Earlier this year, a former Richard Burns Subaru Impreza, who competed in the 2000 World Rally Championship, sold for a staggering $ 865,000. Fortunately for all the well-heeled Subaru fans who missed this prime example, another major WRC Impreza is preparing to cross the auction block. This Subaru Impreza, built by Prodrive in 1993, chassis no. 93-004, was the first of its kind to score in the World Rally Championship. As if that weren’t enough to get your attention, Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Ari Vatanen and Peter “Possum” Bourne all did stints in this machine.
The story of this Impreza really begins in the second half of the 1993 WRC season when the all-new Impreza would debut alongside Colin McRae’s Legacy RS at the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland. Ari Vatanen would drive 93-004 for this race and take home an impressive second place behind Juha Kankkunen. This debut marked the first time the Impreza had accumulated WRC points, but it wasn’t to be the last. Subaru would dominate the sport for years to come, taking back streak wins in 1995, 1996, and 1997.
According to the seller, the 93-004 would compete in three races later in the 1994 WRC season. Colin McRae and Derek Ringer drove this car in the Rally of Portugal, although a defective power steering pump and subsequent fire caused the car to retire early. During the Rally of Indonesia later that year, Richard Burns and Robert Reid had to retire due to mechanical problems with this car. The couple would suffer a similar fate at the New Zealand Rally when 93-004 retired after leaving the road. That was not the end of the car’s racing career, however, as Bourne would buy the car and drive in the Australian Rally Championship. He would win three consecutive championships behind the wheel of 93-004 between 1996 and 1998.
Following Bourne’s tragic death in 2003, the former WRC was in storage for over a decade before undergoing a proper restoration between 2017 and 2018. During the restoration, an attempt was made to keep as much of the original components as possible in an incredibly authentic way. Given this car’s long and grueling rally career, it’s amazing that the original 1993 bodywork is still intact.
This is incredible piece of rally history will be auctioned by Artcurial in France and is expected to exceed the auction block on October 24, 2021. The auction house estimates the car will sell for between $ 520,000 and $ 750,000. That is certainly less than what the Burns car achieved earlier this year, but that example won overall victory in the Network Q rally. The lack of WRC wins on this chassis can detract from its value, but being the first Impreza to score certainly gives it historical significance.
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