Subaru Impreza 555 / WRX / WRC as modeled in 1/43 diecast.
Subaru Impreza 555 / WRX
The Subaru Legacy was replaced by the Impreza 555 on the 1993 1000 Lakes Rally, driven by Marku Allen and Ari Vatenan. As the team was sponsored by British American Tobacco's 555 cigarette brand, christening the car the "555" was a novel way of getting around the tobacco advertising laws. Infact it allowed Subaru to run the car on that first event in full 555 livery, on an event which was a non tobacco event. For future events this was not allowed, and the cars ran with the "(((" crescent livery in place of the 555's. The cars also incorporated registration numbers with 555 included on all events, to further promote the brand, especially where tobacco advertising was not allowed. Colin McRae's car was L555BAT, while Carlos Sainz's was L555REP, in allegiance to his Repsol sponsorship. For Coiln McRae's year after winning the World Rally Championship, his car had the registration number N1 WRC.
Trofeu produced the Impreza in the roadcar versions first in 1996, these being model numbers 601-605. To be released during 2001 are the WRX roadcar versions, in various colours, complete with high rear wing and different bonnet vents, this will be 625. Also released in 2001, has been Humberside Police's patrol car, this was 624.
After the road car versions came the first Group N version, model number 606, titled "Presentation Rally Car". The official works teams cars followed soon after. Model 606 was Colin McRae's 1995 Rally of Great Britain car, 608 was Carlos Sainz's 95 Monte Carlo car, and produced in the full 555 colour scheme was 610 which was Carlos Sainz's Portugal 95 car. Last to be produced in 1998 was 622, which was Coiln McRae's 1996 Safari car, complete with bonnet mounted snorkel and roo bar on the front.
The works cars then filtered down to other customers, either through Prodrive's Allstars team or through the many satellite teams such as Ciltisport, Procar, ART, or Futureworld. Trofeu then produced many of these as either catalogue releases or as Code 1 Limited Editions through its regional importers. One of the first teams to run Group A Impreza's was the Crack team in Belgium, the car used by Paul Liater on the 1995 Boucles de Spa was model number 607. Another early user of the car was Englishman Richard Moore, who used L555STJ on the 1995 Motoring News Championship in the UK, this car ran in the livery of St John Ambulance Cadets, was model 618.
The ART team from Italy also had some of the early cars, they ran Pierro Liatti on the 95 Rally Sanremo, this was model 612. They also ran Mikki Biasion on the same event, this was 615. Cesar Baroni used a Motornet sponsored car on the 96 Monte Carlo, this was model number 614. Frenchman Bernard Beguin used a Ciltisport car on the same event, that was model 612. Prodrive's Allstar team ran the 1997 European Champion during that year, Holowicz's Stomoil sponsored car was 621. This was the first of Trofeu's cars to have the new high rear spoiler in place.
Group N Impreza's were also the cars to be competing in, long before the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO's were the ones to have. Trofeu's Group N models were slightly different castings to the usual Group A cars. The twin roof vents were omitted, the early versions did not have the rear spoiler, and they had the road car door mirrors. Japanese driver Kamioka used a Fujistubo sponsored car on Rally Portugal 95, this was model number 609. The late Roger Clark used an Impreza for the 1995 Network Q Rally of Great Britain, this was model 611. The Tein Shock absorbers sponsored car used on the Rally Indonisia was modeled as car 616. On the British scene, Steve Petch used an Impreza for the the National Series , this was model 617.Two gems were then produced by Trofeu, these were the Group N Safari Rally cars, complete with beautiful decals, roobars, extra spot lamps, these are pictured above. Model 619 was the Sportsman Cigarettes car from the 1994 event, while the 555/Casio car from the 1995 event was 620.
