25 Years since the rallying world had “McRae Mania"
Posted on June 23 2020
You ask most people over the age of 30 who comes to mind when you mention the World Rally Championship and several names will probably be mentioned. However, if you ask a motorsport fan if they’ve heard of Colin McRae, usually an instant face of recognition is what you’ll be greeted with. Immediately you realise that you’re discussing not only an iconic driver but someone who has transcended the sport for which he was known from merchandising to video games.
Colin drove for several big manufacturers during his racing career from Ford to Citroen, Nissan and Peugeot. Even the Maranello guys at Ferrari had him on their side at one point in time. That said no combination quite feels as right as Colin McRae and Subaru, particularly the Group A Impreza L555 BAT. Although already a double British Rally Champion in 1991 and 1992, it was in 1995 as “understudy” to double World Champion Carlos Sainz that Colin etched his name into history. He would win the World Rally Championship that year making him the youngest world drivers champion in history at 27 years old. (a record still held today).
A number of 2nd and 3rd place overall finishes during the 90’s and early 2000’s kept Colin as one of the top tier drivers of the era. After not securing a full drive for 2004, he tried other disciplines. From winning stages on the Dakar Rally with Nissan to a podium in class at Le-Mans with Ferrari. He would also make an occasional rally appearance driving for Skoda, Citroen and broke into America with Subaru at the X-Games.
Colin McRae was a solid fan favourite throughout his career and as a result his memorabilia is still highly collectable with many fans past and present looking to purchase signed items and photos. Although unique his autograph has many features that remained consistent over the years on both his full and short signature. The Curve of the “C” at the start to the looping of the “R” in his surname make his autograph easy to distinguish from other drivers of the era. As with all popular autographs there are several copies and pre-prints on the market and auction websites that can catch out unsuspecting buyers. Variations in signature can depend on the circumstances of when it was signed however as with all items do the research, make sure you trust the seller and look for advice if needed. That way you can make sure your treasured autograph is the real deal.
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of Colin’s iconic championship win and The Fan Cave are lucky to have one of his rally used race suits and a pair of gloves from that incredible 1995 season on display in store. Kindly on loan from a private collector these are definitely worth a view if you’re in the Meadowhall shopping centre.