Subaru has always had a thing for limited-edition models…and for only selling them in Japan. Hold court among any group of devoted Subie-philes and the ’98 22B will be near the top of their unicorn list. The car is a birthday party on four wheels and a rolling championship celebration, as it honors the automaker’s 40th anniversary and its WRC championship three-peat spanning 1995, 1996, and 1997.
In true Subaru fashion, the 22B was an exclusive engagement, with 400 JDM versions, 16 UK exports, five for the Land Down Under, and three prototypes for a total run of 424. The 22B featured a full wide-fender body, World Rally Blue paint, gold wheels, and a serious EJ series powerplant. We’re talking about an EJ20 punched out to 2.2L and fitted with forged internals, a bigger, better-flowing turbo, and more aggressive tuning. This combo was rated at the gentlemen agreed 280 hp, but the car’s spirited 4.5-second 0-to-60-mph time doesn’t jive…there were quite a few more ponies in the corral…more like 320.
Blair Davis likes unicorns, but since 22Bs are hard to come by in the wild, he built his own. Blair put authenticity above all else, and the results are stunning. His 22B journey began with a stripped-down, bare shell a friend had abandoned. “I wanted to do a little bit 22B and a little bit WRC—a smooth mixture of both of those worlds,” Blair says.
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