Posted by Armin H. Ausejo
There’s always something about red cars. Although many people could easily say that they’d never own a red car, seeing the right type of red car almost always has the ability to turn heads. Combine that with bright gold wheels and an attractive face behind the wheel and it’s easy to forget the task at hand and give a red car a long gaze. Giving the red passing car a long stare is quite a regular occurrence when it comes to Katie Smith’s 2004 Subaru WRX Wagon.
Photos and Text by Armin Ausejo
Katie’s car first caught our eye at Forum Fest last year and since then has seen an almost meteoric rise in popularity among a variety of different circles. With almost universal appeal across the board, we were definitely curious to see what made Rumble, and of course Katie herself, tick. Here’s the short conversation we had with her about her car, the stance life, and where she plans to go from here:
NWMotiv: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us about your car. How did you first get into cars anyway?
Katie: As long as I can remember, cars have always interested me. I had a large collection of Hot Wheels when I was little. At McDonalds, I’d always pick the Hot Wheels over the Barbie. My dad was a mechanic so I think that as I grew up, it was one thing I had in common with him that brought us closer together.
NWM: That definitely makes sense. We can’t help but notice that you’re quite popular in the Subaru community. What drew you to Subaru initially?
K: I’ve always been an avid snowboarder and in my opinion, there is nothing better to get up and down the mountain every weekend than a Subaru. My old Outback wagon made me fall in love with the AWD and everything else about Subaru.
NWM: Hard to argue with you there! That’s a pretty easy way to get into Subarus, for just about anyone. Like with just about all car makes, the Subaru community is rather male-dominated. Do you ever find that you get treated differently as a female Subaru enthusiast?
K: Absolutely, whenever you have girls in the motorsports world that will happen. I’ve been talked down to and it’s been assumed many times I don’t know what I’m talking about. When my husband and I are out cruising Rumble someone always assumes that it’s his car and he’s just letting me drive it or he paid for the mods. Its truly my car, I’ve done all the research, paid for everything and have been hands-on as much as possible.
On the opposite side of things, I feel like sometimes my car gets more attention because I’m female and not because of everything I’ve put into it, which bothers me. But I’ve also been treated wonderfully by so many people and made so many friends, which helps balance it out.
NWM: Definitely! Along with the Subaru community, you’re also quite popular among the Stance community. What made you decide to go the Stance route instead of the more typical/traditional Subaru path?
K: I did the “typical” Subaru thing for a couple years, it was fun, but the mud, grime, and wear and tear finally got to me. I could not longer abuse my Rumble Wagon. I wanted him to be clean, stay in good shape and have that show appearance so I went with something completely different. The slammed and fitted look really interested me, it was clean and fresh, just what I wanted.
NWM: It’s often refreshing to try something different, that’s for sure. Speaking of trying something different, if we’re not mistaken, your first car show was at NWMotiv’s Forum Fest last year. How did that go for you, and do you think you’ll become a car show regular?
K: Last year’s Forum Fest was indeed my first show. I even managed to win Best Subaru Wagon, so saying I was thrilled is an understatement. I was so surprised and wasn’t expecting it. I had a great time and it definitely made me want to pursue showing my car. I’m looking forward to this year’s event.
NWM: And we’re definitely looking forward to having you at Forum Fest again this year too! Tell us more about how you’ve modified your car. How much was done in your own garage and how much was done at a shop?
K: My husband and I did everything, with exception of the alignment, clear bra and tune in our garage. Yes, the paint, all the installs and even the cage. We both take great pride in being able to do almost everything ourselves.
NWM: That’s pretty awesome, a lot of us definitely can’t say that about our own cars. We noticed your brand new roll cage. Can you tell us more about it?
K: Ever since I got my car, my husband wanted to put a cage in it. Rumble was finally at the point where I was ready for that next step. My husband has extensive fabrication experience from the past building custom tube chassis rock-crawlers. We went with a ¾ cage because I wasn’t ready to tear apart my dash and it would be overkill. It was built with NASA (National Auto Sport Association) specs in mind but also so that I could still have rear passengers in a pinch.
NWM: That’s pretty awesome, but I’m sure you won’t be stopping there. What are your future mod plans for your car?
