The 25 year import rule has a way of shaping US car culture. It says that you can have almost anything you want if you’re willing to wait long enough. Now, you can even have yourself the legendary Subaru 22B… as long as you can afford one, that is.
One example of Subaru’s most prized rally car has already crossed the auction block at Bring a Trailer. As per the auction listing, the car was #135 of just 400 units built for the Japanese market, not counting the extra 24 models Subaru built for export. Interestingly, it made it to the US early. The 1998 model was shipped over by a dealer in 2021 under a “show and display” exemption, prior to the usual 25 year time limit.
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The 22B is often considered the most desirable Subaru model ever built. The two-door rally special was manufactured with a 3-inch wider body, and scored a higher-displacement 2.2-liter turbo engine good for 276 horsepower. Power is sent to all four wheels via the 22B’s 5-speed manual gearbox and an electronically adjustable center differential. The special edition also scored unique panels for the hood, fender, and bumper, and the rear spoiler, too. Other fruit included the uprated Bilstein suspension and those golden 17-inch wheels.
This example sold for $226,000 with 115,000 miles on the clock. That’s a lofty figure, though not the highest we’ve seen. An example in the UK sold for $370,000 back in 2020, and for good reason. It had just 271 miles on the clock, having been barely driven since it was built in 1998.
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These high prices have inspired copycat and replica models, some of which are even more expensive than the original. Prodrive will build you an exquisite 22B of its own imagining for $565,000, albeit with a mighty 400 horsepower. Cusco has also built its own replica, which is expected to be significantly cheaper if your pocketbook can’t stretch so far.
With so few built and so many chasing after them, getting your hands on a Subaru 22B isn’t easy. At the very least, though, now they’re 25 years old, there’s one less hurdle to getting one into the United States. Happy hunting!
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