Kiwi Formula 1 reserve driver Liam Lawson has been putting his time to good use this off-season, having recently donated his very own Subaru Forester project car to I Am Hope for an upcoming charity auction.
The idea came about after Lawson originally planned to purchase a handful of cars with friends to perform a series of Top Gear-style challenges and document them on his YouTube channel. However, the Subaru was so well-kept that he decided to build it with his good mate Matt Stevens for charity instead.
Approximately 234,000km has been put on the odometer since the Forester was sold new in 2000, but since being in Lawson’s possession, it has been extensively modified for the next lucky owner to enjoy.
Under the bonnet sits a turbocharged 2.0-litre flat four-cylinder that has been given a spruce up by Possum Bourne Motorsport to the tune of around 223kW, featuring a new exhaust system, turbo, intercooler, clutch, and standalone Link ECU.
Whiteline sway bars and coilover suspension were also fitted to the car to improve handling, with the cherry on top being a new set of wheels and tyres supplied by BGW.
“Technically it’s the first car I’ve owned and registered in New Zealand and now it’s done, I really enjoy driving it and I don’t want to sell it,” says Lawson.
“The one thing I’ve learnt with car modifying is there’s always more to do. What started with a few mods at the beginning just grew as we’ve continued to come up with new ideas to make it even better.
“I have a similar process going with my [Toyota] Supra in the UK as well, you just get hooked and want to continue to keep doing stuff and that’s what’s ended up happening with the Forester.
“I want to make it as cool as possible for when we let it go.”
Lawson’s Forester is set to go up for auction on the Turners Cars website and TradeMe on Saturday, 17 February, starting at a reserve price of just $1. The auction will close the following Saturday, 24 February, with all of the proceeds going to the I Am Hope Foundation, founded by Mike King to help youths who struggle with mental health.
Interested buyers can get up close and personal with the car at Turners Otahuhu in Auckland.
“Liam’s decision to soup up a car with his mate for auction in support of I Am Hope truly reflects his character and compassion as a young man. We’re incredibly thankful for Liam’s dedication, generosity, and the resources he’s invested in this project to help our kids in need,” says King.