The Cultivated Collector has launched the Homologation Heroes Collection, a project that celebrates (you guessed it) homologation cars. For the first series in this collection, The Cultivated Collector is showing off five incredible cars from the Group B and 4 Rally eras, a personal favorite of mine. This range from the iconic Ford RS 200 Evolution to the wild Citroen BX4TC. For more information about each of the cars, be sure to click their respective links to view their listing on duPontREGISTRY.com.
1974 Lancia Stratos
Today the Lancia Stratos is arguably one of the most famous cars to emerge from the eccentric and near-limitless world of rallying, placed on a pedestal in reach of few others. The spartan interior is tightly packed, with both driver and passenger canted slightly inwards towards the center of the car, and there is no aspect of the interior that does not have a perfect sense of purpose. A small steering wheel reaches out from the dashboard to greet the driver, providing them with agile response on turn in and immediate feedback on the road, allowing for the driver to dance the car through turns with immense precision. The short gearing provides swift acceleration, with gear changes feeling tantalizingly accurate and sharp with each shift, while the Dino V6 howls to redline – the Lancia Stratos driving experience is nothing short of sublime.
One of 492 produced examples, The Cultivated Collector’s 1974 Lancia Stratos is finished in an electrifying coat of Red-Orange, over an equally stunning “Havana” alcantara interior, and is one of the finest examples extant. Chassis 001519 boasts a mere 44,100 kilometers from its first registration in April of 1976 in Turin, Italy when the Stratos was at the height of its World Championship powers. 001519 would reside in sun-kissed Italy until September of 1978 when it was purchased by its first American caretaker, with the car subsequently living the majority of its life in the USA. 001519 would transfer ownership twice before being acquired by noted Ferrari expert and parts dealer Dennis McCann in 1992, who undertook an exhaustive, extensively researched nut and bolt restoration.
1985 Peugeot 205 T16
There are many records in the elite realm of Group B, however it is the Peugeot 205 T16 which enjoys the most rarified air – it is the only Group B rally car to win back-to-back World Rally Championships. Homologation efforts for Peugeot’s Group B rally car began with the humble 205, building 200 of the road-going 205 T16’s, with an overwhelming majority painted in gray. Retaining the Group B monster’s 200HP mid-engine four-wheel-drive layout, a lightweight tubular spaceframe, glass-fiber bodywork, and race-bred center differential, the road-going homologation special was renowned for spritely handling characteristics.
Chassis 177 stands alone amongst the crowd of gray 205 T16’s, as it was the only car delivered in black from new at the behest of its original owner. The car was delivered in January of 1986 to its’ first owner, Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar. Ever fond of his highly unique 205 T16, Al-Thani would retain ownership of the car until 2007, diligently maintaining it as evidenced by the quantities of service stamps issued in period by Peugeot Warwick Wright of Chiswick, London.
1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2 Evolution
The Renault 5 Turbo was created as a limited production run for rallying homologation purposes, allowing Renault to enter rallying on the international stage in direct response to the success seen by the Lancia Stratos. Despite very limited funding, the engineers got to work on a sports version of the economical Renault 5 Alpine Supermini, converting it into a genuine podium-capable rally car. The race-bred Renault 5 Turbo would debut radically designed box-arched rear bodywork penned by Marcello Gandini and Marc Deschamps at Bertone, to accommodate the dramatically revised mechanical layout of the car.
With its rear-mid-engine and rear-wheel drive layout, the Renault 5 Turbo 2 Evolution is undoubtedly one of the most iconic cars from the infamous Group B era of rally racing. Finished in a deep black over beige interior, The Cultivated Collector’s 1985 Renault 5 Turbo 2 is a rare Evolution Typ-8221 model, making it 1 of 200 total produced to qualify for Group B competition – the ultimate pocket rocket, boasting an aluminum roof and doors for a lowered center of gravity. Having covered a mere 49k kilometers since new, and benefitting from recent maintenance, this Renault 5 Turbo 2 Evolution is a street brawler ready to join the discerning collectors garage.
1986 Ford RS200 Evolution
Featuring a mid-mounted, turbocharged Cosworth BDT 1.8L engine, paired to a 5 speed manual transmission sending 450HP to all four wheels, Ford factory driver Kalle Grundel would pilot a RS200 to third place at the 1986 WRC Rally of Sweden, earning the car’s best-ever finish within the cut throat Group B class. The RS200’s success would be short lived after just a single year of competition, as a series of tragic accidents near the end of the 1986 season led the FIA to abolish the Group B class, forever consigning it, and the demonic rally cars it spawned, to the history books.
The Cultivated Collector’s 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution, chassis 0084 (Evo 214), presents today in factory original condition as an impeccable example of the 20 produced “Evolution” homologation specials. 0084 menacingly wears its original traditional Ford Works racing livery of a white base paint, overlaid with blue stripes. Delivered new to the late Robert Southerland, founder of the fabled Colorado Grand, 0084 would reside in his private collection until 1989, when it joined the Blackhawk Collection. The where it would remain in climate-controlled storage until May of 2019 when acquired by the esteemed Andrews collection in Texas. Recent work to 0084 in preparation for its sale in 2019 included fitting a new cooling system, fuel system, hoses, brakes, clutch, and all electrical. Additionally, during this time, the engine was rebuilt by specialist Geoff Paige in the UK ensuring nothing but the highest levels of quality and performance. One of only 20 produced, this highly original RS200 Evolution is an unmistakable cornerstone of rallying and Group B history.
1987 Citroen BX 4TC
Carrying the motorsport torch through the 1970’s was the Citroen SM, based on the luxurious Citroen DS, the SM shared similar aerodynamic and futuristic bodywork, while retaining the unorthodox, and innovative hydropneumatic suspension and steering that the DS was lauded for. What seemed an unlikely candidate for rally success proved otherwise, and on its inaugural outing in 1971, the SM stormed to victory at the arduous Rallye du Maroc. With the SM, Citroen had the ultimate stress-test for their hydropneumatic suspension and steering system, allowing for continuous development and refinement at the hands of the world’s most demanding rally stages through the mid-70’s. However, this success would not be sufficient to sustain Citroen as an individual company, and it was in 1976 that the successful and adventurous brand was acquired by Peugeot.
The Cultivated Collector’s 1987 Citroen BX4TC is a time capsule of the marque’s Group B efforts. Today, chassis 0069 has traveled only 53,200KM from new and remains a numbers matching and highly original example of the supposed 30 remaining BX4TC cars,. Originally sold new in Paris, 0069 escaped the fate of many other BX4TC’s and remained road-registered with its first caretaker until 2000. Retaining its original French registration license plates to this day, all subsequent caretakers of 0069 paid close, and meticulous, attention to technical condition and regular maintenance. Recent major service includes a flush of all fluids, new clutch, as well as timing belt. One of the most attainable relics of the Group B era, the BX4TC and its story is an alluring part of Group B history that cannot be looked over.