Amelia Island

12 March 2016

Previous Next

Lot 121

1985 Ford RS200 Evolution

  • Chassis no. SFACXXBJ2CGL00070
  • Serial no. 213
  • Engine no. BDT 0018

Sold for $522,500


600 bhp, 2,137 cc DOHC 16-valve turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Bosch electronic fuel injection, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent double wishbone suspension, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99.6 in.

  • One of only 24 RS200 Evolutions built
  • Upgraded by the factory to 600 brake horsepower
  • Less than 450 original kilometers
  • Long-standing Guinness record for “fastest accelerating car in the world”


The Group B regulations fostered some of the quickest, most powerful, and most sophisticated rally cars ever built. This period of competition is often referred to as the Golden Era of rallying.

While Ford’s European racing concern in Boreham, England, had dominated WRC competition in the 1970s with various iterations of competition-prepared Escorts, even winning the Manufacturers’ Championship in 1979, America’s oldest carmaker dropped out of the format in 1980. With the advent of Group B, Ford set out to develop a rear-wheel drive, turbo-charged variant of their Mk III Escort, dubbed the Escort RS 1700T. However, after development problems, Ford was forced to abandon the project. Not wanting to simply write off the cost of the 1700T, Ford executives decided to make use of the lessons learned to build an all-new, purpose-built rally car. In order to compete with the likes of the Lancia Delta S4 and the Audi Quattro S1, they decided the new vehicle should also feature four-wheel drive.

In 1984, the RS200 was a unique design, featuring a composite/fiberglass body styled by Filippo Sapino at the Ghia Design Studio. Formula One designer Tony Southgate designed the chassis along with former F1 engineer John Wheeler. With a mid-mounted Cosworth “BDT” engine and its transmission mounted up front, the RS200 was often considered to have the most balanced platform of its contemporary competitors.

FIA homologation rules dictated that at least 200 of these monsters be built for the road. The one thing separating these RS200s from the all-out Group B competition cars is the interior, which was comfortably trimmed by Tickford with grey carpeting, door inserts, red Sparco seats, and a matching red leather XR3i steering wheel. Furthermore, of those 200 slated for production, only 20 were initially set aside to be converted into sacred “Evolution” models (four more were built later). The RS200 Evolution received uprated suspension and brakes and a larger 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth powerplant, among other updates. At full boost, the RS200 could tear up the tarmac with upwards of 600 brake horsepower on tap and sprint to 60 mph in just over three seconds. In fact, only a few production examples left the factory at full-tune—including this RS200.

The ultimate specification RS200, this 2.1 Evolution, boasting an incredible 600 horsepower from the factory, was originally sold to renowned philanthropist, rancher, and oilman Dennis O’Conner of Victoria, Texas. In fact, he agreed to purchase three other RS200s from Ford in order to acquire this car! After several years, the car was finally imported into the US around 1990. After O’Conner’s passing in 1997, the RS200 remained with his estate until 2010 when it was acquired by Steve Rimmer of Seattle, Washington, the following year. Founder of the DirtFish rally school, Rimmer, an avid rally aficionado and owner of several RS200s, maintained the car in his collection until 2014 when it was sold to a collector in the UK. With limited mileage since its original delivery, this ultimate-spec RS200 remains in excellent condition throughout and shows just 430 original kilometers.

Probably one of the most, if not the most, unused RS200s, and certainly one of the most powerful, this car has never been run in competition. The unusual rally-bred supercar is a sensational anomaly in the Ford production output that represented the legendary Group B rally cars. For rally connoisseurs or dedicated fans of 1980s sports cars in particular, this superlative RS200 Evolution would make an important acquisition to any collection as a notable example of one of Ford’s most extreme racing creations.

Addendum

Please note that DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington have generously offered the buyer of this RS200 a complimentary One Day Rally Fundamentals course for them and a guest.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby's in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born ... read more

Annette Abaci

aabaci@rmsothebys.com

+49 (0) 40 441 95 737
Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Barney Ruprecht

BRuprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Barney Ruprecht graduated from Boston University in 2013 with a degree in Hospitality Administration. In ... read more

Dan Warrener

dwarrener@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a car specialist in May 2015. He is a lifelong automobile enthusiast and g... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Sotheby's in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and re... read more

Ian Kelleher

ikelleher@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

jboxstrom@rmsothebys.com

+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Sotheby's in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in ... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 917 213 5672
Ontario, Canada

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Jonathan Sierakowski

JSierakowski@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Jonathan Sierakowski developed a passion for classic cars while working at a restoration shop as a teenag... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 260 927 9797
Indiana, United States

Kurt Forry joins Auctions America with more than a decade of experience on the North American auction scene and a well-rounded knowled... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby's, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Gra... read more

Pete Fisher

PFisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his ho... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

TVanderVelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
Netherlands

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a car specialist. A... read more