Offered by Coys | Birmingham, U.K. | January 16, 2016
Photo – Coys
The MG Metro was not an exciting car. In fact, the Metro (which was produced under the Austin, MG, Rover and Morris brands) was originally built as a 1.0-liter front-wheel-drive supermini in England from 1980 through 1990. It could be had as a three or five-door hatchback and three-door van. This is obviously not one of those.
This is what happens when a giant motoring governing body lets people go wild. That’s what Group B Rally represented in the 1980s. The cars that came out of that short-lived era are some of the most collectible rally cars ever built. The 6R4 version of the Metro was built between 1984 and 1987.
In this trim, the engine is mounted behind the driver. It’s a 3.0-liter V-6 – naturally aspirated. Power output was 410 horsepower. Four-wheel drive was permanent. There was even a (slightly neutered) road-going version. Twenty rally versions were built.
This particular car was a Rothmans team rally car. It was never used in anger – mostly at shows and in demonstrations. It has 3,100 miles on it. The pre-sale estimate is between $125,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, England | March 21, 2015
Photo – Bonhams
Nobody did rally cars in the 1980s quite like Audi. They brought 4WD to the sport and revolutionized it. Their cars were boxy, powerful, and scary fast. The Quattro was a production car that was also sold as the Audi Coupe and they were introduced in 1980. The rally variant debuted that year as well.
This car was an Audi factory rally car that competed in Group 4 and Group B rally – the most famous (and awesome) period of rallying in history. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.1-liter straight-five making 300 horsepower in race trim.
Initially, it was built as a Group 5 rally car and it finished 2nd in the 1982 Monte Carlo rally with Hannu Mikkola at the wheel. He would go on to win the World Driver’s Championship that year. In 1983, Audi converted the car to the Group B spec you see here. It spent the next 12 years or so in Finland on the rally circuit and in a museum.
The current owner acquired it in 1995 and had it thoroughly gone over. It’s a pretty awesome example of the most intense years of rallying. You can buy it for between $370,000-$430,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this example.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Stoneleigh, U.K. | February 22-23, 2014
The Nissan Silvia began life in 1964 as the Datsun Coupe 1500. The third generation (code name: S110) was introduced in 1979. In the U.S. it was called the Datsun 200SX. It was sporty looking with only two doors but lacked any real performance cred.
When the FIA introduced Group B regulations in 1982, Nissan found the Silvia’s calling for performance. Group B had homologation rules – so Nissan had to build some for the road too. Those are rare. This is the Group B race version.
It is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-four making 237 horsepower. The car you see here was owned by the late rally legend Colin McRae. It was the only Group B car he ever raced during the Group B era – even though he used it in 1987 and Group B was dismantled after 1986.
This car has been extensively rebuilt and prepped for events and is used occasionally (like at Goodwood). Only about 200 of these cars were built between 1983 and 1985 and only about 30 of those were competition models, making this very rare. And having one of rally’s legends as a former owner and driver just makes it even better. It should sell for between $83,000-$100,000. Click here for a more detailed history of this car and here for more from this Silverstone sale.
Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | May 16, 2012
Photo – Silverstone Auctions
Ford was a little late to the Group B Rally party in the mid-1980s. Audi and Peugeot had been dominating the series for years by the time Ford rolled in with their RS200. By the time it was introduced in 1984, it had been 20 years since Ford built a vehicle as awesome and performance-capable as the RS200 (the GT40). This car has a space frame chassis, four-wheel drive and a mid-mounted 1.8-liter turbocharged straight-four making 250 horsepower on the road and somewhere between 350 and 450 in race trim. Later, the displacement would be bumped up to 2.1-liters and horsepower would go upwards of 650!
Unfortunately for Ford, shortly after their arrival on the scene, things would go horribly wrong. At the 1986 Portuguese Rally, an RS200 would go careening into the crowd, killing three spectators. Another RS200 would crash at a later event, killing the co-driver. So after only one year of serious competition, the RS200 – and Group B Rallying in general – were finished.
However, fortune shines on the enthusiast as Group B rules dictated that the cars must be homologated for the road with construction of 200 road-going versions of whatever outlandish car the manufacturers decided to race. Sources differ on how many actually were sold as street models but it seems to range from 140 to 220. It is known that 24 of these cars were upgraded to “Evo” specs, which are a bit more powerful (580 horsepower, and 0-60 mph in about 3.0 seconds).
This is one of the road cars, chassis 118, and it has a few rally-inspired extras on it. When it was freshened in 2010, the engine was upgraded to 2.0-liters and 550 horsepower, closer to the Evo’s specs of 580. It only has 1,850 original miles. These are rare and awesome cars – dare I say Ford has not built a car this awesome since – the GT included. The pre-sale estimate is between $185,000-$210,000. For the complete catalog description, click here. And for more of Silverstone’s Spring Sale, click here.