Posted by Armin H. Ausejo
The popularity of Subaru’s WRX and its STI variant over the past few years is undeniable. The Pacific Northwest is a hotbed for these rally-inspired cars thanks to the reasonable price point, good power in stock form, even better power after a few modifications, and of course the AWD practicality. Thus, its hard not to see a WRX or STI on the street anywhere in Pacific Northwest, not to mention at local car shows.
One of the most dominating car show winners in the past few years is a WRX owned by Lynnwood resident and Project One car club member, Erich Breitkreutz. His immaculate 2004 WRX has often been the Subaru to beat at recent shows and has been a big boost to Project One’s overall team quality. With about 300 whp under the hood, the car doesn’t just sit pretty as a trailer queen. When not attending car shows, you can also often see Erich drag racing his car at Bremerton Raceway and Pacific Raceways during the summer.
Erich’s car is one of balance. It’s got the looks to win shows with the Ings+1 body kit and Volk GT-S wheels, but it also has the power to hold its own at the track with a Forced Performance 18G and Perrin front-mount intercooler. It also has a set of Cusco Zero2Rs and a StopTech big brake kit to help it out-handle most cars on the road. We caught up with Erich in between business trips to ask him a few more things about his car, its history, and a few personal opinions as well.
NWMotiv: Thanks for meeting up with us, Erich. So how exactly did you first get into cars?
Erich: You’re welcome. My dad and my friends have always been into cars. I hung around the periphery until I bought my WRX…then pretty much jumped in with both feet.
NWMotiv: What made you decide to go Subaru this time around?
Erich: I wanted something newer, I wanted something quick, my dad dropped some hints and the test drive sold me.
NWMotiv: Can you remember the first meet you attended? If so, did it change your perception of the new community you just joined?
Erich: Not really. I went to a couple of shows as a spectator, hung around the forums and my acquaintences just evolved.
NWMotiv: How do you feel about the community now that you’ve been in it for a few years?
Erich: I’m mixed. It’s really a down point in a lot of ways right now. The economy has decimated the scene — rent/mortage or turbo upgrade? Hopefully not a tough choice. The diehards are mostly still around, and there’s a decent influx of new people, but few are going to the extent that they did in the past. It’ll pick back up, though.
NWMotiv: Yeah, we totally hear that. Did you ever buy in much to the whole STI vs. Evo rivalry? How do you feel about it?
Erich: I don’t really care. I’ve met some pretty awesome Evo owners, and some pretty awful STI owners. They’re both great cars with a passionate group of enthusiasts behind them.
NWMotiv: What do you like to do the most with your car? All go, all show, or show and go?
Erich: I really enjoy just cruising around in nice weather…windows open and loud aggressive music. My car has to be show and go, no sense looking fast if it can’t back it up.
NWMotiv: Your car definitely has a good amount of both. How has the modification process been for this car? Blood, sweat, and tears or has everything gone smoothly?
Erich: Surprisingly, since this is my first modified car, it’s gone fairly well. I’ve only changed my mind on a few things, either because of tastes changing or increased fund availability. I’ve had a few bumps…but overall…nice and easy.
NWMotiv: That’s great to know. What have other people thought about your car? Are you receptive to their comments or do you just do your own thing? There’s definitely a good amount of people out there that seem to build their cars for a group or someone else rather than themselves, especially around the car show scene.
Erich: People seem to appreciate my car. It’s not like every other Subaru out there, that’s for sure. I’m extremely picky about what I do with my car, and I really didn’t follow the latest or hottest thing.
NWMotiv: Right on. How do you like your car at this point? Any more plans for changes in the future?
Erich: I’m pretty satisfied with it. There’s not much I want to do, or rather, not much I’m willing to spend the money on at this point.
NWMotiv: Do you have any more goals for the car other than new modifications?
Erich: I’ve always wanted to see my car in a feature article in a print magazine. With the slow erosion of print magazines though, that goal is becoming more unrealistic.
NWMotiv: We can definitely relate with that. Are there more Subarus in the future for you? Or is there any other brand you’re considering for your next project car?
Erich: Subaru is an outside shot for my next project. More than likely I’ll change brands.
NWMotiv: Speaking of changing brands, if you could trade your car right now as it is for any other car, what would it be and why?
Erich: Anything? Well, the easy answer is a GT-R, but I think it’s too big of a car for me. A Skyline is another easy answer, but I wouldn’t really want to deal with the registration hassle. I’d probably go for a Porsche 911 Turbo, or Carrera GT, or an NSX.
NWMotiv: Good choices. All right, it’s now time for the lightning round! Here we go…Coke or Pepsi?
NWMotiv: Desktop or Laptop?
Erich: Depends…I have both. Why not server? (Guess what I do for work!)
NWMotiv: 520 or I-90 Floating Bridge?
NWMotiv: Volk or BBS?
NWMotiv: Dogs or cats?
Erich: Tough one…I like both.
NWMotiv: Drag racing or time attack?
Erich: Drag racing.
NWMotiv: Forza or Gran Turismo?
Erich: Gran Turismo.
NWMotiv: Nirvana or Pearl Jam?
NWMotiv: Red Robin or Red Mill?
Erich: Red Robin.
NWMotiv: Joey’s or Earl’s?
Erich: Earl’s…woo for Canada!
NWMotiv: Rick’s or The Acropolis?
Erich: Acrop…with some of the best people!
NWMotiv: Kerry Park or Alki?
NWMotiv: Mario or Sonic?
NWMotiv: Alba or Biel?
Erich: Alba…Dark Angel, baby!
NWMotiv: And finally, the bonus question…(in best Arnold voice) who is your daddy, and what does he do?
Erich: He’s a semi-retired mechanic who is learning something new.
NWMotiv: Wow, that rhymed. Thanks again Erich, and good luck with your car in the future. Any shout outs or thank-yous?
Erich: Thanks to Armin, Russell, Tex, Foth, Kelly, Nate and all of Project One for the tremendous support and friendship, Mike from Memphis Car Audio, Todd and Ryan from Audio Integrations, Dan from Prodrive, Holman’s Body & Fender, Metro Auto Rebuild South and World One for key contributions in making my car what it is today. I’d also like to thank everyone I’ve met in the scene along the way – Team MENACE, Team Mospeed and those that keep the madness going in these tough times. Finally, I have to thank Jessica for putting up with the ridiculous obsession that my car became.
Owner: Erich Breitkreutz
Team: Project One
Location: Lynnwood, WA
|Engine / Performance
Suspension / Handling
|Interior / I.C.E