A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £103,040
Ford had been working on a turbo charged machine that would tackle the new breed of 'Group B' Rally cars like the Audi Sport Quattro, Peugeot 205 T16 and the Lancia Delta and 037. Unusually for Ford they failed miserably with the Escort RS 1700T so they were forced to return to the drawing board and start all over again, the result was the RS200. The project commenced in 1983 with production of 200 cars planned to meet Group B requirements. Ghia designed the RS200 and, unusually, the bodywork was entrusted to a company who knew a fair bit about building fibreglass cars. Reliant. F1 gurus Tony Southgate and John Wheeler looked after the chassis engineering and the result was spectacular. Ford bosses demanded that it must have four-wheel drive and it was built round a space frame chassis, with a potent mid-mounted turbo-charged engine. The car was fitted with the 1.8-litre 16-valve Cosworth BDA engine (the BDT) engine courtesy of well proven race engine builder Brian Hart. Add to this an innovative front mounted gearbox for better weigh distribution plus a variable torque split differential from Ferguson and you had a real beast of a car. It looked like Ford finally had the package to beat... However a series of tragic accidents spelt 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, and so it never got to show off its full potential. However it did prove that it had enormous promise when many of the cars were spectacularly successful in Rallycross. To get FIA homologation Ford had to build 200 cars, it seems that six were classified as 'prototypes', so only 194 actually left the factory 46 of which where dismantled for spares, whilst just 90 of the cars built where converted and sold as road cars. Offered here is a rare 'Rally-Specification' model that has spent most of its life in the hands of collectors and as a result is presented in time warp condition. With just 1066 miles on the clock the car is possibly the most original RS200 available, the car is even fitted with the original Pirelli tyres and has the running-in sticker in the windscreen. The car is one of the very few cars that left the factory in 'Rally-Specification' with the inclusion of the second gear stick to control the Torque Split Differential. This allows the driver to select 3 options of drive, rear-wheel drive, 50:50 four-wheel drive or 37:63 four-wheel drive. Unlike most road cars that left the factory with the differential gearstick removed and the car being fixed in 37:63 four-wheel drive option. In 2011 the car was taken to Geoff Page where it was subject to a comprehensive service to insure the car was in overall good condition and running order. The works style cherished numberplate is also included in the sale. With State-of-the-art technology in its day and considered as Ford's greatest achievement since the GT40, the RS200 is the ultimate acquisition for the serious Ford collector.