Larry Chen: The World’s Top Subaru 22B and GC8 Restoration Shop: Ali Burrows Motorsport Video

Reading Time: 20 minutes
Posted: 2023-10-16 15:00:43
Author: Larry Chen
Many thanks to Ali Burrows for the tour!

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Larry Chen Video Transcript

What the come here oh Buddy look this is a 2014 technically it’s a group end subar it’s mainly used on gravel you don’t know this is cool for us or maybe you don’t realize it stage rally and rally cross is not that big in America you know it’s just not Travis P Kem block

And all these big names athletes tried their best to make it popular in the US but for whatever reason it never took off but as car enthusiasts We Love Stage rally and like this to me is so cool that that is basically classed here more

Or less group in it’s sort of as basic cars you get yes the suspension and big brakes AP Brakes Old in Stampers stuff and a Hing dog box but that’s basically all the rules for group in I call this my dirty area this is all my machines

For Blas ovens for part cting Aqua blaster parts washers and then look at all these manif Falls there you have yeah this is crazy there’s so many of them and then are these off like all of the cars that you’re restoring right now no what happens is I think you’re

Familiar with the red wrinkled paint on a manifold yeah well it’s very very hard to get and I have managed to trace it in Japan from the factory that supplies Subaru so what happens is more or less if you want a manifold if you storing a car and you want an original looking

Manifold I’m sort of the only person can paint it for you cuz I’m the only person with the pain most of the subas that I see it’s already kind of like deteriorating or like peeling yep yeah so like I’ve driven 122 be the one that

I’ve seen in the us and it’s pretty much completely gone all the red yeah so it just doesn’t last very long huh all over the world should we do Australia New Zealand America I’ve sent I mean this this is just like a bare almost like a

Brand new one huh on your ordinary what we call a UK car it comes this color just aluminum color and then we paint them to suit so normally I keep a I’ll show you but I have a batch of them sitting ready to post out to people so

Then you actually paint Here Yeah by yourself like you actually spray it I will have have a guy comes and pants for me here he I get a batch ready for him and he comes and pants four or five at a time that’s so cool you got some skid

Plates here you have some Transmissions that you’re working on here this this is all stuff sort of left to be rebuilt but it’s just it’s in the queue so which is a couple of years long at the minute this is so crazy and then you’re rebuilding some brakes here too yeah the

Question is how did you come to specialize in subu just started working on the first time I started working in Subaru was we went to Pro dve in England and stripped a brand new car to be turned into a rally here you were working at Pro no a

Customer here wanted a car so Pro Drive had they supplied donor cars we went to England two pro drive stripped the car they put in their cage and done all the stuff the safety stuff to the shell and then we got the shell back painted it and built the car that was in

1994 from from that of so 29 years working at them can we take a look at the alignment rack area so you you basically help people from all over the world restore their 22bs d below us if you go and Google anybody asks need parts for 22b

My name comes up first so down below me here is full of 22b parts so all rare stuff in in here as well but so did you ever oh my goodness this is manifolds that I have all sitting with the proper crinkle paint ready to be posted out to

Customers when when they purchase them so then do did you ever go to Japan to get any of these parts just internet just sit for hours and hours and hours on the internet so crazy I mean because realistically the 202b there’s just only a certain amount of things

That make it special versus the regular WRX right I’m assuming the fenders are probably the hardest fenders yeah uhhuh and does that mean like yes theer liners are different liners are different yes cuz they have to be bigger yeah which are I I actually they come in two parts they

Come in this up and over and then they come down to the front of the bumper and turn this way the front one I have loads of them these I don’t have so do you have to reproduce some of these I need to do that I haven’t done this yet but I

Need to because I sell the bottom L shipped one but this one here people ask me all the time for them but I just don’t have any because it’s not so much about them being restored now you’re supplying to a lot of trivia cars too

