Name your favourite Prodrive race car. Everyone has one, naturally, because the Banbury-based outfit has been so prolific for more than 30 years in top-class race cars. Us? Has to be the GT1 Ferrari 550 Maranello. Or maybe it's the last Super Touring Mondeos. Or perhaps a V12 Vantage GT3. That's before mentioning the Imprezas... It's a difficult, if entertaining, conclusion to come to.
Anyway, point of the discussion is that today sees the launch of Prodrive Legends, a "new operation dedicated to the authentication, restoration and support of these cars." Because, put simply, there have now been more than 1,000 Prodrive cars built, and those with genuine Prodrive provenance will have greater significance - and an increased value in a seemingly strong market - than those that don't.
So the PL programme features a fixed price authentication element, to verify whether the car is a genuine Prodrive chassis, then a range of upgrades for those wishing to rejuvenate their car. The press material describes that as "factory specification engine rebuilds" in a new powertrain centre, preparing a car for competition and going all the way to "ground-up restorations", bringing the cars back to their original spec. All the work is carried out in Banbury.
It sounds a compelling proposition for those in the fortunate position to own a Prodrive racer. Head of motorsport operations Paul Howarth said: "Quite simply, there is nobody in a better position to rebuild a Prodrive car - we literally know them inside out and many of the people we have on the Prodrive Legends team built the cars originally." Moreover, Prodrive has original build data for vital components, plus a network of contacts built up since 1984.
The company also maintains that the Legends service will benefit all kinds of customers, be they collectors or competitors. Howarth added: "Some owners choose to run their cars in less demanding exhibition events or merely show them, but any car that leaves us will be turnkey and ready to run competitively."
Which makes it all sound mightily tempting for Prodrive owners, be that one of the 700-plus (!) Subarus, 40 E30 M3s or more than 200 Aston Martins. It's easy to imagine the cars becoming more desirable, in a similar way to Ferrari Classiche vehicles, with factory authentication. While prices haven't yet been announced, interested parties are invited to check prodrive.com for more details. And, well, just because we can, here's that incredible Snijers performance on the Manx in the Bastos M3. Take it away, Patrick...