|606||))) Cigarettes||4 -Network Q - 95|
|607||Crack||Boucles De Spa 95|
|608||))) Cigarettes||5 -Monte Carlo - 95|
|609|| Fujistubo||Portugal - 95|
|610||555 Cigarettes||Portugal - 95|
|611||Subaru UK||72 - Network Q 95|
|612||Esso Ultron||6-Sanremo 95|
|613||Igol||4-Monte Carlo 96|
|614||Motornet||11-Monte Carlo 96|
|616||Tein Sport||16-Indonesia 96|
|617||SG Petch||82-Malcolm Wilson|
|618||St John Ambulance||Manx 95|
|619||Sportsman Cigarettes||5-Safari 94|
|620||Casio / 555||9-Safari 95|
|621||StomOil||15-Network Q 97|
|622||555 Cigarettes||1-Safari 96|
|623||Autosport||48- Network Q 98|
|624||Humberside Police||Police Car|
Code 1 Limited Editions
These are probably some of the more exclusive of the Trofeu Impreza's. These have all been produced for the Trofeu Importer in each country, to sell to their market, and often not available elsewhere. Many of these can be ordered via this web site, please check out the model shop area for more details. In some instances only 150 of each model have been produced. The model numbers are official Trofeu numbers, and the first three letters represent the initials of the importer the model was produced for. Many of these are photographed on the Promotional Page, click HERE to have a look.
Belgium These were prefixed HOM, in respect of Homble the Belgium Importer. Belgium preparation company Futureworld purchased two new Impreza's to hire out during 1997, these were P227 & P228JWL. These were debuted on the 1997 24hrs Ypres Rally. Bruno Thiry ran, in a Winfield cigarettes sponsored car on that event, this was modeled as HOM01. The same cars were still in use competing in the 1999 Belgian Championship, Bernard Munster used a VERGOKAN sponsored car on that years Boucles De Spa event, this was HOM02. Patrick Sniyers used a PLUMYA sponsored car on the Hautes Fagnes Rally, this was HOM03.
Germany These models are pre fixed FIS. The first release was FIS01, a Subaru Impreza 2.0RX blue roadcar, left hand drive with German registration plates, this was limited to 160 models. The Group N rallycar sponsored by Autosauer, and used in the German Rally championship was released in 2000, this was FIS06, and limited to 140 models. Other FIS models have been released, these are covered in a later article, as they are all Impreza WRC's.
Holland These models are prefixed REP, in respect of Replicars the Dutch Importer. These have commissioned the most models of all the importers, including Toyota Celica's and MK1 Escorts, which can be viewed on other pages on this site.They have mostly produced Impreza WRC's. There sole production has been REP10, this is an orange WRX, as used at the Assen TT Circuit as a Pace car during the Dutch Motorcycle TT race, and sponsored by Rizla / 555 cigarettes.
Portugal These models are prefixed MP, in respect of Minipartes. Early MP editions are re decaled Solido Escort Cosworths. There first production was MP105, the Procar run, Alem Mar sponsored car used by Alistair McRae on Azores 97. The Prodrive Allstars team ran Rui Madeira on Rally Portugal 99, sponsored by Galp, this was MP106. Skoda Octavia WRC driver for 2000, Luis Climent used a Ciltisport Impreza on Portugal 99, sponsored by Valencia, this was MP107. Australian, Michael Guest debuted his Group N Impreza on the same rally, sponsored by Winfield Cigarettes, this, complete with new WRC style rear wing was MP108.
Italy These models are prefixed MIN, in respect of La Miniminiera. These have produced Celica's, Impreza WRC's and only one 555 version. This was the Procar run, Bulgari sponsored car used on the Mille Miglia 97 by Andrea Dallavilla, and was MIN 01. Another company, Slower Model cars produced two limited edition runs of 100 cars each of the following, pre fixed SM. These were Possum Bourne's Australia 96 car, model SM03. Also, SM02, the Procar run, Fruilair Dryers car of C. Dececco, as used on Rally Ciiocchetto 96. These two cars were Code 2 versions, as they came as a kit, to be assembled by the purchaser and decals to be added also.
France Just one release here, prefixed COF, in respect of Cofradis. They modeled the car used by Simon Jean Joseph on the French Championship during 1998. The car was sponsored by Martinique and was the one he used on the Rallye Du Var in that year. This was model COF01.
Transkits These are after market decals added to the Trofeu base model to produce even more variants in liveries and rallies entered. There are upwards of 30 different versions available at present, check out the shop section of this site to see what is available.
