The old Group B rally cars were some of the most insane cars ever to grace a gravel road; and even to this day when WRC cars are approaching the speeds posted by old Group B cars, they still still stand out. Group B rules had few restrictions on technology and design, and a mere 200 cars were required to be made for homologation. This led to a few manufacturers making balls-to-the-wall machines that were pushing the envelope of motorsports, which led the World Rally Championship to be come extremely popular in the 1980s. But with the popularity came accidents that slowly tarnished the image of Group B Rallying. Between drivers saying the cars were too fast, and a few fatal crashes, Group B rules were cancelled and these cars were never raced on the WRC again.
As any fan of classic cars I often find myself at Bring A Trailer, one of the biggest and best time wasters on the internet. I can spend a whole hour each day perusing its ads for vintage Saabs and Volvos, immaculate BMW 2002s, obscure Borgward Isabellas, and numerous race cars.
Now Petrolicious, makers of fine car films, have made a video of the history behind this site. Enjoy!
9 pm today, I’m on the A6 Autobahn, it’s dark, and I am driving my 1987 Saab 900. 8 valve, non turbo, 115 hp when new. I am going 195 km/h on the speedometer. 195 on the speedometer.
Yes, that is wildly optimistic for a 25 year old car with 262,000 km on the odometer, but if you factor a 10% error, that is 175 km/h, pretty respectable.
Anyway, so here I am, late at night, pedal to the metal on my old Saab, on the left lane, passing every car in front of me. Then I come up on something moving fast, but not as fast as me. Something new, with squinty tail lights, above two round exhaust pipes. As I approach it I notice the iconic lines on the car, with a huge wing spanning the area above the tail lights. A Porsche 911 Turbo. As new as they get, 991 model, and plenty fast in stock trim.
Watch as this Polish rally driver and his navigator push the tiny Fiat 126p “Maluch”, kicking the clutch, doing a lot of steering corrections on the rear engine, two cylinder car. The video feels like a WRC in-car camera footage video in slow motion, until the whole slow world comes crashing (quite literally) into the water…
A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say…
1000 Words will be a feature of my blog where I’ll post some of the best pictures of cars I have found within the last week.
Let’s get right on it…