TV motoring star Richard Hammond’s, Subaru Impreza “Martin” has undergone a transformation.

As part of a spruce-up, the 2003 Subaru Impreza STI V Limited’s livery was removed in favour of a fresh coat of paint, and upgrades under the hood, to produce between 400 and 500 horsepower.

The full renovation can be seen on Richard’s YouTube channel: DriveTribe; it kicked off with the removal of its Martini livery, which was deemed “hideous” on a Subaru.

The car was wheeled into a paint booth to be heated to 60 degrees celsius. The crew hoped that the heat would loosen the adhesive, making it easier to remove the wrap, but this method did not work as well as they hoped. Eventually, they settled on using heat guns and removed the wrap by hand.

Once the wrap was removed, the team had a clear view of the car and could see that it was in good condition, except for a few minor cosmetic issues. The front bumper and covers either side were cracked, while the paint on the car’s hood scoop had peeled off. The interior needed a good clean, while the car’s studded tires were not legal in the UK and needed to be replaced.

The car’s rear had a few missing badges, including one that was hidden beneath the wrap. The crew weren’t sure if the toolbar should stay or go; while it was not something that Richard would likely use, they decided that it added character to the car and should remain.

In the end, the car was looking fantastic, with a fresh coat of paint, and a total of 400-500 horsepower under the hood. Overall, the team was pleased with the car and thought it was a great starting point for further modifications.

As a season opener to The Grand Tour, the famous trio released “A Scandi Flick”, an adventure through the icy waste of the Scandinavia Arctic Circle.

While among the biggest news about filming that first episode was James May’s accident in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII, where the car was written off and May suffered a broken rib, the other two cars actually made it home.

Richard Hammond’s 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX STI V-Limited, on the other hand, has already been bought by no other than Richard himself.

YouTuber Joe Achilles had been sent on a mission to recover the car from a secret farm in the south of England to collect them.

Joe admits that he doesn’t know much about Subarus, but was excited to work on the car; he likes the flat 4 boxer engine, manual gearbox, all-wheel drive, and rally pedigree. However, baulked at the dated livery and says that it needs to go.

Joe takes the Subaru to Richard’s place in Herefordshire, where he meets with mechanic Anthony.

Anthony inspects the car and finds some superficial damage, such as rust on the arches and yellow headlights. Subarus are known to be difficult to work on, but he would restore it back to factory if it were his, he’d remove the livery and replace it with the traditional Subaru blue. He says that there is nothing wrong with leaving the car in its original condition, and he finds it frustrating that many Subarus are highly modified.

Richard’s business, The Smallest Cog, with its team of expert mechanics, is a place where passion for the job and a love of cars come together to create something truly special. It can often be spotted at several of the county’s motoring events.

The workshop’s philosophy is simple: every classic car, whether it’s a priceless time capsule or just the car that first took you to school, is a classic in the eyes of its owner, and it deserves to be treated with respect.