Yes, FISA counted 200 cars and inspected Ford paperwork that confirmed all the parts were in order so they were happy that the RS200 was legally able to be homologated to allow it to compete but were those cars all fully finished and ready to go ? No. And when Group B was cancelled there was no point in having all these nearly finished cars completed so they were unbolted and used as parts. During my research I was given unique access to the orginal documents relating to the cars sold by FORD and there were records present for a total of 141 cars. On this grid you can see greyed out the cars for which I could find no FORD paperwork- Grid1 In a letter from FORD dated 13th February 1995 Bob Howe, states there were 146 cars “sold” – The key word here is SOLD not how many were built and how many were broken up for parts.
The_Final_Count
Luckily in June 2009 (TF) sent me one of the most important documents I have ever been sent with respect to what existed and when. The document is the original FORD paperwork (a fax copy of) the status list for ALL RS200’s dated 30th June 1989 – This is dated prior to the 1995 letter and it does not restrict itself to “Cars Sold”. I have uploaded them below but, to stop somebody changing history for themselves in the future, I have had to watermark them to offer some form of protection. The fax was never that clear anyway so i’ll cover what it says here… It starts with a little summary which is useful …. Total Cars Built…………………………………………(200) Less Prototypes……………………………………..6 Cars stripped for service/written off………………52 Sold 1986……………………………………………7 Sold 1987…………………………………………..41 Sold 1988…………………………………………..36 ………………………………………………………….= 142 Total 1989 cars available (58) of which Sold 1989…………………………………………..18 Firm Orders………………………………………..36 Committed Cars – (2 CSV and 2 Museum)………….4 Sub Total Sold/Committed to June 1989 58 Cars not sold/committed NIL ***END The important figure here is “Cars stripped for service/written off 52” which means on 30/6/1989 there was only ever due to be 148 actual FORD built units – How they got sold, distributed or retained is irrelevent really. Now for page 2, 3 and 4 of the fax…. (The good bits)… The first list is marked “Sold 1986” and matches the 7 number listed above, the cars are listed as .. 066, 068, 072, 075, 082, 107, 149 – All of these details agree with the FORD records I have read. The next list is headed “Written Off” and lists the following cars… 007 – Boreham Rally………….LHD Rally 009 – Shenstone Production….RHD Road 062 – Boreham Rally………….LHD Rally 063 – Ford Switzerland……….LHD Rally 076 – Boreham Rally………….LHD Rally 078 – Boreham Rally………….LHD Rally The third list is marked “Sold 1987” and it equals 41 as per the summary above. 008, 010, 012, 014, 015, 034, 053, 061, 064, 065, 067, 069, 071, 073, 074, 080, 090, 098, 105, 108, 112, 122, 124, 130, 132, 135, 136, 139, 142, 145, 146, 147, 148, 155, 157, 172, 177, 180, 195, 197, 198 On page 3 the list is headed as “Sold 1988” and lists…. 077, 079, 085, 086, 087, 088, 091, 092, 093, 097, 103, 116, 117, 118, 119, 123, 131, 133, 134, 141, 150, 158 160, 162, 165, 171, 174, 178, 181, 186, 189, 191, 193, 194, 196, 199 It then lists “Sold 1989” as…. 081, 089, 094, 099, 100, 106, 114, 115, 126, 127, 128, 143, 151, 169, 179, 183, 188, 190 The last page is headed “Firm Orders” and lists 083, 084, 154, 156, 161, 176, 184. It then says.. Ireland I x3 Ireland I DWR X16* DWR x 4* *We now known these are the “S” Cars of 96,101,153, 168, 102, 109, 110, 111, 120,121, 125, 129, 137, 138, 144, 152, 164, 167, 173, 175 CT x 5 Museums 095, 200 It finishes with Company Service 176, 187 & 192 So, if you add the chassis numbers from the first grid (cars I have seen original FORD paperwork for) to the list of chassis numbers mentioned in the 1989 data (cars that were sold or bound to be sold) you get the following grid (which I have added the first 6 prototypes to).. grid2 For those with bad eyesight that means the following chassis numbers are unlisted in both pieces of paperwork… 11, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59,60 and 140 The only contentious numbers here are 016 which most believe is the IMSA car and most agree that Stig Blomquists car was 020 (which is alive in the UK). That leaves 44 car chassis numbers with “no info on them at all” so I assume they never existed and were simply spares. Tracing these chassis that were broken for parts is made difficult by the fact that FORD did not stamp the bodywork or affix a VIN plate until the car was prepared and ready for sale so these spares, many built into cars in the years after the last 200 was sold, do technically originate from the original stock but, not being FORD built cars, they should not carry the FORD VIN number but over the years it is almost certain that some were registered as such. What these cars DO all have is a number on them from the manufacturer of the chassis, Arch Motors. Most refer to these cars as RS200 Bitsa’s, I have adopted the term ‘RS200+’ and having seen some in the flesh, they are sometimes really well put together are you would be hard pressed to tell that is was not from the original FORD build. This does become confusing sometimes though as the lines of FORD BUILD / ENTHUSIAST BUILD have become blurred over time. Take car 076 for example, there is no record of this car being sold by FORD but there is an old reference in an RS Owners club magazine to Thor Holm using a car under the number 076 built from a “damaged shell/tub.” and the 1989 paperwork show that car was written off by FORD. We know from FORD paperwork that Thor is linked to chassis 080 and 014 with 077 being sold to Thor Bratlie. Did someone get the two THOR’s mixed up in the story ? – The numbers are only 1 digit apart and 077, according to FORD papers I have read was sold as a rolling shell which tends to support the RS Magazine story or did a RS200+ get built for Motorcross from the written off shell ? In the end we are never going to know fully what went on with some chassis, shells, parts and number plates and that’s why this website exists, to help keep all that information in one place for generations of enthusiasts for the future – Let’s not get too hung up on who did what to who – Let’s just accept where we are ;) If you find out anything else drop me an email and i’ll update this FAQ !