Racing car builder Prodrive has announced a mouth-watering scheme to keep its past heroes on the road. The company behind the iconic ‘555’ classic Impreza that won the World Rally Championship, along with – astonishingly – 1100 other heritage-rich racers, has confirmed a ‘Legends’ programme to restore and rejuvenate the cars with total authenticity.
Prodrive is responsible for an incredible range of racers, based on models as diverse as the first Porsche 911 SC RS to Aston Martin Vantage GT cars. Some have won races; others titles, like rally cars in the hands of Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg. There have been world championships for sports cars and Le Mans-class racers based on Ferraris.
Most of these were sooner or later sold on by the race teams who own them as they clear space for new, updated models, but their second and third custodians are increasingly looking to keep them and keep them in competitive shape for historic rallies and the like.
More than 700 Subaru rally cars, almost 40 BMW E30 M3s and nearly 230 Aston Martins based on DB9s and Vantages are among the number that Prodrive will now offer full support for through the Legends programme.
All work related to these cars takes place at the firm’s headquarters in Banbury, clearly visible next to the M40 motorway. Prodrive will cover chassis, engine, transmission and bodyshell work to bring the proud old beasts back to their best. Only Prodrive-built vehicles qualify.
Paul Howarth, head of motorsport operations at Prodrive, had a lot to say about the new scheme:
“Quite simply, there is nobody in a better position to rebuild a Prodrive car – we literally know them inside out and many of the people we have on the Prodrive Legends team built the cars originally.
“What’s more, we have all the original build data and also hold the rights to reproduce key parts of the cars, while sourcing genuine components that are notoriously hard to find doesn’t pose an issue thanks to the network of contacts we have established since the early 1980s.”
“The level of our work pays dividends for customers who wish to compete with their car and those that lean more towards seeing it as an investment. Some owners choose to run their cars in less demanding exhibition events or merely show them, but any car that leaves us will be turnkey and ready to run competitively.
“For those that wish to optimise the value of their car, as well as its performance, having Prodrive Legends authenticate and rebuild it ensures that it meets market expectations, where only the cars with the most impeccable provenance command the highest prices.
“The difference between two cars that are similar in all respects other than provenance can run into tens of thousands of pounds or, if there is evidence of significant competition success, even six figures.”