Legacy World Speed Records:
WORLD SPEED RECORD PURSUIT
Planning for the record run began in February 1988, when top Subaru management decided to demonstrate the potential of the Legacy. Upon examination, it was clear that the 100,000 kilometer world speed record would be ideal to prove and showcase this car. The record to beat was 132.538 mph (213.299km/h), set by Saab in 1986.
Preparation for the record attempt began by May 1988. Development and testing for the program included:
- Confirming engine durability.
- Choosing tires to withstand continuous high-speed driving.
- Verifying which suspension could withstand high speeds for 100,000 kilometer.
- Choosing how to train drivers (the car was secret, so drivers were selected and trained among the development staff).
Test runs were done at the Japan Automobile Research Institute test course in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, to check drivers’ capabilities and pit operations. The team also inspected the Arizona Test Center (the site for the record attempt) and local conditions.
The engine, body, and driver checks were completed by late June, and a schedule for attempting the record was established. During mid-July, Subaru discussed the attempt with ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee for the United States). Subaru had to use timers and record keepers approved by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA). ACCUS was assigned and expressed doubts about the attempt’s success.