1993 Subaru Impreza WRX Ex-ProDrive WRC – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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Prodrive WRX front side Prodrive WRX front side
Prodrive WRX rear side Prodrive WRX rear side
Prodrive WRX side Prodrive WRX side
Prodrive WRX interior Prodrive WRX interior
Prodrive WRX rear side workshop Prodrive WRX rear side workshop
Prodrive WRX thousand lakes Prodrive WRX thousand lakes

Buy this, and add your name to the likes of McRae, Vatanen and Sainz who’ve driven it before you

Today’s Tempter is a little different, and a little more ‘unique’ than usual.

What you’re looking at is a genuine ex-Prodrive and Subaru 555 Team Group A WRC car, based on a 1993 Subaru WRX.

Prodrive-WRX-rear-side.jpg

Chassis PRO/STi 93.004 is one of just 63 Prodrive Imprezas built to Group A specification in England, and is the first of six 1993 chassis' built that year.

READ NEXT: 1994-1998 Subaru WRX - Buyer's Guide

The "new" Group A 555 Impreza made its debut at the 1993 1000 Lakes Rally of Finland; driven by the 1981 WRC World Champion Ari Vatanen and Bruno Bergland. Vatanen described the car as a "compact super toy" and pegged 16 fastest stage times over the event.

Prodrive-WRX-thousand-lakes.jpg

While leading for much of the rally, the 555 Impreza ultimately lost out to Kankkunen’s Celica GT4 by just 2 seconds after the windscreen fogged up. It remains a high-point for Vatanen’s career with many describing his drives as ‘super human’, and gave the Prodrive 555 Impreza its very first podium, finishing second.

After its racing debut, the car was later notably campaigned by Colin McRae himself in the 1993 Memorial Bettega Italy, finishing first.

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It was then helmed by Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya in the 1994 Portugal Rally, finishing fourth, then by Richard Burns and Robert Reid at the 1994 Rally New Zealand and Malaysia Rally; finishing fourth and second respectively.

READ NEXT: Richard Burn's 2000 WRC Subaru Impreza for sale

Its final race log for 1996 shows drivers Possum Bourne and Tony Sircombe taking part in the 1994 Double FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship, with the vehicle becoming Prodrive’s first Championship-winning 555 car in the process.

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The car’s provenance and pedigree is extensive, with race-winning and Championship credentials, the thoroughbred of Prodrive and Subaru’s 555 team; and attached to names such as McRae, Vatanen and Sainz – this is an extremely significant and historic Group A WRC car, and is one of the closest things we may see to the ‘Holy Grail’ of Subarus on the market.

This is believed to be one of the oldest surviving 1993 WRC Subaru 555 shells, and presents unrestored. Running changes have been made over the years in its retirement, but it can certainly be returned to ‘period correct’ specifications.

Many former works 555 Imprezas were returned to Prodrive, to be rebuilt, reused or sold to privateer teams; but this is a rare surviving example.

Prodrive-WRX-side.jpg

The car was purchased by Possum Bourne Motorsport from Prodrive towards the end of 1994 – according to Bourne’s Rally Possums Autobiography. Bourne recommissioned the car in 1996 and competed in various smaller rally including the 1996 Telstra Rally Australia, Coffs Harbour Rally, Rally Canberra; and took out the 1996 Australian Rally Championship.

The car was then purchased by "Smoken" Joe McAndrew in December 1996, and competed in the 1997 New Zealand Rally Championship, after which the car was sold to a private collection in Italy in 2002.

After 18 years unused and in storage, the car has made its way back to Australian shores, and presents for sale today in New South Wales.

The listed price is a whopping $1.5 million – but perhaps read it as POA. If you feel like you have the dosh, and the motivation to preserve a bit of WRC history; you can check out the full listing on our classifieds here.

 

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