Group B – a phrase which sends rally fans into an excitable stupor and shivers down the spine of lawmakers and regulatory bodies alike.
It all began in 1982 when Audi introduced the Quattro, but with four-wheel drive and turbocharged engines running unlimited amounts of boost, things quickly spiralled out of control. That concoction, mixed with a lax attitude towards spectator safety, led to a number of fatalities and Group B was stopped in 1986.
Unfortunately for Ford, it had only recently introduced the stunning little RS200 – its first purpose-built Group B competitor. Homologation rules meant that 200 were built for road-use, though, and every now and again one pops up for sale to remind you just how cool it was…
This latest one is pretty special too. Chassis no.184 has covered just 1,923km (1,195 miles) in its lifetime and will go under the hammer at the Silverstone Auctions Race Retro sale in February.
In road-going trim, the RS200 featured a mid-mounted 1.8-litre Cosworth turbo engine that sent around 250bhp to all four wheels. The now iconic body was styled by Ghia and the fibreglass panels were actually put together by Reliant.
Yes, those of Robin fame. There was also a 5spd manual gearbox, double wishbone suspension and excellent Speedline wheels. Lovely stuff.
As you might have guessed given the rarity and the mileage, this RS200 certainly won’t come cheap. The estimate? Between £175k (est. S$315k) and £225k (S$405k). Hefty for a fast Ford, but perhaps a bargain for a Group B legend?
STORY Greg Potts
PHOTOS Silverstone Auctions