It was a fairly unexpected find at the Syresham Sports and Social Club near Brackley, England on Sunday. But there it was. The car Colin McRae dreamed of. His very own McRae R4.
BGMsport has recently carried out some work on the car and when the firm’s owner Ian Gwynne decided to take a selection of cars along to Suhnday’s Syresham Classic and Modern Car Show, the Northamptonshire town found itself under the full glare of global rallying scrutiny.
“The response to the cars being there has been phenomenal,” Gwynne told DirtFish. “I think it’s easy to forget that people haven’t seen these cars for a long time. We were supposed to have been at really big, important events like Rallyday and Goodwood, but it just hasn’t been possible so far with coronavirus.
“When the Syresham event came up, it was a fantastic chance just to get out and see some people and show some cars again. We’ve been doing some work with the McRae family’s cars and they were delighted for us to show the R4, which was the car Colin designed and built to his own specification.”
In addition to the R4, there were further cars driven by Colin McRae, including the Group A Subaru Legacy RS, Ford Focus RS WRC and Subaru Impreza WRC97. Alongside those was the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth Jimmy McRae used to win the 1989 Tour of Britain and a factory Vauxhall Chevette HSR.
“The cars really caught the imagination,” said Gwynne. “There were plenty of people there on Sunday – all socially distanced and being very sensible.
“I’m not sure how many of the locals knew too much about the cars on show, especially just how special the R4 is – I think this is the first time it’s been seen in public in about five years. But the response we’ve had to the social media from the show has been amazing.
“It’s an absolutely privilege to work on cars like these.”
In addition to the cars from days past, DirtFish owner Steve Rimmer’s Ford Fiesta R5 also graced the display.
Ex-McRae machinery will be back on display in Oxfordshire at next weekend’s Classic Car Weekend, a three-day event based at Bicester Heritage.