Originally owned by former World Rally Champion Stig Blomqvist
1986 FORD RS200 EVOLUTION
Chassis No. SFACXXBJ2CGL00161
Engine No. GL00161
Engine: four cylinder, in-line, twin overhead camshaft, Garrett TPL 1807 Turbo, 2,137cc, 628bhp at 7,000rpm; Gearbox: five speed Endean with straight cut tooth gears, non-synchro with variable 2/4 wheel drive; Suspension: independent all round with double wishbones, twin coil springs over hydraulic dampers on each corner and adjustable anti-roll bars; Brakes: Formula One specification four wheel vented and cross-drilled AP brakes. Left hand drive.
The Group B rallying era is without compare the most colorful and evocative period that the sport has ever seen and with the current iron-fisted WRC regime scaring manufacturers away, the Group B legacy is not likely to be threatened.
Rallying historically used production-based road cars that were suitably modified to tackle a variety of terrains and climates but a dramatic change came about in the 1970s when Lancia unveiled their Ferrari-engined Stratos. For the first time, a manufacturer had designed a car specifically for rallying with power, weight and center of gravity taking precedent over allowances which were usually accounted for historically. Blisteringly quick, but hard to handle and with questionable reliability, the dynamic step taken by Lancia did not spread. But they had made a point and when the FIA introduced the Group B regulations in 1982, manufacturers then only had to make two hundred road-going derivatives in order to homologate their cars - the technological floodgates were opened, true rally specials were born and a golden era followed.
Initially manufacturers stuck with the age-old rear wheel drive concept but that was until Audi unleashed their Quattro with full-time four wheel drive - a new marker was set. Lancia, Peugeot, MG and Ford all went back to the drawing board but by the middle of the decade the World Rallying scene was a nailbiting mix of terrifyingly powerful machines. Sadly the Group B rollercoaster came to an abrupt end following the unfortunate death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto on the 1986 Tour de Course, and by the following year the formula had been outlawed. Now cemented in motoring folklore, the Group B era and the cars that it spawned famously earned the posthumous phrase 'too fast to race'.
Ford's late entry to the fray was due to the Quattro phenomenon thus they had to shelve their Escort-based RS1700T. The RS200 made its debut on the 1986 Swedish rally where it finished an enthusing third overall but with limited development time by comparison to its competitors (and compounded by the Group B outlaw), the RS200 never got a chance to show its prowess. Like the majority of other Group B cars, the RS200 soon found its way to the Rallycross scene and this was where the RS200 truly excelled with Mark Rennison proving dominant in the UK and the legendarily exuberant Martin Schanche in Europe.
Originally intended for rallying application, Ford built a limited series of Evolution RS200s, the majority of which fell victim to the hardship of Rallycross. The intention was to assemble twenty such examples but an additional four were completed by the Boreham Works bringing the total to twenty-four. Boasting in excess of 600bhp, it was one such Evolution example that in the hands of the 1984 World Rally Champion, Stig Blomqvist, held the 0-62mph (100kph) Guinness World Record time of just 3.07 seconds, a record that stood for twelve years!
This exceptional RS200 Evolution was originally built specifically for Blomqvist and features a unique mix of performance and luxury. The Brian Hart-built engine has been dyno-tested at an amazing 628bhp at 7,000rpm and to cope with the transfer of power, a close ratio, heavy duty Endean transaxle was adopted along with suitably adequate prop and drive shafts. It also has variable 2/4 wheel driveability by which one can alter the drive from four wheel to two wheel and even a 36/64 split while on the move using the small red lever nestled along side the gearshift, this option usually only found on the Works rally cars. To combat this incredible forward propensity, the Works looked to Formula One technology for the braking system, thus vented and cross drilled AP items were fitted and Aeroquip hoses used throughout. A full mechanical specification list can be supplied upon request. Further, this RS200 features electric windows and mirrors, power steering and uniquely so, has the seats leather-trimmed.
In 1989 when the current owner went in search of an RS200 Evolution, the factory had sold them all but due to his close relationship with Ford, they asked Blomqvist if he would consider giving up his personal road car. He had covered just over a thousand kilometers in the car thus it was barely run in, but following negotiation a deal was struck and the buyer was smitten - even Jackie Stewart sent him a congratulatory letter! Before taking ownership the current owner was fortunate enough to passenger Blomqvist for some high speed demo laps around the Boreham test facility and prior to dispatchment to the USA a mph odometer was fitted. The initial intention was to run the car at the prestigious Pikes Peak Hillclimb but instead this special RS200 was spared from competition. Displaying a mere 54 miles on the new odometer (therefore totaling approximately 700 miles from new) it has been rarely used and has been privileged with a garaged existence since arriving in the US. Despite this, servicing has been regularly carried out, often by respected race specialists Holman & Moody and while not driven in anger for some years, the car is described as on the button. It should be noted that in light of its originally intended imported use, this RS200 has never been registered for road use in the USA and is being sold on a bill of sale only.
Aggressively poised on split-rim Speedline alloys, condition both inside and out is flawless. Only 146 RS200s are recorded as being sold with only twelve EVOs known to survive, thus this amazing RS200 is arguably the best example of the finest and most powerful RS200 derivative ever built.