According to la biblia, it took but a simple apple to get Adam and his girlfriend evicted from their garden apartment. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Group B Ford is a far, far more desirable forbidden fruit, but will you find its price is rotten to the core?
Speaking of the bible - for those of you r/atheists - it's filled with so many thou shalt nots that you wonder what the hell you can get away with. The ten commandments especially are a whole bag of don't that'll really let the air out of just about any party. But there's one admonition that's conspicuous by its absence in any religious tract, and that is thou shalt not jack up a rare and desirable car so it looks like a wiener dog in a cactus patch. Perhaps as an addendum, and based on its decisive 90% Crack Pipe loss, you might want to advise against asking fifty grand for ignoring the first half.
Its history is not yet fully written, but when it is, how will Ford be best remembered? Will it be for putting America on wheels? Or for the unfair labor practices that accomplished that? Maybe the introduction of the Mustang will be seen as its most notable achievement, so wildly popular was it upon debut that customers slept in their cars at the dealer to ensure delivery. Or perhaps it will be the company's acquiescence to the bean counters in favoring lawsuit payouts over keeping Pinto occupants from suffering possible immolation? Ford's been in business for so long, and has had so many ups and downs that it's impossible to pick one achievement - either good or bad - that fully represents the company, its ethos, and its history.
But I think there's something that might come close.
Ford's glorious RS200, a tour de force mechanical marvel commissioned of the company's British arm, is not only a singularly brilliant high note in FoMoCo's century-long aria, it's also one for the record books. As driven by rally legend Stig Blomqvist, the RS200 claimed the Guinness world record for fastest accelerating car with a then astounding time of 3.07 seconds, zero to 100kph. Sadly that explosive acceleration had limited real-racing exposure, the entire class being dismantled in 1986, following the deaths of Henri Toivonen and Sergio Crestos at Tour de Course. The RS200, and its even more rabid EVO edition suddenly found themselves without a raison d'être
While the FIA group B rules allowed for wildly radical designs and quantities of horsepower typically reserved for ICBMs, it still required homologation builds so that the cars could be considered ‘street editions'. Because of this we today have classics like the Renault Turbo 2, Audi Quattro Sport, Lancia Delta Integrale and, of course, the RS200. One thing you might notice about that list is that none of those cars was ever officially offered in the U.S. as sometime in the late sixties our national sense of adventure and risk-taking was replaced with a moribund sense of fraidy-cat panty-waistedness.
This 1986 RS 200 (sadly not an Evo) is in the U.S., having been imported as a non-road going race car, despite being one of the 200 homologation cars constructed for that purpose. Designed by Ghia, and using a lot of off the shelf parts from the Sierra - including windscreen, tail lamps and cut-down doors - the RS200 rides on a bespoke tube frame chassis with enough suspension travel to warrant a frequent flyer upgrade.
Like almost all, it's white over a red and grey interior, and somewhat unfortunately, someone decided that advertisements should plaster its sides. The seller claims this was the last car to leave the plant, and whether that makes any difference in its value, the fact that only 200 did in total surely does. He claims that it was brought to America shortly after leaving that factory and has been here - avoiding road duty - ever since. The seller also notes in the ad that the car has never been raced, which makes you wonder what exactly it has been up to this past quarter century.
A lack of track time may be of benefit to the 1.8-litre, 250-bhp Cosworth BDT which, while not heavily stressed in this application, can go to Spinal Tap levels of pony power, shortening its life considerably. Also short is the amount of time this RS200 has apparently spent on the macadam, the seller claiming it has less than 2,000 kilometers on it, and the overall condition of the body and interior, which look serviceable and un-marred. Under the massive flip-up rear section, the tube frame and mechanicals do evidence the onus of time, and there's some surface rust and general grunge with which to be dealt.
When racing, the RS200 was pretty heavy for its size, the onus being the 4wd system. And turbo lag - the intercooler is all the way up on the roof requiring a voluminous and lengthy path for the charge - made the car less than competitive initially. That of course will be less of a problem on road courses. . . or roads.
That's the thing here, I can't imagine owning an RS200 and not driving it on the road. I have an acquaintance who owns a pair of Mercedes Benz CLK-DTMs, and he gets a one-day pass to take either out on the street, over, and over and, over again. That would be totally worth the hassle for the RS200 which admittedly makes me giggle like a bathtub fart.
The price may not be considered mirth-making however, coming in at more OMG than WRC at $128,999. Sure this is one of only a handful in the nation, and the car itself would make even that guy with the sticker of Calvin peeing on a blue oval weak in the knees, but mama, that's a lot of scratch. What do you think about that price for this RS200 - which by the way would buy you a nice Ford GT that's as-fast and can be driven on any street in the country with impunity? Is it, like the car, RS-ting? Or, for that much, is this totally una-Ford-able?
Postscript: Yes, this is the same car that was on BaT last month, get over it.
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