Top 10 Group B Cars
The Group B era enlivened special stages during the 1980s. Richard Heseltine looks back at ten rally pin-ups from a gladiatorial age
Citroen BX 4TC
Even by Group B standards, Citroen’s take on the theme made few concessions to beauty. With its long front overhang, four fully-functional doors and hydro-pneumatic suspension, the BX 4TC appeared unlike any other car in its class. This would have been of no consequence had it been competitive, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, the BX 4TC’s arrival on the World Rally Championship in 1986 coincided with Group B’s cancellation. The works equipe participated in 15 events, of which only three were rounds of the WRC. There were only two finishes. Even then, the BX 4TC was generally humbled by Group A machinery.
AutoFact: 18 of the 20 rally cars were destroyed, although bare shells have since emerged.
Most Group B cars were built on the principle of purpose first, looks second. The Ford RS200 was the exception to the rule. Here was a bespoke machine rather than a cartoonish mash-up with token aesthetic nods to a production model, even if the use of cut-down Sierra doors (and Sierra tail-lights for that matter) lends it a slight air of ‘parts bin special’. Tony Southgate landed the gig to design this brave new world in 1983 with Ford’s John Wheeler charged with developing project ‘B200’. Unfortunately, the RS200 never won a round of the WRC prior to its cancellation.
AutoFact: Several kit form replicas exist including one that is Austin Maestro-based…
MG Metro 6R4
The radical V6-engined 6R4 made its debut on the 1984 York National Rally, Tony Pond claiming eight fastest stage times and a lead of almost three minutes only to be forced out by an alternator fire. The car was successfully homologated on November 1 of the following year, just in time for the RAC Rally which rounded out the ’85 WRC. Pond claimed a magnificent third overall behind two factory Lancias, and great things were expected for the following year. Unfortunately, the British challenger had a terrible finishing record in 1986, by which time Group B was heading for the embalming table.
AutoFact: ‘Whitstable Will’ Gollop claimed the ’92 FIA European Championship driver’s title in a 6R4.
Chevrolet Corvette C1 For Sale
Furlonger have recently acquired this Chevrolet Corvette C1, Manufactured in 1962 and then sold in March of 1964. The car was specified with Ermine White exterior paint and Red interior. The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. Originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to induce GM toFor Sale | 16 Jun 2018 | Chart Enterprise Park Dencora Way, Ashford Kent, TN23 4FL£ 79,990
1978 Aston Martin V8 Oscar India
The Aston Martin AM V8 Oscar India was introduced in October 1978 and this car was built in the first month of production making it a very early example. It was derived and extensively modified from the earlier DBS V8 with power coming from the Tadek Marek all alloy designed V8 that made its first appearance in at the Racing Car Show in 1967 and was used by Lola as the power plant for their Type 7For Sale | 16 Jun 2018 | Old Windsor, England£ 135,000
Dino 246 GT
The much sought-after Ferrari 246 Dino GT was named after Enzo Ferrari`s son Alfredino, who died in 1956, aged 24 years. Enzo Ferrari credits his son with the inspiration for a series of successful small and medium capacity V6 racing engines built by Ferrari from 1956, and in turn the name was given to a new line of mid-engined production Ferrari V6 coupés, which first went on sale in 1969. The DFor Sale | 15 Jun 2018 | Little Green Street Farm, Green Street, Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, WD3 6EA United Kingdom£ 324,995
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 This 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 Convertible Sports Car comes in British racing green and a black interior. It comes equipped with a manual transmission, dual carburetors and wheels. An excellent original car and the last and most desirable year of the big Healeys. A great candidate for a full restoration. For $19,500 If you have any additional questions Please call 310For Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | Beverly Hills Car Club. 4576 1/2 Worth St. Los Angeles, CA 90063$ 19,500
Mitsubishi Lancer 2.0 EVO 3 GSR EVOLUTION III GSR 4dr
