Gram Lights



Blanket Statement: When any of us get our grubby hands on a new car project, we always have ‘that Vision’ for it. The Vision is the motivator – 100%. It’s our A.D.D. It’s what caused us to lust after the car, and ultimately pull the damn trigger. The Vision is what we’re chasing with every dollar spent & every hour put in. But I’ve noticed a pretty clear-cut divide among us tuners… in how we get there. Basically two types of people:  



Go With the Flow’ers

Not flowers… but flow’ers (I couldn’t think of a better word). These people more or less glide down whichever natural build-path presents itself. Metaphorically – they’re just tubing down the river. They know pretty much where they’ll end up, and how they’re gonna get there… but they’re not gonna force or fight it… right? They tend to be the dreamers. And just like dreams, the passions are real… but the details are probably hazy. The car may be white in their dreams, but if a good deal comes along on a yellow one… that damn dream gets rewritten with a grin & some optimism lol. And it’s the same story for the mods that go on the car. It’s all flexible to a certain extent… written in pencil not stone. The build follows life & all of it’s twists, turns, and recalculations. It chases Group Buys, Black Fridays sales, bro-hookups, and all those impulse-opportunities that pop up along the way. PS: this describes me to a T… I am this. But then we have guys like Ronne Medina here…


The Strategists

The Strategists are the flip-side of the Go With the Flow’er coin. These are the soldiers, the generals. They have a strategy. An order of operations. A friggin plan Stan. For these guys, their ‘Vision’ is not like a silhouette in a dream… or a mental flash of colors & shapes. It’s a damn blueprint. These guys know precisely what parts they want, where they’re going to get them, and in what order. The have objectives, goals, and completion dates. And I thiiiiiink for these guys, a lot of the enjoyment & reward… comes from adhering to the plan, successfully seeing it through, and seen The Vision become a physical thing. 

Like I mentioned above – Ronne is a strategist. And a car like this takes strategy. It doesn’t happen on a whim. For Ronne, it’s all about thought out parts. He believes that name brand stuff is important… but it’s NOT necessarily the end-all be-all. For him, its more vital to have thought & patience in the details. 

I think a lot of us wish we were maybe a little bit more like the other. 

“The grass is always greener” syndrome. But there’s no right or wrong side to be on here. Doing it your way = doing it right. 



Text by Wooley   Photos by Benny Whiles


2006 Subaru STI 

If you’re trying to source overseas JDM parts for your build & getting irritated, maybe give Ronne Medina a shout. He runs Battleborn Motoring US (known as Top Car Motors TCM in Japan). He can recommend options & mod paths… and can properly & efficiently get JDM parts to the US & through Customs when you’re ready to buy. 

Ronne Medina on Facebook; battleborn_sti on Instagram. 




Engine: Subaru EJ257, 2.5T

Horsepower: 345 all-wheel horsepower

Torque: 365 all-wheel ft/lb @ 4500 RPM

Tuning by Church Automotive Testing

COBB Tuning Accessport Version 3

SPEC Stage 2+ clutch with SPEC steel flywheel

OEM STI headers, ported

Injen intake

Custom K&N filter to fit Injen intake

Custom external air duct to front bumper

HKS Hi-Power exhaust

Crawford Performance air/oil separator, closed loop system

Killer B Motorsports ultimate oil pickup

OE Subaru 11mm oil pump upgrade (the 2006 STI uses standard 10mm)

DeatschWerks 300 fuel pump

DeatschWerks 1000cc fuel injectors

GrimmSpeed phenolic intake manifold spacer, 3mm

Mishimoto silicone induction hose upgrade

GReddy front mount intercooler

PERRIN recirculating BOV

PERRIN downpipe, catalytic converter equipped

PERRIN upper & lower engine mounts

GrimmSpeed up-pipe with GrimmSpeed wastegate bracket

Tial 38mm external wastegate, with lower dump tube

COBB boost controller

BeatRush radiator cover panel

BeatRush alternator cover panel

BeatRush oil cap



BC Racing coilovers

Swift Springs front 10k spring rate / rear 12k spring rate

SPC front & rear camber bolts

StopTech steel braided brake lines

CARBING front strut tower with master cylinder brace

Whiteline anti-lift kit

Kartboy Engineering – shifter bushings

Kartboy Engineering – transmission cross-member bushings

Group-N transmission mount

Cusco D1 6-point roll bar, chromoly



Defi Tri-Gauge Center Dash Pod Mount

CR Advance 60mm, Boost

CR Advance 60mm, Oil Pressure

CR Advance 60mm, Exhaust Temp

AEM UEGO wide band air/fuel ratio (AFR), 52mm digital meter

Pioneer AVIC-F900BT

Viper 5901 security

Splash steering wheel hub adapter

Sparco L777 black leather racing steering wheel 

Cactus Racing seats

Top Stitch Trim – custom center arm rest, diamond stitch w/ blue side etch

Top Stitch Trim – custom Bride Style shift & e-brake boot (soon to be changed)

DIY carbon fiber skinned a-pillar covers

DIY black suede lower dash & headliner

DIY BRIDE fabric on upper door cards

DIY alcantara with red stitch on lower door cards

DIY composite/fiberglass subwoofer box, wrapped in alcantara

MTX Thunder amplifier

Kicker Comp S 12” subwoofer



ABW Motorsport 40mm fender flares

DIY front bumper flares, molded

Toyota fender flare edge trim, black

Hella horns, painted Breast Cancer pink

2004/2005 JDM WRX side skirts

JDM front side strakes

HT Autos United Kingdom side skirt extensions

2004/2005 WRX tail lamps, JDM re-wire

GReddy Aero Racer front lip

TSX-R headlight projector upgrade

RAYS Volk Racing TE37v MKII 18×11 et-7, bronze

BF Goodrich Comp 2 – 265/35/R18

RAYS Volk Racing 17 lug nuts

Top Secret Style (350z) rear diffuser, DIY

DIY blacked out headlights

DIY front splitter with side fins

DIY front mount intercooler air dam