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Automotive detailer Larry Kosilla is at it again, this time detailing a one-of-two Ford Escort RS200 rally car. Ford produced just 200 of these cars, but only two came in gloss black, so this was a big-time task. The project was a particularly challenging one, as some unique features of this ultra-rare rally car cropped up throughout. Still, this $500,000 restoration delivers some satisfying results.

About the Ford Escort RS200

The Ford Escort RS200 is what is known as a homologation special. In order to compete in the FIA rally championship, Ford needed to produce 200 road-going versions of the car they planned to race. As such, the Ford RS200 was born, introduced in 1984.

Even more unique to this $500,000 restoration is that this RS200 is black. Nearly all of the RS200 models produced were white, except for two. That makes this particular restoration project especially unique. As just one of just two factory black RS200 models in the world, legendary detailer Larry Kosilla had a big task on his hands in bringing this ultra-rare rally car back to life.

This rare car restoration proves that looks can be deceiving

The Ford RS200 like this black one is th subject of a rare car restoration video
Ford RS200 | Bring-a-Trailer

As the car first rolls into the Ammo NYC studio, it looks to be in pretty good shape. Unlike some of Kosilla’s projects, there isn’t a thick layer of dust, mouse droppings, and moss covering the car. However, a closer inspection shows that this RS200 has seen some things.

While the black paint retained some gloss, it was also swirled from years of improper wipedowns and, no doubt, some scrapes with nearby foliage as it tore down trails and back roads. In addition, some cracks and chips made the polishing process challenge. Too aggressive, and Kosilla risks damaging the paint. Too timid, and scratches remain in the rock-hard paint.

Meanwhile, the interior showed signs of a rather sweaty driver – the results of high-stakes drives on narrow trails with no air conditioning.

The difficulty of race car restorations

Ford RS200 interior
Ford RS200 interior | Bring-a-Trailer
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As Larry works on the rare car restoration project, he discovers a problem. Typically, a paint-depth gauge could determine the paint’s condition. But since the RS200’s panels aren’t made from metal, the gauge can’t deliver a reading.

That means Larry is flying blind as he polishes the paint. It’s here where his decades of expertise show through. The final result is a blinding level of gloss and no areas of compromised paint, thanks to Kosilla’s experienced approach.

Inside, the carpets can’t be removed for cleaning. A hand-held steam vac proves to be the perfect implement. The small head reaches into corners and pulls out years of dust, dirt, and sweat. Though the cabin appears clean at first, the dirty vacuum water proves otherwise. Still, the end result even stuns the vehicle’s owner upon arrival.

The results of a satisfying automotive detailing project

As the owner enters the studio, the results are stunning. An unbelievable shine and picture-perfect interior make this rare restoration a rousing success.