Found for Auction: One-of-62 Citroën BX 4TC Group B Rally Car in Unbelievable Condition

With Citroën's signature hydropneumatic suspension, its little-known Group B rally contestant was also one of the series' strangest cars.

RONEN TOPELBERG—rtopelberg@gmail.com

Audi, Peugeot, Lancia, Renault, Ford—all names people associate with the Group B era of rally, considered by many fans to be the sport's golden days. Small enclaves of rally enthusiasts remember the series' more obscure participants, such as Opel and Toyota, but even those up on their racing history tend to forget the involvement of one of France's quirkier automakers: Citroën.

No need to worry, though, as we're here to provide all the briefing you'll need to catch up to speed. In all, it'll help you appreciate this pristine example of Citroën's short-lived rally-fighter, the BX 4TC, offered for auction by Gooding & Company.

Citroën effectively redesigned its midsize BX sedan from the ground up to make its 4TC Group B car, mounting a 2.1-liter turbo-four longitudinally as opposed to transversely in the normal BX. Without space for this power plant under the factory fascia, Citroën extended the car's entire front end, gaining Audi Quattro-like proportions in the process. Its 200-horsepower engine transmitted power to all four wheels via a five-speed manual transmission sourced from the Citroën SM, which also served as the source of the tech for the BX 4TC's outrageously complex hydropneumatic suspension system.

Ronen Topelberg, Gooding & Company

Rally cars and mechanical complexity tend not to go well together, and the BX 4TC was no exception. Its competitive life shortened to just three races by Group B's cancellation in 1986, the BX 4TC achieved a best finish of sixth overall in the 1986 Rally Sweden. Success as a road car didn't come either; the Citroën's poor race performance meant that it sold only 62 of its 200 homologation cars—some of which it had to buy back due to mechanical problems.

Ronen Topelberg, Gooding & Company

Today, only about 40 of the Citroën BX 4TC's original production run are thought to still exist, so it's quite the occasion when one comes up for sale; handily, this particular example is very likely the best left on the planet. Gooding & Company announced that it'll auction off BX 4TC number two at its upcoming Pebble Beach event in August, where it expects the rare Citroën to change hands for between $80,000 and $100,000, or significantly less than Group B's more prominent homologation specials.

It's already one of the more interesting Group B cars and with just 16,000 kilometers on the odometer, this BX 4TC is among its most pristine. If there were ever a "steal" of a Group B car, this is it.

Ronen Topelberg, Gooding & Company