Women with Drive and Passion
Words & Images Jordan Leist
I am sure that over the years, you have heard the name Cronic Customs more than once or twice; and for good reason, the team there build some killer rides and sell some fantastic products. One of the most important and most valuable members of the crew is Cara Spiteri. Her and her husband Adam, are the operators of the show. Whilst Adam and the boys are playing with the tools, she is making sure the business is on track and always moving forward. Her interest in modified cars is just as strong as any of the other team members and she has some pretty damn good taste in cars and style. “I first got into cars when by helping Adam work on his old VS Commodore ute ‘CRONIC’. I would go to the workshop and do what I could do to help and then we would attend all the car shows together. My first car was a Datsun 1200 ute and I will always have a soft spot for those. Being around Adam, my taste in cars matured and I learnt to appreciate quality builds here and abroad,” explained Cara.
Besides the Datto, Cara loves here Geminis and it was the build of her sedan that kick started the ownership of this Subaru Forrester. “I was all set to get serious with my Gemini and therefore I needed a new daily whilst the Gemi was getting worked on, so it was time to buy a new car. If you told me that one day I would have owned a Subaru I would have laughed at you but that was before I saw a slammed Forrester that was jet black and had some cool rims on it. It looked so good – it was just a matter of days before I had bought one.” The standard green example was seriously lacking in style but it wasn’t long before it was lowered, wearing some chrome wheels and then was eventually treated to a new harlequin paint scheme. Feeling pretty proud of her efforts Cara used the Subi as a daily and then thought nothing more of it for a few years.
With the Gemini very far from completion due to a very busy workshop, Cara decided it was time to step the game up on the Subi. “With the engine and paint getting a bit tired I thought that a real change was in order.” Well, you can see from the images, the old Subi has never looked better! Looks are only half the story though – under the bonnet lies quite a secret. The flat four was ditched for a 5.7 litre LS motor. Far from what you would expect and what a change it has made to the attitude of the car too. “To get the engine in, we had to fabricate custom engine and gearbox mounts, modify the sump and modify the cross member and steering set up.” Custom extractors created by Adam feed twin Magnaflow mufflers that flow into a single 3-inch system. It was Jason Anzor from Streetforce Performance, who utilsed the factory ECU to make a fresh tune on the eight. Backing the donk is 4L60E ‘box. Final Drive Engineering supplied the new tailshaft that sends the power back towards a 4.11 geared rear end.
Wanting to make the wagon better than ever, Cara started searching for some trick colour options. “I had a hard time deciding on just what colour to go for until I saw a custom set of rims that were painted a really gorgeous, deep brown colour. I thought it was both classy and tasteful and just knew it would suit the lines of the car so well.” It was the kids at Kustom Panel & Paint; just around the corner from Cronic Customs, that got the gig for the new paint application. The exact colour is PPG Vibrance Gold Rush and is pretty damn close to the rim colour that Cara found. Being the WA distributor for Simmons wheels, it was an obvious choice for rolling stock – satin black, 20×8.5-inch Simmons FR-1 shod with 225/35R20 Achilles tyres. Getting the car lower than Subaru ever thought possible is full set of airbags. You wouldn’t expect anything less from a Cronic Customs car. Eventually the interior might get a re-trim and perhaps even another set of wheels later this year but for the time being, the Subi is more than enough as a super-cool daily.
One thing about Cara that I truly respect is the effort she has gone to, to be involved in the workshop and everything that entails. She spends late night’s back there, she is always at the car shows supporting the brand, she gets her hands dirty on the cars and she keeps up to date with what is happening in the scene right across the country. “Plenty of people in the Australian car scene standout to me –obviously my husband Adam Spiteri, Laurie Starling from The Chop Shop (RIP), Paul Sant from Pro Flo Performance, Graeme Brewer from Downtown Customs and Adam Lebrese. They have all inspired me with their commitment to the industry and their dedication to building amazing cars. Australia should be proud of where we have come in the modified car scene. I know that I am proud to a part of it.” I couldn’t have said that last part better myself Cara. Nice work.