Impreza Type R V5 Limited

Ric McLaughlin

V-Limited Member
My attempt at a track-honed, perfect-ish GC8 accomplished via limited funds and even less mechanical knowledge.

Here it is then, the build thread I promised myself I'd start the day after I got the car home, five months ago...

My car is a 1999 Type R V5 Limited and it's the result of two and a bit years of trawling classifieds and forums I search of the right car. Originally, I wanted a '96 RA V-Limited but the more I looked into V5 and V6 R's, the more I liked the sound of them; two door styling with (most of) the RA mechanical gubbins.

I wavered briefly over a Spec C blob eye only to admit to myself that with GC8 prices heading the way they were, now was the time to own one before I'd end up paying through the nose for one later.

It took a lot of saving to get the car and I'm lucky enough to own it as a second vehicle which makes working on it slightly less time-constrained. Which is good. That said, with a hectic work schedule and a young family, long periods of inactivity are probably foreseeable.

My plan is to create my perfect fast road/track Type R doing as much of it as possible myself and staying as closely within bolt-on mod territory to help preserve it's value and funds.

I bought the car with it already having had an engine/gearbox rebuild and a respray so it's already in a good position as it stands. There are a couple of mods in the form of HKS suspension and a Fujitsubo cat-back system (currently for sale in the relevant section).

I'm loving ownership and all the help I've already received from this forum so thought I'd share the progress on here.
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i suppose it's sort of okay if you're into amazing JDM cars...fkn love it mate..hats off...Call me biased but the Type R just rocks my world...That's not to take anything away from the RA which is nearly as nice, but a 2 door is a rare thing of beauty and can be never confused with 'lesser' Imprezas...
I think i saw this advertised a while ago when i was looking..Did you buy it from a certain importers in England??
I personally don’t get all this 2 door is better than 4 door hype, I certainly wouldn’t sell my RA for a 2 door Type R, I’ve owned both and I know which I’d rather have in my garage.

That’s not digging at this car or any other Type R owner just in case the insecure amongst us get arsey. Lol

Drive an RA and remove those blinkers boys ;)
The first change I made was a set of Prodrive x Sparco buckets tracked down on eBay. This is one of those things that I'd always wanted and had the misfortune to locate after I'd had a pint... Luckily, I was passing by their location the following week with work so managed to collect them and save on the faff/cost of delivery.

They're the fibre glass-backed ones yet still save a lot of weight over the standard numbers (14kg in total). Crucially for me, being on the taller side, when used with the M2 Motorsport sliders they really drop your position much lower into the car. They're not the tidiest perhaps but are un-ripped and are weirdly one of the first things that you see when approaching the car. During the one track evening I've managed so far the difference is night and day, as you'd expect. It took a bit of trial and error achieving the right driving position but it was an interesting and pretty straight forward process.

The biggest limitation is obviously that accessing the rear seats is now pretty much a 'no go' for anyone other than circus midget and/or my 3 y/o.

The first 'leave it to the professionals' job was the fitting of a Cosworth baffled sump plate at RA Motorsport. I always knew that this was a must given that I wanted to use the car on track and something that I had no problem with handing over to Andy. Perhaps the biggest gain was finding a specialist Subaru garage which were full of helpful advice and suggestions. It makes such a difference knowing that they're there to (hopefully never) hoover up my mechanical ineptitude.

Very snug Ric, keep those Blue seats tucked away somewhere, they’re getting hard to find these days

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