Initially road registered as P555 WRC but better known by its long-term moniker P18 WRC, this car had been given a superficial cosmetic refurbishment prior to entering the current ownership. Drawn to “first editions,” the vendor not only had Prodrive validate chassis 001 but also commissioned them to restore it to “original” condition (becoming the Banbury outfit’s first heritage customer in the process). The car was renovated using only original SRT parts, many of which would be even more difficult to source today.
Overseen by Prodrive sales manager Steve Smith and documented in an accompanying hardback book, the resultant rejuvenation remains highly impressive and a real credit to David Richards and his team. Acid dipping revealed that Chassis 001 had endured a busy rally life but amazingly still retained its original Prodrive bodyshell, which was painstakingly repaired by the same team who had fabricated it in 1996.
A suitable handover ceremony marked the project’s completion on December, 18, 2009. The inscription in chassis 001’s restoration book from that day simply reads: “Best wishes and congratulations on acquiring a very special car — David.”