Roman may be a low-key guy, but his swapped Baja is anything but.
Roman's car: 2005 Baja Turbo MT
Engine and Drive-train: JE FSR 9.0:1 comp pistons, KillerB Oil Pan/Pick-up & baffle, Kelford 264 cams, Complete Supertech valve train w/dual springs/inconel exhaust valves, Blouch Dominator 1.5 XTR, STi pink Kevlar timing belt, Fluidamper main pulley, TGV deletes w/phenolic spacers, FiveO 1200cc injectors/Walbro 460-e85 Fuel Pump, Perrin fuel rails, Spearco TMIC w/Synapse Engrng recirc valve, Killer B Holy Headers, Koyo radiator, GrimmSpeed EWG up-pipe w/44mm Tial WG, Helix bellmouth DP catless, Custom 3” exhaust going to a 3.5” Varex X-Force muffler, IAG competition AOS w/vacuum, Mishimoto themostatic oil cooler w/custom lines, ’06 STi 6MT w/r180 w/ACT Streetlite flywheel & HD Street clutch,
Wheels/Tires/Suspension: 18x8.5 Rota SVN w/ 245/40-18 Dunlop Direzza Star Spec II, BC Racing coilovers on JDM STi AL control arms, Whiteline 22mm Rr sway bar w/Whiteline endlinks F/R, 2015 STi 13:1 steering rack. ’06 STi Brembos w/Fr-DBA ClubSpec 5000/Rr-GiroDisc 2pc rotors.
Exterior: Hard rear tonneau cover, HID projector headlamp conversion
Interior: Momo Street Racer GT Seats, AEM oil temp/pressure gauge combo, Innovate boost/AFR gauge combo.
Tell us a little about yourself: I’m a high school science teacher on my 20th year of teaching.I really enjoy motorsports, MMA fighting, guns and knives, going out to the movies, wrenching on cars, camping/hiking, whitewater kayaking and canoeing. Snowboarding in the winter, and playing guitar too.
How did you get into cars? I’ve been interested in cars since I was in high school, but never had enough money to mod cars. After serving with the USMC, and getting a college degree, I got married. I sold my ’87 CRX Si, and bought a new ’98 Subaru Forester because my wife and I started a family. The daily grind of work and home life with 3 kids and a wife was great, but added stress and a lack of fulfillment at the same time. I rekindled my interest in cars and began reading more about Subarus. I found out that a turbo version of the Forester was coming to the U.S. and became very interested. Soon enough, I bough my very first turbo car: a 5MT Forester XT in 2004. That sparked my obsession with Subarus. Soon after I began shopping for parts and started doing the basic bolt-on modifications most people do, and ended up having several modified cars where I am at now. Currently I own four Subarus, and in total have had nine.
What is your dream car? Any of the Koenigseggs
What are your future plans for the car, and what do you like to do with it? I’m actually done (are we ever really done?) with mods to the Baja at this point. I never meant to modify it to this extent. But what I’m really waiting for is my Forester to get finished, and that will be my track car.
Do you go by any nicknames? If so, how did you get your nickname? I don’t really have a nickname, but most people who knew me from NASIOC know me as Frogmonk.
What is your favorite thing about your car? I enjoy the fact that the Baja is so different, and that since it has been modified to this extent makes it even more unusual.
What is something that you don't like about your car? The Baja is probably the heaviest Subaru that I know of, second only to the Tribeca.
What is your car like to drive? -The way its currently set-up, the Baja drives really nicely, even with the coilovers. Even though I am still experimenting with suspension settings, it drives pretty well at the track even with its weight. I hope to add stiffer springs and add more camber to help it get around the corners a little better.
What was your inspiration or objective with this build? This build would have never happened had my Forester not had its misfortunes. That’s another whole story for those who are familiar. I feel bad for the Forester but it will rise again and hopefully be the track monster I wanted it to be. So, I would say my Forester inspired me to build the Baja.
Why did you choose a Subaru? I chose Subaru because it fit my style. I was never into flashy cars and liked the geometric shape (square-ness) of the Forester. The same goes for the Baja, which is just a unique looking truck.
What was your first car? The first car I bought and owned was a red ’97 Honda CRX si.
What makes your car special to you? Driving the Baja makes me feel good about going to work and other places. Like many members, I have developed an affinity for my Subaru because of all the experiences I’ve had to get it where it is today. There’s a nice feeling of satisfaction in that comes with driving it daily.
What is something about you (or your car) that no one else would know about? Nothing really significant other than I own an original running and driving 1971 Subaru FF-1. Only a few people know about it, but someday I hope to have it restored fully.
Any memorable moments with you car that you would like to share? I taught my daughter how to drive stick in the Baja. Now she drives an ’05 Saabaru.
Any shout-outs to anyone who helped you along the way? I give a lot of credit to my wife, Basia, for putting up with my obsession with Subarus; Walter, who has been the exclusive tuner of the Baja; Robert who built and assembled the current motor in the Baja, and offers tech support anytime; Sonny and Tom for helping wrench at many inconvenient times day and night; Dewey and Phil, for being my parts meisters. Six Star and APM for various installs that I didn’t want to do myself.
Photo credits: Ty Kyu and Daean Chase