Craig's Carbon Fiber EVO
Owner- Craig Flango
Vehicle- 2008 Mitsubishi Evo GSR
Occupation- Director of Operations at Driven By Style LLC and Car Builder / Composites Fabricator
Photographer- Prez Media(Robert Perez)
Interviewer- Sam Singh
WORDS FROM THE OWNER
I have been in the car scene since the mid 90's when I got bit by the car audio bug and ever since have been modifying and customizing vehicles professionally. I started out as a car audio and security installer and then went on to learn window tinting and then learned how to do custom audio installations with custom sub boxes, amp racks and fiberglass speaker pods. The background in car audio and fiberglass fabrication led me into the world of body kits and custom autobody in 2000 when I was building my first new car a 1999 Mercury Cougar V6. I was fortunate to network with a company called Aerogear based out of Hayward CA and they sponsored my vehicle with free fenders, hood and wide body kit for the Nopi Nationals show in Atlanta Georgia in 2001. I received the first production body kit which unfortunately had some fitment issues but I was able to modify the kit and was able to attend the event in Atlanta for the Aerogear booth and that then turned into an opportunity of doing body kit design and tooling work for Aerogear from my home garage in Pennsylvania. I ended up prototyping and designing over a dozen body kits for Aerogear before being recruited by another body kit company that was located in Elk Grove California and made the move from Central Pennsylvania in December 2004. Through 2005 I worked with this new company and learned how to market products online, build an e-commerce network and continue with designing and prototyping new parts. Unfortunately this company was not successful and in 2006 I was looking for what to do for the remainder of my career now that I was 2,500 miles from home and wanted to make the move something I didn't regret. I spent 2006 through 2009 focusing on learning e-commerce and being a project coordinator with multiple programmers and IT specialists. In 2009 I was fortunate enough to start my own company Driven By Style LLC with the help of my supportive mother and father and have been pouring my all into this venture ever since. In the fall of 2010 we moved into our current location and I was able to set up a workshop in the warehouse and get back to building custom parts and doing carbon fiber and composites work. 2014 was a big year for us as it led to the build of our Mitsubishi EVO-X which was featured at the SEMA show in Las Vegas with Spyder Auto. I am currently building an Acura TL wide body that has a custom air/water intercooled supercharged set up that has been a 2 year build and hoping to finish it in the coming months ahead.
When did you buy your EVO?
I bought the car in January 2008
Who does most of the work on your car?
Ive done all the work on my vehicle with the exception of some of the mechanical work which I leave to my specialist Dr. EVO Dmitriy Protasovitskiy.
Is this your first project car?
This is my second personal vehicle that I have built and used for car shows but have built countless others for customers as well as a 2005 Scion tC for the SEMA show in 2005.
What would you want your next project car to be?
My next project car will be a return to my first. I am going to rebuild my 1999 Mercury Cougar V6 which has a custom built 2.5 Duratec V6 and turbocharger system with Garrett Ball Bearing Turbo. I plan to rebuild this car from the ground up and a swap with the drivetrain from the Jaguar X-Type 2.5 Duratec AWD is in the plans. Attached some pics of the car from its last show in 2004 with BFG Booth at Englishtown NJ. I am also working on a widebody 2003 Toyota Celica that is being converted for RWD and 2JZ turbo power.
What made you choose this car over the competitive cars in it's class?
I test drove the EVO-X the first day they arrived at Roseville Mitsubishi and took mine home 4 days later and it was the first one sold here in Northern California.
What was your initial goal with the car when you first purchased it?
When I purchased the vehicle it was primarily for business to build a website to sell EVO-X parts and it spawned the launch of my site
Where do you see yourself with this car in the next couple years?
I'll never get rid of this vehicle. I hope that over the years the car will evolve with more custom aerodynamics and more composite work. Eventually I would like to replace a lot of the outer sheet metal skin with composite carbon fiber panels. Eventually the car will be a big turbo and built engine/drivetrain and see 800+ horsepower.
Did you achieve your Initial Goal with the car?
I did not really have a goal for the EVO when I purchased it but building it for display at the SEMA show was a dream come true.
What are your future plans for the car?
I am in the process of upgrading the turbo system on the car and have purchased a Garrett GT3076R ball bearing turbo, ETS open dump down pipe, Competition Clutch twin disc, Buschur Racing double pumper fuel pump, ID1300 injectors and MAP cast manifold and fuel pressure regulator awaiting installation and tuning.
What/Who inspires your build?
Madness inspires my projects because that is the only thing that makes sense for the insane amount of time and hours invested when I decide to make something from scratch rather than buy parts off a website and build a project that looks like someone else's. Being different and unique would have to be my biggest inspiration when it comes to automotive culture with a focus on function first.
Is there anyone you would like to thank for the help/support throughout this journey?
My mom and Dad for their support in business and everything they have taught me as well as those that had a helping hand in getting the car done for SEMA. Steven Deleon, Ricard Grajeda, Steven Thoj, Suzie Lauj and Robert Perez for his photography.
Sequential Illuzion Style 5 PC Body Kit (carbon fiber)
Driven By Style LLC Carbon Kevlar Widebody Conversion
VIS Racing Carbon Fiber Hood Painted Kandy Red Clear
ITZ Do Luck Style Carbon Fiber Trunk Painted Kandy Red Clear
Racing Elegance Carbon Fiber Rear Diffuser
Racing Elegance Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
Racing Elegance Carbon Fiber Radiator Plate
Duraflex VTX Rear Wing
Carbon Kevlar Roof Overlay
Carbon Fiber A-C Pillar, Top Doors, and Quarter Panel Overlay
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Vortex Generator
Rexpeed Carbon Mirror Caps
Rexpeed Blue Ionized Mirrors
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Crown Cover
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber AC Cover
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber A Pillars
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber C Pillars
Nutek Forged 19x12 3PC Wheels -30 offset, 6" carbon fiber lips, brushed faces with Candy red clear
Hankook V12 EVO 295/35/19 Tires
Megan Racing Spec RS Coilovers
Megan Racing OE-RS Exhaust
Megan Racing Down Pipe
Turbo XS Test Pipe
Injector Dynamics 1000CC injectors
AEM 310E Fuel Pump
Grimspeed Boost Controller
ETS Interooler and Piping
Injen Cold Air Intake
Agency Power Rear Camber Arms
Works Short Shifter Kit
Works Shift Knob
Works Shifter Bushings
Works Console Bushings
Works Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Hawk HPS Pads
White Line Front Sway Bar Links
AEM Wide Band
Autometer Boost Gauge
Rexpeed Carbon Fiber Gauge Pod
diamond stitched black suede door panel inserts
black suede headliner and visors
Dual Map Tune E85/91 377/375 on E85
Pioneer Double Din Head Unit
Scoshe Dash Kit
Rockford OEM Audio System Integration Module
Parts Awaiting Install
Garrett GT3076R Turbo (ball bearing)
Competition Clutch Twin Disc Clutch
ETS Open Dump Down Pipe
Buschur Racing Double Pumper Fuel System
MAP Fuel Pressure Regulator Kit
MAP Cast Turbo Manifold