Chasing the Rabbit
John Garcia’s sick daily driven 2013 FR-S
Story | Phillip Pratt
Photos | John Garcia
The time-honored practice of the daily driver seems to be less and less embraced these days. It’s becoming increasingly rare to see neck-breakers during commutes and parked in grocery store parking lots (Scratch that last part. Grocery store parking lots are breeding grounds for dings, dents, and fender benders! Stay away from those). Trailer queens are starting to infest the scene. Many of the more awe-inspiring builds we see at shows, meets, and even the track, rarely experience the calming sensation of an empty avenue and cool, clear morning.
I get it. Everyone doesn’t want to take the chance of some idiot smashing into their pride and joy and no, there aren’t too many full-race clutches out there that are all that traffic friendly. I’m not impractical. I believe everything has its place, but really, what’s the point putting that much time and loot into a project you’re only going to enjoy twice or thrice (yes, it’s a word) a month? See, you agree with me. It’s nonsense and U.S. Army Infantryman, John Garcia, is a soldier after my own heart. And his widebody, supercharged, daily driven, 2013 Scion FR-S is exactly the kind of street machine we can all appreciate.
The transition from factory trim, to what we see now didn’t happen overnight. John has owned the FR-S a little under five years now, purchasing it new, back in 2013. He did this shortly after he returned home from deployment in Afghanistan. Subsequently, it’s also about the same time he acquired his license here in the states, originally hailing from the Dominican Republic. If for some reason, it’s gone unnoticed by you up until now, let me make this clear; the ZN6 chassis cars are popular. Whether it’s because of its sporty styling, affordability, or near 50/50 weight distribution; it has plenty of selling points that attract young and seasoned enthusiasts alike.
Having as many model names as it does manufacturers doesn’t hurt either. This created a rich environment and has made aftermarket parts plentiful, and in turn, affordable. Herein lies the problem. A big part of our culture is building something that stands out from the crowd. With only so many available factory colors, sometimes it takes more than a nice set of wheels and spoiler kit to ensure that a row of 86’s, BRZ’s or FR-S’ at a car meet, doesn’t look like an overflow lot from a neighboring dealership.
To address this dilemma, some enthusiasts can spend up to three-thousand dollars on a wrap, coil-overs, some rims and then call it a day. That’s typically the case for a lot of builders out there. But that wasn’t enough for John. It’s the reason why when he decided to change up the look on his FR-S, he spent days combing the internet. “I went through every widebody kit available for the car” John recalls. “There were days in which all I did was look at widebody 86’s to see which was the most attractive to me.” That search came to an end when he came across the Rocket Bunny v1 Pandem kit. Choosing to go with the version II, John sourced the kit from none other than the legendary performance parts manufacturer, GReddy. At the time of purchase, John was one of only five to make it stateside through the company.
Now, this isn’t a couple of flared fenders and a truck lip attached with 3M tape. This kit, or what I like to call “a full body overhaul”, has more than twenty-five pieces! It may not be to everyone’s taste. In many scenes, our culture has transitioned from ‘wild’ and ‘audacious’ to more of a ‘tastefully conservative’ mood as of late (thankfully). Right now, clean is king. However, John’s decision to keep his FR-S a pearlescent white, tones down what many might perceive as “too busy”. It’s a pricey addition to the car, and having the work done through a professional shop can cost almost as much, depending on what your relationship is like with them. This is probably why John chose to tackle the job personally. “I’ve done all the work to the car. The first thing I purchased for it was a GReddy CAI (cold air intake).” John explains. “[When I first started out], installing an air intake seemed like something impossible for my skill level. Since then, my skills as a mechanic have greatly improved.”
That they have. Installing the Kraftwerks C30 Supercharger is a far cry from a CAI! The blower bumped the base power of the flat-four motor from 200HP up to what John estimates to be between 270 to 300WHP. Not earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination, but just enough to have fun with and offset any additional weight, while making sure that infamous boxer engine stays reliable. Connecting the car to the road are a set of staggered 18×9.5/ 18×11 Rays Volk Racing TE37V Mark-II forged wheels, wrapped in Michelin tires. John’s hard work, patience, and good taste have paid off in the way of an eye-catching machine. If by chance you see him on the streets be sure to do more than compliment him on his creation. Wish him well and thank him for the sacrifices he’s endured so that we may continue to pursue our passions and enjoy our many freedoms.