The Classic Sale At Silverstone Festival 25th - 27th August 2023

+ buyers premium of 12.5% plus VAT (15% incl VAT) on the first £300,000 of the hammer and 10% plus VAT (12% incl VAT) thereafter 185 Built to celebrate both the marque’s 40th anniversary and its third straight WRC manufacturers’ title, the 22B STi was billed as the production version of Subaru’s already-iconic two-door World Rally Car. With its beefy front and rear arches increasing width by 80mm, a high-rise rear spoiler and the unique EJ22 engine, the 22B was as close to Colin McRae’s rally car as any mortal was ever going to get. It wasn’t so much an homologation special but more of a road-going replica. Often misunderstood, the 22B in the model’s name is derived from the car’s ‘555’ WRC sponsorship. Five hundred and fifty-five is 22B in hexadecimal, the number base used in computer programming. At the time, the IT world was booming and the Impreza was the icon car for successful IT contractors in both the UK and Japan alike. ‘22B’ is often incorrectly attributed to the engine capacity, which was increased from 1,994cc to 2,212cc. The ‘B’, meanwhile, supposedly stood for Bilstein, the damper supplier. Whichever way you look at it, Subaru created a truly fabulous machine. Only 399 22Bs were built for sale to the domestic market (another 25 were made for overseas markets including 16 allocated to the UK) and they pre-sold within 48 hours in early 1998, costing a shade under £40,000 at the time. The engine wasn’t simply a standard 2-litre bored out to 2.2-litre, the EJ22 was built around a separate casting. Whilst they are exceptionally strong engines, people liked to push the boundaries a bit, and often found out the hard way where the engine’s limit was, post-remapping. Consequently, getting hold of replacement engines was a nightmare as there were no more and many owners who blew them up resorted to putting in the later EJ25 2.5-litre engine that was originally developed to offer more power for the heavily emission-controlled US-cars. Even Nicky Grist couldn’t get a replacement when the engine in his second one (he had an #000 and an import) let go. In addition to its EJ22 power unit, the 22B boasts a seam-welded bodyshell (supposedly identical in shape to the WRC cars), special gearing, a twin-plate racing clutch, strengthened drive/prop shafts, driver-adjustable front/rear diff and bigger brakes. The suspension utilised unique forged-aluminium lower links, rose- joined transverse links, inverted Bilstein dampers and Eibach springs, plus a fetching set of Gold 17’’ BBS alloy wheels. Theoretically, Subaru were upholding their end of the Gentleman’s Agreement between all Japanese car manufacturers including Toyota, Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi to limit all JDM production cars to 280bhp and 180kmh in order to reduce road fatalities. However, as so many have found since, cars such as the 22B, R34 GT-R, Evo VI and Supra all seem to produce comfortably more than the agreed 280bhp, so whilst the 22B is officially listed as having an output of 276bhp, real world figures suggest the actual number comfortably starts with a 3! As one of only 399 examples, even a regular 22B is regarded as rare and desirable, however the car on offer here is even more special. This is one of only three 22B prototype cars - each featuring a unique #000/400 plaque to commemorate the occasion. As a gesture of thanks for their services to Subaru over the years (winning the 1995 World Rally Championship, finishing second in 1996 and 1997 and third in 1998 and gaining the company their third consecutive WRC Manufacturers Title), three 22Bs were offered to three special people. One was offered to Prodrive’s David Lapworth, currently residing in the USA, one to Colin’s co-driver Nicky Grist, and this one, offered to Colin McRae himself. It was assumed that Subaru gifted the cars however Colin is quoted as saying he had to buy his, which ‘hurt as a Scotsman’. Colin was once quoted in a TV interview about the 22B as saying it is one of his favourite cars, whilst admitting ‘it gets you into bother’ by virtue of its character. The mind boggles at what qualifies as bother to a man of McRae’s talents but anyone who has driven or been in a 22B will vouch for the sheer capabilities of the car, and its confidence-inspiring nature to go faster and faster. JDM cars typically suffer when living in the UK, with difficulties such as salt on the roads and rust creeping in, however, #000/400 presents in simply immaculate condition, having covered less than 12,000km from new. All three of the #000 cars were JDM-spec as compared to the 16 Type-UK 22Bs, which means it retains the 4.444 final drive providing better acceleration, a kmh speedometer and a few visual differences such as covered fog lights and no Type-UK badging. The only change from standard specification is the uprated exhaust, but for maximum originality the car is supplied with its original tyres and exhaust. There is no doubt this car has been cherished throughout its existence, despite the legendary driving style of it’s first owner. The history file is comprehensive since our vendor’s purchase in 2006 and includes every invoice for parts, maintenance, and servicing, leaving any prospective bidders in no doubt that this car is flawless mechanically and cosmetically with MOTs dating back to new. With the ever-skyrocketing prices of cream-of-the-crop JDM cars, this is surely the halo car for any collection. One of the lowest mileage, fabulously original 22Bs in existence, with the added provenance of being the personal car of Subaru’s most infamous driver, ensures that #000/400 is one of, if not the, most desirable Subarus in the world. A unique opportunity. Delivered to the late Colin McRae MBE in November 1998, this is one of three prototype 22Bs built. Presented in stunning condition, this is surely the ultimate road-going Subaru, now available on the open market for the first time. Arguably the most desirable 22B ever. Lot 676 1998 Subaru Impreza STi 22B - Chassis #000/400 - Ex-Colin McRae Registration: S447 YOX Chassis No.: GC8065754 Estimate: £400,000 - £500,000 Specialist: Nigel Gough Telephone No: 07879 637616 More Details Lot 676 Bid On Lot 676