Monday, June 18, 2012

Wicked Big Meet 2012 Coverage

Somewhere nearby, a car starts.  That deep, choppy, uneven's the sound that only a Subaru could make.  Another engine turns over, and more of the trademark growl echoes off your eardrums.  You look around: hundreds of the boxer-powered, all-wheel-drive cars cover the grounds at Stafford Springs Motor Speedway.  This could mean only one thing: today is the Wicked Big Meet, a day when Subaru owners, car fanatics, vendors and mass crowds congregate at the half-mile track to celebrate the rally-heritage cars that people have come to love.  These cars were once known for being snow-storm beaters, organic food carriers, and joked to be reserved for lesbians in Vermont, but those stereotypes?  Over the past ten years they have been absolutely crushed...and the Wicked Big Meet is the prime example of that.  Case in point: at the end of the day of the WBM, a competition is held where owners rev their engines in front of a sound lever meter to decide whose is loudest, resulting in the fans cheering at the screaming engines and backfiring exhausts as they spew sparks and smoke through the unequal headers that make the signature sound.  It's the definition of a spectacle, and one that, despite the overwhelmingly young age of the crowd, is uplifting: the people here love their cars, love the mentality associated with them, and love the other owners that come along with it all.  Reports have been published stating that the general public enjoys driving significantly less than it once did, and it is pretty obvious; people want basic transportation that does everything for them, not vehicles that involve them and make driving exciting.  But these Subaru owners are different.  They show hope.  There is a future for car lovers, and it starts right here, right with the mentality of the people at the Stafford Springs Motor Speedway, right at the Wicked Big Meet.

Subaru owners have something special: diversity...and not the normal kind of diversity, either.  Other than Lancer Evolution owners, what other group is familiar with a lowered car on an air bag suspension sitting only ten feet away from a full-blown rally car that came off the production line identical to its alter ego?

And while looking at the race cars in attendance is an attraction in itself, the parking lot is just as, if not more, interesting and exciting.  This is where the real Subaru owners get to show off, the owners who have a budget, drive their cars daily, beat on them everywhere from the track to the snow, and flat out love the versatility provided by their investment.  Walk around for five minutes and you get the sense that these cars are built to modify, to enjoy with others, and to drive the absolute crap out of.  They aren't Ferraris, and they definitely aren't Civics.  They're real-world cars for real-world car enthusiasts...and it couldn't be more refreshing.

All in all, the Wicked Big Meet was a freakin' blast and I'll definitely be in attendance at WBM 2013 (as will 1000+ others).  On to the pictures...

Early morning meetup in Danbury, CT

Lining up to make the drive to Stafford Springs
An SRT-4?  Yup, a 400 horsepower SRT-4.  Damn, did it move.
Cars still showing up as we're about to hit the road to Stafford Springs...note the guys in the blue WRX/STI
Waiting on the entrance ramp to I-84, giving everybody a chance to gather themselves (just before the state trooper showed up)
"Do you see this uniform?!"
"I'll call everybody I know from here to Stafford and let them know you're on your way!  We know your type!  Any 9-1-1 calls because of you guys and we will impound you AND arrest you!"

The parking lot scene
Low enough?
Just a little out of place...
Now this is what a Subaru should look like!
The owner of this 1980 Brat had a matching go-kart that he put in the bed.  Definite awesome.
The blue camo wrap on this STI attracted an absolute ton of attention
EFI Logics N/A race car
A BR-Z!  On wide offset wheels!  Awesome!  ...Now how about a turbo?
Evo's trolling the lot
There's bright paint, and then there's radioactive.  The wheels on this Impreza freakin' glowed.
You could easily spend the whole day simply walking around the parking lot looking at the cars in attendance
"I <3 drifting with your mom!"
...if only I had $33,000...
The owner of this Eclipse wouldn't start the car in front of anybody...supposedly it was all stock internals with a massive turbo kit bolted on...recipe for disaster.
EFI Logics' lifted Forester, which they actually take off-road.  (Big props to them)
Straight side pipes on a Legacy GT?  Crazy, stupid, and incredible.
Two of EFI Logics' race cars
I was shocked by how hard this guy chucked the old Impreza around the cones
He came from the right side of the picture, and just look at the angle he's at here...
...and the angle he's at here, headed towards the left of the picture.  Just wild.
Despite how the majority of the meet was Form > Function, EFI Logics showed up with a naturally aspirated race car that was built with the opposite mindset
A ~450 horsepower Genesis Coupe, one of the odd cars out
All kinds of car fanatics showed up
The guys at this booth were controlling the air bag suspensions on these cars using their this is possible is beyond me
Dave Mirra's rally car
Considering the extent and expenses involved in the prizes, most people stuck around for the raffle at the end of the day
The STI on the left of this picture took well over twenty minutes to load on the trailer.  In the meantime, just about all of the vendors packed up and left, including one with this sweet M3
The two GT-R's drew a good bit of attention, as they deserved
My friend Dom's car at the end of the day
A bunch of Subies lined up at the end of a great day on the back roads of Stafford Springs, ready to head home, and just as ready to come back next year for the 2013 Wicked Big Meet

- Ross B

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