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Book Review: Subaru Impreza - The Road Car & WRC Story by Brian Long
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Old 12 Aug 2008, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Book Review: Subaru Impreza - The Road Car & WRC Story by Brian Long

I have just posted an Amazon review of this book, so I thought that I'd share it with you:

Let me start by making an admission: I am a car anorak. I can quite easily spend half an hour enjoying reading the car review pages in the back of Which Car magazine, so I expected to be in automotive heaven when I started reading this book, particularly since I bought a Scooby a couple of months ago.

The book is very highly researched and started with with an interesting history of the Subaru company. After that, the book describes in great detail the specification of every model and variant of Impreza down to the gearbox ratios, paint colours available, type of steering wheel, model of turbo fan blades and so on. This is done country by country, and in case you have not had enough, is repeated for every model year. Personally, this is more than I can bear, and made painting the spare bedroom seem exciting.

It also covered the rally programme on a year-by-year basis. However this was described in a perfunctory way with a very disjointed style of writing. For example, it made passing comments about Toyota's ban from world rallying in the 1990's, but failed to say why it was banned, missing an event of significant interest.

I was disapointed that the book contained little narrative. It could have told the story of the car's development so much better. The reason for the bug-eye facelift was passed over, when it could have formed the basis for a story of internal angst within the business, and referred to Peter Stevens' appointment to design the new face of the Impreza.

There were some good things, though. The pictures were good, although there was too much reliance on Japanese language brochures. The author's wife conducted two interviews which are transcribed in the book which give a personal insight into the design of the cars, and which were interesting.

If you are a really serious Impreza anorak and care which models use red stitching on the gear knob, this book is for you.
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