1986 Ford RS200 Evolution
$500,000 - $700,000 USD
Lot Location: Phoenix, Arizona
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 17 - 18 JANUARY 2019
- Offered on Thursday
- One of only 24 RS200 Evos built
- Desirable homologation Group B rally car
- Long-standing Guinness record for “fastest accelerating car in the world”
- Incredibly quick, brutally powerful, and exceedingly rare
The Group B regulations fostered some of the quickest, most powerful, and most sophisticated rally cars ever built. This period of competition is often referred to as the Golden Era of rallying.
In 1984, the RS200 was a unique design, featuring a composite/fiberglass body styled by Filippo Sapino at the Ghia Design Studio. Formula 1 designer Tony Southgate designed the chassis along with former F1 engineer John Wheeler. With a mid-mounted Cosworth “BDT” engine and its transmission mounted up front, the RS200 was often considered to have the most balanced platform of its contemporary competitors.
FIA homologation rules dictated that at least 200 of these race-bred monsters be built for the road. The one thing separating these RS200s from the all-out Group B competition cars is the interior, which was comfortably trimmed by Tickford with grey carpeting, door inserts, red Sparco seats, and a matching red leather XR3i steering wheel. Furthermore, of those 200 slated for production, only 20 were initially set aside to be converted into sacred “Evolution” models (four more were built later). The RS200 Evo received uprated suspension and brakes and a larger 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth powerplant, among other updates. At full boost, the RS200 could tear up the tarmac with upwards of 600 bhp on tap and sprint to 60 mph in just over three seconds.
This 1986 Ford RS200 is one of those rare 24 factory Evolution examples. Early in its life the car was owned by the late Robert ‘Bob’ Southerland, founder of the Colorado Grand Rally. Southerland sold the car in 1989 to private ownership, who enjoyed the car until recently, when it was subsequently purchased by the current owner. Since acquiring it, the car has benefitted from a complete overhaul which included fitting a new cooling system, fuel system, hoses, brakes, clutch, and all electrical. During this time the engine was rebuilt by Geoff Paige in the UK. With the work completed, the car is fully sorted and ready to impress against even today’s modern supercars.
The Evolution is presented in the traditional Ford Works racing livery in white with blue stripes. The interior is trimmed by Tickford and features a Terraspeed speedometer, VDO instrumentation, a three-spoke red-rimmed steering wheel, and matching red bucket seats with four-point Sabelt harnesses. The front compartment of the RS200 offers storage space as well as accommodation for the factory tool kit, which remains intact.
With its striking design, breathtaking power, and confidence-inspiring handling, this highly original RS200 Evolution is a truly stunning piece of Group B and Ford rally history. One of only 24 such examples produced, the collectability of this homologation rally car is unquestioned.