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21 Posts
Re: Lachute Phoenix RaceCar:...... PASMAG Magazine / Subiefestival 2014 - Official Vi

I just read this thread from Page 1, having not seen this story yet. Kind of sad where it is now but I do implore you Lachute to keep us updated. Obviously not as much as Marc but I'd like to see the dyno run and some driving vids.


4,528 Posts
Discussion Starter #3,222
Re: Lachute Phoenix RaceCar:...... PASMAG Magazine / Subiefestival 2014 - Official Vi

Without the “Ambassador” mask on

Hey guys… Remember me ?

Following months of diligent reflection in regards to what should be said on my behalf…

After countless phone calls, texts and emails by some tremendously supportive people on here and abroad… I knew at some point I had to share my side of the story… Or more so, I owed people an explanation.

Well… Here’s somewhat of a quick rundown of my last 4 years and my modding experiences with these 2 cars… (and yes, I am leaving some out )

Here are the facts… non polished, nor embellished

I figure the truth and the righteous path will remain my allies no matter what

So that being said…

This is not meant to portray this shop in a generalizing manner, but simply a regular guy who tried to do something and is now sharing with his friends some of his personal past events.

This shall be my final post on “THIS” Journal

Simply view this as closure for oneself


At the beginning…

Quoted for the upgrades in 2011, paid 65K in full even before they ordered all the parts… It was my pleasure to set solid grounds in order to forge a good relationship with the shop

Then got asked to pay a little more cause of miss calculations, which I paid immediately in perfect confidence, no problem

Accommodated repetitive push-backs along with no car for Subifestival 2011 even though I was promised so… This was fine, as I had voluntarily offered to do so in good faith in order for the shop to not be burden with any drawbacks on my behalf.

During winter 2011/12, The Great White had achieved 100K+ views on IWSTI.com

The car was supposed to go in the shop in April 2012 which I paid in full before hand ($7,5K), I accommodated push-backs till second week of August 2012 when I go the call to bring her in.

3 weeks after with still no progression, the unfortunate fire happen, All I can say is… Was I the only one who had easily noticed and electrical glitch in the electrical circuitry sparking off sporadically near the shops air compressor and could detect an uneasy feeling amongst all the shop’s techs ?

I guess I’ll never now… And it’s ok really.. Stuff like this really does happen

But yet, I find myself imagining if better precautions could have been taken ?

Well, what do I know.. right !? (Shrugs his shoulders)

After the fire aftermath… It was clear that my car was going to be replaced, and the funny thing is.. I was the only customer out of the bunch who didn’t put a lean on the shop as I now was viewing this establishment’s personnel as real friends, which needed everyone to pitch in anyway, shape or form to resurrect this shop ASAP

I choose to not collect from their insurance for the modded parts which my insurance were not going to compensate for… to lessen this dreadful burden that had now been inflected collectively as a group.

You see, by then… I had made genuine friends in that organization… Guys with families, mortgages, car payments and dreams to better themselves… I really felt for everyone involved :-/ … I still do…

Back to the car…

My insurance shared with me that as long as the car was returned as a whole, started and was functional… Our responsibilities were met and would render the claim closed and satisfactory.

The owner of the shop offered to replace the modded parts with tired out OEM ones in order to salvage properly stuff like coils, engine, tranny, braces, etc… basically all modded parts and some OEM to be swapped with some in bad/worse shape. So the car was sent as-is and I was told that all the additional collected funds/profits would go towards the next build… Obviously, I was very smitten with the accommodations and was actually happy if the shop could additionally profit from this transaction.

And trust me… money was made

Joining in the excitement, this is were I put in a deposit for the Varis GV wide-body and shared this with the shop of my future vision of creating a build that we could call “The Phoenix”… To which they replied “How cool would it be to slap this on a LP400. So of course, for the betterment of the shop I decided that this was an excellent idea… To this day and still remains true, The LP400 was indeed a great platform as a starting point, both mechanically and marketing wise for the shop

So by then, we receive the new 2013 car in September 2012 and I am excited to see this LP400 transformation to which I am ask to be postponed till December for the slower time of the shop and so that the team would all be 100% on the car, also being that at this point they were relocated and definitely not producing at 100% capacity.

