Fitted from new with the rare optional factory 300HP upgrade and two-/four-wheel-drive locked differentials
Showing just 7,200km on the odometer
Inspected by the Ford RS200 expert and authority Justin Smith
A highly original and beautifully maintained example of the Ford RS200, one of the rarest and most useable Group B homologation specials
The Ford RS200
Did you know that the three-times Formula 1 World Champion Jackie Stewart had a major hand in developing Ford’s Group B thoroughbred, the RS200? Or that its chassis was the work of the accomplished Formula 1 designer Tony Southgate?
The lesser-known facts go some way to explain just how much effort and expense Ford invested (£10m, in case you were wondering) in the mid-engined car with which it wanted to write the next chapter of its World Rally Championship legacy.
Alas, the writing was already on the wall for Group B by the time the RS200 hit the special stages and the Ford’s great potential was sadly curtailed. Everyone knew that had it been afforded the chance, the RS200 – in its 700HP-plus Evolution guise – would have wiped the floor with everyone. It was glorious Group B’s logical next step.
If the frenzy this car causes when we post photos of its on social media is anything to go by, the road-going Ford RS200 is a car that resonates with a great number of people. Okay, so it was a pussycat in comparison to the rally car, but that doesn’t mean it was a pussycat full stop.
Quite the contrary, in fact – this was a lightweight mid-engined four-wheel-drive sports car designed from the ground up as a rally winner and whose turbocharged BDT engine produced an ample 250HP, after all. Miraculously, the RS200 also errs on the right side of useable, unlike the majority of its Group B homologation counterparts.
Ford Motorsport in Boreham was supposed to build 200 RS200s in order to homologate the rally version, though the authority on the model Justin Smith reckons that as few as 147 were actually sold, 90 of which were left-hand drive.
Chassis number 141
The Ford RS200 presented here is chassis number 141, which was assembled by Ford in January of 1986 and delivered new via the German dealer Alpha Import-Export GmbH to Japan in November of the following year.
A late left-hand-drive example finished in white, this car was specified with red fabric bucket seats, electric windows and the optional two-/four-wheel-drive locked differentials, which were operated by a smaller lever beside the gearstick.
Crucially, it was also fitted with the factory power upgrade, which increased the RS200’s horsepower from 250HP to 300HP. This was achieved by replacing the exhaust tip, turbocharger housing and injection pressure regulator valve. The turbocharger boost was then increased from 0.75 bar to 1.0 bar, while the engine’s ECU chip was remapped.
Chassis number 141 remained in Japan for almost three decades, during which time it was regularly seen with another RS200, believed to be chassis number 158, which was owned by a friend of this car’s custodian. In 2015, this Ford was repatriated to the United Kingdom and registered with the number ‘B309 FPU’.
This RS200’s penultimate owner acquired the car in 2016. During his six-year tenure as chassis number 141’s custodian, the car was kept in the UK, used sparingly and maintained by a well-known specialist regardless of cost, as evidenced by the plethora of accompanying invoices in the history file.
This Ford’s current owner delivered the car to us here at Belchers Farm, at which point we had it professionally detailed and photographed. We also invited the British RS200 expert and authority Justin Smith to inspect the car. The resulting report, which is available upon request, confirms chassis number 141 to be a highly original and high-quality example of the RS200. Smith says it is “a very honest and untouched example”, which “looks and feels like other ‘straight’ RS200s I have been lucky enough to inspect”.
Showing just 7,200km on the odometer and presented fresh from a service which included replacement of the suspension bushings, this RS200 is among the best examples of Ford’s eminently useable Group B homologation special we’ve yet encountered.
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