K: A big brake kit is the main thing I’d like to do next once I have some money saved up. I also plan to upgrade the air compressor and install pressure gauges.
NWM: Right on. By the way, how did your car get the name “Rumble” anyway?
K: I was trying to come up with a good name for my car for the longest time with no luck. A friend’s son started calling it the Rumble Wagon because of my loud exhaust and the boxer rumble, it just stuck. It’s so fitting that I can’t imagine calling it anything else now. Maybe not the most creative of names, but I love it.
NWM: The name is definitely quite fitting. I know you love your car, but if you could drive any car other than Rumble, what would it be?
K: I would have to say one of the trophy-trucks that they race in the Baja 1000! (see “Dust to Glory”) Those things are amazing!
NWM: Wow, that probably would surprise most of our readers! Okay, it’s time for the lightning round – pick one or the other! Huskies or Cougars?
NWM: Wagons or Coupes?
NWM: Blonde or Brunette?
NWM: Drift or Drag?
NWM: Seattle or Portland?
NWM: Dick’s or In-N-Out?
NWM: Autobots or Decepticons?
NWM: Bags or Coilovers?
NWM: Cookies or Brownies?
NWM: BONUS! Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, or Batman?
K: Iron Man.
NWM: Thanks so much. Please feel free to share with us your thank yous and shout-outs!
K: Biggest thanks to my husband Ryan for helping me and putting up with my obsession. Without him Rumble wouldn’t be Rumble. Tim at AWD Auto for not only the great alignment, but also lots of help along the way. Dom and Dave at Maxwell Power for all the help making Rumble faster and more awesome. All my friends who thought I was crazy for taking a great daily driver Subaru and turning it into a lowered “un-functional” beast, but still supported me and always had my back.
Cobb AP v2 – Maxwell Power – Pro Tune by Dom
VF39 Turbo- Ceramic Coated hot-side w/Cobb Heat-Shield
Intake Manifold Powdercoated Red
TGV Delete w/8mm Phenolic Spacers
08 Sti TMIC w/IAT Sensor Relocate & Perrin Y-Pipe
Perrin Boost Controllers
Walbro Fuel Pump
Ceramic Coated Exhaust Manifold
Perrin Up-Pipe ceramic coated – catless
Helix Downpipe ceramic coated – catless
Blitz Nur-Spec 3″ Exhaust – catless
Walbro Fuel Pump
NGK BKR7EIX Iridium plugs – one step cooler
Mishimoto Red Silicone Radiator Hoses
Mishimoto Carbon Fiber Radiator Cap
Beatrush – Pully Cover & Radiator Cooling Panel
Optima Redtop battery w/SPT Battery tie down
BC Racing BR Coilovers with Variable Ride Height system by Umbrella Auto Design
Sti Lower Control Arms
Whiteline control arm bushings
Whiteline steering bushings
Cusco front strut bar
AD Motorsports Front Sway Bar 25mm
Whiteline Rear Sway Bar 25mm
Stoptech Stage 2 – Hawk Pads, Slotted Rotors, Steel-braded lines Motul RBF600 Fluid
Kartboy Front Endlinks
Kartboy Rear Endlinks
18×9.5 +38 WORK XT7 in Limited Gold
225/40/18 Bridgestone Potenza RE760 Sport
¾ Cage – 1.5″ .095w Tube with 1.75″ .120w Main Hoop – Clear UV protection film
Recaro SRD Seats
Willans 4 point Harnesses in custom British Racing Green
Pioneer touch screen iPod/DVD Player
Polk speakers & Rockford Fosgate Sub
Black Suede Headliner w/custom dyed rear carpeting
Dynamat lined Trunk, Hatch & Quarter Panels
Red “JDM” hazard button
STI Ti Shift Knob
Subaru All Weather Floormats
Sedan Front Bumper, Fenders and liners – OEM
Sti Splitters – OEM
Full Front-end Clear Bra by Guardline
Painted OEM side skirts
Rally Armor UR mud flaps
Blacked out & cleared headlights w/6000k HIDs
Hella Supertones painted gold
Rear Windshield Wiper Delete