This LP400 offering was to be a cosmetic one and not a full working forged short-block unit, The car was to sport the Cosworth CS600X engine which was fine as I was actually leaning towards maybe going with an in-house engine instead of the Cosworth.

October 2012, I get a call asking if I would be onboard with using all the saved parts of the 2011 in order for them to use in their Quick-Series car owned by a very nice and engaging gentleman who was basically picking up the tab for the whole circus…

I am told “ Don’t worry Marc ! Where going to build you an even better car with this next project and nothing will come from the fire… Only new stuff will be part of this next build”

For the record, I can only assume that this said Quick-Series driver knew he was paying for a car with a good portion of performance parts that were used and subjected to the elements of fire…

Not a week after, I get a phone call asking if I want to sell this said Cosworth engine… wow this is great!, this will adequately contribute to the build we are now going for!

For the record, I am never told how much funds were collected through this transaction… I’m thinking by then that the owner and I are now on a very unique friendship level seeing what we had just went through this passing summer along with many, many hour spent on the phone talking cars, business, life in general and what not… I’m also thinking that this guy and his shop are truly a great place to be and that it is really nice to be considered part of the team as befriending everyone in the organization was now something that came very natural.

Case in point, the owner once told me “ You’re a little more than just a customer or a sponsored member of the shop… You’re our #1 ambassador and we are very lucky to have you amongst us, not to mention the awesome job you do willingly on your great Journal on IWSTI.com

Seeing as things at the shop were running on a skeleton crew during winter 2013, it is my pleasure to be in to help out with the phones and to exercise my duty as ambassador and friend to the shop. On a particular afternoon, I tended to a fellow customer who comes in and he expressively states being the one who bought The Great White’s engine to which I reply being the original owner… This young charismatic gentleman expresses great satisfaction about the kind of deal he was served… I, in turn am now aware that we had got a fair price for such an engine with its less than 001 000 Kilometer clock on the odometer… We are talking in the neighborhood of 20K and I am really taking a liking to the owner and his devotion to the upcoming project

So by end of summer (SubieFestival 2013) the car goes to Cove in Boston to get the Varis injection along with the wheels, tires, retro-fits and kit + labor bills out to 47K CAD


Lot’s of money was put in to this build… which I never cashed out back a dime

So let’s see… 52K for the 2011

70K in modds

2.5K extra

7.5K down

2011 sold for parts (at least 25K)

2013 OEM parts stripped and sold for parts

47K for Varis kit and extras

Then the car comes back from COVE…

Now, the car has an interesting following and suddenly there is an urgency to start this car.. which I agree

But here’s what happens to me in summer 2014… My main supplier of work for my Fence/Deck business approaches me and tells me that I have to accept a 25% down rate on future PO’s and that I need to sweeten $$ people higher up to acquire the bigger jobs in order to dilute this 25% short-fall .. more like manipulation/extortion… in other words.. buy my jobs ☹

So I don’t take the bite and I keep my independence… I have now lost my main source of income instantly :-o

I take a week of reflection as I lose all my employees in the process and come up with a new idea as I was approached a few months back for HVAC services, as it was my Dad’s line of work for more than 50 years

I walk into my bank and walk out with a healthy new credit line to accommodate this new start-up

Let’s get this thing going !!! Inside of a week I take necessary measures and use a good portion of the funds to assure a healthy takeoff (tools, insurance, memberships, licenses, marketing, overhead, trademark, etc… etc…)

Here’s the clincher… I had to sing over in collateral 40% on my personal main house… it’s net worth being in the high 5’s with a remaining mortgage to account for

What does this spell for the non-accounting savvy… That my debt-ratio is close to it’s limit and I need to pick up some traction fast !

