As far as names in motorsport that are synonymous with Subaru go, it’s a fairly standard assortment. There’s obviously Colin McRae, Petter Solberg, and Richard Burns.
For Kiwis and plenty of other anoraks around the world, there’s also Possum Bourne, while newer-generation fans might single out Chris Atkinson.
But there’s another name too; Ken Block. The flamboyant American was backed by Subaru in the early years of his success (before getting poached for a long stint with Ford).
In the years prior to his entry to the World Rally Championship and prior to the creation of his first ‘Gymkhana’ film, this Subaru Impreza was his beast. And it’s now for sale.
The 2002 WRX STi is a Group N–based rally machine, and despite not being one of Block’s most famous cars, strictly speaking, it is one of his most significant. Built and prepped by Vermont SportsCar, it was a big part of Block’s earliest ‘stunts’ while simultaneously helping him earn some of his first wins.
The stunts include claiming the (at the time) world record for longest car jump — an agonising 171 feet, or 52.1 meters — on television show Stunt Junkies. And the wins include victory at the 2006 Rally of the Acre Wood, a round of the Rally America series. He ended up finishing that series in second overall in this car.
It’s understood that this is not the same car that Block used to take on Rally New Zealand in 2007 and 2008, even though it’s the same ‘hawkeye’ generation of Impreza.
Listed by new enthusiast auction website Wall St Motorsport, the Subaru comes with full log books and is in the process of undergoing a full refresh under the skin by Block’s mechanics.
Bidding is currently sitting at US$49,000 ($66,900), which is pretty handy given that this is a car you could still compete in rallying events with competitively. The auction still has a long time to go, finishing on March 3.
“We’re not gonna bullshit you here,” opens the listing. “This is a car that was *not* gently driven only on Sunday mornings to church. This car is a complete 180 of that.
“You’ve also probably heard of the guy who’s selling it. He’s a guy named Ken Block and this is the car from his early career that (quite literally) launched him onto people’s radar as a rally driver, because it’s actually the car he piloted to his first-ever national championship rally win.”