FOR SALE ON AUGUST 26 - THE FIRST RALLY CAR THAT COLIN MCRAE OWNED AND THE LAST, PLUS THE 1992 CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING SUBARU, HIS FAVOURITE CAR
One wonders what a rally ace like Colin McRae chose to buy in the way of cars for himself, rather like wondering where travel agents holiday or estate agents choose tolive. It’s illuminating.
In the case of Colin McRae, the Scottish rally driving genius, it was in fact notsurprisingly the following three cars that he chose for himself: a 1992 Subaru Legacy RS Group ‘A’ rally car; a 1977 Chrysler Sunbeam Ti Group ‘A’ rally car; and a 2005 Ford Escort MkII McRae. These three cars come direct from his family, entrusted to Silverstone Auctions for their Classic Sale at Silverstone Festival on Saturday August 26th
The remarkable career of Colin McRae MBE (Colin Steele McRae, 5 August 1968 – 15 September 2007), has filled volumes and is too long to list here, but it did include becoming Scottish Schoolboy Motocross Champion at 13, the Scottish Rally Championship in 1988, winning the 1991 and 1992 British Rally Championship and, in 1995 he became the first British driver and the youngest person to win the World Rally Championship Drivers title, a record which stood f r 27 years. Success continued with a total of 25 wins in the WRC, a third place at Le Mans in the GTS Class, a win in the Baja 500 Portalegre, stage wins on the Dakar and many other rallies worldwide.
Despite the passage of time, Colin McRae is still one of the biggest names in the world of rallying, the most recognised. Colin was an iconic figure at the time. “Everybody took a step back when they heard Colin driving. He was just using the road as a rough guide. His style and approach were something to watch. At one time he held the record for the most rally victories. His ‘never say die’ attitude, always flat out, it really sat with people and endeared him to them”.
But people often forget that he was a mechanic, too. He worked well with engineers and understood how to set a car up and its mechanical limitations. He is frequently discussed in terms of his wild, aggressive style, but if you watched him drive on tarmac at Le Mans or ASCAR at Rockingham, he was really quite smooth. He won two Safari rallies, which takes a lot of mechanical empathy and an intelligent approach as to just how much you can get away with.
Here at Silverstone Auctions, we feel truly privileged to have been entrusted by the McRae family with the sale of three of Colin’s favourite cars. They are significant cars in the history of rallying and will be available to view prior to our auction on Friday 25th August and on Saturday 26th August, before the sale starts.
1992 Subaru Legacy RS ‘Group A’ rally car - £380,000-450,000 This is very special, Colin’s 1992 British Championship-winning car and a personal
favourite being offered to market for the first time directly from the McRae family, a unique opportunity. In 1991, Colin turned professional and was signed by Prodrive principal, David Richards,to join his Subaru team in the British Rally Championship. 1991 was to prove a bit of a learning curve but a combination of his youthful exuberance and exceptional talentenabled him to add his name to the title his father had won five times in this, his first full
season as a Works driver.
For the 1992 British Rally Championship, a fresh Legacy RS, J314 PWL, was built by thefactory Prodrive team to full International ‘Group A’ regulations with a Works 2.0-litre turbo boxer engine (with charge cooler) developing some 350bhp fed through a 6-speedProdrive manual dog gearbox and the Prodrive 4-wheel drive system, once again generously supported by Rothmans and endowed with that iconic blue and white Rothmans livery, known to motorsport enthusiasts the world over.
The 1992 RACMSA British Rally Championship was the 35th year of the British domestic championship and Colin and Derek Ringer in J314 PWL dominated the whole season with wins at the Vauxhall Sport International, the Pirelli International, the Perth International, the Elbow Ulster, the Manx in September and finally the Elonex International in late October. The Elonex was a particularly tough event running through the night and despite the fact that they were assured of the Championship even if they finished second, Colin was determined to win and complete a set of six. Starting the final stage at Weston Park, one second down on Tommi Makinen in the Nissan, he managed to take three seconds out of him in just under 2.5km. Having won all six rallies in J314 PWL, Colin was the first-ever driver to achieve a clean sweep of wins.
This legendary rally car was restored around 15 years ago and has had very little usesince. In terms of the restoration, the emphasis was on recreating the car as it looked during the all-conquering 1992 season and this was achieved with incredible attention to detail. The car is simply breath-taking in its presentation and is finished, of course, in its evocative original Rothmans livery. It’s fully complete and runs well but is not event-prepared and the safety equipment, seats and belts etc. are no longer current.
The car has been looked over and checked by Ian Gwynne of BGM Sport in Brackley and is being stored by him until our sale at the Silverstone Classic on the 26th/27th of August.
Text & Image: Silverstone Auctions