Right yes got it and so what are these uh front panels just your latching panel radiator panel at the front that’s different than the regular it’s all the same but you can’t get it anymore so I have about 30 sets of it there so it’s no longer there loads of Parts no longer

Available I mean the thing also is what is this probably the only wind screen left for uh Subaru I have tried to buy these and I bought three of them and that’s the last one there’s no more available that I can find oh my gosh the thing that blows me

Away is I mean you know the prices of 22 PS are just so insane now yeah Karan was telling me that he sold one for 26,000 y probably 10 years ago yeah yeah that’s basically free yep and now you would probably have to pay £26,000 for something like this well not not just

Quite but the see everything like see these they they’re different on the 22b I get them re reproduced from the actual from the genuine one no I I have a I have a machine shop who makes me these oh in Northern Island yeah I actually sell quite a lot of them so and

There’s oh that and that’s the full like a full real quarter P Quarter paddle and then what happen was it’s very hard to get wheel rims for them yeah so that’s an original no I got these reproduced I got a 100 of these myself and a friend of

Mine got a 100 of these reproduced that is so cool you know I love the this though because if you’re not going to do this who’s going to do this to keep them on the road you because as they get pushed hard on track or whatever and plus also they’re just getting so

Expensive to the point where it’s worth doing this to get it to uh original as possible they like I sent us out of the east Australia last week uhhuh so what happens is when these cars came out they were 17in Wheels people took the 18-in wheels off sorry took the 17s off and

Put on an NI at 18s didn’t think anything of these probably threw them away threw them away and sold them for 2 300 cheap or whatever yeah and now they have a car worth 1002 200,000 of new wheels so the only option is to buy a

Set of replica wheels so then how many 22bs were actually made on paper 324 but I think I have a very large database on them and I think this 325 that’s including the UK delivery cars as well 400 Japanese spec 16 UK spec 300 cars for Colin McCrae and all

The rest and then there was an extra show are as a 00 0 that everybody forgets about but I have details of it and photographs of it and then so you’re saying there’s 300 left or it’s hard to know how many’s left I would say there is a good 300 yeah

There’s a lot of them damaged and cut up over the years that I I have information on right cuz like like we were saying you know they at one point they weren’t worth that much at all not much more than a regular WRX I I can show you my computer I have

Old uh sales adverts as low as maybe 14 15,000 Sterling you know going back to 2007 8 9 I’ll take a couple of them so all Hardware everything all because I’m doing Restorations all the time all the nuts and bolts all you know there’s even genuine

Uh the BBS wheel valves for the wheels all genuine just all the rare stuff that I keep there all the brake pipes the likes of that’s not getable anymore have loads of it what’s the furthest away somebody shipped their car to you well I wondered at the start of Co there was a

Guy he lived 6 months in Australia and 6 months in Greece and the cars in Greece and he wanted to send it from Greece there’s been other people on from uh New Zealand places like that looking to send me their cars but I just can’t do it I

Haven’t got the time yeah because you have 10 in the queue right now to restore and they’re kind kind of floating around like some of them are in the Paint Shop some of them are somewhere else and then most I can’t have that many here it takes me about 6

Months to do one and I’m already running 6 months behind this year already so most of them you know they aren’t here I just ring the customer and say right I’m ready for you come on ahead and then other copers ring me and saying you promised me at Christmas last Christmas

You do me car I saying sorry but I’m running a we bit a we bit behind so so downstairs in is all full of parts brand new brakes rotors suspension brake pipes just all sorts of new stuff and what’s all this same this is just generally the same but

It’s that’s actually a very good secondhand 22 22b suspension there this is my day to-day I sell a lot of Subaru parts clutches you know gearbox engine parts yeah so this is all aming the store I’m a Roger Clark dealer for Subaru stuff so keep a lot of

There products on the Shelf that’s so cool so right down here is this one that you’ve restored or is this just a customer car this this car is in this come from England it’s not for restoration it’s just in for a recommission basically service Tim and

