Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Atlanta, Georgia | October 27, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
It seems like many people love their Porsches in Gulf Oil colors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best racing liveries there is, not to mention they are great colors. But when it comes to racing Porsches, the Rothmans livery is where it’s at.
And speaking of “where it’s at” – this car is where it’s at. Let’s start with the 959. It was Porsche’s first true full-bonkers supercar. It was the most technologically-advanced car in the world at the time of its introduction. They went on sale to the public in 1986.
This 1985 car is called a 959 and what it represents is Jacky Ickx’s intent to take a Porsche to the world famous Paris-Dakar rally. But let’s back up. Porsche introduced a concept car in 1983 called the Gruppe B. It was essentially the 959 in concept car form.
Ickx entered three Porsches in the ’84 Paris-Dakar. They were based on the contemporary 911 SC RS. For 1985, Porsche offered up three purpose-built 959 rally cars. This is one of those cars and it’s powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter flat-six 911 Carrera engine with all-wheel drive. It was sort of an “almost-959.” All three cars failed to finish the race, including this one piloted by Dominique Lemoyne and René Metge.
It all came together in 1986 when Porsche put the 959-spec engine in the next batch of rally cars and ended up with a 1-2 finish at the Paris-Dakar. Only seven 959 rally cars were built, three in ’85, three in ’86, and one Le Mans prototype. Porsche kept five of them and one was destroyed in a fire. This is the only true 959 rally car in private hands.
It’s a pretty awesome opportunity to acquire a Porsche that most hardcore Porsche collectors will never have the chance to own. Oh yeah, and it also sports that Rothmans livery. It should bring between $3,000,000-$3,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 9, 2017
Photo – Bonhams
Okay, so maybe it’s not an actual Lancia works rally car sporting the most famous of rally car liveries, but it is a racing Stratos that has competition history that just so happens to sport that very same green and white Alitalia livery.
The Stratos was the first purpose-built rally car from a major manufacturer. Yes, at one time, Lancia was a major manufacturer (they are lucky to still be around right now, as the current top brass at Fiat seems to have completely forgotten that they exist). In order to race the Stratos, Lancia had to build road-going versions, which it did – about 400 in total. It was a supercar in its day, powered by the feisty 2.4-liter V-6 from the Ferrari Dino. Depending on engine tune, it can put out between 190 and 320 horsepower.
It might not seem like a lot, but the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive layout of this featherweight car makes it an absolute handful. I mean, the guys you see in old videos jumping these things over little humps on mountain roads are – and there’s no graceful way to say this – batshit crazy. At its limit (and on dirt or snow no less), this has to be one of the most difficult cars to drive that has ever been built.
This three-owner car has known race history back to 1993, so its unclear if it was built as a competition car from new, or converted from one of the homologated road cars. Either way, the owner picked the right paint job. It should sell for between $370,000-$480,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.
The Peugeot 205 was a small car sold by the French company all over the world between 1983 and 1998. Versions of is became some of the best Hot Hatches of the era. It just so happened that during this car’s production run, the insane rally category – Group B – was thriving.
Between 1982 and 1987, Group B cars were the most over-the-top rally cars ever built. Peugeot entered the fray in 1984 and Group B regulations required homologation road cars. The hatchback road cars were front-engine, front-wheel drive – but the rally cars (and their road-going counterparts) are mid-engined and four-wheel drive. That engine is a 1.8-liter turbocharged straight-four making 345 horsepower. It’s a beast.
This was a works rally car, and as such, it’s competition history includes:
1985 Rallye Monte-Carlo – 1st (with Ari Vatanen)
1985 Swedish Rally – 1st (with Vatanen)
After the ’85 season (which included more races than those listed above), the car was sold to a collector in France. It has been recently serviced and is the perfect car for anyone with an insane amount of driving skill. Or you know, a collector. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Francorchamps, Belgium | May 18, 2014
Photo – Bonhams
When one thinks of Ferrari race cars, they think of Formula 1 or sports cars. Hardly anyone pictures rally cars. And yet, that’s what we have here. Not only a Ferrari rally car, but a Ferrari 308 rally car – one of the cheapest Ferraris money can buy today.
But this car ain’t cheap. Let’s start with a little history… the FIA brought about Group B rally in 1983. Michelotto built and campaigned Ferrari race cars and they jumped at the chance race in Group B. But Ferrari didn’t want to build 25 homologation specials in order to take it racing. So Michelotto took standard road-going cars and turned them into rally cars. No specials needed if the road car is quick enough to be made into a racer. The engine is a 2.9-liter V-8 making 288 horsepower.
This is a 1976 Ferrari (the 308 was fiber glass until 1977, when it became steel) that Michelotto converted to rally status in 1983. They only built four of them and this is the first and most successful of those four, having won the Spanish rally championship and coming in as “Vice-Champion” in Italy (which makes it sound like a proponent of gambling and drugs). The other three cars all had more powerful engines.
You can pick up a road-going 308 for about $35,000. If you want a Michelotto Group B 308, be prepared to shell out between $760,000-$1,000,000. Yikes! Click here for more info and here for the rest of Bonhams’ Spa sale lineup.