For obvious reasons, the annual SEMA Show did not happen earlier this month. But fear not, because I’ve got one SEMA-related story to share with you – Chris Petruccio’s 683whp Subaru Legacy GT wagon.
Yes, you read that right… nearly 700 ponies at the wheels. But we’ll get to that shortly. First, let’s focus on Chris’s journey with the car, both metaphorically and literally.
Chris’s initial purchase of the Legacy was fueled by what he is now most notably known for – automotive film productions. If his first name doesn’t ring a bell, I’m most certain that his alias, Krispy, will. And if not, well, you might want to remove yourself from the rock you’ve been hibernating under, and perhaps run some searches on the internet to relieve you of your wonders.
That being said, many of the films you find from the early stages of Chris’s career were actually shot from the back of this Legacy. And as someone who also happens to frequent situations where I’m hanging out of the back of cars, I will attest that the sport wagon is undoubtedly one of the best support vehicles any photographer or cinematographer could buy. So the choice was not only tasteful for Chris, but functional too.
That only lasted for the first half of this Legacy’s life though. Chris did spend time modifying it during its first form, but most upgrades or changes were kept subtle and were primarily focused around enhancing the aesthetics of the car to match his own personal flavor and choice of styling. Fair enough I say, as that would be the logical direction to take when your line of work can literally become reliant on said vehicle.
However, as Chris’s production level increased, the need for having an even larger vehicle became transparent, ultimately leading him to ditch the Subaru for a more versatile minivan. As much as it hurts me to admit that, a minivan is quite useful for the things this man does… take what you want of that.SEMA 2019
Having no need to further limitations on the Legacy build, Chris made the decision to take the wagon up a few notches for SEMA 2019, escalating the caliber of the build by a few degrees to say the least. The car was dropped off to the shop in March of 2019 with an entire laundry list of ideas, mods, and changes that needed to be addressed. Add the fact that the car had to be done by November, and you can understand why time became the biggest challenge of getting through this build.
Chris explains: “As the weeks got closer, things got more stressful, more than it ever was before with this car. I had five different shops putting in work on at the car at the same time at one point, with additional companies and sponsors sending parts, dropping off parts, and installing parts. There was so much going on, adding an insane amount of stress to all parties involved with this car. But everyone worked extremely hard, and it all paid off the moment I parked my car on the Toyo Tires Treadpass.”
Just hearing these thoughts gives me anxiety, let alone having to live through that sort of stressful predicament. Why most people who build SEMA cars almost always make these choices last minute is beyond me, but hey, we’re here aren’t we? Anyway, let’s talk mods…
There’s so much attention to detail, with so many aftermarket parts used, that I don’t think there’s a single untouched component or panel left in factory form with this Legacy, and that’s okay. It is, well, a SEMA car after all, and if it were anything less then one could argue that it would be considered subpar by SEMA standards. But what I love most about the build is the cohesiveness of everything.
Starting with the exterior, it isn’t just a bunch of a rare parts slapped on to a car for the sake of being rare. Rather, they are well thought out additions that flow naturally across the exterior of the car. I particularly find myself most intrigued by the smallest touches, like the roof rail deletes, molded OEM tailgate spoiler, and of course all of the JDM-specific goodies like bumpers, side skirts, and even power-folding mirrors. These are bits that were not offered in the US-spec model, and are the type of mods that separate a true Legacy GT enthusiast versus just another Joe driving an Outback.
The details are not sparse in the interior either. The Recaro Sportster GT seats retain a modest but tasteful and functional appearance up front, while the rest of the custom Alcantara-wrapped interior ties everything together with a slight touch of purple stitching that again, not only matches the forged carbon panels inside, but the custom House of Kolor ‘Razberry’ paint on the exterior.
Chris notes that one of his favorite mods is also the STI GeNome gauge cluster, which is quite rare and not often opted for on most Legacy builds in the States. One of my favorite interior touches can be found behind the rear hatch – a custom but elegant trunk setup housing Chris’s air management setup.
But perhaps the most notable mods that most of you want to know about lay in the heart of the beast. The motor is an IAG Magnum block, with IAG Stage 4 heads and an assortment of support to bring the Krispy wagon up to its near 700whp output.
The list of mods here alone could be enough to write an encyclopedia on, but since we’re touching base on details, I’ll note some of my favorites, the first being the elephant in the room – or dare I say, snail? The front-mounted Garrett GTX3576R turbo is the certainly the centerpiece behind the engine bay, though it fights for the spotlight against that beautifully painted AMS manifold setup. Chase Bays also helped clean up the majority of the miscellaneous bits in the engine bay to really help bring your eyes to the details that follow, like the ‘Krispy’-engraved fuel rails and pitch stop.
Finally, cooling of course comes from the best in the industry, being CSF’s ultimate half-size radiator.The Journey Across The Country
For most of us, this SEMA car would be considered extensive enough to earn its spot here on Speedhunters. But what really makes this story special is the fact that Chris has been driving the absolute living hell out of this car. Allow me to elaborate on that a bit…
When I linked up with Chris, we came to discuss the misfortune that’s naturally associated with this type of SEMA build – that being not driving the car. And while many who take this rabbit hole approach are certainly in the mindset of essentially signing their car off and never driving it again, Chris was firmly opposed to that ethos. Something that you all know I too stand behind.
So when he informed me of an epic cross-country trip he was planning to make, you bet your asses I was stoked. When the journey was being mapped out, I made sure he knew that a stop in the Bay Area would be necessary.
With nearly 5,000 miles down, Chris made the trip safely and soundly across the entire country. Sure, there were a few hiccups along the way, but overall, nothing catastrophic or major to deter him from his goals of making the 10,000 mile trip a success. How many SEMA builds can say that?
Chris went on to explain the majestic scenery of all the stops he made along the trip, and the best part is that he documented the entire thing as he went, some of which is showcased here above (courtesy of Sebastian Rodriguez).
Chris’s story is truly unlike any other SEMA build I’ve seen. The fact that he’s able to drive a car with nearly 700whp and -8 degrees of camber across the country – and back – is the end-all, be-all testament to those who spend thousands of dollars and hours on a build and refuse to take their cars out on to the roads.
It’s radical, it’s unorthodox, it’s truly unheard of, but most importantly, it’s remarkable and an inspiration for us all. The utter joy and fulfillment of driving something you take so much pride in is a feeling that cannot be fathomed until experienced. And If that doesn’t motivate you to drive your cars, just sell them. Because I don’t know about you guys, but I know what I’m doing in 2021…
Additional Photography by Sebastian RodriguezGallery