7 Classic Road-Going Rally Cars

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Let’s take a trip down memory lane, back to when rally cars were the undisputed kings of cool and the smell of burning rubber was the perfume of champions. 

And thankfully there are still plenty of roadgoing classic rally cars to get stuck into. Some of them might just be your golden ticket in the classic car market.

Whether you’ve got a garage full of classics or you’re dreaming of owning your first, here’s some insight on which rally legends could give your investment portfolio a bit of nitro. 

Let’s find out which of these rally titans are worth betting on.

Toyota Celica GT-Four

Celica GT-Four (5th Gen): Av sale price: $17,958  |  Rolling monthly change: 0.0%

Toyota Celica GT-Four

The Toyota Celica GT-Four, a rally-bred icon, stood at the forefront of Toyota’s foray into the World Rally Championship during the late 80s and 90s. With its turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, the GT-Four was engineered for both performance and reliability. 

Its rally pedigree was proven with multiple WRC victories, showcasing its capabilities on the world stage. The Celica GT-Four combined the thrill of rally sport with everyday usability, earning it a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts. 

Revered for its blend of performance, style, and technological innovation, the Celica GT-Four remains a beloved classic, symbolizing Toyota’s commitment to excellence in motorsport and road car development.

Lancia Stratos HF

Stratos HF Latest Data: Av sale price: $582,500  |  Rolling monthly change: 0.0%

Lancia Stratos HF

The Lancia Stratos HF, with its distinctive wedge shape and Ferrari-powered engine, redefined rally racing in the 1970s, capturing three consecutive World Rally Championships. 

Beyond its race success, the Stratos became an icon for its futuristic design and thrilling performance. As a collector’s piece, it represents the zenith of innovation and motorsport legacy, continuing to mesmerize enthusiasts with its unique blend of art and speed.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI (1st Gen)

WRX STI (1st Gen) Latest Data: Av sale price: $18,983  |  Rolling monthly change: -4.5%

Subaru Impreza WRX STI (1st Gen)

The first-generation Subaru Impreza WRX STI, launched in the early 1990s, quickly became a rallying powerhouse and a symbol of performance innovation. 

Engineered with a potent turbocharged flat-four engine and Subaru’s signature symmetrical all-wheel drive, the WRX STI was a force to be reckoned with on both rally stages and the road. 

Its agility, reliability, and turbocharged performance allowed Subaru to capture three consecutive World Rally Championship (WRC) Manufacturers’ titles from 1995 to 1997. 

Beyond its rally success, the WRX STI garnered a cult following for its thrilling driving dynamics and practicality as a daily driver. 

The first-generation WRX STI remains a coveted classic, epitomizing the golden era of rally-inspired road cars and continuing to inspire enthusiasts worldwide.

Audi Quattro

Quattro Latest Data: Av sale price: $90,730  |  Rolling monthly change: 0.0%

Audi Quattro

The Audi Quattro, a rally icon of the 1980s, changed the game with its pioneering all-wheel-drive system, giving it unmatched traction on the world’s rally stages. 

Its turbocharged 2.1-liter five-cylinder engine delivered thrilling power, propelling the Quattro to numerous victories, including two Drivers’ Championships and two Manufacturers’ Championships. 

Beyond its rally success, the Quattro influenced the entire automotive industry, making all-wheel drive a standard for performance vehicles. 

Today, the Quattro is celebrated not just for its competitive achievements but also for its technological impact, embodying Audi’s ethos of “Advancement through Technology” and remaining a beloved legend in automotive history.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (III – VI)

Lancer Evo VI Latest Data: Av sale price: $56,111  |  Rolling monthly change: +7.1%

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, with its iconic versions III through VI, dominated the rally scene and the hearts of performance enthusiasts from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s. 

These models, built with precision engineering, featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and advanced all-wheel-drive system, setting new standards for speed and handling. 

The Evo quickly established itself as a formidable competitor in the World Rally Championship, earning accolades and admiration for its agility and power. 

Its rivalry with the Subaru Impreza WRX STI became legendary, pushing both manufacturers to new heights of innovation. 

Beyond the rally courses, these Evolutions became favorites for their raw performance and tunability, making them icons of the tuner culture and beloved classics among car enthusiasts. 

The Lancer Evolution III through VI models are celebrated for their contribution to Mitsubishi’s motorsport legacy and their lasting impact on performance car design.

Ford Escort Cosworth

Escort Cosworth Latest Data: Av sale price: $78,136  |  Rolling monthly change: 0.0%

Ford Escort Cosworth

Introduced in the early 1990s, the Ford Escort Cosworth was designed with a clear purpose: to dominate rally racing. It was built on the legacy of Ford’s rallying success, incorporating advanced technology and engineering to meet the demands of competition. 

The Escort Cosworth featured a powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, coupled with an innovative all-wheel-drive system, which made it a formidable contender in the World Rally Championship.

Not only did it prove its mettle on rally stages, but the Escort Cosworth also became an icon on the road, admired for its aggressive styling, including the distinctive large rear wing, and its thrilling driving dynamics. 

Its blend of performance, rarity, and the allure of the Cosworth badge has made it a highly sought-after classic among enthusiasts and collectors.

Lancia Delta HF Integrale

Delta HF Integrale Evo II Latest Data: Av sale price: $107,883  |  Rolling monthly change: -3.0%

Lancia Delta HF Integrale

The Lancia Delta Integrale, a rally legend, clinched six consecutive World Rally Championships from 1987 to 1992, epitomizing dominance on dirt. 

Its road version, with aggressive styling and turbocharged power, brought rally thrill to the streets, merging practicality with high performance. 

Driving the Delta Integrale is an exhilarating nod to its rally roots, offering a raw and engaging experience that modern cars struggle to match. 

Today, its status as a collector’s dream has only grown, with values steadily climbing. 

The Delta Integrale is a slice of rally history, a testament to Lancia’s engineering prowess, and a beloved classic with a legacy of speed and victory.

As we cross the finish line of our rally legend odyssey, it’s clear that the spirit of these iconic machines continues to fuel the passion and dreams of car enthusiasts around the globe. 

Each turn of the key, each roar of the engine, whispers tales of mud-splattered glory and podium finishes. 

These cars are timeless ambassadors of motorsport’s golden age, inspiring new generations to chase the horizon and perhaps, to leave their own tracks on the rugged path of rally history.

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Adam Chinn writes about the intersecting worlds of classic cars, driving pleasure, and smart investment strategies. Starting his journey at 26, he’s proven that one doesn’t need to be wealthy to begin investing in classic cars.

Adam’s insights have been recognized on platforms such as MoneyInc, Swagger Magazine, and Top Speed.

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