There’s something about Subaru that draws legions of fans to become lifetime enthusiasts of their rides. Maybe it’s because they are consistently a top-safety pick, or they come with features that make them capable of playing on any terrain. Whatever the reason, Subaru has a solid reputation and some of the most loyal brand followers to be found in the automotive realm. And when they set out to modify them, they often turn out to be some of the most head-turning and well-respected rides on the import tuner scene.
Chef Christopher Haydostian is the proud owner of a 2011 Subaru Impreza STI dubbed Buttercup. After making his purchase, Haydostian wasted no time in dressing up his ride with new mods and preparing for her entrance at SEMA 2011. Since then she’s steadily climbed the ranks to become one of the most highly-regarded Subarus on the scene, earning countless awards and becoming a fixture at SEMA since her debut. They’ll be back this year as a feature vehicle for XXR Wheels, this time with AMSOIL under the hood.
Read on to see what makes Buttercup so special, and how she landed a split second on the big screen in the epic tuner film Fast & Furious 7.
Congratulations on landing a spot at SEMA.
Thank you! This will be the 4th year for Buttercup to make a trip to SEMA. She has been both a Feature and Booth car since her creation.
Your 2011 Subaru Impreza STI is well-known in the Subaru community. Tell us a little about that and why it’s so recognized among your peers.
Buttercup, my 2011 Subaru Impreza STI was one of the first 2011 Sedans built. She made her debut at SEMA 2011 and featured various new products and prototyped items. Since then, she has grown several times over. The most recognizable feature that Buttercup is known for is her Charge Speed Wide-body kit. She was the 1st USA built Charge Speed Wide-bodied car. This was done with a partnership with Charge Speed Japan. Because of the rarity of the kit and uniqueness of it, she has grown very popular. Another reason why she is so recognized is that I show Buttercup all around the sport compact/import car show scene. She has shown as far north as San Francisco, as far south as San Diego, and as far east as Las Vegas. In all shows and in-between, Buttercup has been able to take some of the top awards in some of the most prestigious shows. Some of these awards are: Subifest (all Subaru Car show/event) Best of Show 3-years in a row, Spocom SoCal Best Subaru 3-years in a row, Spocom Norcal Best Import Other 2014 & Best Mitsubishi/Subaru 2015, Subaru Summer Solstice (All Subaru show/event) Best S3 Impreza (2013/2014) and Best of Show for 2015. These awards and more!
How did it come to be known as Buttercup?
My username handle is RTechChef. What most people don’t realize is, I’m an actual Chef by trade. Building cars and marketing them is a hobby and passion of mine. Because of my job, I am absolutely in love with food. Everything I name or project I build, I try to associate food with it. Since finding the name it has grown to mean multiple things. She is also known as Princess Buttercup (think Princess Bride) as well as the beast of a hero from the Power Puff Girls. She has also been referenced to a horse character from another movie. However you slice it, she is my little Buttercup.
You’ve received several ‘Best of’ awards with Buttercup. Any standouts?
I will never forget my 1st Best of Show award with Buttercup. It was 2013, Subiefest. Subiefest was known to be one of the largest all Subaru gatherings on the west coast. To be selected from a sea of Subaru’s is quite the honor. It’s one thing to compete for the Best Subaru award when there are 10 or so cars competing. It’s another to be crowned the best in a sea of 100+. The second best standout is when I achieved my first “Sword” award from Spocom-SoCal. Spocom is considered one of the most prestigious shows in Southern California. Their special “Sword,” award handed out to the best of class, is a highly coveted award many try to achieve. In the past 3 years I have been blessed to be crowned Best of Show at Subiefest (2013/2014/2015) as well as Best Subaru at Spocom-SoCal (2013/2014/2015). Although these 2 events and awards stand out to me, all awards I have been given are a true blessing.
Buttercup was part of the Fast & Furious 7 production in the Racewars scene. How did that come about and did it make the final cut?
Friends in the industry got a call from the production company of FF7. They contacted me and a few others to present our cars. With a sea of cars to choose from, Buttercup was one of the few selected. I was commissioned to loan the car to the FF7 production team for 3 days of shooting. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule I was not able to be on site and actively drive and offer up my car for several portions of the scene. There is about a 1-second clip of the front of Buttercup that you can see in the film. I haven’t seen the behind the scenes footage yet to see if she made any marks there. Working with and being selected by the production team is always an honor. I also had the privilege to work on the first Fast & Furious with another project of mine (a 1994 Honda Accord). Working within Hollywood is always a great experience.
How did it feel being part of such an epic tuner feature film series?
There is always a special feeling to be part of something that becomes a large part of our culture. To be a part of the first was amazing, but it was even more amazing to be a part of FF7 with the importance behind paying tribute to Paul Walker. Often times, it’s hard to imagine I was a part of the franchise and even harder to imagine the loss of an icon of our industry. Paul will forever be missed and I’m happy to know I was able to work with him even in my small capacity.
Do you have any previous experience using AMSOIL products?
To be honest, this will be my first time using AMSOIL in any of my projects. From what I’ve read and seen, I am quite impressed with the company and products. It is my hope that I can continue a strong working relationship with AMSOIL and continue to use their products for all future builds and projects.
If you were given the vehicle of your choice and unlimited funds to modify it to your liking, what would it be?
That is one of the toughest questions someone has ever posed. Being a true car fan, I am a fan of all brands/styles/years/ of cars. There are some “top” picks in various categories of cars. So not to say just one, I’ll tell you about which ones of the categories I love. For an SUV – Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 (or HellCat version I hear is in the works). For a Wagon – Cadillac CTS-V Wagon (wish it was still made). For a Sport Sedan – I’ve always loved the BMW M5 and 4-dr GTR R34. For a Coupe – I’m a big fan of the Porsche Turbo, GTR, and Aston Martin DB9. For a Classic – a Ford ’32 Deuce is a dream car for sure. I know this doesn’t cover all lines, but hopefully gives you some idea of my passion.
Finally, tell us a quote or motto that describes you.
For those who know me, they will know that I always say, “Prepare for Otter Annihilation!” It is my battle cry.
AMSOIL under the hood:
Signature Series 5W-30; Absolute Efficiency Oil Filter
Severe Gear 75W-90 Gear Lube
Pass. Car & Light Truck Antifreeze & Engine Coolant
Dominator Coolant Boost
DOT-4 Brake Fluid; Multi-Vehicle Signature Series ATF
P.i. Performance Improver
Project Buttercup Sponsor Shout-Outs Continental Tires, Whiteline, XXR, X-Force Exhaust, Turbosmart USA, Snail Performance, Whistler, Deatschwerks. Also, a special thanks to my wife for her unwavering support.
Fun Fact: At more than 1.5 billion, only two films have grossed more than Fast & Furious 7 in the history of Hollywood. Fast & Furious 7 is third only behind Avatar (#1) and Titanic (#2).