Grey, Power Steering, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Central Locking, Dual Zone Digital Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Radio Cassette Player, Factory Fitted Recaro Interior, InterCooler Water Spray, OZ Racing Alloy Wheels, Stainless Steel Exhaust, Totally Standard Example Of This Very Rare EVOLUTION 3 GSR Model, Import, £7,995, This is an imported vehicleFor Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | Damside, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD21 1QD£ 7,995
Porsche 911 3.8 RSR RWB LHD MODIFIED 2dr
**** LEFT HAND DRIVE + RWB SHOW CAR + FRESH IMPORT **** Red, We are proud to offer an outstanding Porsche 911 RWB which has been substantially modified to a high standard. Thousands have been spent on this vehicle to increase the performance and looks of this vehicle. The exterior bodywork has been custom made and designed by the world wide famous Nakai- San who is a well known Porsche specialist.For Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | Damside, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD21 1QD£ 114,989
2016 PORSCHE CAYMAN GT4
This one collector owned 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 was finished in GT Silver Metallic with Black leather with Racing Yellow stitching and Alcantara Seats, Black carpeting, and has only covered 500 miles from new. Optional Equipment included Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB), Without Audio System, Interior Light Package, Leather Interior with Speed Yellow Decorative Stitching, Rear Supports inFor Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | Gloucestershire GL7 5NX England£ 95,000
2010(10) Porsche 911. GT3 RS 997 3.8 Gen II
Finished in Carrara white, with red GT3 RS decals. Full black alcantara interior. OPTIONAL FEATURES FITTED TO THIS CAR. 19” Guards red GT3 alloy wheels. Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB). Lightweight bucket seats. Sport Chrono package plus. Sound package plus. Six-point seat belt for passenger in guards red. Lightweight headlamps. Carrara white sport chrono timer display painted. Porsche cFor Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | Alexander House, Barr Lane Ind Estate, Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, YO51 9LS, United Kingdom, 01423325800£ 174,995
1962 Ford RANCHERO FRAME OFF RESTORED $28K+ BUILD 302...
Vehicle Description Worldwide Vintage Autos is pleased to present this 1962 Ford Ranchero. HISTORY In 1960, the Ranchero became much smaller, based on Ford`s compact Falcon, specifically the two-door sedan delivery variant. The popularity of small, economical cars like the Volkswagen Beetle perpetuated a shift in thinking among the three largest American manufacturers; 1959 had the introduction oFor Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | DENVER, CO$ 17,900
1979 Ford BRONCO RESTORED BIG BLOCK 429 V8 AUTO...
Vehicle Description Worldwide Vintage Autos is pleased to present this 1979 Ford Bronco. HISTORY Designed by Dick Nesbitt, the full-size Bronco was designed under several Ford design requirements, including complete interchangeability of doors with the F-100 and a removable hardtop free of leaks (a problem the Blazer had at the time). SOURCE: WIKIPEDIA SPECIFICS / BUILD INFORMATION EXTERIOR -GFor Sale | 12 Jun 2018 | DENVER, CO$ 20,900
Audi Quattro S1 E2
Audi famously ushered four-wheel drive and forced induction into top-flight rallying with the Quattro with devastating effect. Tthe S1 E2 in many ways came to define the craziness of the Group B era. With its papercut-sharp bodywork add-ons, the S1 E2 looked every inch the iron fist inside an iron glove, and with good reason. This steroidal monster produced up to 590bhp depending on boost, Audi also experimenting with ‘PDK’ transmissions, forerunners to modern-day dual-clutch arrangements. The S1 E2 competed in only six events prior to Audi’s withdrawal from the WRC in 1986.
AutoFact: Bobby Unser used an S1 E2 to claim a new course record at Pikes Peak in 1986.
Lancia Delta S4
While notionally related to the production Delta, beneath the S4’s Frankensteinian outline it was a different beast entirely. And it really was bestial thanks to a mid-mounted 1959cc four-cylinder engine which boasted a turbocharger and a supercharger. The car was an instant winner at the end of 1985 and claimed three WRC wins into the following year. Fabrizio Tabaton also sealed the ’86 European Championship drivers’ title in an S4. Sadly, the model is perhaps remembered more for the crash on the Tour de Corse that year which claimed the lives of Henri Toivonen and Sergio Cresto.
AutoFact: The passing of Group B at the end of the year also nixed the S4’s successor, the Group S ECV1.
