It is useless for any rally enthusiast to even ask for it: a Subaru Impreza driven by Colin McRae and Carlos Sainz has a very high value. Partly because the Scotsman was a legendary champion that everyone misses, partly because the Spaniard still races to win, partly because people’s affection for this type of car has crossed all boundaries.
Well, a car that raced between 1994 and 1996, now proudly accompanied by the original livery with which it ran the World Rally, was sold for around 314,000 euros in Australia, thanks to Lloyds Auctions. But this Impreza, on which the great champion who raced under the Union Jack and the father of the homonymous Ferrari F1 driver sat, could very well not be here. The car had been abandoned (pictured above) in a warehouse in the state of Victoria, precisely in Australia; apart from the livery, it still has to be completely put back in order. According to the CEO of Lloyds Auction, the car could be worth up to a million Australian dollars; but in the end half of what was estimated was ticked.
Not only that: the car was purchased through Bitcoin. A modern detail for a car that exudes history. If there hadn’t been a careful valuation of the car, it would have gone on sale as a regular ‘Impreza’, for a few thousand dollars. Instead, it was eventually registered as ‘original’ by ICAARS and Possum Bourne Motor Sport (PBMS). It is hoped that the buyer cares about this car, restoring it to its former glory even in the interior and fighting the rust it probably attracted by being exposed for so long to neglect.
The car is fitted with the L555 BAT license plate, and here the story forks. Because the plate has been used several times by Prodrive and Subaru to mark the cars, but on different chassis. The one indicated by Lloyds Auctions is # 94.006, which brought Carlos Sainz to third place in the 1994 Monte Carlo rally (with L555 REP plate); while with the number 7 McRae retired from the Tour de Corse of the same year. The car had another experience at the 1996 Bank Utama Rally Indonesia, later causing its tracks to scatter.
(images: Lloyds Auctions)