I will admit that I have never driven a rally car in my life – but given the chance, I have stated in the past that I would hand over half of my man parts for a seat behind the wheel of a Lancia Delta Integrale.
But then I saw a pic of the Toyota 222D and…well lets just say I might be singing castrato for a while.
Looking like something prepared for a gauntlet run in a Mad Max movie and attacked with a satin black rattle can, it was the pride of 1986 and came in 4WD with 600 snarling horses ready to fling it in whichever direction it wanted to go.
Yes I was only 6 years old when the Toyota Rally R+D team solved the common problem of ‘Our Group B Celica’s don’t seem to be going that well on the twistier European stages compared to their dominance in Africa, therefore we must build something special!’ and therefore the Toyota 222D come to fruition. It looked like a beefed up MR2 on the outside and shared not much at all with an MR2 on the inside and with its rumored 503E race engine, it was ready to wreck shop in Group B and Group S racing.
Well that was the plan, until a spate of deaths including drivers and spectators in group B rallying put an end to the Toyota 222D before it even had the chance to hit the tracks. The only shops it would wreck from now only belonged to racing museums, only occasionally popping out for some fresh air and to show off how thin the front tires were:
How we wish we had an engine bay with this much access..
Obviously with my lack of rally connections and given that there’s probably a handful of legitimate Toyota 222D examples around the world, my chances of being in one (or a Lancia for that matter) are slimmer than slimmer than half of none. But hey, if you wanted to build a replica of this thing for shits and giggles (although it’ll never amount to the Group B monster itself), then a similar vintage starting point looks around this price: