‘Killer Bees’ rally car collection going to Bonhams’ sale at Quail

A collection of Group B rally cars from one estate are heading to auction | Bonhams photos
A collection of Group B rally cars from one estate are heading to auction | Bonhams photos

Bonhams has announced the consignment of seven Group B rally cars from the estate of a collector for its August auction at the Quail Lodge in Carmel on the Monterey Peninsula. Bonhams noted that the cars are being made available for the first time in decades and will be offered without reserve.

Sometimes known as the “Killer Bees” because of their dangerous but exotic performance on twisting rally circuits, the Group B cars still represent the peak of the sport to many people.

The cars are “highly original” and “uncommon,” Bonhams said in announcing the consignment of:

  • A 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, a car the auction house characterized as “one of the greatest rally cars of its time,” the Stratos, or “High Fidelity” (HF) Stradale model also known as the Tipo 829, won the World Rally Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1976. The car going to the auction has been driven only 7,835 miles and has been part of the late owner’s collection since 1989.
  • A 1983 Lancia Rally 037 Stradale, also known as the Tipo 151 and an example of the car that helped Lancia win the WRC constructors’ crown in 1983. The car had a supercharger instead of the typical turbocharger, a move done to eliminate turbo lag and to improve throttle response. The ’83 Stradale was the last car with rear-wheel drive to win the WRC. The car going to auction has been driven only 5,805 miles, the auction house noted.
  • A 1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, much like the factory entries that won the 1985 and 1986 WRC constructors’ title. The car consigned has been driven only 692 miles and still wears its original tires.
  • A 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1, like the one that won the Pike’s Peak hill climb and was runner-up in the WRC. The car has a carbon-Kevlar body shell and aluminum-alloy, straight-5 turbocharged engine.
  • A 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Stradale, one of the first twincharged by employing both a supercharger and a turbocharger. The car going to auction has only 5,500 miles on its odometer.
  • 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution that was considered the fastest car in acceleration from a standing start when it went into production. Only 24 such RS200 Evolutions were built. The late collector had owned this car since 1989.
  • A 1986 Ford RS200, one of the 200 built for homologation so the model would be eligible for the WRC.

The auction is scheduled for August 18 at the Quail Lodge. For more information, see the auction website.

Photos by Bonhams / P. Litwinski

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