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Ari Vatanen Subaru to go under hammer at Race Retro

18 January 2018

The Race Retro Competition Car Sale always has some very interesting and appealing lots, and this year is no different with a works Subaru Legacy, rallied by Ari Vatanen in 1993, one of the classics on sale in 2018.

While it is often the Imprezas which are remembered for kicking off Subaru’s World Rally Team, it was actually the larger Legacy RS saloon that got the ball rolling. The platform was in use from 1990 until the debut of the famous Impreza ‘555’ in 1993. The Legacy was the first Subaru rally car to take advantage of the flat-4 boxer engine and came to prominence after Subaru moved its STI motorsport department from Japan to England, and enlisted the help of Prodrive to race prepare the cars.

The Legacy RS was developed during 1989 and homogated in January 1990 in accordance with the Group A regulations, the 2.0-litre turbo produced around 290 bhp and 392 Nm of torque which was sent to all four wheels via an X-Trac manual gearbox and subsequently though a viscous coupling centre differential and limited slip front/rear differentials.

The car going up for auction, registration K555 BAT, is of the latest specification works entry and was raced in the Acropolis Rally by Ari Vatanen, where it led until Special Stage 21 where it crashed out. After the rally it was rebuilt by Prodrive before being sold to the Italian team Procar. It has subsequently been acquired by the Richard Burns Collection, who commissioned Autosportif Engineering Ltd to completely rebuild the car and return it to its original guise. A process overseen by ex-Prodrive worker Ian Richardson, who called upon all his specialist knowledge and original drawings to produce a brand new, authentic Prodrive-spec Legacy shell for the car.

Other interesting items in the sale, which is run by Silverstone Auctions, include a 1999 Ford Mondeo ‘Super Tourer’, which was raced by Anthony Reid in 1999, 1970 Ford Escort Mk.I RS1600 FIA race car and a 1966 Morris Mini Cooper S.

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