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Sold for: £130,500
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 swollen wheel arches, high-rise rear spoiler and an 80mm increase in width, it was as close to Colin McRae’s rally car as any mortal was ever going to get. It wasn’t a homologation special but more of a road-going replica. The ‘22’ in the model’s name referred to the engine capacity, which was increased from 1994cc to 2212cc. Officially, the turbocharged flat-four developed 276bhp, but the actual figure almost certainly started with a three. The ‘B’, meanwhile, stood for Bilstein, the damper supplier.
Only 399 22Bs were built for sale to the domestic market (another 25 were made for overseas markets) and they pre-sold almost instantly in early 1998. The car cost a shade under £40,000 in period, or close to £70,000 in today’s money.
The 22B is endowed with a specially developed 2.2-litre EJ22-engine with unique forged pistons, a seam-welded bodyshell (supposedly identical in shape to the WRC), special gearing, a twin-plate racing clutch, strengthened drive/prop shafts, driver-adjustable front/rear diff and bigger brakes; the suspension uses unique forged aluminium lower links, rose-joined transverse links, inverted Bilstein dampers and unique Eibach springs, plus a set of 17-inch BBS alloy wheels.
The car presented here a 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B-STI, car #326 of the 400 JDM examples, which was imported into the UK in 1998 (the same year as manufacture), so really as good as it gets without being a super-rare ‘Type-UK car' (Subaru UK officially imported only 16 22Bs and passed them on to Prodrive for modification, with 3 cars known to have been issued with the ‘#000 number’, belonging to Dave Richards of Prodrive, Colin McRae and Nicky Grist).
The car has been owned in the UK by genuine enthusiasts who have obviously managed to keep it in superb condition. Our vendor bought the car back in 2004 and has used it very little but ensured it was stored professionally and was treated to a recent full service (all fluids, filters, cam-belt etc.) by a Subaru specialist. Accompanied by its original Subaru booklets from Japan (in which appears information referring to servicing), import papers and photos of the car arriving into a UK port, plus numerous receipts from such UK specialists as Roger Clark Motorsport Ltd. and G-Force Motorsport, this is a splendid example of an appreciating icon.
You can now book a one-to-one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location between 16th and 30th July. Please contact Joe on 07779 082707 / firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail. The health and safety of both our customers and team remain the utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.