The level of bond between a  man and machine varies from person to person, for people like us a car is more than a machine. It’s a comrade, a friend, a muse for inspiration. It can even be like an extra member of the family. I was lucky enough to marry someone who understands and has experienced this same bond with her previous vehicles. Together we’ve got photos of all our previous cars mixed in with shots of friends, family and lovable pets. For people who live the automotive lifestyle a car is more than a car. So when it comes time to find a long term friend (CAR) it can end up being pretty hard work. It took me months to find the right Evo. She came in straight from Japan! I was the first owner.

Evo 7, as I bought her.

Evo 7, as I bought her.

Last month on the way to work my Evo 7, which I’d owned for 6 years, was consumed by the fire breathing monster known as Sydney’s M4. I was car 5 of 6 in a massive pile up. I was OK physically, but the same could not be said for my loyal companion. 🙁 She ended up being about 1 metre shorter than usual. As I looked back at my broken friend and surveyed the carnage of the other vehicles I knew that this trip was our last adventure together. Even though no one was injured I felt a massive sense of loss. I didn’t really mention it to anyone except for those who needed to know. I didn’t feel like talking about it at all.

One of the last shots of EVL-007.

One of the last shots of EVL-007.

Reluctantly, I started looking around for a new friend. I trawled forums and carsales websites constantly. But what should I search for? I had a few different avenues to explore, but without a set of wheels to keep me moving it was important that the search was swift and thorough. My first idea was to find an Audi S4 or similar, but research suggested that what I’d spend on an Audi when it came time to sell her, I’d be practically giving her away. I came across an older RS4 that looked amazing! It was slightly outside of my budget though, and interstate. Resale, maintenance and difficulty arranging a personal inspection killed this idea pretty quickly.

Audi RS4

Audi RS4

I re-examined the GT-R option. The 34 was out of budget, I’ve never really loved the 33, and the 32 as a daily was just a terrible idea. During the car search I provided coverage of the Skylines Australia R32 GTR 25th Anniversary Cruise for Performance Garage Magazine. I had a serious chat with a mate who is considering selling his beloved R. It reinforced my love for the old 32, but it also made me painfully aware of just how old the R32 is getting. I still plan on putting an R32 GT-R in the garage, but it’d have to be more of a weekender than a daily. next….

I looked at a whole range of makes and models, but nothing came close to offering what my trusty 7 provided. Comfort, reliability and a weapon on the track with nothing more than an oil change and a different set of tyres. So the hunt for another Evo got serious. I narrowed my search to 8MR’s and 9’s.  Of the 100’s of cars I looked at, one ad on Carsales stood out. I kept coming back to it. It was a mint Evo 9 with low km and no real modifications.
The only downside was that it was silver, just like the old car. I looked a few other cars, mainly 8MR’s, but I kept thinking about the Silver 9. The following weekend I organised to inspect the car and dropped a deposit for the car on the spot. Apart from a few minor scratches and scuffs she was crazy clean!

Say hello to our newest member of the Speed Nation Team. Matt’s Evo 9.

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I installed an Evo 9 rear bar on the old 7, so apart from the taillights and the slightly revised wing she looks almost identical to the old girl.

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It’s not still not quite as well appointed as a European, it’s very apparent I’m driving a glorified Lancer. Having said that, the interior is comfortable, well through out and functional. The leather seats are a nice upgrade!

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The main selling point was this… A fresh, unmolestered and well maintained 4G63 with Mivec yo!

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Less than 24 hours after bringing the IX home I swapped the standard Enkei wheels over to my Volk CE28’s with RSR’s.

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I’ve got some more tinkering and parts scheduled to go on within the next few days too. 😉

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Every ending is a new beginning, Yes I’m sad that I’ve parted ways with my Old 7, but I’m feeling the buzz of a new car, the passion, the want to get out in the garage and get better acquainted.

We should have another build update in the next week or two.