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Liam's I AM HOPE project car goes to auction in March

Liam Lawson’s Subaru Forester project car that he’s donated to the I AM HOPE foundation will go to auction in March when the F1 reserve driver is back in New Zealand.

Lawson left the country earlier this week before all the work on the Forester was completed and by the time he returns the transformed Subaru will have more extras and a newer heart.

“The second-hand engine we originally freshened and fitted to the car developed some issues so we’ve decided to replace it with a newer one,” said Lawson.

Among the list of makeover improvements already fitted to the Forester are adjustable coilover suspension, new Whiteline sway bars and strut brace, new exhaust system, turbo, a standalone ECU from Link ECU, intercooler, clutch, new wheels and tyres from BGW, and the car has been completely wrapped in gun-metal grey.

“Everything on the car has been replaced or improved and I want to make sure we have the most reliable engine when it goes to its new home,” added Lawson

The car will undergo the usual pre-sale inspections with Turners Cars, Lawson’s longtime sponsor, to make sure the vehicle meets all of their standards before going to market.

“We set out to make this a very unique car and since we filmed the launch for Seven Sharp and took the original photos we’ve already added more to it, like the Cruz roof racks and Yakima roof box that were professionally installed by Mobile Roof Racks.”

Before handing the car over to Turners for the start of the auction Lawson also wants to drive it so he can complete filming the vlog series he started at the beginning of the project build.

The Youtube series starts with the standard 2000 Forester as Lawson and friend Mat Stevens purchased it. The series then follows their build process, the setbacks and celebrates the progress and generosity of suppliers and co-sponsors, like the Porter Group that joined Lawson as his I AM HOPE partner for this project.

Lawson will announce in early March the dates for the week-long auction once he has confirmed with Oracle Red Bull Racing the dates he can be back in New Zealand. The auction will launch on both Turners Cars and TradeMe websites.

The pending auction has already created interest both inside and outside of New Zealand because this is the first car Lawson has owned and registered in New Zealand, and it’s likely to turn into a collector’s item. The F1 star has even signed the dashboard and the car carries his racing number ’30’.

In the meantime Lawson is preparing for the start of the 2024 Formula 1 season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia from February 29th. He will most likely return home before the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.


(1) Liam Lawson with the I AM HOPE Subaru Forester, now complete with new roof racks and roof box. Photo: Porter Group
(2) Liam Lawson (left) with Mike King, founder of the I AM HOPE Foundation. Photo by: Greg Stevens FPSNZ