Splitting Atoms

Words: Michael Vernon :: Photography: William Tanna


The world we live in is full of constant distraction. The stance movement, the racing gear, the over-engorged egos, the pink slips. Todd Beckley’s 2009 WRX hearkens back to an era when oversized wheels were believed to be a ridiculous expenditure and big power on a daily driver proved to say much more about the owner than the car itself. It also goes beyond the substantial. The imagination of flying through the stars and propelling oneself to new destinations has been lost on this generation. With a stockpile of choice parts and the correct chassis, Todd has provided a glimmer of hope for those who want to soar across the concrete cosmos on a daily basis.

The result is the manifestation of restrained passion laid before by William Tanna Photography. This WRX is the penultimate example of a properly prepared daily driver. As long as I have known Todd, he has always played by his own set of rules without stepping on toes or rocking the boat. He’s polite, kind and a thinker. That sort of person is rare in the automotive game, even more so in the Subaru community. The way he built his car is akin to a game of chess; slow and methodical and every step taken with intent.

The WRX’s secret weapons are wedged underneath the sheetmetal, fiberglass and extra aesthetic enhancements, behind the lightweight bronze 17 x 8 RPF1s. There lies a carefully planned package of suspension bits that provides a confident reconciliation in the corners. The easy acquisition of Group N mounts (motor, transmission and pitch) and then foraging through Whiteline’s catalog seemed to be the standard fare for Todd. What turned out to be the greatest challenge was rectifying the wheel gap. That piece of automotive niggle that creates ripples and cringing from the top of the head to the littlest of toes. It is what differentiates a Picasso from standard hotel art. Through months of research, Todd bounced back and forth between BC and the new kid on the block, ISC. Through a little bit of self-assurance from the company itself and the reliability rating they had received in other international markets, Todd decided to give ISC his money.

“It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” Todd exclaims. He professes that they were made to drop the center of gravity but not compromise the ride and ISC delivered on those promises. Because it’s not a track car or a show car, the daily driver has routine maintenance needs and reasonable expectations. Aside from curing the wheel gap and body roll, such suppositions also pertain to the Jibber stage II tune. If anyone knows how to massage 298whp and 336wtqs from a standard Subaru engine configuration, it’s Jibber. The man knows how to make steadfast power with God’s speed as a tantamount outcome. 

The glowing orbs fly across the Viaduct, beaming their energy onto the concrete. What were once white lines have turned into lightspeed dots. The Puget Sound is off to the left, its calm and serene environment interrupted by a fourth-gear downshift. Seattle doesn’t even flinch. It welcomes the noise, assimilating the chaos that approaches. At the crest of the final turn on the Concrete Behemoth, the city feels a cold shiver down its elevated spine. It wasn’t expecting this. The inhabitants are not ready either. From the darkness comes an automobile that defies all logic and writes its own rules. Todd Beckley has split the atom.

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