On January 22, RM Sotheby’s is hosting another auction in Arizona, and while the entire collection is great, there are six specific cars that stand out. Part of The Homologation Collection, these six machines were designed for rally racing. And they are gorgeous.
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) mandated at the time that, in order for a car to be eligible to complete in rallying, the manufacturer needed to build a minimum of race-ready vehicles—normally around 250—and offer them to the public. And with so few numbers, these machines are way rarer than its standard, non-rally-spec counterpart.
The Arizona Auction will take place virtually with limited attendance for registered bidders on January 22 at 1pm MST (3pm EST). There will still be an opportunity for the Average Joe to watch, but the auction house obviously wants to prioritize people that are actually going to, y’know, spend money.
With all that out of the way, let’s run through the six gorgeous rally-spec machines available for auction.
While Audi was out dominating rally championships in Europe, the North American consumer was pretty much neglected. The company didn’t think we had much interest in these sophisticated machines. Eventually, a New Jersey-based buyer (and certified Audi mechanic) outfitted this car to European specifications while leaving everything else intact and in original condition.
Like the name suggests, this BMW is an evolution of a previous racing-homologated machine, that one designed for DTM. It was well-maintained during its long journey from German owners to the United Kingdom and, finally, to the United States. You’d be forgiven for wanting to take it out on the rally course immediately.
Tell me the color of this machine isn’t gorgeous. You can’t.
Only 215 examples of this Blue Lagos were built, and it’s been kept in pristine condition by its owners over the years. Despite that, it has under 25,000 on the odometer—whoever had this car under their care must have had the self-restraint of a saint to stop themselves from driving it everywhere they possibly could.
This is my favorite of the six homologation specials offered in RM Sotheby’s collection. It was one of Lancia’s most popular—and successful—machines due to its light body and maneuverability. Its owners have kept it in race-ready condition with a roll cage, period bucket seats and harnesses, and a Sparco steering wheel. Its 1.6-liter engine has been modified, but other additions have been carefully vetted to ensure they’re relevant to the era.
The Mercedes-BMW battle was something to behold back in the day, and it gave us this. Partnering with Cosworth, Mercedes-Benz developed a visually arresting machine aimed at taking home championships across racing disciplines. This particular model has a little added twist: one of its more recent owners was located in Japan, so it’s outfitted with Japanese-language service manuals.
This bad boy was available on the Japanese market and appears to have been modified during the period it was developed, but it’s really remarkable for all of the AMG touches that it contains, including AMG by Bilstein shocks and AMG four-piston front brake calipers. Because of the market, this one is also offered with Japanese-language service manuals.