The limited number of “homologation special” versions of WRC cars that used to have to be built by the manufacturer’s to meet the qualifying rules for the World Rally Championship still bring good money at auction, but the real things used in competition are another thing altogether. It’s not too often they come up for sale, and when they do they don’t go cheap.
That certainly looks to be the case with a very special car that’s going to be sold by Silverstone Auctions at its Race Retro Competition Car Sale on February 23. And the car in question is a 1999 Ford Focus WRC, which was previously driven by the late, great Colin McRae in four rounds of the World Rally Championship.
The legendary driver, who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident in 2007, was the first and also the youngest British driver to be crowned World Rally Champion in 1995. It made him a household name even beyond his sport, and led to his name becoming almost as synonymous with rally driving video games as Tiger Woods was with golf games.
Four years after McRae won the Championship in his iconic and very rapid Subaru Impreza, he jumped ship and joined Ford as the Blue Oval unveiled its new car for the 1999 season, the Focus WRC. The model that’s now going under the hammer at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire in February was one driven by McRae with his co-driver Nicky Grist at the Rally Catalunya, Rally Tour De Corse, Rally Acropolis and the Rally China. In total, this particular car was used in 11 rounds of the World Rally Championship by the Ford team.
Silverstone Auctions’ classic car specialist, Adam Rutter, says of the car, “It’s an honor to present this ex-Colin McRae 1999 Ford Focus WRC for sale at our Race Retro Competition Car Sale on 23 February. The atmosphere at our auction will be electric and it goes without saying that we expect bidding to be flat-out, just like Colin behind the wheel.”
The current estimate by Silverstone Auctions of what the car will go for is between £120 000 and £140 000 (US$171 00 to 200 000), but there are some considerably more affordable cars already confirmed as lots. For example, there’s a 1964 Triumph Spitfire ‘Le Mans GT Fastback’ with an estimate of £15 000 to £20 000 (US$21 400 to $28 500). But if something a little more renowned is what you’re looking for, Anthony Reid’s 1999 Ford Mondeo ‘Super Tourer’ that was used for the last three rounds of the British Touring Car Championship is estimated to bring between £70 000 and £80 000 (US$100 000 to $114 000). – AFP Relaxnews