Every car enthusiast will happily indulge why cars mean so much to them. As normal as it seems to all of us, we all have a great story or background as to why cars became a point of interest, and then what led to them spending so much of our resources into an "appliance".
Michael's story with this incredible CT9A has a journey that so many can relate to, yet are hesitant to share. In a world where people are afraid to share their vulnerabilities and risk the backlash or negativity from strangers, Michael's honesty is refreshing.
People forget the cultural significance that Need for Speed brought to the automotive community in the early 2000s. Michael's fondest early car memories came through Underground 2 with his cousin, the world of customisation and tuner vehicles a brand new outlet for Michael who quickly found a love for the Supra.
The red accents really give the white body a pop.
Michael reminisces, "Shoutout to my cousin Jimmy Kien for exposing me to the scene and being my role model growing up, he was heavily involved back then in the scene and I wanted to do what he did to achieve what he had". This determination to follow the path to success saw Michael follow in his footsteps, to the point that he now also has a career in IT thanks to his big cousin.
After leaving high school as one of the earliest to get a licence, Michael went through a small collection of impractical, single-purpose vehicles. It's difficult as a young adult juggling multiple interests to invest in two cars, so he sought to find a the stone that would kill two birds. WRXs and Evos are icons and game-changers in multi-purpose performance, and Michael opted for the Three Diamonds.
Our Bride ADR seats in subtle EDIRB, check the BRIDE stitching though...
It wasn't easy finding the right car, "I couldn't believe how many had rust or weren't running properly" he says. Months later, with his license suspended, Michael found the perfect VII, and into his driveway it went.
Once he got behind the wheel, Michael turned his attention to the sensible first mods, "I was never really a number chaser and wanted something with amazing handling and comfortable and fun to drive at Nasho with my mates".
In went a full Cusco catalogue to dial in the suspension, but as we all do, Michael fell into the trap known as car modification. A few bolt-ons followed to up the power and make the 4G63 more drivable around town, but once this was all done the Need for Speed became harder to ignore.
Nobody drives a stock car in Need for Speed, and if that was his motivation, there was no chance that Michael would leave it stock.
The journey to building his ultimate pride and joy had a much deeper meaning that building something cool though. Michael reflects that "at one point in my life, I was in a dark place and felt like I could not express myself to anyone. I know it is pretty cliche to say this but my Evo pretty much saved my life".
Being able to express yourself creatively and without restriction is a difficulty that many of us face. Cars are often our outlet, and more often than not, it's not about the car itself but we're able to communicate, and form connections with other people.
Nothing like a clean set of wheels, these SSR MS3s are his favourite mod.
Michael began modifying his vehicle to escape and build, but this journey connected him to like-minded individuals and pushed him to do things that he wanted to do, but didn't necessarily feel comfortable following through. It has been seven years since he took ownership of WHOOAA, and what used to be a product and appliance, has become the connector for the happy life that he possesses now.
The car is complete, but if there was one area that he wants to address in the future, it would be revising the suspension and converting his traditional coil over set up onto air.
Until then though, Michael has a lot of people that have been part of his build, "my friends at Seishin Build, Oni Class, everyone in AKOR, to my best mates Calvin, David (That Headlight Guy), Francis and heaps of others!
Just before WTAC 2019, Michael came to us and wanted something
different, so he opted for this VT GT Wing made for an R35.