You probably shouldn’t go to RADwood expecting a lot of highly modified anything, but if you want an period correctnes, with a few really clean examples and a bunch of weird little limited editions mixed in, then it should be right up your alley.
Silverstone Auctions’ Race Retro Classic & Competition Car Sale 2020 starts on the 21st of February in Kenilworth, UK, and there will be several sensational rally cars in attendance. Out of a pristine Ford RS200, Solberg’s 2007 Subaru Impreza WRC, a well-sorted Lotus Cortina driven by Colin McRae, and an ex-Schnitzer BMW E30 M3, I suppose it’s my role to tell you which one is the best buy. Yet deep down, with such unbelievably cool options to choose from, we all know there’s no correct answer. Nonetheless, I’ve done what I can.
1986 BMW M3 (FIA-Spec)
At number four is this fantastic FIA-spec 1986 BMW E30 M3 rally car. Personally, I wouldn’t rally an E30 M3, because cheaper, properly equipped versions of the E30 are perfectly adequate alternatives for such a tough job. To me, the E30 M3 is more of a DTM car, a track legend I just wouldn’t ever want to see in a ditch. However, the duo of Bernard Béguin and Jean-Jacques did win the French turn of the 1987 WRC season driving an M3, so it’s no wonder that this ‘86 M3 headed to auction also found its second life in European historic rallying. However, back in the day, it started out as a factory motorsport chassis ran by Team Schnitzer, which means it still has a full Matter cage and its unique identity number ‘M3-120607’. Turn the key, and you’ve got 290 horsepower from the 2.3-liter four-cylinder at 8800 rpm that’s ready to be unleashed at any stage.
1986 Ford RS200
The rally car among these four you’re least likely to race? That would be this highly original, ultra-low mileage 1986 Ford RS200. Ford Europe’s Group B machine was styled by Ghia and built at Reliant. However, the British team was years too late to the party, and once WRC moved on after 1986, Ford’s race car had to be recycled into a rallycross machine instead. Again, Ford Motorsport was supposed to build 200 road-legal versions, but it seems that while six were classified as “prototypes,” only 194 left the factory, 46 of which got dismantled for parts and just 90 of which got sold to the public.
This particular example is chassis #184 of 196, sold from the factory to dealer principal Ronald Hodgson, who kept it in his showroom unused and unregistered until 1993. Since getting plates, this Diamond White rocket covered just 1195 miles. Would you care to push it beyond 2000 with a casual grocery run?
1966 Lotus Cortina
Staying on British soil, if you’re looking for a vintage rally car that could also do a touring car race at Goodwood, look no further than this 1966 Lotus Cortina. Last raced in 2004, this very special two-door Ford was built by David Sutton Motorsport in 1990 to FIA Appendix K regulations, out of a left-hand drive car sourced from California. Once completed, Roger Clark and Tony Mason used this in the 1991 Autoglass RAC Rally, and again in 1992 in the Charringtons RAC Rally. That year, upcoming World Champion Colin McRae also got to try the Lotus Twin Cam for two magazine features. Well maintained, V5c and rally-ready, and as cool as ever, this Cortina is a catch.
2007 Subaru Impreza WRC S12B
Historically significant and at least as thrilling as the others is Petter Solberg’s ex-works 2007 Subaru Impreza WRC. It’s sadly the last race car driven by Colin McRae in public, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Used for six rounds of the 2007 WRC season and taking 2nd in Rally Portugal and 3rd in Greece with Solberg, this S12B continued racing well into 2010 with current WRC driver Mads Ostberg behind its wheel. Now, with an engine rebuilt by ex-Prodrive employee Graham Sweet, and a fresh gearbox and turbo job done by the specialists at WRC Spares, this highly-advanced Subaru’s Impreza known as S12B #014 is ready for whatever its next owner is willing to throw at it. Mud, sand, snow, ice, rough tarmac, or a relaxing weekend drive through the twisties. Your call.
Also, if anyone attending the auction as a bidder cares to know, Silverstone’s sale on February 21st coincides with my birthday. In case you’re feeling generous.
