Famous constructor of rally and race cars now authenticates, certifies and restores
It’s not likely to be a cash cow to rival the more advanced and sophisticated Italian operations, but rally nexus Prodrive has launched its own authentification, certification, restoration and support scheme. The Banbury outfit – a rare sight to lift enthusiasts’ spirits as they trudge up the M40 breathing in brewery smells – says Prodrive Legends is a response to ballooning demand from owners for the provenance of past Prodrive cars to be verified.
While that might seem daft to people who have seen just a handful of Prodrive cars competing at the highest level, the truth is that the company has ‘built’ more than 1100 rally weapons over the past 35 years. These include 700 Subaru rally cars, including nearly 100 Impreza and Legacy Group A machines and 160 Impreza World Rally Cars. In the 1980s Prodrive also built nearly 40 BMW E30 M3s and, more recently, almost 50 Aston Martin racing cars based on the DB9 and a further 180 on the previous-generation Vantage.
The company acknowledges that with ever more championships catering for its cars, plus a huge hike in values thanks both to that and the increased interest in rally cars with significant history, the service is probably overdue.
It is not just about rallying. Although the World Championships for Richard Burns, Colin McRae and Petter Solberg remain prominent, Prodrive has constructed or prepared cars from Porsche’s 911 SC RS to the latest Aston Martin Vantage GT racers. It has scooped World Sports Car and Le Mans titles with Aston Martin and Ferrari, plus British Touring Car Championships with BMW and Ford.
The programme, which covers only Prodrive vehicles, includes a fixed-price authentication service, factory-spec engine rebuilds and whole-vehicle work, from servicing and race preparation to ground-up restorations. All these operations, including chassis, engine, transmission and bodyshell preparation, will be carried out in-house in Banbury.
Paul Howarth, head of motorsport operations, says: ‘Many of these cars are now appreciating classics with immense value to their passionate owners. With the formation of Prodrive Legends, owners can now bring the cars home to the same company – and even many of the same people – who originally designed and built them and took them to multiple wins.
‘We have all the original build data and we also hold the rights to reproduce key parts. Sourcing genuine components that are notoriously hard to find doesn’t pose an issue for us, thanks to the network of contacts we have established since the early 1980s.’ See www.prodrive.com for more.
Above and below: Services include competition engine rebuilds to factory specification; Prodrive built many race cars for Aston Martin.