Romanticism is typically found within literature, movies and art and it stems from the idea that inspiration comes from the world around you. But, for those in the car scene, romanticism is when you finally own that car you have been dreaming of, for what seems like an eternity and you turn it into your very own work of art.

This is Richard Nguyen’s story of romanticism and his longing to own the iconic Mitsubishi Evolution 9. Richard’s passion for Evo’s was brought on when he first attended the Sydney International Motor show in 2006, with his older brother. In the sea of exotic cars, it was the Evo that caught his eye. The aggressive styling and sheer presence of the famous Japanese sports car was etched into his memory. But, it was not until years later, that he decided he needed one for himself.

Fast forward to 2011, to when Richard decided it was time to start searching for his pride and joy. For many, the impulse to purchase the first car you see is great, because we have a ‘want it now’ mentality, but not Richard. He was patient, meticulous and fussy. He spent close to a year looking for just the ‘right’ one. Then at the start of 2012 he found it, a stock, clean and low-kilometre Evo 9. For a couple of years that is how his remained, fairly stock, only using the car as a daily drive and on weekends. But, as the years passed, Richard started to develop a big interest in the drag and street racing scene over in the United States.

He would watch countless hours of videos on YouTube channels like 1320 video and That Racing Channel. The Evo’s in these videos had big forward-facing turbos, bonnet exit screamer pipes and drag slicks. These cars would be tearing up the drag strip, half-mile airstrip and streets of Mexico. He loved everything about the way these cars were built, and he knew he must build his Evo the way they did over there. This was a significant risk, because not many would build their Evo’s like this, often choosing to go the more traditional Japanese style of modification.

Turning to the tuning prowess of Charles from Lamspeed Racing, Richard began the transformation of the Evo 9 into a drag car. An on-going process since 2014, Richard and Charles have forged a friendship through every stage of the build, to the point where Lamspeed has not only built the engine but has continued to maintain it.

The engine that Lamspeed built for Richard is a Lamspeed Racing built high compression 2.0L 4G63 block with forward facing Precision 6870 twin scroll turbo kit. Then two Turbosmart 40mm compgate’s were added and twin screamer pipes that go through the Evo 9 bonnet. The 612 kw at 50 PSI the car produces is controlled by a EMS ecu computer. The massive turbo peeks through the grill like a lurking tiger and the screamer pipes shoot flames like a fire-breathing dragon.

To transfer the 612kw from the engine to the road the Evo needed to be bulletproof. So, Richard opted for a driveline that could handle the immense power, considering you rarely see Evo’s producing this much power. A PPG straight cut dogbox with a PPG 4.11 straight cut final drive and PPG billet output tube were installed. A Wavetrac transfer case LSD and RS rear differential were the optimal choice to make sure that this car reached its maximum potential.

The final part of the performance upgrade came in the form of new wheels, tyres, brakes and suspension. Richard knew that no ordinary package would do, so he fitted a set of 15” Buddy Club P1 SF and Hoosier Drag radials. Next came the front RS small brakes, which where vital to the setup because they were the only ones to fit the race setup of the new wheels and tyres. The suspension features borrowed Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and Whiteline goodies. This completed the overall set-up that met the criteria Richard had for the car.

Now, he shifted the focus to the exterior. Having fallen in love with the Evo because of the way it looked from factory, Richard did not want to change the overall look of the car. Keeping the exterior build simple and clean, Richard installed a Varis front lip and Rexpeed carbon fibre canards. With the interior it was much the same principal, keep it clean. So, Binary seat lowering brackets were fitted, along with a Monster Sport pillar gauge pod and AEM gauges. The car was finally ready.

But, like all good builds, there is always room for something more. The future-plans for the Evo are to reach the lofty, but very achievable mark of 9 seconds along the 1/4mile. Richards hopes to achieve these goals with few build changes, increasing the overall power of the car along the way.

No build would be possible without the love and support of the people around you. Richard wanted to thank all his family and friends and give a big shout out to the boys from Division One for all their support. He wanted to thank his wonderful girlfriend for all her love and support, Lance from Lancesport for always going out of his way to lend a hand and lastly Charles from Lamspeed Racing for making the build possible.


612kw at the wheels

– Lamspeed Racing built high compression 2.0L
– Forward Facing Precision 6870 twin scroll turbo
– 2 x Turbosmart 40mm compgates
– Turbosmart Raceport blow off valve
– Lamspeed Racing 3.5” titianium catback
– Torque Solution engine mounts
– Radium catch can
– Plazmaman billet intake manifold and throttle body
– Extreme turbo systems 4” intercooler
– Koyo half size radiator with slim fan
– Mishimoto 25 row oil cooler
– M&W CDI sequential PRO-14 ignition
– Bosch 2200cc injectors
– Plazmaman fuel rail
– Turbosmart FPR2000 with gauge
– Radium surge tank
– 2x Bosch 044 fuel pumps
– Walbro 255 pickup pump
– Turbosmart Eboost2

– PPG straight cut dogbox
– PPG 4.11 straight cut final drive
– PPG billet output tube
– Wavetrac transfercase LSD
– RS rear differential
– Motion control rear LSD
– Dryden RS differential fitting kit
– Solid poly diff bushes
– Exedy triple plate clutch
– ACT moboloc
– Torque solution shifter cable and base bushings

– EMS ecu

– Front RS small brakes
– Braided brake lines

– 15” Buddy Club P1 SF
– Hoosier drag radials

– Varis front lip
– Rexpeed carbon fibre canards
– Perrin short antenna
– Genuine Mitsubishi weather shields
– Beatrush number plate bracket

– Binary seat lowering brackets
– Monster Sport pillar gauge pod
– AEM gauges

– Bilstein PSS9 coilovers
– Whiteline roll center correction kit
– Whiteline 24mm rear sway bar