Belt and a few e bits and pieces it doesn’t have the original brakes he wants the original brakes and exhaust all put back on to a few things so it’s just a a minor tidy up but this is like a driver car like he actually uses it

Huh he doesn’t really this guy sort of Wheels and Deals in them and he probably wouldn’t drive it that much he would drive it if he had to but he doesn’t there’s a few parts that aren’t original on the engine which he wants put back all standard again and you have all that

Stuff in stock even this one could use some conditioning huh yeah good all all this is non original that’s painted right wrong color yeah that’s not original that’s not original this is not original so I can put all this back standard yeah do you know like what was the last one that

Sold for what for like big money uh didn’t one of the prototypes sell it’s up now in four weeks time Colin mccrae’s car the Prototype car is up I I honestly deep down think somebody will give a million pound for that I do believe that because it’s his car think

Of how many cars are other things that you could buy for a million pound but there’s only one col mcra that’s true you know what there’s so much history and then that one does isn’t even as fancy as these right because it was a prototype it there’s a couple things

That wereing no there basically everything well you UK to Japanese car MH and even the prototypes everything was the same in the Prototype the basic difference on a UK 22b like this and a Japanese one is the lights were changed they should have more of a frosted light so the

These were what I changed into the version five version 6 99 light so the lights are different uh this is cool this there’s like a little protector on here huh the the lights were different the on a Japanese 22b this was clear and it’s orange we we call it a UK spec it’s

Orange on a UK one so then this is is this the same as the regular STI then no regular STI is clear here oh okay so this is pretty rare then no that’s UK in the UK we would have that oh UK Ireland sort would have this color of

Lights got it and the same in the P1 so then how many how many of these were available in the UK 16 so and then this one is you don’t know what number this one is it’s either three or seven so it is so basically when these cars come in they were taking

A pro drive a few things changed I think there was an alarm fitted uh lights were changed the gear ratios were changed for UK market for UK Market yeah wow the gear ratios were changed just a few we of the things the headlights were changed a few bits and pieces and there

Was a underbody black sealant put on them cuz all the Japanese cars came sort of like a painted sort of Bluey color these are all black underneath huh but the Colin mcra the prototypes they come in Via Subaru UK and they’ve all been done black underneath as well um as far

As I stand corrected I think the lights have been changed to UK lights as well so do you think the UK version is worth more than the Japanese version because it’s it’s more rare this this there’s been an online debate about this some people say yes

Some people say no I would believe they will be worth more yeah because there is only 16 of them did any other countries get the 22b Australia how many did they get five that’s it so Japan 400 UK 16 Australia 5 and three prototypes which is 324 I believe there’s another

Prototype which makes at 325 the the the other prototype these are all of 2.2 engines the other prototype which I believe is the very first one going by the the number of the chassis number that it it’s only a 2 L engine it was a 2 L car made to look

Like this so that means they never came in left-and Drive either then they were all right hand drive God but there has been three or four converted to leftand drive there’s one I think in Russia there’s one in Italy and um there’s definitely two or three I think maybe four yeah cuz in

Some countries it’s illegal to drive on the right side I think I’m not sure huh and then so what what about this one is this one in for service just in for about a 10 or 11 care he wants it restored but I’ve told him he’s in my

Queue for 2 or 3 years wants all new brakes and brake rotors put on all serviced bits and pieces done he wants all that just to get the car up and running again if you eat things tidied I actually had a really nice one here but she left on Thursday last Thursday she

Left I didn’t restore it I was only doing the jry on it but the car had a a nice restoration do you know how many 22 bees are in Northern Ireland and Ireland I would say Ireland at a guess 30 that’s actually a lot it is a lot and there’s

Some people have two so this is cool because this allows you to service them Outdoors well if you’d been here in Friday this car was away testing in the forest on Friday the muck on it was this deep so you come and you wash them all

