With this version of the WRX STI, Travis Pastrana smashed its competition, winning four championships in the Rally America between 2005 and 2009. Overall, Subaru holds the record for most rally wins with 67 first places, making it the most successful car in the event's history. That's more than twice that of all its competitors combined. Mitsubishi has 13 victories, Ford 8, and Hyundai 3.
Pastrana is the American driver with the most wins, 19, followed by Ken Block with 16 wins. Still, the credits for the most successful rally driver of the event is the British David Higgins, with 26 first places.
The car that you see here is a second-generation Impreza, which was introduced on the market in 2000. When the car was unveiled, the fans were in shock. Its ugly headlights, also known as bug-eye, were far from attractive. Fortunately, Subaru realized its design flaw, and the design team reshaped the entire front fascia. Thus, in 2002, the refreshed Impreza came with new headlamps; that was the blob-eye. But wait, there's more! We don't know if the automaker liked the new nickname or not, and in 2005 the Impreza got a second facelift. This time fans named it hawk-eye. That was better.
The 2006 Impreza WRX STI features more than just a powerful engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Its all-wheel drive system is enhanced by a Driver Controlled Center Differential. This allows the driver to send more or less torque to the front or rear axle, thus improving the car's handling. In addition, it features front and rear limited slip differentials. Thanks to this setup, the car could tackle race tracks and rally stages with the same ease other cars are crawling in a parking lot.
Inside, the WRX STI features sports seats at the front with integrated headrests. While these are not the most comfortable in the world, they really hold their occupants in place during high-speed cornering maneuvers. But the Impreza offers some basic features such as air-conditioning, a sound system, central locking, and power windows on all four. In addition, it can seat four inside without any problems. That was the beauty of an Impreza WRX STI; it could be a family sedan or a fierce contender on a track or a rally stage. The same car.
In the last year, there were many Impreza WRXs sold for $30,000 or less. But you have to keep in mind that those cars were not STIs. They had five-speed manuals and 60 ponies less under the hood. So, these versions don't pop up too often on the market. That's why when they show up, prices are higher than that. So maybe this car won't get into the six-figure range this time, but give it a few years and will get there.
There may be other WRS STIs on the market with similar specs or fewer miles on the clock. But not that many have those athletes' names on the dash. So it doesn't even matter that there is a ding on the left-rear fender, or that this exact vehicle was recalled several times for airbag, or had some other mechanical problems in its past. Since all those insignificant problems can be fixed, these two signatures make this particular example unique.
So, if you want to have this vehicle, you have enough time to talk to your bank since the auction will end on March 18. However, if you want to see the car in person, you should make a trip to Irvine, California, where it is located. The car comes with a clean Carfax report and a clean title in the seller's name.