When it comes to car restoration and builds, Nick Slade (22b05STI) is it. It’s only true dedication and patience to bring a car back into a new state like his Subaru Legacy RS project. Feel free to visit Car Builds By Slade to explore more of his fine work and a page dedicated to documenting projects that he has done in the past and projects that are presently involved at the shop. Nick remodeled the shop in 2014 located in sunny California and has since been building race cars and restoring customer cars. The history, stories, and memorabilia gathered are worth appreciating of Nick and his father Bob Slade.
Nick goes back where he did an apprenticeship in New Zealand working for a dealership called Trevor Crowe Subaru (Trevor was well-known racecar driver in NZ) while he was actively involved in all his races and rally activities. Nick and his team were given a 1990 Legacy RS by Subaru of New Zealand to run in the NZ Touring Car series (with Possum Bourne as co-driver), and went on to run the car in the Rothmans Rally of New Zealand. Nick spent his time as an apprentice working on the Legacy in races and rallies throughout NZ as well as working at the shop, servicing and carrying out pre-delivery checks on new Subarus. Nick later moved to USA in 93’ and spent nearly 10 years in the IndyCar and Champ Car series as well as restoring two original Ford GT40s and Ferrari BB512s, and many other Indy car and Formula cars. It was not until 2002, when Nick bought his first Subaru WRX new from the dealership. Shortly after, the STi was released, and in 03’, Nick was able to pre-order the ’04 STi later trading it in for his 05’ STi. In 2008 Nick was very fortunate to be able to purchase a rare Subaru Impreza WRX STi 22B in New Zealand.
After all the different motorsport activities and years, Nick still has a passion for Subarus as a performance car. His most recent purchase is the Subaru Legacy, where it all started for him.
Nick has a tall order to restore this Subaru Legacy.
In the shadow of American iron, past the watercooler debates of European luxury and more ambitious import brands, Subaru slowly and steadily brought its own brand of styling to American shores. The 1991 Legacy RS may not look like hot stuff to most import fans, but that’s because it is SUPREMELY function. There is a bit of a Spartan-yet-sporty nature about this car’s styling that emits a kind of domestic rallysport heritage from American muscle (because rally oil runs deep through this car’s veins). Adequately-portioned foglamps and a small (but fully functional) hoodscoop brings utility (and look cool too).
At the heart of the project, the desire was to restore the vehicle to original condition, a task which Nick looks well on the way to achieving. The progress that Nick has made to date is fantastic – with a chassis in what looks to be very good shape, fresh replacements for some internal parts, and a car that would wind up being an absolute joy to drive ever day – or an absolute blast on the track.
Nick’s Legacy RS is among some of the finest Subaru vintage to be seen. The car is a case study in the passion of an owner to restore one of the hard-working cars of rally and road racing history.
The diligence and hard work poured into this vehicle is both worthy of nothing short of respect.
Build Thread Below:
Words by: Rye Haneda
Pictures by: Nick Slade and Bryan Dudas