The first thing I do… even before calling my g/f is to call the shop’s owner … set up a meeting and drive directly there the next morning to explain myself out of respect

Now …. Here’s the nail in the coffin

Remember the fire and the 2013 replaced by my insurance?

Well, the only settlement that was possible that day was to put me back in the same situation I was prior to the fire… that is with a leased vehicle

Yes, my 2011 was leased, and yes, I dropped 65K + on a lease car LOL

Needless to say… business was firing on all cylinders back then and I was deducting it as a company expense... no worries ;)

Hence… the 2013 had to be a lease…. But with the remainder of the 2011 mortgage time-lapse

So a few weeks after meeting with the shop’s owner … I get a call from his father’s Subaru dealer with a representative stating that we need to make arrangements for the buyout of the 2013 (The Phoenix) in her words… We now have close to 2 weeks she states to finalize before the end of the month which is the remainder of time of the mortgage

No problem I replied… Check with your creditors and get back to me ☺

No call … the end of month passes… not a word till the 20th day of the following month

The phone rings and I am clearly expecting by then to be asked for me to drop-by a void check for this new potential creditor…

To which she replies … “you are refused everywhere and we need payment in 48HRS, Please be advised, your car now belongs to the dealer” … 21K to be precise

Again I ask… Why did she not call me before the end of the month and only when the car was now in the dealer’s name ?

The answer they gave me… “ She just forgot”

Hummm…. This seems odd, ok let me call my bank and I’ll call you back ASAP

I get a meeting the next morning … explain the situation and am told… NO CAN DO

I can’t even take a credit line on one of my other properties as the are inhabited by tenants and in our province, there are certain laws that protect the renter

So what’s my last move… to approach the shop’s owner if he could help me a few moths by embarking as a co-owner until I get so momentum under my feet (sell a few parts, return a few temporarily if need be ) … you get the picture

The answer that I am told…

After countless funds injected in this shop… countless hours willfully spent on IWSTI and posing as an ambassador, pushing the shop’s best agenda when being approached by other fellow modders… etc… etc…

A shop that possess a 6-figure payroll to meet monthly…

Quote… “Marc, the way your car sits… nobody will buy it, if Toyota Canada sees it modded like this, you are looking at a substantial bill in order to get her back OEM and unfortunately WE seriously doubt that you will be able to bounce back from this challenge you are currently facing”

“ The very best … and this will hurt us really bad is to buyout the car and give you 15K for the remainder of the parts and what not”

“These are funds that are suppose to help us move forward and evolve with R&D which we will no longer possess because we are choosing to help you out”

By then.. I’m thinking the same thing you’re thinking “What the hell am I doing here!?“

The embarrassing part… This only dawning on me after 4 years and on the very last day we are all in one another’s presence

I had shared my complete hand and my vulnerability to people I would have been ready to go to war with

So I knew I was done… cornered… Game-over

They got what they wanted… the car, the project, the marketing value all to themselves… and Marc out of the picture.

I came out of the shop that day with nothing in hand and had to drive back 2 days after for the first half and the other half 2 months later after being postponed 3 times before being sent out.

Reflecting back… During the time the car came back from COVE... something weird happen… It was always understood that the shop would greatly help me out with labor as I would foot the bill for the parts

One day, in the hallway… the owner turn to me and said “ I’ll have that labor bill ready for yea soon… it will be a hefty one at that “

I honestly thought he was joking to some extent… Of course I’d pay for some labor…

Just never thought I was now expected to pay 100%

In hindsight, I should of put everything in writing and should have been more on guard since that day

So yea…. All my dealings where base on a handshake and goodwill

Funny right !?

Now this doesn’t mean this is a bad shop or a dishonest owner… on the contrary

These are some highly skilled techs and very shrewd and tactful business people… My hat off to them…………… Nice play!

