Car Girl: Gabrielle Downing

by Michael Satterfield 

Gabrielle Downing, "Gabby" was born and raised in Virginia on a farm, growing up in a rural area she was the typical tom boy, who grew up to become a successful high fashion model in New York City traveling the world for six years modeling for major brands and publications. But the modeling life meant she couldn't get dirty or work on cars, scuffed up hands and bruises from wrenching aren't acceptable in the world of fashion. 

Since quitting modeling Gabby has kept herself busy building race cars and pursuing a mechanical engineering degree in her new home of Washington DC. She has also started documenting her automotive adventures on her YouTube channel FabulousGabGab



TGR: "What are your current cars?"

Gabby: "Currently I own a 2004 Subaru WRX, a 1987 Honda CRX Si, 1986 Honda CRX."


TGR: "Where did you get your passion for cars?"
Gabby: "Growing up I was always curious on how things worked and why, I was always striving to learn about cars and machines and the technology behind them, but my real passion came from when I purchased my first car. It was the red 1987 CRX Si, it was not fast, or super cool looking. When I bought it it was red with white flames and a flying eyeball on the hood. I LOVED IT. Having no power steering and a low car with a manual transmission made me fall in love with driving. And immediately I had to learn more."


TGR: "Do you have a favorite road you like to drive on?"

Gabby: "Not a road in peticular, but I do love driving down to the Shenandoah Valley, up and through the mountains. It's beautiful and twisty."


TGR: "Racing Experience?"

Gabby: "I don't have any professional teachings, all self-taught. I've done many autocrosses, a few rally cross all in my stock 1987 CRX."  


TGR: "Do you work on your own car?"

Gabby: "YES! I try to do most work myself, I've had many bad experiences with local shops at the beginning of owning my own car, and now I enjoy understanding my car and what keeps it together. I like to be able to rely on myself when things go wrong."

TGR: "What is your dream car?"

Gabby: "I don't have a specific 'dream car' that i dream to own one day, but many dream builds.
I would love to drift a foxbody 5.0 mustang, I would love a Liberty Walk Huracan, LS swapped RX7 FD, or to really build my current cars."




TGR: "Which car is your current daily driver?"

Gabby: "My 2004 WRX."


TGR: "Is it modified? If so what are you mods?"

Gabby: "YES!!! It's the most modded car I own right now.

Tuned by IAG Performance for 93 and e85

 Engine (Stock 2.0/Stock TD-04)
- Perrin equal length header
- Composite TGV deletes 
- 1000 cc ID injectors
- Grimmspeed EBCS
- Killer B oil pickup and windage tray
- STi TMIC
- Invidia CAI
- Perrin uppipe
Walbro fuel pump
- Invidia full catless  turbo back exhaust
- Mishimoto turbo inlet hose
- Cobb v3 AP

Drivetrain
- Stock 5-speed
- 2006 steering rack
- JDM STi front diff
- Cusco rear diff
- Double Adjustable Short Shift
- TiC shifter bushings
- Whiteline crossmember bushings
-Whiteline Ball joint


Suspension
- Moton coilovers
- Cusco adjustable rear/front sways 
Kartboy endlinks
-STi Control arms


Exterior
- STi Version 8 front lip
- Emblem delete - grill and bumper
- Cleared STi headlights with HIDs
- IAG front/rear rolling pulling
-STi Wing
-JDM v7 front lip


TGR: "So what about the Hondas?"

Gabby: "The red one was my first car, 300,xxx miles and still pulls strong. It just has Tokico Struts, Eibach Springs with adjustable sleeves.

My recent purchase was the Yellow 1986 CRX, currently apart but has many modifications as well."

Dual Mikuni Carb set up
Koni Yellows struts
Eibach springs with adjustable sleeves
Mugen LSD
Engine bored out .04
Light weight axles
DC exhaust manifold
MOMO Everything



TGR: "What is next for you and your car?"

Gabby: "The subaru is awesome just the way it is now, if i were to get another daily I would slap a larger turbo on there and track it! But for now I don't want it breaking on me.

My red CRX is hibernating in the garage, it was my daily of 7 years and eventually, I would like to restore the body and do a swap, either a b16 turbo or a k20 swap.

The yellow CRX is currently under construction, this will be my race car, for autocrosses and track days! I'm very excited for what comes next!"


Follow Gabby:
Instagram!! @_gbabz_
Youtube: Fabulousgabgab

Photos by:
Instagram @rppngears91