First before you work on them you pull the muck off them yeah so that’s nice that it’s outdoors it just means when we bring the car into the workshop that the car’s clean underneath yeah so and then if it’s nice weather you can work

Outside and do a we job on it so this is a customer car also or all of these are customer cars everything’s that’s mine but everything else is customer cars and then this is like you you repr prep them after a stage rally for the customers

Yeah that way they don’t have to do it themselves or anything this guy sort of half does it himself and I just do the major work and then this car here she more less stays here all the time and I bring it back and forward to events for the

Customer so then have another customer we wa to Rally there in Saturday with another customer he’s Scottish he has the car way back to Scotland one night but he crashed it the weekend the the crazy thing for me is that we’re just driving down a normal Country Road

And it’s this full-on race shop here it’s it’s so out of place I guess but but I mean that’s the point right like how long have you actually been here I started working here in 1993 so basically 30 years more of a part-time basis back then and then from probably about 1998

Fulltime so this is your personal car yeah I don’t drive it that much it just it’s just something to have that’s a good looking car so then we have one work in progress but this is actually not a real 22b no this is a you want to call it a replica

My customer went to a guy in Croatia who made all the panels handmade all the stain panels for instead of getting actual genuine panels no well you just so hard to get genuine ones but the only other option is fiberglass or cavlar right and he doesn’t like the the fiberglass or

Cavlar he prefers the state panel huh so he got these handmade I mean it look it’s going to be a brand new vehicle the only thing that’s going to be different from this and a real 22b is just the VIN number at that point because he’s probably going to address everything we

Have actually have had the seats there like version 56 sta seats that’s a January 22b seats we have had the seats covered identical so then what do you think about for Drive Building those it’s the p25 right 25 yeah what do you think they they went to Goodwood last

Year with a J and be quite honest the Char was a disgrace no but no but seriously it was an embarrassment to them really there so many parts onfinish so many things not right maybe that was their prototype or something it was their prototype but they Rush there must

Have been rushed per time because the car was honestly horrendous and now they’ve made a load of modifications since and to be quite honest the car looks quite nice now but it’s still overpriced way way way overpriced I mean there I guess it’s just the market right

You know the market and there’s so many people that have come of age that always dreamed about that kind of car and now that they can finally afford it they’ll actually purchase it but it’s 4 450,000 plus fat or 460 plus fat whatever you know just £550 60,000 absolutely Mass yeah this so

Expensive what are you guys doing though with this down two Ries and he decided to crash it oh no no way this is what he do what the the that is crazy did he get injured no he didn’t this is returning back to the earth look at this yeah so then you took

Everything off of this so we we were going to fix this but he managed to BU that body shell quite cheap so we decided to take everything off this and put it into that body shell is this it’s it’s not even worth fixing at this point

Though is it well it is fixable you know it’s only here and there in the far side and Ro roofs in then right because this the cage itself everything is all perfectly in shape you know all your door lines everything’s perfect oh that this must have gone end

Over end then huh it did oh no yeah so then that car is almost done then huh yeah if I had two days out of it would be finished oh but I just can’t find two days spare it doesn’t help that uh journalists from America come randomly

Calling I’m sorry about that oh you’re okay but this looks great what a what a beautiful car get a shell worth the money so it was easier just to put all the parts on the new shell huh yeah cuz this and this shell with the cage and everything all passes scrutineering and

Everything it does oh what about this so you work on evos too I used to work a lot on them but not so much in recent years this is just in for a bit of service work time and belt uh fuel filter and pump and stuff a few basic parts just

But like the tme was more common right in terms of like a special car so it didn’t go up in price like the 22b no but they’re still making very strong money so you probably give as much as £100,000 for May for a really really really nice one

Yeah that’s cool so do you have any of uh tmes that you’re restoring or something that you’re working right now the guy over the road I have his to do the 6 or 7 mes away I have his to do for him it it doesn’t really need a major