KMD Models They produce models of cars used on the Irish Tarmac Championship, based on Trofeu and Vitesse models. These are classed as Code 3 models. To date they have produced two Impeza's. There first was of the last Group A Impreza ever built by Prodrive, this was R555FEL, the silver, "Toughmac" sponsored car driven by the late Bertie Fisher on the Circuit of Ireland 98. This was limited to 50 models. Their second was the "Cuisine de France" car used by Andrew Nesbitt on Donegal 99. 100 of this was produced, of which 50 went to the cars sponsor, the remaining 50 were available to the public. Both of these cars were sold out along time ago, and especially the Bertie Fisher car are highly sought after. Pictures can be found by clicking HERE .
Subaru Impreza WRC
New regulations were introduced for the 1997 season, which allowed the manufacturers greater freedom on modifications. Subaru introduced their WRC on the 1997 Monte Carlo Rally, which was subsequently won by Pierro Liatti. Trofeu have so far produced three slightly different castings of the Impreza WRC, updating it as Subaru changed their WRC each season. The first casting had the twin roof vents, and spotlamps mounted in the front spoiler. Trofeu's first model was the car used to win that Monte Carlo Rally in 1997, that was 1102. Mcrae's Safari winning car of 97, complete with roobar and snorkel , was 1103. There after followed Colin McRae's Network Q winning car of 1997, that was 1104. Also appeared was 1105, his Portugal 98 winning car.
A few of the semi works teams utilized the same casting also. German Team Holzer GmBH ran German Champion Armin Kremer in a Net sponsored car on the 1998 Monte Carlo Rally, this was 1107. The Russian Champion of that same year, Serge Uspenskiy, had his car modeled, that was 1108. The country with the highest quota of Subaru WRC's is Italy, with teams such as ART, Procar, and Airmont Racing running cars for many "gentlemen drivers". One of ART's WRC's was used by Andrea Dallavilla on his home event, Sanremo 98, this has yet to be released, but should be 1108. Belgian driver, Gregoire De Mevius used, P100ALL, a Belgacom sponsored car run by Prodrive's Allstar's team on selected WRC events in 1998. This model is TR 1109.
Midway through the 1998 season Subaru's had a centre mounted air scoop in the middle of the roof, Trofeu's casting was modified to reflect this, also the spotllamps were covered over, which made the model more accurate. First Trofeu model to appear was 1111, the car used by Juha Kankkunen to come second on Monte Carlo 99. Others from the season followed, 1112 was Burns' Acropolis 99, 1113 was Kankkunen's Argentina 99, 1114 was Kankkunen's Finland 99, 1115 was Burns' Australia 99 and 1116 Network Q 99.
Many of the semi works teams, also had the roof vent changed for the new season. The Panizzi brothers were leading the 99 Monte Carlo Rally for quite a few stages in their Impreza, using P100 ALL again, which had been sold to Cilti Sport. This was 1110.
The new Impreza for the 2000 season was debuted by Prodrive, and subsequently won Portugal 99. It had many new internal modifications, but visually a new rear spoiler, different bonnet vents, and an updated front end. This was christened the P2000. Trofeu's models changed again to reflect this change. Models produced were 1117-Burns Portugal 00, 1118-Burns Safari 00, 1119-Burns Argentina 00, and 1120-Burns Network Q 00. During 2001, Andrea Aghini used a Procar run /API sponsored P2000 on the Italian Championship, the car he used on the Rally Piancavallo was modelled as TR1121.
WRC 2001 / 44S
New for the 2001 season was the new shaped Impreza WRC 2001 or the 44S as it was originally known. This was debuted on that years Monte Carlo Rally in the hands of Burns, Martin and Solberg. IXO models produced this model during mid 2001, model number RAM01 was Richard BurnĂs car, and RAM05 Marko MartinĂs car. Also produced was a special Promotional Version, in special packaging, of Richard BurnĂs Portugal 01 winning car, this was PRO 4.