Peugeot 205 T16
Peugeot’s budget was of the eye-watering variety and nothing was off-limits. A turbocharged 1775cc four-cylinder engine was created out of an ‘XU’ diesel unit, but with a 16-valve DOHC head to run on petrol. Under the FIA’s equivalency regulations whereby displacement was multiplied by a factor of 1.4 for forced induction set-ups, the end capacity was 2485cc. This meant the T16 would slot into the 2000-2500cc category. It was the most successful car of the Group B era with two WRC titles and 16 wins to its credit. It also foretold Paris-Dakar glory.
AutoFact: Subcontractor Heuliez made 200 road cars for homologation purposes.
The 037 was the first car built explicitly to class regulations rather than adapted to fit. Abarth, which had become Fiat and Lancia’s defacto competition department, was responsible for its design and construction, but, contrary to popular belief, the 037 owes little to the Montecarlo production car save for the mid-engined layout and the centre-section. For starters, its supercharged four-banger was turned through 90 degrees from a transverse placing to a longitudinal position, and allied to a ZF five-speed transaxle. The 037 was bloodied on the 1982 Rally Costa Smeralda, and Lancia went on to claim the 1983 manufacturers’ title.
AutoFact: The 037 was the last rear-wheel drive car to win the WRC.
Strictly speaking, this car predated Group B but it did lead to an ‘evolutionary’ model which competed in period. Charles Pozzi commissioned Michelotto to build the first Group 4 rally car. Pozzi team regular, the brilliant Jean-Claude Andruet, steered it into a two-minute lead on the 1981 Tour de Corse only to retire the car with a broken fuel pump. In 1982, he finished second overall on the Tour de Corse for Ferrari’s best-ever result on the WRC. Eleven Group 4 308GTBs were purportedly made, along with four Group B variants which featured a reworked version of the Quattrovalvole V8.
AutoFact: The Group B variations were 30kg heavier than the Group 4 cars.
Renault 5 Turbo
Like the Ferrari, Renault’s mid-engined weapon was competing off-piste before the arrival of Group B, but it spawned variations on the theme that were WRC regulars at the height of the movement. The 5 Turbo won the 1981 Monte Carlo Rally and the following year’s Tour de Corse. The first Group B edition ran in 1983 with a best result of third place on the following year’s Corsican round. The ultimate ‘Maxi’ version arrived a year later with Ragnotti claiming honour on the Tour de Corse. As a complete aside, a 5 Turbo also starred in rubbish Bond flick Never Say Never Again.
AutoFact: Only 20 Maxi variants were built.
It could be argued that Mazda never fully committed to Group B as it didn’t provide much in the way of finance for this project. It was left to Mazda Rally Team Europe to turn the popular rotary-engined coupé into a rally weapon, but the four-wheel drive revolution had already happened by the time it began competing in 1984. Packing around 300bhp, it was also losing the horsepower war. Nevertheless, it didn’t disgrace itself with a best-ever result of third place on the 1985 Acropolis Rally. Rod Millen also enjoyed success with his homebrewed 4WD car in the USA.
AutoFact: A four-wheel drive Group S version was under construction when the category was cancelled.
Pictures courtesy of Rota Archive and LAT
Classic Cars for Sale
Furlonger have recently acquired this Chevrolet Corvette C1, Manufactured in 1962 and then sold in March of 1964. The car was specified with Ermine White exterior paint and Red interior. The first generation of Corvette was introduced late in the 1953 model year. Originally designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, it generated enough interest to induce GM to
The Aston Martin AM V8 Oscar India was introduced in October 1978 and this car was built in the first month of production making it a very early example. It was derived and extensively modified from the earlier DBS V8 with power coming from the Tadek Marek all alloy designed V8 that made its first appearance in at the Racing Car Show in 1967 and was used by Lola as the power plant for their Type 7
The much sought-after Ferrari 246 Dino GT was named after Enzo Ferrari`s son Alfredino, who died in 1956, aged 24 years. Enzo Ferrari credits his son with the inspiration for a series of successful small and medium capacity V6 racing engines built by Ferrari from 1956, and in turn the name was given to a new line of mid-engined production Ferrari V6 coupés, which first went on sale in 1969. The D
1967 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 This 1967 Austin-Healey 3000 BJ8 Convertible Sports Car comes in British racing green and a black interior. It comes equipped with a manual transmission, dual carburetors and wheels. An excellent original car and the last and most desirable year of the big Healeys. A great candidate for a full restoration. For $19,500 If you have any additional questions Please call 310