Homologation Specials – how we miss the times when car manufacturers would produce limited runs of “road going race cars” to enable them to race a particular model on the track.
Those times seem quite far behind us nowadays with Limited Edition runs of car for the purpose of Motorsport being few and far between.
Some of the cars in this Top 5 are more “Road Car” than “Race Car“, but we like them either way.
I’ll start off by saying that the Alfa Romeo 155 with the spoiler in the boot, has not made the list, whilst a cool idea, we think it was a little bit lazy!
5. TOYOTA CELICA GT-FOUR
Created so Toyota could take on the World Rally Championship, this Turbo Charged AWD car featured in the line up of various Celica models from 1986 to 1999.
Our pick of the bunch would be the ST205, mainly because they are still affordable for the masses to purchase, with prices being around the £6,000 to £8,000 range.
The road going ST205 was a true Homologation Special, with impressive performance and handling, but also creature comforts such as climate control, which mean you can use it day to day.
Toyota have always been huge supporters of Motorsport and have used it extensively in various forms to develop their road going technology.
If you want a weekend toy homologated for Motorsport, that shouldn’t depreciate, then this is where our money would go.
4. FORD SIERRA RS500 COSWORTH
The Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth is in at Number 5.
Homologated in August 1987 with only 500 produced, Cosworth really went to town on the engine, most of the work that was done on the road car was not actually “active” with its placement merely being there to allow the race car to use those parts.
An absolutely epic car with stunning styling and mighty performance for the day.
The Race Car takes it up to a whole new level and the results speak for themselves, proving itself unbeatable in both sprint racing and endurance racing.
If you fancy a road going RS500 today you’re looking at about £100,000, the race car version is much, much more, Robb Gravett’s Championship Winning car is up for sale with a price rumored between £300,000 to £400,000!
It’s a shame that Ford don’t get too involved with much Motorsport outside of Nascar nowadays, but it’s on our list as it’s one of the coolest cars ever.
3. BMW E46 M3 GTR
A bit of a controversial one at Number 3, the BMW E46 M3 GTR.
Most of us have no doubt driven this car in various racing games over the years, however outside of the virtual world you will never see one on the road.
Built so BMW could race an M3 with a V8 in the American Le Mans Series, as you know the E46 M3 came with the fantastic S54 Straight Six engine, which was deemed as not being competitive enough to rival the Porsche 996 GT3.
BMW decided to fit their car with a 443bhp V8 racing engine, naturally the other teams protested this heavily, as the engine was not available in the road car. At the time the rules stated that 10 road going versions had to be made for the car to be homologated, BMW fullfilled this requirement and put them up for sale at $250,000 each! A lot of money now nevermind in 2001!
The series changed the rules for 2002, stating that 100 cars had to be produced and sold, to cut a long story short at this point BMW had second thoughts and withdrew the car from racing.
We don’t know where the road cars are, if you do let us know in the comments.
Some of the Race Cars come up for sale from time to time and are still competing in various series.
On our list as it’s quite an iconic car, despite a short lived career.
2. TVR T350/T400R
No we haven’t featured the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 and for good reason, firstly it never actually materialized as a road car (at least BMW made and sold some M3 GTR’s) and secondly the race car only raced a handful of times.
Our Number 2 choice is the TVR T400R, based on the T350 which would later form the base for the Sagaris, this car was built to fulfill TVR boss Peter Wheeler’s ambition to see TVR race at Le Mans.
The road car is pretty mental and we can only imagine how extreme the GT Racer would have been.
The cars raced at Le Mans from 2003 to 2005, successful they were not with (unsurprising) reliability issues.
However how cool was this project? A British car maker with a passion for Motorsport taking on the worlds biggest Endurance Race.
Now we won’t open the can of worms that is TVR’s yet to happen relaunch and plans to race at Le Mans again, but we will talk about a man who raced one at Le Mans in 2004…. Lawrence Tomlinson who in 2005 purchased Ginetta, who undoubtedly have many similarities to TVR and also provided the launching pad for Lando Norris to show off his skills in the Ginetta Junior Championship.
Ginetta in recent times have taken on Le Mans and in our opinion Lawrence must have drawn a lot of inspiration from TVR’s ventures, and that is why the T350/T400R is on our list.
One of the Le Mans cars sold recently £350,000 a T350 will set you back at least £35,000, if you have the money that’s not a bad weekend toy to have in the garage.
- BMW E36 318is CLASS II
In at Number 1 is the BMW E36 318is Class II, why does this obscure and not quite fast limited edition car make it to the number 1 spot? Quite simply it’s my personal favourite!
Let me try and explain, back in 2009 i nearly purchased one, in Dakar Yellow with the amazing Alcantara seats featuring the very 90’s BMW Motorsport stripes. I never went through with the sale and went for a 328i instead and i regret it to this day.
The E36 318is is our favourite Touring Car, the Class II was made in 1994 to homologate the saloon touring car, after the coupe was no longer eligible to compete.
Featuring the M42 engine with 138bhp it was a far cry from the S42 that powered the Super Tourers with an impressive 300bhp, this car had no extra performance, just some Bilstien Suspension, a special Front Air Dam, Splitter, Rear Spoiler and those beautiful seats!
Only 2500 were made and we haven’t seen any for sale in the UK for a long time (if you know of any do let us know!) we found some for sale in Europe, most have been dubiously modified, but there is an example with 100 miles on the clock for £30,000 or one with 150,000 miles on the clock for £5000.
So that’s our Number 1 Homologation Special, chosen really for nostalgic reasons, but aren’t most things?