If owning a famous, sought-after Ferrari F50 is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve got good news: This fine example is headed to auction in Scottsdale in a few weeks, courtesy of Worldwide Auctioneers.
Between the screaming 60-valve, 4.7-liter V-12 engine, the stupid-light carbon-fiber chassis, and the trickle-down Formula 1 technology smattered throughout, it’s not hard to see the appeal of the Ferrari F50. The F50 was the mid-’90s heir to the Ferrari throne, the successor to the vaunted F40, itself descended from the 288 GTO. These cars (and the Enzo and LaFerrari that followed them) represent the uppermost echelon of Ferrari’s technical and performance offerings, and their pedigrees manifest the strongest ties to Ferrari’s rich racing heritage.
This F50, chassis #99999, distinguishes itself from the 349 other road-going F50s in that it was a development prototype, media test car, and star of the promotional circuit. If you’ve drooled over any Ferrari promotional material or magazine article with an F50, there’s a high likelihood that the F50 you admired was this exact car. According to the Worldwide listing, #99999’s likeness was used not only for the stock press pictures in Ferrari sales literature, but also in dozens of books, nearly 100 magazines, and even postage stamps. Likewise, this F50 was also the basis for scale models from the world’s best, like Tamiya, Burago, Revell, and others.
As a development prototype, this F50 was thrashed around Fiorano by Ferrari Formula 1 legends Niki Lauda and Gerhard Berger. When it wasn’t on track, Ferrari dismantled and futzed with #99999 as various teams finalized the design and assembly features.
A note on that serial number: This F50 is the last of the five-digit Ferrari serial numbers. Being the first or the last of something can affect the value—think of how many “last-of” or “first-of” car models grab people’s attention.
After a few hard years on the promotional circuit, including both the Geneva and Tokyo shows, #99999 was rebuilt by techs at the Maranello factory prior to its presentation to its first registered owner. In the spring of 2007 it was imported to the United States, where it has since made its home with four different owners. The sale includes the certificate of authenticity from Ferrari Classiche, as well as a completely documented provenance by marque expert Marcel Massini.
So what will it go for when the hammer drops?
That depends on who you ask. In 2016, this very car sold at Gooding & Co.’s Scottsdale sale for $2.4 million. At the time, that result was roughly 28 percent over our #1, Concours-condition value for a Ferrari F50. (Currently, our #1 value for an F50 hovers around an even $2.5M.)
Despite this car’s prestigious history and provenance, #99999 isn’t immune to the changes of the larger Ferrari market. “The Ferrari market has been shaky since early last year,” says Hagerty valuation expert Greg Ingold. “Over the past eight months, most Ferrari models in that price range that we track have lost value.”
It’s not all doom and gloom, though, Ingold concedes. “The F50 has fared much better than the earlier cars, such as the 250 Tour de France or the Daytona. F50s are very special and exclusive, which helps maintain their values. An F50 is pretty much the car to have if you’re going to have a supercar collection. Demand is still up there.”
Rod Egan, Worldwide’s chief auctioneer, emphasizes the pedigree of this particular F50—“Other than an F50 LM, as far as street cars go, this is by far the most significant road-going F50”—but also marks its appeal to those outside of Ferrari cognoscenti. Egan thinks #99999 may also attract folks with prototype collections who may find this car particularly alluring. Crossover between buyer groups means more interest—and hopefully a higher final sale price.
The car’s development prototype status does add a premium—but the exact numbers are up for grabs. Egan suspects that because this is a prototype, it will bring 30–50-percent more than its rough $2.5–$3M estimate; his estimate puts the final price well north of $3M.
Our valuation team offers an alternative perspective. Here’s Ingold again: “When it last sold, this particular car sold for about 28 percent above its #1 value at the time. That’s where, I think, [Worldwide] is getting its estimate. A 50-percent premium in this market feels optimistic; it’ll likely bring a premium over a standard F50, but a 30-percent premium is more likely.”
We won’t have to wait long to see the final gavel blow—the car will cross the block next Wednesday at the Scottsdale 2020 auction. We’re looking forward to following along. To find more Scottsdale-related coverage, click here.
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