Automotive News and Articles


For Auction: 1 of 148 1986 Ford RS200

Imagine if you wanted to buy this car. You saw it on Bring a Trailer. You saw the six-figure bid price. You know its heritage. You need this in your garage.

So you tell your wife and kids due to unfortunate circumstances and downturns in the economy you'll have to cancel the plans for the trip to Disney World. Your children, through heartbroken tears will ask you why? What happened to the money? Where did it go? You tell them, in as serene a voice as possible, you have to go to Portland, Oregon. You have less than four days. There is a car there. A Ford RS200. You saw it online. You put another mortgage on the house, you already sold the Toyota Rav4, and you took the penalty on your IRA to withdraw another $50,000. Hopefully you'll be on the ground by the time you've won the bid.

Once in Portland you take an uber to meet the dealer. You finally see one in person. This 8,400 mile example. In white. One of possibly two RS200 cars legally imported into the United States. You do a walk around. You notice the 16-inch magnesium wheels. 225/50 VR16 Pirelli P700 tires. Gigantic air scoops. Peculiar 80s styling. And in the middle-back - a 1.8-liter single-turbo inline-four Cosworth engine producing 250 horsepower and around 207 lb-ft of torque give or take. With the hood up you spot the double adjustable coilover setup on each rear wheel, a spare tire strapped in between them, and its electric fuel injectors. There's a beauty to the way this car was hastily put together.

Now imagine you're the winning bidder. You talk to the current owner. You look over the documentation. The belts, battery, clutch master cylinder, clutch slave cylinder, high-pressure fuel pump, low-pressure fuel pump, fuel hoses, every fuel injector, brake fluids, clutch fluids, and boot covers were replaced. It has been tested for cold starts, compression tested, and leak tested. This car is ready to be driven. You know the risks of owning a Group-B rally car, but you're ready to live with it. You drive it home.

Once you pull onto your street you notice a moving truck on the curb. You can see your family putting their bags into your old Camry. As you pull into the driveway you feel cold shoulders all around. There's a packet addressed to you taped on the front door. You know it's happening. This situation can't be salvaged. You're committed to the car now. The way it revs to 9,000 rpm. The way it bursts forward on boost. You don't even mind the wide transmission tunnel holding the 5-speed manual gearbox. You find it endearing. This is the way all sports should be. Raw, visceral, resolute. One of a kind. A family can't provide this kind of driving experience. The Ford RS200 can. Let them leave. If they don't want to understand, that's their loss.

That's what it might be like buying a 1986 Ford RS200. Probably worth it just for the story.