A competition-built car lives a hard life from the moment it's unleashed on its first rally stage. The fate of this Subaru is no exception, as the 1997 Monte Carlo Rally, its first outing, was cut short due to an accident. McRae, known for his vigorous driving style, slid the Impreza into the woods in a right-hand corner of the wintery stage and mangled the right rear corner: the rear wheel wouldn't even turn as he limped the car back to the pits. Subaru did claim a win from Monte Carlo thanks to Pedro Liatti's efforts, beating Carlos Sainz's Ford Escort WRC by nearly a minute.
The next year, the repaired Impreza saw use by the Polish rally driver Krzysztof Holowczyc in a handful of WRC events. During the following decade the car went from one private team to another and ended up being completely restored between 2008 and 2009 – probably a well-deserved overhaul at that point. It hasn't seen a rally stage since, as it's been in collector hands and remains in perfect technical condition.
For anyone who grew up either watching Subarus like this conquering rally stage after another, or having wrestled them on virtual gravel with video game controller in hand, this car is one of the essential 1990s motorsport machines. It would serve it right to be bought by someone who used to have a Subaru WRC poster on their bedroom wall 20 years ago.