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Lot 024: 1988 FORD RS 200

Van Dijk Collection, H&H Sales Limited (3 October 2005)

Conceived purely as a Group B rally car, the Ford RS200 was unveiled at the November 1984 Turin Motor Show. The work of ex-F1 designer Tony Southgate and ex-F1 engineer John Wheeler, its advanced chassis incorporated a central aluminium monocoque cell with detachable subframes fore and aft. Suspended by double wishbones and twin-coil over shock absorbers, each wheel was fed power by a highly sophisticated Ferguson Formula (FF) system. Using a combination of three viscous couplings and a centre diff lock etc, it allowed the torque split between the front and rear wheels to be varied on the move. Thus, a driver could switch from a 37:63 bias to a 50:50 one halfway through a stage! Powered by a mid-mounted turbocharged 1803cc four-cylinder BDT engine, the RS200 carried its five-speed gearbox up front. While, this arrangement necessitated two propshafts, it also contributed to the car's excellent weight distribution. Clad in Ghia-styled but Reliant-built 'clamshell' glassfibre bodywork (though the cut-down doors and windscreen were Sierra sourced), a delay in production meant that the 200 cars necessary for homologation were not completed until February 1986. Debuting at the Swedish Rally, the RS200 managed a highly credible third overall (Grundel / Melander). Denied victory on the Acropolis Rally by mechanical failure, it proceeded to win the Ypres Rally (Droogmans / Joosten) and come fifth on the RAC Rally (Grundel / Melander) before Lancia Delta S4 driver Henri Toivenen's death on the 1986 Tour de Corse prompted Ford's instant withdrawal and FISA's decision to ban Group B. Determined to recoup some of its 10,000,000 investment, the Blue Oval enlisted the help of Tickford to convert a reputed 90 or so RS200s to road-going specification. Reportedly capable of 140mph and 0-60mph in 6.1 seconds, these detuned 250bhp street-legal supercars could be had in either left- or right-hand drive. Priced at approximately 50,000 each, they were sold to collectors worldwide few of whom seemed able to resist playing with the turbo's boost settings (the 'Works' Evo 2.1 litre cars were good for over 300bhp per litre!). Finished in the obligatory white with red Sparco bucket seats and grey carpets / door trims, this particular left-hand drive example has been part of the collection since 1994. First UK registered on 5th October 1988 as 'F565 LHJ' its last recorded British keeper was the Gates Ford dealership in Harlow, Essex. Thought to be unmodified save for Britax seat harnesses, it is believed to have covered just 9,434 miles. Riding on 8J x 16 Ford Motorsport Speedline alloy wheels, it still retains its Hella Rallye 1000 spotlamps (complete with covers) and leather bound owner's manual.

Lot Details
Auction Van Dijk Collection
H&H Sales Limited, Syon Park, Brentford
TypeCar
Lot Number024
Estimate£30000-£40000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£37000
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1988
Condition rating
Registration numberF565LHJ
Mileage-
Chassis numberSFACXXBJ2CGL00179
Engine numberGL00179
Engine capacity (cc)1803
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors