Group B Car Collection

7 Rare Group B Rally Cars join Artcurials Online Auction

A major highlight of Artcurial upcoming ‘Parisienne 2021’ auction is an entire Group B rally car collection consisting of seven iconic cars in their original condition.

The collection of Group B cars presented at this auction is unique as it is the first time such a collection has been offered at auction.

The collection which represents rallying at its peak was brought together by two motor racing enthusiasts, Michel Hommell and Olivier Quesnel.

The Artcurial Parisienne 2021 Sale will be held on Febuary 5 and will be streamed on YouTube and social media.

The seven Group B rally cars set for auction include:

1986 Ford RS200 factory

Estimate €250,000  – 400,000

  • The best result for an RS200 in the World Rally Championship
  • Went almost straight from a rally stage to the museum
  • Exceptionally well preserved
  • Designed by top English engineers
  • Ex-Kalle Grundel, ex-Stig Blomqvist
1986 Ford RS200 factory
front of 1986 Ford RS200 factory

1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2

Estimate: €600,000 – 800,000

  • Second on the 1985 Tour de Corse with Saby / Fauchille
  • Driven in the World Rally Championship by Saby and Salonen
  • C201: “Granny”, the grand old lady of the Evo 2 family
  • Still registered in the name of Peugeot Sport
  • The Group B car which was twice World Champion
1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2
rear of 1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evolution 2

1986 Lancia Delta S4

Estimate: €600,000 – 800,000

  • Rare authentic works Group B car
  • Competed in Lancia Martini racing colors with Biasion in 1986
  • Well-documented history, in current ownership since 1988
  • Ex-Bruno Saby, one of the top rally drivers in the 1980s
1986 Lancia Delta S4

1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1

Estimate: €1,000,000  – 1,300,000 

  • Displayed at the Manoir de l’Automobile since 1989
  • Sold directly to Olivier Quesnel by Audi AG
  • Exceptional condition for a rally car
  • The final version of the Audi Quattro, one of the most legendary Group B cars
  • Ex Race of Champions 1988
1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1

1985 MG Metro 6R4

Estimate: €280,000  – 360,000

  • Belongs to Manoir de Lohéac since 1989
  • Title car, 1986 French Rally Championship
  • In a remarkable state of preservation
  • Driven by a French World Champion
1985 MG Metro 6R4
rear of 1985 MG Metro 6R4

1985 Renault 5 Maxi Turbo

Estimate: €400,000  – 600,000

  • The most powerful of Group B two-wheel-drive
  • Ex Carlos Sainz
  • The zenith of the R5 Turbo
  • Superbly preserved car
1985 Renault 5 Maxi Turbo
rear of 1985 Renault 5 Maxi Turbo

1985 Lancia 037

Estimate: €500,000 – 800,000

  • Pioneer of Group B and model of the 1983 world title
  • Evo 2 factory specifications
  • Outstanding state of conservation
1985 Lancia 037
rear of 1985 Lancia 037

Two highlights of the collection of rally cars are the 1986 Ford RS200 factory and the 1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1

1986 Ford RS200 factory

Estimate: €250,000 – 400,000  

Ford RS200 is the only rally car that was designed solely for Group B competition and was presented in a distinct bodywork that was distinct from any production model.

The only setback with the Ford RS200 was that it was introduced too late to make any significant impact. 

Group B rally racing

Ford directors in March 1984 approved to have five prototypes built and in Novemeber of that year the Ford RS200 was unveiled to the public at the Turin Show.

Although the plan was to join the World Rally Championship starting mid-1985 a setback in development delayed the project and production of the 200 cars that were required to be homologated and they were only completed by the end of 1985. 

rear lights of 1986 Ford RS200 factory

At the Swedish rally in February 1986, the RS200 finally made its debut at the World Rally Championship. Local driver, Kalle Grundel won a few stages and finished third, after Kankkunen’s 205 T16, and Alen’s Delta S4. 

It was a good start, but tragedy soon struck as in the next event, at the Rallye de Portugal where the RS200 with Joaquin Santos on the wheel ran off the road to avoid a few reckless spectators and three people lost their lives.  

clamshell car

The RS200 was seen in only two more events in the Championship – the Acropolis Rally which had Blomqvist and Grundel leading before they ran into some transmission problems, and the RAC Rally, where Grundel finished fifth. 

The car on offer (chassis number 015) is the car driven by Grundel to third place in the Swedish Rally which is the best outcome delivered by an RS200 in the World Rally Competition.

interior of 1986 Ford RS200 factory

1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1 

Estimate €1,000,000 – 1,300,000

Bruno Saby once described the Audi Quattro as “the greatest monster of them all!” It was a fitting description of its brutal appearance, engine’s powerful noise, and its awesome performance.

1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1
rear of 1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1

Despite the Quattro missing its objective in Group B, it had already become legendary after claiming the 1982 world rally championship title in the era of Group 4.

In 1980, the Audi Quattro made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. It was the perfect combination of having a superb performance of a sports car with its 200bhp engine that was matched with the comfort of a luxury saloon.  

The first victory for the Audi Quattro came during the 1981 San Remo Rally with Michèle Mouton behind the wheel. By the 1982 season, they completely dominated, winning the world title. 

Group B rally car

When Group B was introduced Audi responded by modifying the Group 4 version by extending its homologation and entering the car in Group B as the Quattro A2. They also created a true Group B car – the Quattro Sport and manufactured 200 homologation versions of it.  

By 1985, just as the Quattro Sport was starting to gain ground, it went up against the 205 Turbo 16, and the latter was able to grab the championship with Timo Salonen driving. 

To maintain its competitiveness, Audi had to further develop the model and it is what they did with the Quattro Sport S1. Engineers were allowed to deviate from the production model, of which Audi took full advantage of.

interior of car

In the final version, Audi relocated the engine back, modified the transmission, and placed the radiators to the back which delivered an improved weight distribution of 52:48 front to rear.

By the end of 1985, Röhrl delivered the car’s first victory at San Remo which gave a well-needed boost to the team’s confidence.  

The 1986 season was proving to be a challenging year for Audi as Mouton and Blomqvist moved to different teams, and it was up to Mikkola and Röhrl to raise Audi’s flag.

At the Monte-Carlo Rally, they finished third and fourth behind Lancia and Peugeot.

Joaquin Santos tragic accident in his Ford RS200 where three spectators died led Audi to withdraw from rally car racing. 

Dashboard

Audi remained faithful though to Pikes Peak as the results from it were important for the North American market. In 1985 and 1986, Mouton and Bobby Unser won the event, and in 1987, Audi had the Quattro Sport driven by Röhrl.  

At “The Race to the Clouds” a 12.4-mile hill climb starting at an altitude of 9,400ft and finishing at 14,124ft, Röhrl’s Audi was undeniably the most extreme Quattro Sport created. It had 600bhp and weighed 2,200lbs. The car was able to beat the record with a time of 10:47.85.  

Engine

Audi’s honor and reputation were defended, and the Quattro was able to retire from competition being known as one of the best rally cars of all time.

The 1988 Audi Sport Quattro S1 up for sale left the factory on the 14 September 1988 and was finished in ‘Alpinweiss’. The car has only competed in one event being the Race of Champions.  This car remains in an exceptionally well conserved original condition both inside as well as the exterior.


[Source: Artcurial]