"Once driven" is the important part.
A historic Subaru rally car from 1997 is up for auction by Silverstone Auctions, and the car even has ties to the late, great Colin McRae. The vehicle, with P2 WRC registration that has been used in shows and events all its life up, is expected to fetch £340,000 - £380,000 or about $420,000 - $470,000 at auction. Is it truly worth that kind of money? Well, let's take a look at the history of the vehicle to decide.
This isn't the first ex-Colin McRae rally car to come up for auction in recent years, and certainly not the only Subaru Impreza. Being one of the most famous drivers of all time, his name brings up many fond memories to anyone that's ever followed rally car racing. This generation of rally Impreza is equally as famous, being the car that put Subaru on the map as a true performance brand and helped McRae to his first, and only WRC championship.
This car's connection to McRae is a bit dubious, so here are the facts. McRae debuted the Subaru 'WRC 97" with P2 WRC registration in 1997 at the first event of the season, the Monte Carlo Rally. He piloted the vehicle, mounted to chassis 3, alongside his co-driver Nicky Grist. Unfortunately, after hitting some ice and skidding into a tree, the pair were forced to retire from the race. This was the only time it was driven by him.
The car was then rebuilt and mated to Prodrive Chassis 21, and then subsequently campaigned in the Europe Rally Championship from 1998-2000 with a number of wins including the Hungary Championship in 1998 and 1999. Ownership then moved from continental Europe to the UK with Mark Slater and Steven Fleck during 2001 and 2002 for a few events before its final season with Noel Redmond in 2003. It was during this time the vehicle was converted to right-hand drive to better handle the Irish stages.
The current owner then purchased the vehicle in 2004 and has owned it ever since, also having competed in the vehicle in different events from 2005-2007. After this, the car was put away and taken care of until it was brought back out in 2015 for shows and events mostly being driven by the owner's son. In 2016 and 2017, the car came 1st overall at the Wethersfield Stages Rally, and its last event was at Race Retro in 2020.
The car has recently received an overhaul, with a rebuilt engine and gearbox only a few hundred miles prior to listing. The car can also be converted back to left-hand drive if a new owner would prefer that. If you're interested in knowing more about its racing history you can even check out its full history here.
It's an incredible vehicle that carries the weight of being one of the all-time greats of the sport. The fact that it's really been raced too, reaching continued success over the years is something to appreciate. The issue is it's hard to truly claim this as a Colin McRae vehicle, but instead maybe a Colin McRae adjacent vehicle, with it changing chassis and whatnot.
Just last year, one of his race-winning Ford Focus' went to auction and sold for $555,000, not much more than what this car is expected to go for. Heck, even in 2021, a barn find Impreza rally car driven by Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz Sr. only went for $360,000 at auction. This leads us to believe the range for this car may be a tad aspirational, but with car prices what they are these days, who the heck knows what's going to happen.
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