rally

An Ode To The Original

Once Jalopnik does one of their “buy this now” posts, it’s already too late. Earlier this year, it was classic 911s, then the E46 M3 and most recently the original Impreza GC.

It’s becoming ever more difficult to find an Impreza 2.5 RS in good shape. Most have been poorly modified, abused or a combination of the two. While most GC owners opt for more aggressive, WRC and track day looks, t3hWIT has gone a different route by channeling the original WRX STI RA.

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It’s a brilliant take on a classic and in many owner’s opinions, the true embodiment of the Impreza.

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A nod to Colin McRae on the rear wing.

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th3WIT’s car helps to explain why the Impreza is so unique. Unlike most other performance cars, the are 2 very distinctive camps in which it resides – rally and track. Having had great success in both arenas, Subaru owners have had a difficult decision when they arrive at the fork in the road of which route to take with their builds. Many GC owners in particular go the rally path. It’s what makes the Subaru community so unique in the way that one car is able to adopt so many different personalities. Go to any Subaru meet and you’re likely to find lifted off-road ready WRXs sharing the same space as their slammed, tucked, and caged counterparts.

However this particular car incapsulates something a bit different – heritage. There are no front lips, fancy forged wheels, wide fenders or aftermarket trim pieces, it’s just an honest representation of the best Subaru OEM had to offer at the time. As the GC continues to get older, the word classic will start getting thrown around more. These are the kind of builds that people will be gravitating towards at their local Saturday morning coffee meets.

Photos courtesy of th3WIT.

Pleasure Racing Service GRB Impreza

Pleasure Racing Service may not be one of the most well known Japanese tuning shops, but they’re certainly one of the most impressive. Where so many shops have shifted their focus towards marketability and the industry’s latest hype, PRS have stuck to their roots and remain heavily involved in motor sports. From time attack to rallying, they cater to the group of enthusiasts more interested in driving their cars than looking at them. It’s one of the reasons why this shop maintains a successful business while so many of their competitors have faded into obscurity.

With footholds in the Impreza and Evo markets, PRS has more recently experienced success in the BRZ market. The shop’s exceedingly large lineup of demo cars is fronted by their GRB Impreza.

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While the styling may not be to everyone’s taste, I never was an INGS fan myself, you can be sure this car lays it down on the track.

With an over saturation of ridiculous aero kits and an all show, no go mantra flooding the industry, there’s something to be said for proper driver’s cars standing their ground.

Photo courtesy of PRS.

Alfa Romeo Sprint GTA

More Alfa love this Friday morning. In more civilized countries than our own, public roads can be used for all sorts of motor sports, including tarmac rallying. The Alfa Sprint GTA was intended for just such a thing.

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The GTA is the racing version of Alfa Romeo’s iconic Giulia, which you’ll find more of here.

Alfas haven’t been sold in the US for quite some time but that will soon change with the much anticipated 4C and the new Spyder – which will probably end up being the best looking roadster of the last 20 years. In the meantime, it’s tough to beat the Bertone styled GTA, especially when it’s been prepped for racing.

Photo courtesy of Matteo Stucchi.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT

Imagine if the United States where just as crazy about Italian cars as we are about Japanese and German cars…

What if we were able to import old Alfas and Lancias the same way we do BMWs, Nissans and Toyotas? Then imagine what an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT would look like modified in accordance to the current trends. It might look something like this and my god it’s good.

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I wish I knew the artist who created this render because I’d love to see some of their other work.

This lowered, caged Alfa Giulia on Work Equips is a thing of beauty. Now imagine it red with gold wheels! We’ve got it pretty good in terms of variety and availability in the US, but one area where we’ve always lacked is with Italian cars. Sure they’re notoriously unreliable, but with today’s modern suspension kits, the relative ease of doing engine swaps and retrofits, many of the issues that once plagued these classics would be no more.

I’d put this beautiful, Bertone designed Alfa up against some of the very best looking Japanese and German offerings.

Subaru’s Unicorn: The 22B

Hey Subaru, how about doing us all a favor and building a few thousand more?

Not only is the 22B the best Subaru ever made, it’s one of the best cars ever made, ask any real petrol head and they’ll tell you the same.

A WRC car for the road and with only 400 units produced, it’s the definition of exclusivity. There’s at least one of these in the dream garage I stroll through before falling asleep at night…

Video courtesy of Subaru.

Euro-Style Bugeye

The Europeans have always been known for their unique approach to modifying Subarus. While Americans were obsessed with everything JDM, the European’s interests lied in rallying – the Impreza’s roots. The rally style has become synonymous with European-built Subarus and it’s one of my favorite approaches to modifying the car.

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While this particular GDA isn’t European, it certainly looks the part. Prodrive used to run the SWRT and they’re well represented throughout this car. Really nice build and a style that I wish we saw more of today.

Photo courtesy of iNfEk.

Frayz’s V7 STi

UK Impreza owners have always had a special eye for tuning. The popularity of rallying and motor sports in general has had a heavy influence on the way they style their cars. It’s an approach I wish we saw more of in the US.

Frayz’s V7 STi has been around for as long as I can remember and the car has gone through a pretty extensive rebuild in the last couple of years. I’d recommend checking out his build thread if you have time.

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The execution of this Impreza is something pretty special. No aspect of the car has been left untouched and the attention to detail immense. In many respects the car alludes to some of the special edition Impreza models we’ve seen from shops like Prodrive.

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While many criticize the organized chaos that is a Suabru engine bay, there is beauty to be found here. The careful color coordination and selection of only the finest parts speaks to this car’s purpose of blending high performance with ultimate streetability.

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The same philosophy holds true in the interior.

Anyone can build a car that looks great sitting in their garage. It’s a different story entirely to build something that not only looks great but can also take whatever abuse its owner throws at it.

Photos courtesy of Frayz.