NEWS: Subaru rally car restoration program announced

In recent years a number of Japanese companies have started up factory restoration programs for their iconic cars. Nissan, Mazda, Honda, and Toyota all have programs in place or in the works. Now, your dreams of creating the ultimate Gran Turismo garage move one step closer because restored Subaru rally cars can be added to that list.

There is a slight difference in this case, as the program itself doesn’t come from Subaru or its motorsports arm STI. The company behind it is Prodrive, the UK race shop that has built over 1,100 competition machines for everyone from Aston Martin to BMW to Ferrari to Ford to Porsche. Of course, in that mix are almost 700 Subaru rally cars.

“Many of these cars are now appreciating classics with immense value to their passionate owners,” said Paul Howarth, Prodrive’s head of motorsport operations. In response, the company has launched Prodrive Legends, where you can bring your historic race or rally car back to the company that made it.

“Owners can now bring the cars home to the same company – and even many of the same people – who originally designed and built them and took them to multiple wins,” Howarth added.

During the 19 years of Subaru and Prodrive’s partnership — which ended in 2008 when Fuji Heavy Industries pulled out of WRC due to the global financial crisis — legendary cars like the World Rally Championship winners driven by Colin McRae, Richard Burns, or Petter Solberg. By Prodrive’s count, the shop has built nearly 100 Impreza and Legacy Group A cars and 160 Impreza World Rally Cars.

“If a client would like to own and compete with an original Colin McRae World Rally Championship car, we can advise on the purchase and rebuild it to precisely the specification that Colin raced that very car, using factory records and many of the same technicians,” Howarth explained.

Not only does Prodrive still employ many of the individuals who helped build the cars originally, but according to Howarth, “We have all the original build data and also hold the rights to reproduce key parts of the cars, while sourcing genuine components that are notoriously hard to find doesn’t pose an issue thanks to the network of contacts we have established since the early 1980s.”

In addition, Prodrive will offer fixed-price authentication for all its Legends cars. That cost is £2,500 (approximately $3,300 US) plus tax and if the car can’t be brought to the shop  in Branbury, Prodrive will travel to the car.  “The difference between two cars that are similar in all respects other than provenance can run into tens of thousands of pounds or, if there is evidence of significant competition success, even six figures,” Howarth said. 

Owners may just choose to display or garage the cars, but Howarth assures that “any car that leaves us will be turnkey and ready to run competitively.”

If you’re interested, contact them at the Prodrive Legends website and park a WR Subaru next to your restored Mazda Miata, Nissan Skyline GT-R, Honda Beat, and Toyota Supra.


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