One thing the people featured on this site have in common is that they’re all leaders. They may not actually run a community, but they lead by example. This week, we interview Jay Taylor, who actually runs a Mitsubishi community – EvoEmpire.org.
What’s your real name? (What’s your screen name?)
My real name is Jay Taylor and my screen name on EvoEmpire is “Jay”.
What do you do for a living and where do you live?
Right now I am a man of leisure. I live in El Cerrito, California. It’s just north of Berkeley and part of the San Francisco bay area.
What Mitsubishi(s) do you drive? How long have you had it/them?
Right now I have a 2003 Lightning Yellow Evo VIII GS-R. I have had it since Jan 2005. I bought it used through the dealership I worked at. It was a trade in for a used Nissan Monaro.
What’s your build philosophy/goals for your Mitsubishi? How do you use it?
I just wanted to have a car that I could enjoy and drive everyday while putting a smile on my face. Something that I could enjoy on the weekend but also something my wife could put up riding in.
What originally attracted you to the Mitsubishi? What keeps you going today?
It was not so much Mitsubishi, but the Evo. It, I feel is one of the best performance cars out there. That included all cars from all points on the earth, bar none.
What keeps me going is the fact that every time I get into the car, it puts a smile on my face.
How do you use your Evo?
I use my Evo as a DD and very occasional Rally Cross beater. It has done that job amazingly well. It has held together for 3 + years of getting beat on in the dirt with no issues, other than the front lip getting forcefully removed at a rally cross at Thunderhill, near Willows, CA.
Tell us about something really exciting you’ve done with other Mitsubishi owners.
One of my most memorable experiences with other Mitsubishi owners was an Evo track day I got invited to at Tsukuba Circuit in Japan. The track day was put on by Garage HRS, and I was lucky enough to get a 20 minute drive in Garage HRS’s Evo IV demo car. Sato-san from Unlimited Works was there as well, and he was the one who showed me around the track. The whole gang was really supportive and friendly.
What’s the best part about being a Mitsubishi owner? The most challenging?
The best part is the other Mitsubishi owners. I think I am really lucky and it is one of the reasons I picked up an Evo. The guys and girls here in Northern California are amazing and even though I might be a bit one sided on this I think they are the best group of Evo owners out there.
The most challenging is keeping all the egos in check, but that really isn’t all that hard. (It was hard for me not to make a comment about drag racing)
What excites you about the coming year? (Your Mitsu and your community)
I think the most exciting thing is also, maybe, one thing that change the community for the worst. With the 03-04 prices now tanking, it is bringing a lot of new member into the community. This is also true now that the Ralliart has been out on the market for a bit. And with all this fresh blood there are a lot of people that might not know that the Evo is a like a super hot girlfriend. She might be beautiful and turn everyone’s head and a bundle of fun, but damn can she be expensive to maintain. Hopefully this won’t give the Evo a bad rap.
How often do you get together with other Mitsubishi owners in person?
We are blessed with weekly meets here in Nor Cal. I get together at least two times each week. I also have a member of my community who is a friend, admin and a neighbor. My wife gives me a hard time because even though he lives close I still drive to his house.
But if I wanted too, there are meets almost every night during the week that I could attend. That right there shows how strong and vibrant the Evo Community is here in the bay.
How do you want your community to benefit Mitsubishi owners? What steps are you taking to make sure that happens?
I hope that my community is a place where people come to get tech problems solved, to find out about upcoming events, and to meet other owners. I know I haven’t been doing a good job getting the word out and I hope 2011 will put me in a position where I can better reach the community at large, and not just Nor Cal.
How do you feel building a Mitsubishi compares to building a Mitsubishi community?
That question is kind of hard to put into words; I think that the best way to say is that both require a lot of maintenance to keep at peak performance.
What’s next for your Evo?
Mostly just minor upgrades and it’s about due for its second timing belt/water pump job.
What’s next for EvoEmpire.org?
We have a 2 year anniversary party coming up at the end of January and a trip to Japan in March/April, where I will play tour guide.
Who has helped you the most along the way with the car? With the community?
My wife has helped me most with the car. With the Community, I really have to thank Paul (missred), Brice (bricel24), Mark (DarthBarney), and Brian (lqdchkn) without them the site would be nothing, Wilson(wilson1) for his weekly dinner meets and all the members, because without members this site is just a bunch of code doing nothing.
Were you inspired by any other Mitsubishi community organizer? Who? Why?
To be quite honest there isn’t really anyone.
Who do you look up to in the Mitsubishi community?
I got to give it to the Sierra Sierra guys for their time attack assault with their over the top Evo. That thing is amazing!
Is there a particular shop you’d like to recommend? Want to thank any sponsors?
We are very lucky here in the SF bay to have three very good shops to take care of our Evo’s, Speed Element, GST Motorsports and FFTech (Full Function). While they each have different specializations, I can recommend any of them, and not just because they are sponsors, but because they do damn good work. I would also like to thank Rexpeed, they have been there from the start and even though they aren’t local they offer good products, so stop by and buy lots of stuff from them!
Other than your own, do you spend time on any Mitsubishi sites? Which ones?
I don’t spend too much time on other Evo sites, but when I do I tend to stop by DirtyEvo.com, and LancerRegister.com out of the UK for non JDM inspiration.
Are you on Twitter? Facebook? How can people find you online?
We are on Facebook – EvoEmpire on Facebook. Not on Twitter. As of now, people find us mostly by word of mouth.