A passion

The story of a Subaru 1996 Group A replica


Some personal notes on my project car

It starts...

In February 2009 when I bought my second car and my first Subaru. As a kid I always dreamed of owning a car like the ones in the rally’s.

Back it the day I was very young and didn’t know anything about cars. The car I started with was a 1987 Ford Escort XR3i. For the time I was proud of it, it had a big exhaust and I added some items along. Thinking of it, without realising it back then, I added a replica scoop from an Impreza.

Buying the Impreza

From the moment I started a weekend job I started to be more interested in the Subaru Impreza. One passed me always on my way to work and the rumble and blow-off valve always got me excited. So I wanted to know more. After a year of saving money I finally bought my car. It was an EU spec 1998 Impreza 555 Edition.

Subaru Standard

Richard Burns

From the moment I had the car I started looking for modifications. Spoilers, mudflaps, gauges etc etc. I became member of the Dutch Subaru Owner Club and I got more involved in the scene. From there my passion for rally grew.

Richard Burns became my role model. This meant my car became a project to make a tribute to him. I still didn’t know all of the rally knowledge I have now, but it got me going. Details weren’t my strongest back then, but I wanted the rally looks of Richards S5 … but I didn’t have a coupe … my search for wide body kits continued for the saloon but ended as I didn’t had the funds or contacts.

I ended up with S6 front bumper, 22B rear bumper, GD roof scoop, S5 rear wing and decals from Richard Burns V-Rally.

Subaru WRC tribute Richard Burns

Discovery of The Safari

Slowly I started to get the feeling that something was missing. Now the car was just a rally tribute. I wanted to do something different, something no-one had and no-one could match … my contacts in rallysport grew and I started looking into the different rally’s Subaru was competing in. I learned a lot and by the end of 2011 I found the Safari Rally. I found it fascinating that they developed attributes for the car to compete a single rally. Then I learned why … it was the thoughest rally on the WRC calendar!

Searching parts

The haunt for the parts was on. It took me about 2-3 years to find them all, all of them are so rare but one more than the other of course … I started making the mirrors and bonnet piece myself as I didn’t think I would ever find them but I got very lucky. As a Richard Burns fan I wanted to replicate his winning Safari Rally 2000 car.

Subaru WRC Tribute Safari Rally Richard Burns

The turning point

Although I had seen Richard Burns Safari car before in the Prodrive heritage center before, I noticed their attending with the car at Rallyday 2016. It would be a dream to be able to go to UK and put my car next to my example.

The dream came true

Many people there gave me credits about my car being a tribute to the one of Richard Burns, but from the moment I watched them next to each other I felt I missed my goal. I could never make a true replica of the car. My car still having 4 doors and the parts to replicate the widebody are very expensive. I had to go back to the drawing board and find a direction to go with. Many times I thought of just selling the project.

The final project

Of course I never really wanted to sell the car. After all, it’s my first real car and the project became a journey by itself.

While taking a step back for a little, I and started focussing on the Safari. It’s when I learned about the 1996 Safari. Subaru entered with Prodrive in the Group A class and I discovered they used most of the parts I alreay had. Great benefit of the Group A cars was that they ran 4 door cars. So this is when the story all makes sense.

Evolving project

In 2019 I finished most of the work on the initial Group A project. Ever since I try to focus on all the details to match perfection with the real car. The exterior is a 1 on 1 match with the car that rallied Kenya and I continue to work on the interior as well.

Build updates

Building a very close replica takes a lot of research, time and money. By contacting me with information about the Safari Rally cars, you help me a lot in my research and it opens te possibility to make it better and better.

Follow me!

Progress on the car can be followed on my Instagram page @thesafarirally_com

PS: I don’t have any Safari Rally spare parts for sale or the intention to make copies.


A walk around