Earlier this year, a former Richard Burns Subaru Impreza that had competed in the 2000 World Rally Championship season sold for an utterly incredible $865,000. Thankfully for any well-heeled Subaru fans who missed out on that prime example, another significant WRC Impreza is getting ready to cross the auction block. This 1993 Subaru Impreza built by Prodrive, chassis No. 93-004, was the first of its breed to score points in the World Rally Championship. As if that isn't enough to get your attention, Colin McRae, Richard Burns, Ari Vatanen, and Peter "Possum" Bourne all drove stints in this machine.
The story of this Impreza really begins in the latter half of the 1993 WRC season, when the all-new Impreza would debut alongside the Legacy RS of Colin McRae at the 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland. Ari Vatanen would pilot 93-004 for that race, managing to take home an impressive second-place finish behind Juha Kankkunen. This debut marked the first time the Impreza scored WRC points, but it wouldn't be the last. Subaru would dominate the sport over the coming years, taking home series victories in 1995, 1996 and 1997.
According to the seller, 93-004 would later compete in three races during the 1994 WRC season. Colin McRae and Derek Ringer ran this car at The Rally of Portugal, though a broken power steering pump and subsequent fire resulted in the car's early retirement. During the Rally of Indonesia later that year, Richard Burns and Robert Reid would also be forced to retire in this car due to mechanical issues. The pair would face a similar fate at The Rally New Zealand, when 93-004 retired after leaving the road. That wasn't the end of the car's racing career, however, as Bourne would end up purchasing and racing the car in the Australian Rally Championship. He would take home three consecutive championships between 1996 and 1998 behind the wheel of 93-004.
Followings Bourne's tragic death in 2003, the former WRC was stored for over a decade before undergoing a proper restoration between 2017 and 2018. The restoration was completed in an effort to retain as much of the original componentry as possible, and as such the car remains incredibly authentic. Given this car's long and punishing rally career, it's kind of amazing that the original 1993 body shell is still intact.
This incredible piece of rally history is being offered at auction by Artcurial in France, and is slated to cross the auction block on October 24, 2021. The auction house estimates that the car will trade hands at a price between $520,000 and $750,000. That's certainly lower than what the Burns car fetched earlier this year, but that example did take the overall victory at the Network Q Rally. The lack of WRC wins on this chassis may impact its value, but being the first Impreza to score points certainly gives it historical significance.
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