Code 1 Limited Editions
Holland As before, these are all pre fixed REP. The first of the WRC releases was the Michelin sponsored car that Bert De Jong used on the the Dutch series in 1998, and limited to 1000 models, this was REP 05. Futureworld of Belgium had one of the first private WRC's, this was P10 WRC, and was debuted by Bruno Thiry on the 1997 Condroz event sponsored by WINFIELD, this model is available as a transkit. It appeared in the updated WINFIELD livery on Catalunya 98 and also Condroz 98 amongst others. The same red WRC had CRACK sponsorship by the time it was used on the Tour of Flanders by Paul Liater, this was modeled as REP 07. It had changed colour to black, again run by Futureworld, but now in TEXACO colours and driven by Gabby Guedezene on the Rally of Luxemberg, this was REP 08. Patrick Sniyers was out on the 2000 24hrs Ypres Rally in another WRC, this was REP11.
Germany As before,these are prefixed FIS. Many of German Champion, Armin Kremer's WRC have been produced. Different to the normal catalogue release, FIS02 was the NET sponsored car used on the Rally Sumara, this was limited to 300 models. FIS03 was the orange NORISBANK sponsored car used during the 1999 season. The car used on the Castrol Rally was FIS04, this came as a limited and numbered with a special base plate, as a promotional item for Norisbank. The 2000 car was again sponsored by NORISBANK, and that was issued as FIS 07.
An interesting Russian WRC was produced as FIS05, this white car was sponsored by ITERIA, complete with Monte Carlo Rally plates, and the competition number 1. There is also a twin boxed Russian set due to be produced soon, assumed to be FIS08, this will contain a blue WRC and a white WRC both sponsored by ITERIA. Photo's will appear on this web site as soon as we get them !
Belgium As before, these are prefixed HOM. Only one WRC produced for this market, that used by Bruno Thiry on the 1999 Monte Carlo Rally, this was HOM04.
Portugal As before, these are prefixed MP. Luis Climent used a Ciltisport hired WRC on the 1999 Rally Catalunya, this was modeled a MP109. Also produced by the same company, as part of their Rally of Portugal Winners series, for the Auto Club Portugal, with a special carboard sleave and baseplate, was Colin McRae's winning WRC from 1998, complete with 555 livery.
Italy As before, these are prefixed MIN. The ART run car used by Andrea Davellia, and sponsored by Q8 / Bulgari on the 1999 Mille Miglia was produced as MIN06. Another Italian team, Aimont Racing had taken delivery of one of the ex Allstar cars, P200 ALL, this was used by Franco Cunico, on the Rally Il Ciochetto in 1999, and this was MIN07.
Prodrive They have had a number of special promotional versions produced, these are usually standard models with special baseplates and cardboard packaging. Although these are not officially numbered, we shall list them as PRO 01 etc. The first was produced in 1999, the model was that of Richard Burns' Acropolis winning car of 99, the base plate had the signatures of Burns & Reid tampo printed on, and the packaging was in Subaru colours, with the legend, to "Celebrate Subaru's 25th Rally win in Greece". This was limited to 4000 models worldwide, this was PRO 01. Produced in 2000, to celebrate Subaru's 1st and 2nd on the 1999 Rally of Great Britain, was a special twin box set, the first that Trofeu have produced. Again, the base plate had the signatures printed on it, the model was also numbered xxxx of 2500 models produced. The two cars were that used by Richard Burns to win the event, and that of Juha Kankkunen to come second. This was PRO2. Released in February 2001, was the third in this series, again in special packaging, this was the car used by Richard Burns to win the 2000 Network Q Rally of Great Britain.
KMD models, these are Code 3 special editions and available for sale via this web site, were the following WRCĂs, Andrew Nesbit ¦Cuisine De France˛, Hugh Martin Doherty ¦Keystone Lintels˛, and Maurice GassĂ Lurgan Park 2001 car.
Our own model series, GB01 Subaru Impreza WRC 99 ¦Sunseeker Powerboats˛, this was limited to 50 models, and is now sold out. Our second, GB02 Subaru Impreza WRC 2000 ¦JIGSAW˛, this was limited to 30 models.