Jay Leno isn’t the only famous comedian with a massive car collection. Tim Allen owns a varied collection, including a rare 1986 Ford RS200, which he recently brought to Jay Leno’s Garage.
The RS200 is a rally homologation special that arrived at the peak of the Group B era of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
The liberal Group B rules produced extreme cars like the Lancia Delta S4, Peugeot 205 T16, and Audi Sport Quattro S1, but Ford pushed things even further. Instead of using an existing car as a base, the RS200 was designed from the ground up as a race car, albeit one that would be sold to the public in limited numbers for homologation purposes.
The result was a compact mid-engine two-seater powered by a Cosworth-developed 1.8-liter turbo-4. The roadgoing version produced 250 hp, but output was increased for racing versions. The power is sent to all four wheels regardless.
The RS200’s WRC career was short and tragic. Introduced for the 1986 season, one car crashed at that year’s Rally of Portugal, killing multiple spectators. That crash, along with the deaths of driver Henri Toivonen and co-driver Sergio Cresto in a Delta S4 later that year at the Tour de Corse, brought an end to Group B rallying.
Ford was left with 250 cars that couldn’t be used for their original purpose. Some were later used in other racing categories, including rallycross, and some ended up with collectors like Tim Allen.
Unlike other rally-based specials, such as the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Ford never developed a truly civilized version of the RS200. So while it can be driven on public roads, it’s still very much a race car—one unlike anything else Ford has ever built.
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