July 3, 2022

‘You’ve ruined that.’ A phrase folks generally say after they see modified examples of uncommon vehicles. These folks want to search out out the total story earlier than they decide although, as Gary Krakow’s bagged Impreza P1 demonstrates…

Function from Quick Automotive. Phrases: Dan Bevis. Photographs: Dan Sherwood

Some vehicles are untouchable. Or so folks would have you ever consider. That’s what makes it a lot enjoyable whenever you see among the outrageously mischievous builds which were doing the rounds in recent times. Some are outraged, however others respect the house owners who’ve the balls to shake issues up. Construct vehicles only for the hell of it, we are saying. Embrace the hate, no f**ks given. And that’s just about the reception that Gary Krakow’s Impreza receives when he rolls up at reveals and airs it out.

Yep, you heard. It’s a real Impreza P1, and it’s bagged. Within the infamously nitpicky world of Subaru fans, that is tantamount to drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa. ‘Sacrilegious!’ they cry, choking on their very own rage. However we disagree. We’re extra inclined to take the view of Homer Simpson, peeling the waffle from the ceiling that he’s been praying to love a god, and beginning to nibble on it. ‘I do know I shouldn’t eat thee,’ he says, ‘however… mmm, sacri-licious!’

So why are folks so irritated about this concept? Nicely, to grasp the place the swells of rage are rolling in from, it’s vital to grasp simply what a revered and iconic factor the Impreza P1 is. This was the second special-edition Impreza to be launched in 1999, the primary being the much-admired RB5 – a four-door celebration of Richard Burns becoming a member of the works rally crew. The P1, with notably fewer doorways, was extra of a Prodrive undertaking than a Subaru one; Prodrive being the outfit who developed the vehicles for the smoky crucible of World Rally Championship adventures, after they put their title to a automobile it actually means one thing. Celebrating an period when two British drivers took Imprezas to rally victory – Richard Burns and Colin McRae – it was eminently becoming {that a} British tuning agency ought to develop this factory-sanctioned mannequin variant. It got here with distinctive physique addenda, anthracite OZ Racing alloys, and a much more aggressive throttle response than the usual Turbo mannequin. The P1 ran 20mm decrease on Eibach springs, mixing Turbo ARBs with STI shocks, and Prodrive supplied a giant Alcon brake improve into the cut price. This, then, was the primary two-door Impreza formally on sale within the UK (other than the hen’s-teeth 22B, after all), which may run from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and go on to 155mph. It’s a bona fide proposition for traders and collectors as we speak, and enthusiastic drivers are climbing over one another to get their palms on the few that stay.

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After which Gary rolls up together with his closely modified instance, belligerently rolling on gangsta wheels and air-ride. You’ll be able to see why the rally-jackets are irritated.

However life’s too brief for all that nonsense. You solely reside as soon as, proper? You’ve received to make your self completely happy, construct your automobile for you, that’s the true path to enlightenment. Different folks’s opinions are seldom well worth the spittle they sail out on.

Bagged Impreza P1

‘I’ve all the time been closely into vehicles, from a really younger age,’ Gary explains. ‘My first automobile was a Vauxhall Calibra that I modified; in actual fact I modded it to such an extent that it ended up being featured in Complete Vauxhall journal, it was the primary Calibra to have Lambo doorways.’ Crikey. That may be a robust begin. Not many individuals can boast that their first automobile was a characteristic automobile and, whereas Lambo doorways have handed out of vogue nowadays, you’ve received to admire the dearth of concern in rolling up his sleeves and making radical adjustments.

‘I’d additionally all the time needed a P1,’ he continues, getting right down to brass tacks. ‘10 years in the past I lastly determined to chunk the bullet and fulfil the dream. I needed to journey up and down the nation for weeks looking for the correct one! However after I ultimately got here throughout this one, I discovered it to be straight and authentic, in good clear situation.’

Bagged Impreza P1

In order that was that, then? A dream fulfilled, a field ticked, the tip of the story? Er, no, not fairly. You see, whereas Gary was enormously completely happy together with his buy, and completely having fun with racing about within the limited-edition Subaru he’d all the time coveted, issues got here to a crashing halt in a really literal sense.

‘Round 5 months in the past, the automobile was very near being a write-off,’ he grimaces. ‘Somebody crashed into the rear quarter and the boot – I used to be devastated! It took numerous looking out to trace down a real rear quarter panel to restore it, and I ultimately situated one in Hungary and needed to have it shipped over… I couldn’t miss out on it, it was certainly one of solely two left in existence!’

Bagged Impreza P1

By this level, understandably, Gary had grown fairly connected to his P1, and the shock of practically shedding it should have triggered one thing primal and radical deep down in his unconscious. He was hastily gripped by a tenacious and irrepressible want to show the automobile into one thing completely different, one thing mould-breaking, an actual middle-finger to the fickle whims of destiny. The cosmos had tried to destroy his Impreza, and he actually wasn’t going to take any of that kind of nonsense; he meant to throw the very idea of destiny proper again within the face of the universe itself by constructing a P1 like no different. A P1 to show heads. The primary bagged Impreza P1 in Europe.

