Jared Leingang, Print Reporter
O’Neal owns a 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX, which he has had for only a month or two. It is the hatchback version of the car, and the sixth car he has owned.
O’Neal has multiple aftermarket parts installed on his car including exhaust, turbo gauges and a blow-off valve.
“The blow-off valve is my favorite thing about it,” O’Neal said. “When I’m banging through the gears, you can hear the turbo and when the car red lines it’s pretty cool.”
O’Neal has owned a multitude of cars. A Honda Prelude, Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan 350z, Dodge Challenger and the Subaru he has now. He mentioned that he purchases a new car around every six months.
O’Neal says he has spent at least $70,000 combined into all of the cars he has purchased.
“I went about it the wrong way. I should have found one car and put money into that instead of bouncing around. Find one car you want and just get it,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal does most of the maintenance on the car. From oil changes, to changing the spark plugs, he attributes his skills to when he had to complete an engine swap on his old Honda Prelude.
His experience with cars and getting into them has introduced him to the car community and how close everyone is.
“The other day I was at a red light, and another Subaru pulled up next to me and started taking pictures of my car,” O’Neal said. “Even when I had my 350z I would get thumbs ups and waves from random people. We are all like one big group.”
Although O’Neal has never attended any of the major car meets like Nissan Fest or Honda Fest he looks forward to taking part in them in the future.
O’Neal compares spending money and the risk of lowering cars to sports and how athletes play with the risk of injuring themselves, car enthusiasts drive with the risk of damaging their cars.
For now O’Neal enjoys the pushing the limits and getting the most out of the car he owns now.
“I hit 130 mph the other morning on this one road,” O’Neal said. “If you see me driving don’t race me unless you like the view of my tail lights.”
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