On 10 March, the 2018 Amelia Island auction saw over a hundred cars cross the auction block in search of new owners. Arguably, the rarest of them, a Peugeot 205 T16 PTS Clubman with an intriguing history, sold for $157k (£115k). Purchased as a test bed for a suspension development project, co-conducted by Lotus and General Motors, it was one of few T16s specified with the PTS (Peugeot Talbot Sport) Clubman package from the factory.
Having had Peugeot, Lotus and GM impart some engineering expertise upon this homologation special – it goes without saying it’s exceptionally rare. Despite its interesting backstory, the hammer dropped short of its substantial estimate of $180-250k (c£92-180k). It was presented with just 16,000 miles on the clock, having spent the previous 34 years parked up in GM’s Heritage Collection.
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In the 1980s, GM sought out Lotus to assist in the development of an active suspension system for the Chevrolet Corvette. GM provided Lotus with a test mule to develop the system in the shape of a 205 T16, however it was equipped with the PTS Clubman package – taking the total price of the car to about €180k – which brought upgrades borrowed from the Group B T16 rally car. It’s said that less than 30 cars benefited from the substantial performance upgrade.
It comprised new engine internals such as a dry-sump system and reinforced pistons, as well as higher turbo-boost pressure, that lifted the 1.8-litre’s power output from 197bhp to near 300bhp. The addition of a centre-mounted LSD and shorter gearing constituted the transmission modifications, while the bodyshell was seam-welded and fitted with a roll-cage for extra rigidity.
Of course, the Group B icon wasn't the only lot to catch evo’s eye, and the bidders’ for that matter. The requisite contingent of Ferraris included a 458 Speciale and 330 GTC that sold for £370k and £275k respectively. More Italian exotica from Lamborghini included a Diablo VT 6.0 SE that fetched about £297k and an LM002 which collected £215k.
Elsewhere, the Amelia Island auction demonstrated that demand for classic Porsches remains strong. A collection dedicated to the Porsche (964) 911 saw a 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 – one of 12 964s up for sale – sell for almost £1.2million.