Registration just a few things tidied up so what does and then you have a bunch of engine blocks here my main work is engines and gear boxes Transmissions differentials all that sort of work so that’s a 22v engine that we’ve stripped and we’ve sand blast or between sand

Blast and then Aqua blasted every single part and rebuild it and then we all the rest of it just a finish off but that’s so that’s going to be a brand basically a brand new engine i’ I’ve actually uh there’s a customer in Canada he’s actually his 22b engine is on his way

Here to me at the moment to be built and then so is this going into one of the cars you’re restoring right now she she’s currently in the body shop oh so she is so the gear boox if you can sort of see there you hard maybe if you go

The Far Side you can see the gearbox is already done finished oh wow yeah just walk through there you see yeah everything’s all it looks it looks brand new you know that is so cool amazing this was just a rally engine that melted the Piston just here uh this has been a rally entrance melted Pistons so that’s in for a rebuild wow I appreciate you showing me around um on such short notice and you know the me it’s boring cuz I just do it day in and day out to me it’s so

Interesting because I mean this is this is how these cars are going to live on you know I think it’s so cool um can I see the pars Warehouse down below yeah yeah do you want this door open a bit of light on for you sure who all these

Intercoolers so then are you on Yahoo auctions a lot then then how do if you scour the internet for all this stuff how do you find it if they’re selling it in Japanese just different different places different just depends what I’m buying there’s people you know it’s like are

You familiar with the strp BR in the engine bay yes it’s like I know a guy has about 30 brand new ones in Portugal so I buy them from him and then we we wheel and deal with each other you know there’s people know I have stuff and

Then I know they have stuff so like what what’s that stuff right this is all your window trim see all your trims over front and back and it’s all brand new all brand new yeah you can still buy those but someday soon you won’t be able

To so I’m gathering them up for the day that you can’t get them so do you think does Subaru have a stock of a lot of this stuff I have stuff that sub don’t have a lot of stuff sub don’t have so uh like I have brand new 22b

Heads up there I have suspension arms break disc brick calipers uh shocks well there’s actually a box full of 22b shocks do you so do you have in transmission y brand new brand new yeah never sorry sorry no sorry that’s rebuil okay Reb that stuff’s rebuil do you have

A relationship with Subaru in any way not really no so just all sorts of things like door glass door glasses really to get quarter glasses very hard to get exhausts a brand new all that brand new yeah brake pipes yeah uh suspension just a mix of stuff

Crazy uh carpets yeah boot carpets just as a 22b back box exhaust silencer 22b Springs uh washer bottles into cooler spray bottle all that stuff’s all sitting up there brand new engine cover trays uh bumper brackets like all that stuff is uh unique to the 22b no it’s

Not oh it’s not okay really the only thing unique to the 22b is the 2.2 engine uh the gearbox the the front fenders or Wings the back on the back boot spoiler front and back front and back bumpers more or less everything else is version four the intercoolers the bottles the tanks

Radiators is all more or less version four but even though even all the version for stuff at this point it’s getting harder and harder to find everything hard to get good versions of it yeah so uh it’s cool though that you’ve had the foresight to gather these

Parts for future builds yeah you know even silly things like power steering pipes interior parts yeah uh glove boxes all this sort of stuff uhhuh uh even now like see the 22 well 22b is a standard version 1 2 3 4 timing cover but it’s painted red but but even the

Standard Black cover is some of the parts are no longer available sub we’ve stopped doing them so I’ve been ging up there could be 10 or 15 sets in there right so amazing and all of these blocks and yeah there well that’s just stuff that are from stuck for for engine

Builds there’s fuel tank for 22b there’s all sorts of stuff there so cool huh this this is the engine it’s been sitting ready quite a while for the for that replica it’s all ready to go that’s all sit ready to go all fully Aqua blast and rebuilt everything so would this

Individual putting this much money into this build at this point would it have been cheaper just to buy a real one when we started this project yes to be quite honest now maybe not now no well because essentially what you’re doing is you’re building a zero mile one yeah we we

