When you come from a family like Francis', it's difficult to not be a car guy.
A father who was heavily involved in the sex-spec scene in the early 2000s, and an older brother who was JDM through and through, Francis naturally turned to vehicles as his passion growing up.
As soon as Francis was old enough to drive, he began tinkering with the usual suspects. Track-inspired, he went down the tried-and-tested path for any young driver looking to build a good toy, Honda after Honda.
His older brother remained a strong influence, "he was one of the first to obtain the 8MR in Australia, he used to drive me everywhere and it caught so much attention". So much so that his father caught on and they ended up building an Evo together, laying down the foundation for Francis' next big purchase.
Just under a year ago, to celebrate his birthday, Francis went all in and purchased a Mitusbishi Lancer Evolution X, completely stock.
Stock days, already rocking aftermarket wheels...
"It wasn't my first choice, since I didn't grow up around the X, but people only think that the X is a poor car because it doesn't have a 4G63. The deal was too good to pass up."
As with most builds, this car wasn't supposed to be a full send, with Francis saying that he "wanted to build the motor and the box, and keep it sleeper". For its initial makeover, Francis overhauled the motor and landed 360KW on run-in tune, with the spec sheet below.
With the engine build complete, and a couple track days under his belt with the fresh motor, Francis caught the itch to begin changing the appearance of his car, leading him to Carbonetics. His first purchase was a carbon lip, then over the following months he began to add more and more interior and exterior touches to enhance the look.
Francis' Evo at WTAC 2019, before the big transformation.
The Evo X has a reputation of being the ugly duckling in the Evo family, and as Francis and his Seishin Build crew approached HIN 2019, Carbonetics Director Long approached him with the intention of showcasing our latest piece of kit. It didn't help that all his friends were egging him on...
"We explored different options for me to keep my track look. I had originally kept the body looking stock with carbon components which I really loved already but V2 just changed the whole car dramatically."
After the makeover was complete, shot by our own @fmzvisuals.
We were proud to supply the Varis Ultimate-style kit for Francis to transform his Evo from a wolf in sheep's clothing, to an angry, menacing Supercar killer. Opting to go without the widebody fenders in order to maintain stock body dimensions, he also added on our Varis-style GT Wing to round the appearance off.
The end result was a head turner, Francis mentioning that it has "changed the whole perspective of the car, and stands out from the rest". The whole package put together looks incredibly sinister, a time-attack inspired build is ready to destroy corners on track.
That rear end, all Carbonetics ft. That Headlight Guy.
Since HIN, Francis' biggest change has been the addition of TE37Vs, and 2020 was meant to be the year of more track time under his belt. Unfortunately COVID-19 has put a halt to any potential motorsport in the near future, so Francis' final mods of an upgraded turbo manifold, tune and a track-based air suspension set up have been put on hold for now.
Underrated, the TE37V.
Still, in under a year of ownership, he has been able to build a vehicle that most struggle to put together over years, a vehicle that is both at home on the racetrack, and be an eye-catcher at any car show.
Francis' vehicle is a testament to the saying:
"All race cars can be show cars, but not all show cars can be race cars."
Proper carbon fiber, we don't skimp out on materials!
A comprehensive build in such a short space of time doesn't come without support and sacrifice, and Francis would like to extend his appreciation to Hung from Streamline Bodyworks for painting the entire kit one week out from HIN, That Headlight Guy for building his headlights, his good friend Michael for running errands and assisting with the entire build, his crew Seishin Build and most importantly his partner Monique for supporting his build, and gifting him a few parts along the way.
Bride pillows add a softer touch to an angry vehicle.
We wouldn't have it any other way, than to have Francis' car as the first of our blogs! Super appreciative of the investment he's put into his vehicle, and the confidence he has in our products. Stay tuned for further blogs of our customers, their journey and their rides!
Find Francis on Instagram @phannguyen1999.
- Nitto 2.2L Stroker Kit with I-Beams
- FP Black Turbo
- Turbo MAP XS Dump and Front Pipe Lamspeed Screamer
- Tomei Full Titanium Exhaust
- GSC S2 Cams
- Titanium Springs and Retainers
- Synapse Diverter Valve
- FIC 1100 Injectors
- Radium Surge Tank with Twin 255 Walbro all-braided teflon lines and hard wired
- Aeroflow Hobb Switch
- Black Plazmaman FMIC
- ETS Intake Pipe
- ETS 3.5 Inch MAF ADAPTOR
- ETS UICP
- Custom Air Box
- 12-Plate Gearbox
- SSP Trans Cooler and Pump
- SSP Lifetime filters
- Hand Sewn Custom Steering Wheel
- Carbon Fiber Steering Wheel
- Carbon Fiber AC Vents
- Carbon Fiber Gear Surround
- Carbon Fiber Shifter Paddles
- AGI Roll Cage
- Bride Pillows
- Ralliart Front and Rear Dash Mat
- Innovate AFR Gauges
- AEM Boost Gauge
- Carbon Fiber Single Gauge Pod
- Android Head Unit 10.1
- TE37V Mark 2 Discontinued 18 x 10.5 +15
- Enkei RS05RR 18 x 10.5 +15 wrapped in Hankook RS4
- BC BR Gold Coilovers
- Front and Rear Sway Bar and Sway Bar Links
- Hardrace Rear Lower Control Arms
- Superpro Tie Rods
- Cusco 10-Point Bracing
- OEM Brembo Calipers w/ PMU Pads and DBA Rotors
- APR GT3 Carbon Fiber Side Mirror
- Carbon Fiber Window Vents
- Carbon Fiber Varis-style Bonnet
- Carbon Fiber Varis-style GT Wing
- Carbon Fiber Do-Luck Style Rear Boot
- Carbon Fiber Varis-style Rear Diffuser
- Carbon Fiber Varis-style Side Skirts w/ Underboards
- That Headlight Guy Headlights and Taillights
- Varis Ultimate 17”-style Full Kit