It was a Saturday night pretty much like any other Saturday night in the city of Los Angeles, more specifically the city of La Crescenta, where in what locals might refer to as the chilly night air Subaru owners gathered in yet another parking lot to sit and talk about their tuned and not-so tuned babies. Yes, this Subaru owner’s club we came across usually met in the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme in Burbank but tonight it was being held at Vape on la Crescenta where locals know they can find the latest in high technology electronic cigarette tobacco alternatives.
You could easily call Vape on La Crescenta a smoke-free vapor bar as people often spend hours just chatting with other clients or the friendly family that runs the place made up of dad David Ogle, mom Kim Ogle and their son Zack who is the one member of the family who doesn’t use any form electronic cigarette but he is very much into cars like his father who has owned six Subaru’s over the course of his life and rarely lets anyone forget it.
So what is “Vape” and why is it such a giant craze that it is attracting even a Subaru club to hold a meeting somewhere that sells the generally $70 and up devices that after the initial outlay only need flavored fluid refills either with or without nicotine. Some people here never smoked before, others are trying to quit smoking like we are and found that only this type of electronic cigarette works where no patch or gum ever did before.
This sense of community among people who vape is something not unlike what is felt between owners of Subaru products, on this night at Vape on La Crescenta the topic of conversation was either the myriad variety of vape worthy hardware or the Subarus. For instance, the first arrival to Subaru night was a young man named Chris Burghdorf who had recently just bought his first Subaru—a 2013 Impreza WRX hatchback.
When asked what attracted him to the Subaru brand after previously driving a Mustang GT Chris replied, “I am a big fan of the unique engineering. The symmetrical all-wheel drive, the flat-4 turbocharged engine and the added bonus of the versatility of a hatchback.” Clearly Chris, only 23 years old, did his homework before finally settling on his clearly well-loved Subaru WRX.
Next to arrive was a young man by the name of Ray B. whose 1999 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport boasted no engine mods as he “liked to keep his mpgs.” But he did manage to put in a trick exhaust, springs from a 2007 STi and well as a rear sway bar we assume was from the same donor. It amazed us how so many of these guys could take different generations of these Subarus and make parts fit to increase performance capabilities. Also, Ray B. had this to say about owning a Subaru, “I love the safety, the community and the countless mods you can make to your car.”
But no “project car” was more impressive than that of David Chafin who took a base model, front wheel drive 1995 Impreza L coupe and turned it into what is essentially an STi with a Japanese JDM performance tuned motor and a 160 mile per hour top speed. The most amazing thing is that Chafin did all of the mods himself from installing a 2006 STi six-speed gearbox, a 2007 rear differential and everything else barring a special ECU detuning for the motor so it could run on our lower octane premium unleaded here in the U.S. (the engine was shipped from Japan) and a tricky wiring harness that connected the gearbox with the motor. He even installed a rally inspired porthole in the roof that acted as a de-facto interior cooling system as the car still needed an air conditioning system repair.
As the night drew to a close, owner David Ogle finally allowed us to hear why he so loves the Subaru lifestyle. “You know I just love the camaraderie that you get when you own a Subaru, other owners wave at you and you know you are driving something different, something special.” This kind of unexpected introspection shows why he was also attracted with his wife to the notion of helping smokers kick their addiction with their store Vape on La Crescenta.
Vape on La Crescenta is located at 3434B Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta, California near Pasadena and Tujunga. Their phone number is 818/249-Vape and they do ship their products to customers when requested. Check out their Facebook page by clicking here.