For a large chunk of the 1990s, Colin McRae made Subarus cool. The brand’s turbocharged Impreza would still have been highly rated by the press had it not been a phenom in world rallying, but association with one of the fastest Scots of all time sealed the deal and made it a performance icon.
We’d wager that Colin is still up there on the list of reasons why people buy old Imprezas today, but one car selling through Car & Classic is more closely associated with the model than most – as it was formerly owned by the McRae family.
If you’re thinking that sounds familiar, then give yourself a pat on the back: we covered this very car last September, when it sold through Bonhams. You might also spot it now looks a little different, as what was once a slightly scruffy car has had a year of pampering in between auction listings.
The Impreza was owned by the McRae family between 1996 and 1999 – with Colin still driving for the Subaru World Rally Team for the first three of those years, before a move to Ford. The family confirmed the car’s provenance before the Bonhams auction, and apparently Alister, Jimmy and Colin all drove the car during their ownership.
It’s a Turbo 2000, and a pre-facelift model – already rare on its own. But the condition here is finally something to take note of, because while the car was a little frilly around the edges when it was sold last year, the current owner has taken the time to restore it back to health.
The work has included freshening up the bodywork – previously listed as just a 2/5 on the Bonhams scale – refitting interior trim correct to the model, and even sourcing a set of Speedline wheels like those the car would have had when the McRaes owned it. As the cherry on top, the sunvisors have also been signed by Jimmy, Alister, and Alister’s son Max McRae.
Perhaps more pertinently for anyone who might wish to drive the car as Subaru intended and the McRaes were only too happy to oblige, the 2-litre flat four has been recently rebuilt. While the car could still benefit from work to make it truly pristine, it’s a lot healthier than it was.
The auction has just two days left to run, and bidding currently stands around the £9000 mark – still shy of the £11,250 closing bid at Bonhams. The buyer will be getting a much better car, and one with history that you’ll struggle to match with any other Impreza on the market.