Chitown Subarus' very own resident dog lover finally gets the spotlight this month.

Photo Credit: Natalia Kaczor

Photo Credit: Natalia Kaczor

Nicole's car: 2010 STi Special Edition

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Engine and Drive-train: Mishimoto radiator and silicone hoses, Invidia Q300 cat-back exhaust, Cobb Accessport with a protune from Graham at Boosted Performance.

Wheels/Tires/Suspension: 18x9.5 Enkei RPF1’s wrapped in 265/35 Falken Azenis RT615Ks. For brakes, I have Stoptech sport pads, slotted rotors, and stainless-steel brake lines. For the track, I swap out the sport pads for Hawk HP+ pads in the front. The specs of the special edition STi are based on the JDM Spec C. From factory, I have slightly better suspension set up than other models have. Car and Driver has a really good write up of all the specs if you want to read more into it.

Exterior: Rear window tints, Gorilla Offroad Company mud guards, and Hella Horns. With the help of Buck (Buks Lgd Professional Detailing) and Hector (Chicago Autogleam), the whole body is ceramic coated with Always Dry.

Interior: Dash cam and Weathertech floor liners.

Photo Credit: Hector Zapata

Photo Credit: Hector Zapata

Tell us a little about yourself: I currently handle accounts payable for a local freight forwarder, but I am working towards becoming a CPA. In my free time, I enjoy both watching and playing sports. I also enjoy watching all the dog videos I get tagged in daily!

How did you get into cars? A mechanic in his free time, my dad is the whole reason I got into cars. He was always fixing cars when I was a kid, and luckily his passion for them rubbed off on me. Although he is a big fan of American cars, he still welcomed my Subaru into the family! I also have to thank my mom for letting me have a larger collection of Hot Wheels than Barbie Dolls.

What is your dream car? A 1970 Chevelle SS in Fathom Blue or Tuxedo Black

What are your future plans for the car?
I have all the parts to go stage 2 sitting in my room, but I haven’t been convinced to do it yet. An upgrade that I can currently justify installing is a 2017 steering rack that I just picked up. I also think an Oil Cooler is in my near future with all the track days I plan on doing.

Do you go by any nicknames? If so, how did you get your nickname? I have recently acquired the nickname “Brown Sugar” during a dinner after racing with my track pack. I don’t even know how to explain where the conversation started, but it’s pretty sweet if you ask me.

Does your car go by any names or nicknames? I’m not a crazy car lady, but I did give it a name: Ally Marie. Ally since she is a “rally car” and Marie because of the kitten in Aristocats that says “Because I’m a lady, that’s why”.

What's your favorite thing about your car? I love that it is hatch. The amount of space that it has with the seats down is amazing. It has become a challenge for me to see how much stuff I can fit in it at once. I should start a photo series titled “Will It Fit” or “Subaru Tetris”. I think my most proud moment of the hatch was when I successfully fit Krzysztof’s 2014 WRX hood in it. A few weeks ago, I decided to camp in the back of it at Gridlife Midwest. I enjoyed it so much that I’m already making plans to camp in it again.


What is something that you don't like about your car? It seems to be a magnet for rock chips, losing air vents, door dings, a flying tent, and a reversing car… I can’t seem to catch a break.

What was your inspiration or objective with this build? The whole objective for this car was to have a safe, reliable, and somewhat fast car to daily and road trip with. Now that the track bug has bit me, I’m starting to choose little improvements that will be useful for those track days. Eventually I plan on getting a GD, and building that to be a dedicated track car.

What was your first car? My first car was a controlled (it did not hit any innocent bystanders or objects) 1997 automatic Mustang.

Photo Credit: D. Chase Photography

Photo Credit: D. Chase Photography

 Why did you choose a Subaru? Rear wheel drive can be fun, but with all the miles I drove in the snow I wanted a better handling car. I also spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos of rally events that Subaru participated in. I knew my car wouldn’t be exactly like theirs, but I wanted a taste of the fun they seemed to be having. Now that I’ve been a Subaru Ambassador for the past two years, it gave me a better perspective as to how Subaru views their customers. It is quite the honor to represent such a great company. I will never regret my decision to buy a Subaru.

Do you use Fram oil filters because they sound like your last name? No, but if they sponsor me I might consider it? *wink* *wink*

What makes your car special to you? Besides her dashing good looks, I love that it isn’t just a point A to point B car. I have drag raced at the Subaru Shootout, ice raced on a lake up in Wisconsin, participated in HPDE events at the Autobahn and Gingerman Raceway, and have gone on many road trips with her.

What is something about you (or your car) that no one else would know about? My original motor made it to 105,000 miles before I encountered the infamous head gasket issue. Rather than rebuilding it, I ended up replacing it with another stock motor in October of 2016. The stock clutch also had 105,000 miles on it, so I had that replaced as well.

Any memorable moments with your car that you would like to share? My first memorable event with my car was pulling up to my first Chitown Subarus meet (which happened to be the big meet) back in the Spring of 2014. I barely knew 3 people and I couldn’t get off of work in time to make the cruise with them. Before pulling into the lot, I saw so many people and cameras. There had to be close to a hundred Subarus already there. I had a mini panic attack. I told myself to play it cool, avoid eye contact, and find my new friends as soon as I parked. Joke was on me because I managed to slowly climb a curb while pulling into my spot. I’m pretty sure my dear friend Tom S. has a picture of it somewhere that he was nice enough not to share. Embarrassing moment aside, it was probably one of the best days of my life. That day marked the beginning of all the friends and memories I have made with this group.

The most important question - tell us what breed of dog is your favorite? CORGI! I am very open to all breeds though, love comes in all shapes and sizes :P

Any shout-outs to anyone who helped you along the way? I have to give a huge thanks to Hector for being the one to convince me to show up to my first big meet. Without him it would have took me much longer to develop my passion and knowledge for Subarus. He also brought the group to where it is now, and I don’t even want to imagine how uneventful my life would be without all of the Subaru events I have attended. Thanks to all the other admins as well- It is no easy task to manage a group this active and large! Graham at Boosted Performance for the tune. Sammy and all the guys at Six Star Motorsports. They have always saved the day when my car has had tedious and unnecessary issues. Skunkworks for allowing me to stay with a stock motor and stock clutch. My track pack for giving me good advice and memories on and off the track. My dad for helping me out with my “ricer” when I don’t have the knowledge, strength, or patience to fix the tedious issues I often encounter.  I know I’m leaving out a lot of people in this shout out, but just know that I am very thankful to have you all part of my life. You all are my second family!

Photo Credit: D. Chase Photography

Photo Credit: D. Chase Photography

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