Sometimes I really, really hate the internet. It takes a lot of surfing to find stories that are worth posting, since nobody wants to read a site that just re-hashes manufacturer’s press releases. Sometimes you stumble across something that you shouldn’t, simply because it will create an unrelenting desire to sell everything you own and buy it. Take, for example, this 1986 Ford RS200 Evo, found on Bring A Trailer, that will be sold at the RM Auctions Amelia Island event. To say I want this car is perhaps the biggest understatement in written history; I, in fact yearn for this car in a most illogical and unhealthy manner.
First, there’s the issue of price. RM estimates that it will sell between $80,000 and $120,000, which almost puts it within my reach if I sold everything I owned, cashed out all my retirement accounts and spent the next three weeks robbing liquor stores and cooking meth. I seriously doubt the car will go for that little, but if it does I will forever kick myself in the ass for not bidding on it. At the peak of the market, RS200 Evos were selling in roughly the $250,000 range, which made them utterly unattainable. This low mileage, unmolested example seems to be just marginally unattainable, and if it sells for less than $150,000 I can’t imagine the buyer losing money on the car.
Next, there’s the issue of performance. RS200 Evos were about the last of the Group B rally cars, and made about 600 horsepower in race trim. They were, of course, all wheel drive, but that didn’t matter much since they had a wheelbase similar to a go-kart. Make a tiny mistake behind the wheel, and the RS200 Evo will hurt you, badly. Make a big mistake behind the wheel, and it will kill you, in a most spectacular and violent fashion. Since this car is in street trim, it “only” makes about 420 horsepower from it’s turbocharged 2.1 liter four; given that the car only weighs 2,315 pounds, that’s plenty good enough. Zero to sixty should come up in under 3.5 seconds, and you’ll hit the relatively low top speed of 118 miles per hour in just over 9 seconds.
Why do I have such an affinity for the car? It’s hard to say, but I did get to see one set the lap record at the track where I used to teach. With a competent driver behind the wheel, the RS200 Evo will embarrass a surprising number of cars, including more than a few open wheel race cars. If you said, “this is the only fast car you’ll ever own”, I’d be OK with that, since I can’t imagine ever getting tired of driving it. I may go to the RM Auction, strictly in a journalistic capacity, but I’ll be watching the bidding on this car like a hawk. My guess is that it’ll bring in more than $150,000, and that’s simply too far north of my budget to even contemplate.