The aftermath…

Did I regret all of this.. NO

Did I learn, yes… About these cars and a great deal about myself and others as far character

What I do regret is the time I should of spent more with my son and my g/f

I think that’s what I learned the most in regards to the many hours spent researching and committing myself to another business with it’s own agenda and it’s challenges

What I cherish the most about this experience are the many genuine people that came into my life and made my son and myself feel very special… all that for a car

Life is awesome isn’t it

I cannot logoff without thanking a few people … All the class of 2011 and our demented chat thread

The many many individuals who took the time with me via PM to explain things in a coherent manner

Thanks to some people I actually consider real friends…. You all know who you are on here !

Special thanks to Pat from All Speed Innovations

Brandon at Cove

Mark from BulletProof

Mr. Benson from Dan Benson Racing

From the back shop… Eric, Francois, Guillaume, Yannick, Yves and Xabi

From IWSTI… Kevin, User1029, Alquasim, Charlie, Chris, Derek, Drew, Darryl, Evan, Jay, John, Nigel, T-Bag, Simon, Nate, Quincy… etc… etc…

But most of all …. And I would hate myself for not saying this…

I was keeping this for when the car would be near finish…

This whole project, ideas, inspiration and whatever other word you can think of was ALL in part in collaboration, if not the instigated by the mentor… my very good friend for life… The bro-tard, partner in crime, architect of mechanical debauchery….

Edwin Pope / AKA = Fujiwara / AKA = Mad scientist / AKA = Man-Whore

The sad thing is that my new young business is flourishing and I already could build 2 phoenix cars cash down up front :-/

In the shop’s defense… they were right, I didn’t get back on my feet in 3 months… I did it in 4

As for cars… I just picked-up cash a few week ago, no lease LOL, a 2015 white Mercedes C300

So what’s next…

And I am patiently waiting for the next STI platform to come our way

But next time… I think I’ll try luck with shipping her down to IAG with everything in writing with last half paid at delivery

If everything goes accordingly… I’ll have a little more than a car to build when showing up next time around ;)

Until next time IWSTI. Be safe and cautious



Kevin: Please, close this thread... Thank-you

9,134 Posts
Re: Without the “Ambassador” mask on

Good to hear from you Marc! :tup: :tup: I'm glad you and your family are doing great, that's all that matters in the end :D

2,902 Posts
I love you, bro.

If this cars journey taught me anything, is that you can't buy real friends, character and respect mean much more than a flashy car and a bunch of crack change in the bank.

We have a very long ways to go... I'm sure we will make a return someday, in someway.

858 Posts
Marc, you're such an inspiration in terms of what you stand for and what you believe in! We all learn from each other, and I've learned so much from you in regards to always explaining certain parts choices to posts like these which really puts everything into perspective about family and life, especially myself being a young adult with a long life ahead.

I wish you all the best on your future endeavours with not only your business but also with your family!


806 Posts
Thanks Marc for coming out and saying what we all wanted to hear. I have been waiting a long time to have your side of the story and I'm super glad you came back and did it.

I gotta give you my highest respect for having started a new successful business again. With all what happened, it would have been easy to just break everything around you but the way you bounced back shows how solid you are as a person.

Take it easy man, enjoy the slow C300 :p (jk), enjoy life with your kid and GF and hopefully we will meet again in the future.



2,618 Posts
Wow, great on you Marc for bouncing back so soon. Most of us would have quit when the fire happened. It would have destroyed so many of us so quickly. You're an inspiration to all of us. I truly hope you get back into the STI platform some day and you get to achieve your goal once and for all. Good luck!

1,438 Posts
I part of me feels missing after reading this, Marc. I'm still working on getting back on my feet since the last phone call we had so man many months ago and I've found myself in a situation to sell my car as well. Keep in touch bro. I'd love to see where the road takes us both

265 Posts
Re: Without the “Ambassador” mask on

Wow that was a very strong read, to being an honest and real man :tup: Its terrible that you never got anything in writing. As far as the shop goes that's a major thumbs down... :tdown::tdown:

2,906 Posts
Re: Without the “Ambassador” mask on

Marc, you are the example of inspiration. It's been very rough for you, but you pulled through and moved on when most would just give up. Thanks for sharing the story, the feels...

