Editor’s note: What little boy isn’t enamored with the idea of going fast? Thomas Kruger turned that childhood desire into a place in the auto industry. Now, through his 2016 Subaru Impreza WRX, he’s meeting some of his childhood heroes and inspiring a new generation to go fast.
I've always been into cars and things that move fast since I was a little boy. I just wanted to drive, move fast, and explore. Vehicles were my gateway into that lifestyle. The older I got, I moved from go-karts to quads and dirt bikes until I was able to finally get into cars. I've had many cars including 5.0 Mustangs to Honda Preludes over the years.
Racing was a little distant, as I didn't know any racers personally, but going to car shows and events allowed me to talk to people, ask questions, and dream of one day being able to build not only my dream car, but to be able to race it on a track.
Because I was into cars, I worked my way through the sporting goods industry, to manufacturing sales of car racks, to finally my holy grail: Subaru. Now, I'm managing Dive N' Surf (home of Body Glove) so that I can go back to school and finish my degree in business, but I still work with Subaru Pacific (Torrance, CA) and represent them in the community and outside events.
I bought my Subaru Impreza WRX because this car has been proven in the World Rally Cross and Global Rally Cross circuits. Since I was a little kid, I watched Colin McRae, Petter Solberg, Travis Pastrana, Bucky Lasek, and David Higgins race the WRX. I was finally able to meet some of them through Subaru and my build.
On my WRX, I love the AWD coupled with the boxer motor the most. I've had RWD muscle cars and FWD sports cars from the ‘90s, but I felt they didn't fit what I wanted to get out of the car. Traction is probably the most important thing I've focused on since I discovered just how important it really is. My build has followed that idea, by pairing the best performing street tires with Subaru’s legendary AWD system.
I'm currently riding on BFGoodrich g-Force Rival S performance tires. With the Rival S, I wanted quick warm-up time and a superior tread pattern. Coupled with some of the best sidewall technology on the market, I haven't had a better high performance tire. I also have a full Stage 2+ package on the car with just about all the support mods.
When everything is said and done, I'm planning on having the car geared for a fun day at the track. I finally got to take the Subaru out to a dirt track and had an absolute blast driving it how it was intended to drive, but the place I love to drive it the most would be Angeles Crest Highway and the Pacific Coast Highway.
I drive with SoCal Lateral G, which is a group of car enthusiasts who appreciate just about anything with a motor and 4 wheels that goes fast. They are based out of Angeles Crest Highway which is some of the best driving and photogenic places in California. They are welcoming and do fun field trips to iconic locations and events happening in SoCal. One thing I like most about this group — outside of the epic driving we do — is that they are believers in safety and having fun while obeying Mr. Law. They also hold regular events at the local tracks where members can let loose in a fun, safe environment.
But in addition to driving for fun, I also bring this car to local events and charities for the Mattel Hot Wheels Cycling Team. There, I hand out toys to kids and give back to the dream that I grew up with since my first Hot Wheels car.
To see more of Thomas' Subaru, follow him on Instagram at @tkruger7.