When Subaru decided to change the Impreza from a shouty saloon into a practical hatchback, it seemed like they’d gone all sensible. Austin Barnett certainly thought so. But as you can see, Austin is not really a sensible guy…
Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous feature cars. This week it’s Adam Knight’s Subaru Impreza from back in 2013…
Do you ever buy a pair of trainers and then decide they’re too nice to wear out? Or are you one of those people who leaves the protective plastic film on their mobile phone’s screen?
Well, that’s the kind of logic that has seen this mental, carbon Scooby’s V5 to be passed around more than Midge’s little sister. It’s just so nice the owners are scared something might happen to it.
It was originally built by the guys at ABW Design to compete in the UK Time Attack Series back in 2010, but with £12,000 worth of work gone into the carbon body alone, they decided it would be silly to risk damaging the car. This is when Scooby fanatic Adam Knight, stepped in and bought ABW’s masterpiece.
At first he was happy to run the car, but soon little voices in his head started putting doubts in his mind and paranoia of the car’s safety set in – replacing a panel on this car isn’t a quick fix. Adam decided to sell up but he didn’t have to look far for a suitable owner, as his brother Rob, decided to take up the mantle of owning such a unique motor.
The 24-year old mechanic has his own work van, he goes off-roading in his Land Rover, hits the track in his 170bhp Pug 106, and has a couple of other cars hanging around too, so the Scooby is reserved for weekend and show-day fun.
Rob has owned the car for a year now and those 12 months have been spent refining and adding to the carbon-covered beast. As well as tweaking the suspension and the interior, Rob has even found time to change the front end, which is now his favourite angle of the car: “People are always telling me how menacing the front end is. It looks like it could eat you, so people always move out the way,” laughs Rob.
The thinking behind this car was not about big bhps, it was about reducing the weight, therefore increasing the power to weight ratio. Having said that, Rob has a trip to the Nürburgring pencilled in for later this year and he’s planning on running a new engine by then: “I’ve got my eye on a 2.1-litre stroked engine, which should be good for 550bhp,” he grins.
It takes grande cojones to build a car like this, but we think Rob has proven it takes even bigger round things to drive one. We salute you, Rob, and your carbon-covered masterpiece.
TECH SPEC SUBARU IMPREZA
Custom carbon fibre body consisting of: front wings, front doors, rear doors, rear quarter panels, side skirts, bonnet, boot lid, spoiler and wing mirrors; Chargespeed rear bumper; standard STI front bumper fitted with ABW Time Attack front splitter; Ultra crystal black headlamps, side lamps and indicators; JDM towing eye.
1998cc 4 cylinder turbo; Blitz front mount intercooler, Blitz induction kit, Blitz dump valve, RCM lightweight pulleys, 3-inch Blitz Nur Spec full exhaust system; Simtech ECU; bigger injectors; anti lag launch control; uprated boost control valve; factory fitted 5 speed manual with B&M quick shift and Exedy paddle clutch.
D2 racing coilovers; front and rear strut braces; uprated OMP anti roll bars front and rear and drop links; anti lift kit; uprated alloy lower arms; Quick Rack steering rack; Prodrive Alcon 4pot callipers with 330mm discs and Redstuff pads front, Redstuff pads rear; 8x18inch Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2s; 215/35×18 Toyo Proxes tyres.
Carbon fibre Corbeau Revolution bucket seats; TRS 4-point harnesses; 6-point Cusco rollcage; OMP deep dish steering wheel; 3x dash mounted DEFI gauges; carbon fibre rear bulk head.
Shakespeare County Raceway for letting us do the shoot there; Martin at Paintwork-X for the paintwork; Mark at Thwaites Developments; my boss at R.S. Masons Garage for letting me use the workshop.
Words Slim Jules photos Michael Whitestone