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Whenever you view the thought course of from that angle, it does make fairly extra sense, does it not? Naturally the automobile needed to be bent again into the proper form first after all, and the standard of the curves and shutlines is a real testomony to what a superb job has been carried out, with Jeff Dragon laying down that iconic blue paint – you’d by no means guess it had taken a sizeable clout within the rear, would you? And with all the things straightened and realigned, it was time to tweak the nips of destiny and get these baggage down. Gary opted for a {custom} AirREX system with double baggage and full camber adjustability, and whereas he had the factor aside he took the chance to resume all of the bushes with sturdier polyurethane gadgets. ‘It took limitless hours and cash to get it to the image I had in my thoughts,’ he says, however it was price all of the heartache, proper? Seeing the two-door aired out on the ground appears gloriously obscene – a glance which is exponentially accentuated by these chunky 19in Bola B11 wheels, and the best way they tuck into the arches is classy. Additionally they do a fairly stellar job of displaying off these tasty brakes!

Bagged Impreza P1

It will arguably be an train in crassness to throw rims and air-ride at a inventory automobile (even one as racy as a P1) and simply depart it at that. However concern not, as Gary’s spent greater than slightly time tinkering below the bonnet too. ‘I carried out all of the mechanical work myself,’ he explains. ‘It was mapped by Graham Duncan, rolling-roaded at PK Motorsport.’ And the spec is admittedly fairly spectacular: the construct centres round a 2.5-litre block, with myriad porting and sprucing, quick street cams, CP pistons and Manley rods, a completely reworked fuelling system, and a crafty ECU that runs varied maps for any given driving state of affairs – monitor, avenue, strip, you title it. Simply so as to add to the visible drama of all of it, the exhaust rocks a mighty flamer equipment, which is a helpful little bit of theatre when a part of your mapping contains anti-lag and launch management. This, then, is a really severe construct certainly. So when adenoidal geeks faucet Gary on the shoulder and say ‘Er, I don’t consider you need to have carried out that…’ he’s in a position to toast their polyester turn-ups together with his mighty pipe. C’mon now, it’s all a little bit of enjoyable. Severe enjoyable, however enjoyable nonetheless.

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Gary’s not carried out with the efficiency angle both. ‘The longer term plan is to construct it up with an actual monster engine,’ he grins, with a twinkle in his eye. And there’s a really clear cause why he’s so decided to persevere with this mighty construct, it doesn’t matter what nature could throw at it. No, it’s not merely that it’s the automobile he’s all the time dreamed of, or that it’s the automobile he rescued from near-oblivion – it’s one thing much more private. ‘The explanation this automobile means a lot to me, and why I needed to construct it again up, was as a result of my son, Taylor, was born within the automobile. I delivered him myself, proper there within the bagged Impreza P1.’

Emotional ties don’t come any beefier than that, do they? Sooner or later Gary intends to move the automobile right down to his son, to finish the ouroboros circle of life and let him drive round within the very venue that first introduced him into this world. However earlier than that, haters be damned, Gary’s received a number of years during which to take pleasure in his polarising creation. Sacrilege? No matter. It’s the automobile he needs it to be, and that’s precisely what it must be.

Tech Spec: Bagged Impreza P1


2.5-litre, 4-cyl, 16v EJ25 boxer block, semi-closed, ported and polished heads, quick street cams, ported inlet manifold, CP pistons, Manley rods, APR bolts, 1.6mm Cosworth head gaskets, Equal gasoline rails, Fuelab stress regulator, Roger Clark gasoline pump, GT-spec headers, Blitz full decat chrome steel exhaust system, flamer equipment, Alcatek ECU with 6-switch operating 450.2 PK dyno-able maps, launch management, anti-lag, SC46 turbo with larger inlet housing, Turbosmart Megasonic dump valve, giant Nismo radiator and followers, Mocal 19-row oil cooler, sandwich plate, 3-port increase solenoid, JSP silicone hoses, 850cc lateral injectors, chrome engine bay trims, front-mount intercooler


5-speed handbook with R180 driveshafts and rear diff, 5-paddle quick street clutch and lightened flywheel, stronger stress plate


AirREX air-ride system with double-custom baggage and camber-adjust, Powerflex bushes, STI Prodrive strut brace


Prodrive Alcon 4-pot entrance calipers with 330mm discs, 2-pot rear calipers with 330mm discs


8.5x19in ET40 Bola B11 wheels with 225/30/19 tyres


Prodrive P1 seats, Security Gadgets 6-point rollcage, Kenwood DVD head unit, auxiliary gauge pod


Air consumption headlight, bigger bonnet vent, Prodrive consumption, STI clear mild lenses, 1000K HID bulbs, entrance splitter lip