Not to be outdone by fellow comedian Jay Leno’s extensive vehicle collection, Tim Allen also boasts an eclectic array of cars, one of which is the rare 1986 Ford RS200. This unique automobile recently made an appearance at Jay Leno’s Garage.
Emerging during the zenith of the Group B period in the World Rally Championship (WRC), the RS200 is a distinctive rally homologation model.
The permissive regulations of Group B gave birth to highly potent vehicles such as the Lancia Delta S4, Peugeot 205 T16, and Audi Sport Quattro S1. Ford, however, opted to take an even more audacious path. Rather than modifying an existing vehicle, Ford engineered the RS200 from scratch specifically for competitive racing, while also offering a limited run for public purchase to meet homologation criteria.
Powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine crafted by Cosworth, this compact, mid-engined two-seater vehicle had a base horsepower of 250 for the street-legal variant. However, the performance editions crafted for racing were tuned for increased output. Irrespective of the version, the RS200 channeled its power to all four wheels.
Unfortunately, the WRC tenure of the RS200 was both brief and marred by tragedy. Debuted in the 1986 season, one of the cars met a disastrous end at that year’s Rally of Portugal, resulting in multiple spectator fatalities. This catastrophic incident, coupled with the subsequent deaths of driver Henri Toivonen and co-driver Sergio Cresto in a Lancia Delta S4 during the Tour de Corse, effectively terminated Group B rally competitions.
In the aftermath, Ford was left with a stockpile of 250 vehicles that no longer served their intended racing purpose. A number of these were eventually repurposed for other motorsport categories like rallycross, while others found their way into the hands of private collectors, such as Tim Allen.
In contrast to other rally-derived automobiles like the Subaru WRX or the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Ford never fashioned a more road-friendly version of the RS200. Thus, despite its legality for street driving, it remains essentially a race car—a unique specimen that stands apart from anything else ever produced by Ford.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 1986 Ford RS200
What is the primary focus of the article?
The article primarily focuses on Tim Allen’s 1986 Ford RS200 and its recent showcase at Jay Leno’s Garage. It delves into the historical context, technical specifications, and the car’s significance in motorsport history.
Who are the celebrities mentioned in connection to car collections?
The celebrities mentioned in connection with extensive car collections are comedians Tim Allen and Jay Leno.
What is unique about the 1986 Ford RS200’s engineering?
The 1986 Ford RS200 was engineered from scratch specifically for competitive racing in the Group B era of the World Rally Championship. It features a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine crafted by Cosworth and is a compact, mid-engined two-seater.
What was the tragic history associated with the Ford RS200?
The Ford RS200 had a short and tragic stint in the World Rally Championship. A car of this model was involved in a fatal crash at the 1986 Rally of Portugal, resulting in the death of multiple spectators. This incident, along with other tragedies in the same year, led to the termination of Group B rally competitions.
How did Ford manage the remaining RS200 vehicles post-Group B termination?
After the dissolution of Group B rally, Ford was left with 250 RS200 vehicles that could no longer serve their original racing purpose. Some of these cars were later repurposed for other racing categories, such as rallycross, while others found their way into the hands of private collectors like Tim Allen.
How does the Ford RS200 differ from other rally-based specials like the Subaru WRX or Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?
Unlike other rally-based specials, Ford never developed a more road-friendly, or “civilized,” version of the RS200. Though it is legal to drive on public roads, it retains its core characteristics as a race car.
More about 1986 Ford RS200
- Tim Allen’s Car Collection
- Jay Leno’s Garage Official Website
- History of the World Rally Championship
- Group B Rally Era
- Cosworth Engineering History
- Tragic Incidents in Motorsport
- Rallycross Racing Categories
- Collector Cars and Their Owners