We had some good times here on IWSTI, and I hope we will continue to do so. There is always a method to our madness and you know it. Keep in touch!

3,518 Posts
Re: Without the “Ambassador” mask on


I remember the first time we spoke over the phone, had nothing to do with cars, you were just there for me while going through some rough times. I knew right there and then, you were a genuine individual, and that the whole adventure was about so very much more than just a high-price-tagged car.

The amount of thought you put into selecting each component used in the vehicle and each person/group worked on it resonates through the rest of your life...the high detail of consideration you put with your friends, your family and your loved ones (especially your son!) as well as your career. A large part of the reason why you are so successful in life; not measured by monetary wealth but measured by the wealth you have of people who care about you.

It was a pleasure meeting you at Subiefest last summer and finally putting a face to the voice that I had the honor of sharing so many great and educational conversations with.
Despite the fact that I am sorry for the way that events played out, I also see this as a learning experience for you and for all of us that most people would not have the privilege of experiencing. Sometimes, we have to learn the hard way about dealing with projects of this magnitude...but you have not only learned many valuable lessons yourself, you have shared this knowledge and experience with all of us following you on and off the forums, and I (and I'm sure everyone else) very much appreciates that.

Full disclosure, full transparency...not something that comes easy and far too rare in this day and age. But one hell of a great quality to have when running any kind of business, for one thing.
I very much look forward to your next project; I am told it is going to be very special indeed! And I have faith a shop like IAG will take great care of you.

With every end to one opportunity, a new door opens and the next opportunity begins. I have no doubt this next build will be even more special, many new great bonds will be formed, and we will continue to profit from the wealth of knowledge you share with all of us.

Last but not least, I look forward to meeting with you on a more personal level, when things for both of us calm down. Perhaps we will have to tear the snowmobile trails up this winter with my dad :D take care my friend, I hope to be in touch with you soon!


226 Posts
Re: Without the “Ambassador” mask on

Holy shit, no one willing to purchase a fully built STI for 21k?!

Sign me up, I'll straight trade MY Varis STI for this one no problem!!

Don't worry, I also modded my car when it was leased almost 2 years ago now, the dealership didn't give two shits about the modifications though.

47k for wheels, kits, paint & install is a little insane... I hope you had a break down for that, I paid nearly a little less than half of that for everything on my vehicle... Next time, ship your car to the west coast and I can have it arranged to be built for far less ;)

Thumbs down to Lachute for their unwillingness to help a big dollar customer/friend, especially with that booboo ass attitude, it seems you got the super short end of the stick on this.

Take care friend, it was nice talking to you from time to time, I hope your next car adventure treats you much better.

Super Moderator
10,691 Posts
Marc, nuff said. I'll be in touch.

582 Posts
It sucks to be in a position where drastic priorities re-evaluation need to be made.

Seems like you made the right decision by getting rid of the car, focussing on your family and investing in yourself. Good for you

866 Posts
Wow, what a read. I've been following this thread since August of 2012 and it sure has been through a lot. It's a sad ending, but lessons have been learned by all parties, and your next project will be even better!
Good luck Marc!

'do right & fear no one"
8,564 Posts
god bless, Marc. if you ever plan on heading to the NYC area, please let me know.


Premium Member
744 Posts
A class act Marc, both your car and your input were invaluable to the Iwsti community.

I, personally, will always look at the LP700 as your car, and you the mastermind

behind the most ambitious car modding project I have ever followed.

Wish you all the best in the future, with family, business, and of course, cars :)

170 Posts
Man, this was on of my favourite builds on this forum.

It sucks that it came to a rather harsh end, but you live and learn right? Take your money else where. I know I won't be spending any there...
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