Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Twenty Two Dream

It's inevitable.  Every car guy (or girl) has a "dream car" that they have pinned inside their garage.  Some love American Muscle from simpler times.  Some go weak in the knees for European Supercars.  Some have that incredibly rare import car that they only made a handful of and are impossible to find.  Yup, you guessed it.  I fall into that last category.

For me, the dream car is a 1998 Subaru Impreza 22B: the widebody rally car for the street built as a celebration car in limited numbers.  With a closed-deck 2.2 liter turbocharged flat four at it's core, boasting a wider stance to make better use of the limited slip differentials supplying power to four gold BBS wheels, in a light and nimble chassis, it's a far cry from the 1st Generation Impreza Coupe that it's built around.  There are reviews upon articles upon videos covering this iconic car all over the internet... so instead of adding to that growing list, I thought I'd explain why I should never have one.

It is here that we come to the separating point of that inevitable "dream car" idea for automotive enthusiasts.  There are those who actively seek out a way to attain and own their beloved car and those who choose to live out their entire life never seeing one, never reaching that point.  I'm in the latter camp with the 22B for several reasons but, above all, it's the conflict I would face if I would own one that would tear my willpower apart at the seams.

Let's say that I somehow managed to track down, purchase, ship, and own my dream car.  I would constantly be teased with the option to drive this piece of Subaru history.  It would be incredibly difficult to fight the urge to drive it all the time.  Then, if I managed to convince myself to drive it, I would be tormented with the idea that something could happen to it.  It would be a sick combination to be so incredibly satisfied with driving it while overwhelmed with the idea of "what if some idiot in a truck runs a stop sign?!?"  "What if a rock chips the paint?"  Even if I attempted to avoid general traffic threats and take it to a closed course or track... what if it breaks?  Where would I get parts?  What if I screw up and hit something?  I can't imagine being able to enjoy the experience with all those worries weighing on me.

That's where my project car comes in.  For me, this car is sort of the best combination of things.  On the one hand, it's something to work on.  This 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Coupe was in rough shape when I got it, but that was the idea.  Get something to work on.  I chose this car not just because it needed work, though.  This car represents the closest thing the US market came to getting the look of the 22B.  It's not the right color, it doesn't have those nice wide fenders, and it's certainly not turbocharged, but I'm not afraid to go out and enjoy driving it.  Whether it's a flowing back road or the rallycross track, this car is getting more fun to drive with each improvement made.  It's rewarding to feel the changes I've made and yet... it still sort of makes me feel like I could be driving a 22B.  Maybe it's because of the blue Version 6 seats.  Maybe it's because there isn't a radio.  This coupe is just enough fun to satisfy my needs while still teasing me of that car that will likely never be for me.  The dream car will remain a dream, and I'm okay with that.  ...for now!

Want to see more of the 22B?  Check out these great reviews and videos below!

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