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The first Subaru Impreza to score points in the World Rally Championship is set to cross the block at Artcurial’s Automobiles Sur Les Champs sale on 24 October, with a pre-sale estimate of €450-650,000.
That is c£380-550,000 which is not cheap, but then online auction house Collecting Cars set a new world record on 30 May 2021 when it sold a Richard Burns and Robert Reid Impreza, albeit a later example, for £610,000.
That car was the 2000 Rally GB-winning Impreza S6. But the car for sale here is certainly not lacking in pedigree – and it led the way for the success of Subaru’s later models.
Going under the hammer with Artcurial is chassis 93.004, which helped propel the model to motorsport stardom in the first place when it finished second in the 1993 1000 Lakes Rally wearing the famous L555 BAT registration.
The 1981 WRC drivers’ champion Ari Vatenen was behind the wheel during that famous first, co-driver Bruno Bergland alongside him, and this car was later driven by two more WRC champions: Richard Burns and Colin McRae, no less.
McRae and co-driver Derek Ringer campaigned the car in the 1994 Rally of Portugal, retiring due to a fire caused by a damaged steering pipe, while Burns and Reid took part in the Rally of Indonesia and Rally New Zealand, albeit retiring from both events.
Chassis 93.004 was then stripped of its mechanical components and sold to New Zealand rally legend Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne in 1995, where it was repaired and put into storage.
The shell made an unexpected return to competition in 1996 after Bourne ran off the road in another Impreza.
Parts from the crashed car were built into the old shell in time to complete the final rounds of the Australian Rally Championship. Bourne won, repeating the feat in the same car in 1997 and 1998.
The Impreza was eventually sold to an Australian rally fan who had it rebuilt in 2017/2018 before taking part in the Adelaide Motorsport Festival Tarmac Rally in 2019.
Still in its original Group A spec, today this is one of the oldest-remaining Subaru Prodrive cars and it retains its original 1993 bodyshell.
It has also been tested by Alister McRae, and it will be sold with information detailing the mechanical work done, its current spec, documents relating to its WRC career and more.
Check out the full catalogue for the Artcurial Automobiles Sur Les Champs sale on 24 October 2021 here.