Started this project actually four years ago and the body the guy in The Body Shop took over 3 years to paint the car oh wow so a lot of this stuff has been been sitting ready for a few years so I I believe this replica build is

Going to be 70 maybe £80,000 to build but four years ago you could buy a 22b for that price yeah so what do you have on your computer here right this H file every single 22b that I find I save photographs of you mean that you come across yeah anywhere with this internet

Instagram anywhere if I find a photograph for 22b like for instance there’s number one 102 in Russia and there’s all the photographs I have of it but so if you don’t see the plate or the VIN number how do you differentiate one from the other because I I have a world

Of information and I have the genuine subar dealer information as well that can help me with stuff I have a contact in Japan who can get me chassis numbers gearbox numbers build dates all the information and I can link stuff and then just and then plus cars I’ve worked

On so each one is is a different car how many are there total that you have information on a right few I don’t have a lot of information some and there’s others I have loads of information on I have you know hundreds of photographs on some and others I don’t it’s interesting because

That means if you come across one in real life you potentially already know about that car yeah there’s people contact me all the time that are buying cars I’m going to buy this car do you know anything about it and I can go and look at my database and then they can

Ask you if it’s real or if it’s been in some kind of incident or which I have like for instance where and old I should you say number 17 I think it is uh number 17 like it’s hard remember we were talking about old adverts I you

Know I was able to say like for instance this car was for sale for £19,000 in 2012 so I have old adverts like that that’s on eBay there’s the details of the you mean you screenshotted these like you back then you screenshotted them a mixture of

Me and one other person between the two of us we have this database going so he hasn’t been updating it in recent years but I have you you kind of already knew at the time you think that they were going to go up in price well

We’ve been known this for a few years but when you see old adverts like that it’s like there’s a guy in Hong Kong the car was here and it was sold for 20 4 or 24 24 25,000 and I was selling them parts and I sent them a few of these pictures

Where the car he gave something like £150,000 for it and I send him these adverts and he says please stop sending me these is making me cry he say because you know he’s paid 150,000 that 3 years or four years previous was for sale in in in Ireland orever for £25,000 £4,000

Yeah so uh the I think actually that’s the car there it’s in Hong Kong now so but so there’s there’s the one remember they say there’s they say there’s three cars well there you have col mcra Nikki Chris and David laor oh that must be like you must

Have a lot of materials of all three of those actually don’t have an awful lot uhhuh but as you see there’s one two three but I also have information on another 0000 Z car oh and if you look all the chassis numbers start in around 067

So car car number five is an 067 chassis number where col mccrae’s car is an 065 so she’s an earlier one so the very first one that I that I believe is a 2 L car comes in an 061 chassis number so I believe she was the very first prototype

And a lot not a lot of people know that car that’s that’s what I was referring to so Collins is a 2.2 yes and then this one is a 2 L still yeah because what I have is I’ll show you a screenshot here of well here’s the information from Japan for a

Start which tells me when the car was built she is a blah blah blah there’s a chassis number uh 1998 where’s the engine number now and what she is engine yeah that at20 engine that’s not the transmission code of a 22b so just B basically a 2 L Type R

Interesting and the the trim code’s different as well I might have it here but the 07074 she’ll come up now telling you she’s a 22b yeah and trim code etc etc color codes all that sort stuff where that other car came up as WRX

S so where all the 22b is blue yes 7 74f is the color code for 22b so I’m wondering if any of them have been painted Lo like other colors yeah oh sorry uh well I do know of one car where a man got it stolen M and the car

Was recovered by the police and it was put up for auction and nobody bought it because the car was gray approximately 10 years later he found the car gray and he realized it was his car somebody had stolen a 22b painted it gray and He restored the car

Back to to Blue hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to Larry Chen I print and sign every single one of these this is the perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your Wall [Applause] A