On this day in auto history - September 15th

Wed 15th Sep 2021

It was on this day in 2007 when news emerged that Britain’s former World Rally Champion Colin McRae had been killed along with three fellow passengers in a tragic helicopter accident in West Scotland.

The hugely-popular 39-year-old Scotsman - a qualified pilot - died when crashing his helicopter into a wooded valley close to his family home in Lanark. McRae’s five-year-old son Johnny and two family friends also died in the crash.

Four years later, a subsequent fatal accident inquiry laid much of the blame on McRae himself, finding that he had engaged in low-level flying 'when it was unnecessary and unsafe to do so'. 

McRae had become a household name when - driving a Subaru Impreza - he became Britain's first driver to win the World Rally Championship in 1995 at the record young age of just 27 before finishing a runner-up over the next two years.

Ever since his death, Colin McRae memorabilia has been in high demand with one of his test cars - sporting chassis number 001 - becoming the most expensive Subaru ever sold when fetching over £230,000 at a public auction in 2017.