Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2018

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1987 Ford RS200

Lot No.: 517

Registration: D49 FOT
Chassis Number: SFACXXBJ2CGL00053
Engine Number: GL00053
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1796
Year of Manufacture: 1987
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Sold for (£): 157,500

 

 

  • A 'Group B' rally car for the road. One of only 90 finished to 'road spec'
  • First registered 24th March 1987. With the original owners until July 1997 when the Hendy Group bought it back
  • The car has remained within the company's Heritage Collection and has seen infrequent use, but regular maintenance
  • Mostly being used for shows for display and promotional purposes. Maintained in 'show' condition
  • Just 8,876 miles on the odometer. UK V5c, MOT until 1st August '18, original leather-bound RS200 driver's manual

 

Ford had been working on a turbocharged machine that could compete with the new breed of ‘Group B' Rally cars like the Audi Sport Quattro, Peugeot 205 T16, the Lancia Delta, and their remarkable 037. Unusually for Ford, the solution proved elusive and, with the Escort RS 1700T failing miserably, they were forced to return to the drawing board and start all over again. The result was the RS200, however, Ford had now become ‘late starters' and were effectively three years behind. The car was styled by Ghia and, unusually, the bodywork was entrusted to a company who knew a fair bit about building fibreglass cars .. Reliant. The chassis engineering was looked after by F1 gurus Tony Southgate and John Wheeler. Ford bosses demanded that it must have four-wheel drive and it was built around a space frame chassis, Kevlar bodywork, and a potent mid-mounted engine courtesy of well-proven race engine builder Brian Hart. Add to this an innovative front mounted gearbox for better weight distribution and balance plus a variable torque split differential from Ferguson and you had a real beast of a car.The result was spectacular. At the peak of its powers in the hands of star drivers like Stig Blomqvist the larger 2.1 litre Evo engine was claimed to be pushing out around 650 bhp, it was rumoured that even 700/800bhp was used. It looked like Ford finally had the package to win and things were looking promising after Kalle Grundell came home 3rd in the Swedish Rally of 1986, however, the fickle finger of fate was soon to be pointed at Group B. Tragedy struck on the opening stage of the Portuguese Rally when Joaquim Santos lost control of his RS200 and sadly three people died and many others were injured. Marc Surer also crashed his RS200 in the Hessen Rally killing his co-driver. This was the beginning of the end for 'Group B' Rallying. Soon after that Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto lost their lives on the Tour de Corse when their Lancia Delta left the road. This really was the end of Group B, and it was also the end of an era for the fastest, most dangerous, most spectacular period in modern rallying. As a result, after just one year in competition, it was all over for the RS200 so it never got to show off its full potential, however, it did prove that it had enormous promise with many of the cars being spectacularly successful in Rallycross particularly in the hands of Norwegian Martin Schanche.

FIA Homologation Rules for Group B required the construction of at least 200 road-legal vehicles and Ford complied with this building 200 units with enough spare parts for a further 20. Records indicate that 90 of these were eventually to leave the factory finished as road cars.

We are pleased to offer this Ford RS200, chassis #0053, which was supplied new by Hendy Ford, Eastleigh to another retail Ford dealer at the time, Nicklens of Fordingbridge, under their parent company Shearing Builders Ltd. The car was first registered on 24th March 1987 and remained with the original owners until July 1997 when the Hendy Group bought it back through their Cosham branch. Ever since, the car has remained within the company's heritage collection of cars and has seen infrequent use, mostly being taken out to shows for display and promotional purposes. Although not driven regularly, it has been well maintained and the car has been through the workshops annually to ensure it's always ready to go.

Now showing just 8,876 miles on the odometer, this rare car is supplied with a UK V5c, an MOT until 1st August '18, and its original leather bound RS200 driver's manual. In very original condition, this fabulous RS200 evokes memories of one of the most dramatic eras in rallying history and may well be the missing jigsaw piece in a Ford collector's puzzle.