How much will this ex-Ken Block rally car go for?

Bring a Trailer | Jrsgarage541

Though he was primarily known for the high-flying, tire-roasting antics of his Gymkhana stunt driving videos, Ken Block frequently competed in high-level rallying, too. Block, who passed away in a tragic snowmobile accident early last year, took the green flag at plenty of national and international rally events over the course of his racing career.

Now, one of his early rally cars is up for auction on Bring a Trailer.

The car in question is a 2004 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS, which the listing says was used by Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino in X Games rally events. The car was prepared for Open Class rallying specifications in 2006 by Vermont SportsCar (VSC), the longstanding technical partner of Subaru of America, which supports the automaker’s factory-backed rallying program.

In the hands of VSC, this thing underwent quite a transformation. The 2.5-liter flat-four was ditched in favor of a smaller-displacement (2.0-liter), turbocharged unit, again of the flat-four variety. The engine is paired with a KAPS five-speed dog-box manual transmission (read: straight-cut gears and no synchros) that sends power to all four wheels via a driver-controlled center differential and Cusco limited-slip front and rear differentials. The engine runs a MoTeC M880 ECU, a GReddy aluminum radiator and intercooler, and a SPAL cooling fan. A Prodrive 34mm Turbo restrictor is also noted; this was likely fitted to ensure the car’s compliance with contemporary rallying specifications.

Suspension hardware includes Öhlins shock absorbers, as well as rear suspension links and 20-mm front and rear antiroll bars from Cusco. You’ll find 15-inch Speedline Corse wheels wearing 215/65 BFGoodrich tires at all four corners, and a full-size spare in the trunk. All of the braking hardware has been upgraded as well, and there’s a Tilton bias adjuster inside the cockpit to fine-tune the car’s behavior when stopping.

That cockpit also features Recaro racing seats, Sabelt six-point harnesses, a roll cage, carbon-fiber dashboard and door panels, and more. The seller does note that the seat and harness certifications have expired, however, so if you want to battle the clock at your nearest rally event, you’ll likely have to pony up for new chairs and belts.

According to the Carfax report that accompanies this listing, the car sustained water damage in 2005, resulting in it being declared a total loss. (That incident is probably what qualified it for conversion to rally car, but we can’t say for certain.) Currently, the car’s Oregon title carries a Reconstructed brand, and previous salvage and no-actual mileage titles were issued in 2005 by New Hampshire and in 2006 by Vermont. While those documentation obstacles will likely make it hard to legalize the car for everyday road use in some states, this Subie might be the perfect candidate for your next ride if you’re looking to get into or are already serious about competing in rallying.

Win the auction, and you’ll get a build book detailing the car’s specifications that has been autographed by co-driver Alex Gelsomino. The car also carries the autographs of Ken Block and Travis Pastrana, both X-Games and rallying legends.

So just what will this thing hammer for when the auction wraps up next Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. ET? As of this writing, the leading bid sits at $46,250. This question is a bit more complex, owing to the car’s connection with one of rallying’s modern-day heroes. Will Ken Block’s ownership push the value of this thing sky-high? Probably not, but the connection could be worth some extra money to certain bidders.

We also have to take into account that this is not an official World Rally Cross (WRC) car, which is a knife that cuts two ways: On the one hand, it is not a bleeding-edge dirt missile that will rebel against all but the best pilots. Even if you’re a moderately skilled driver, you could get plenty out of this thing around a rally stage. On the other hand, those WRC cars are by far the most sought-after from this generation of the sport; we’ve seen WRC Imprezas of similar vintage sell for £610K (nearly $765K USD). While this one’s connection to Ken Block will certainly add to its appeal, don’t go holding your breath for a new rally-car record.

 

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