife is also an auto enthusiast but neither one of us is a purist, that's for sure. My wife and I actually met in the car scene. We’ve had a long, fun and sometimes stressful time with or over cars throughout our lives growing up and throughout the past fifteen years, we've been together. We’ve owned and modified upwards of 30 different vehicles from Integra Type-R’s, MR2’s, FR-S, Mitsubishi’s, tons of Nissan’s from 240sx’s, an RB26 powered Datsun 240z to an R35 GT-R, an Aston Martin Vantage, Mercedes E63 AMG rounded out with trucks and daily drivers as well as my wife’s favourite of them all, her s197 Mustang.
I had seen and fell in love with the initial renderings and then press photos of the LibertyWalk kits Kato did on his 360 Modena and F430. Those images were embedded into my head and even though my wife and I most certainly weren’t in a position to afford to purchase any model of Ferrari at the time, much less modify one, the images and ideas stuck. Those cars Kato built served as motivation.
In late 2016 during the annual SEMA crunch time I came across an Instagram post of an F430 getting fitted with a LibertyWalk kit here in the USA and began following the journey of that car knowing one day we’d have one. We had decided in 2017 to start saving to get to a point to buy a 360 Modena and put some holes into it by installing a LibertyWalkkit. Flash forward to August of 2018 - a simple business trip with some fun stops mixed into it turned into a couple of hours at Wekfest in downtown LA. Cool cars, cool merch and one row of LibertyWalk grandiose nestled near the RWB collection. There was only one photo taken of that LBWK row, a picture my wife took of that very car I once saw an Instagram post of which would eventually be known as "The Red Car".
Skip forward to December of that same year, suddenly The Red Car had gone up for sale and so began a discussion about taking the plunge and if it was what we wanted to do as we already had another plan and also had never bought a car modified prior to purchase. We had always done our own modifications or had it done under our ownership, but this was a special situation. It was The Red Car! Buying a supercar is a process, especially one so highly modified but we eventually got a deal worked out and it happened to sight unseen other than that day at WekFest LA and Instagram photos. The day came early January 2019 that the car was unloaded off of transport and wow, it was so surreal to have that car in our driveway. We thought we’d get the car and just be able to enjoy the car without the processor money of going through building it from scratch. We were wrong.
After receiving the car we quickly realized it was built to do one thing: look good sitting still. We knew that was its main focus from the beginning, however the disregard of everything unseen when sitting still especially considering the reputation of the shop that built the car was appalling. Interior buttons didn’t function, some were broken and held in with zip ties, interior and exterior panels were mostly loose and installed with mismatched hardware if any hardware at all, the exhaust was held in place with chain link fencing brackets, other exhaust flanges weren’t tight, suspension and body components weren’t tight and would cause horrible noises while driving, custom mounted Sparco seats hit the headliner, taillight mounts glued together, body panels not aligned evenly, the fender cuts under the LibertyWalk kit were jagged, squared off and looked like they were attempted by a 5-year-old with safety scissors from elementary school resulting in deep tire cuts. The buyer's remorse hit strong, but there was only one thing to do.
Not having the time or means to really tackle all of this in our garage, I contacted the shop that had originally built the car. No real answers and the feeling that we weren’t going to get anywhere unless we agreed to send the car and a blank check which based on what was sitting in our garage, didn’t seem like a smart decision. There weren’t really any local shops that we felt confident could handle the enormous job of practically redoing the entire car so I began to look out of state and found Bobby at Sadistic Iron Werks in Hesperia California. After about two months of ownership, we loaded The Red Car on transport and off it went. The plan was to completely redo the air suspension, build a full custom titanium exhaust, redo the LibertyWalk kit install and address all of the other problems. While Bobby had the car even more problems would be found behind the curtain of pretty paint and a big name shop build which just added more time before we could actually, hopefully, enjoy the car.
Months go by with the car getting worked on at Sadistic Iron Werks. New Crafted Suspension air struts and Accuairmanagement had been installed, many issues were fixed and the car is now driveable! What now? You get the car wrapped green, wasabi green. Swap out the ill-fitted Sparco's with Bride seats because what’s better to pair with a JDM'dFerrari? Custom Rotiform wheels with Toyo tires and then it's time for SEMA with Accuair. Finally driving the car, for what was really the first extended period of time around the Vegas strip under all of the lights was definitely making this journey more worth it! Post-SEMA saw the car back at Sadistic Iron Werks for a custom made chassis mount wing as well as finishing up the remainder of the probably long overdue maintenance.
So you've owned the car for two years and it's been gone about one year and nine months between all the new parts, fixing things and SEMA. Any reasonable person would ship the car home to enjoy it. We're not those people. Off to San Antonio for a gated 6-speed manual conversion by European Auto Group. It'll be more fun with the 3rd pedal and how can you not need a gated shifter in your F430!? This car may be beautiful, but it's still a drivers car and that's exactly what we're going to do - drive it. Hobbyists can’t stop hobbying so we already have plans to reupholster the entire interior in black Alcantara and Rotiform
Now if you asked me if we could go back in time and change anything, I’d tell you it would’ve been 100% cheaper, easier and less stressful to buy a stock F430 and build it up to this from scratch. However, I wouldn’t change it as we’ve been able to meet so many great people and have such amazing experiences throughout this rocky road of a journey and truthfully make this car work the way it should’ve and is now so uniquely ours.
- Liberty Walk full F430 body kit
- Scuderia Style front bumper
- Scuderia Style rear bumper
- Scuderia rear grille
- Custom Chassis Mount wing
- Evasive Motorsports GTLM mirrors custom door mount
- Bride Vorga seats
- Bride Seat brackets
- Gated Six-Speed Manual Conversion
- Rotiform VDA
- Toyo T1R tires
- F- 245/30
- R- 315/25
- Crafted Suspension Company air struts with custom valving
- Accuair Elevel+ management
- Accuair CVT
- Hardline Frunk design by Sadistic Iron Werks
- Fabspeed headers
- Fabspeed carbon air boxes
- Fabspeed air filters
- Sadistic Iron Werks custom Titanium Test Pipes
- Sadistic Iron Werks custom Titanium rear exhaust section
- My wife Lisa
- My mom Linda
- Bobby & David at Sadistic Iron Werks
- Jason and Brian at Rotiform
- Stan at Toyo Tires
- Ryan at Accuair
- Art, Dave, Matt, Phillip and all the people at European Auto Group/GatedSix
- Merrick Harding at Merrick Media
- Toshi and Kato at Liberty Walk
- Diego at Low-Class Militia
- Tito Perez
- Maverick Sherrill
- Alfredo De Luna
- Joette Etchegoincelhay
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