Rally of Gods: 5 cars to conquer the Acropolis

The famously taxing stages and blistering summer heat of the Acropolis Rally make it one of the world’s toughest motorsport events. Here we pick five rally-bred models you can buy today that have proved their mettle on this ferocious event...

Greece means many things to many people: Keftedes and broken china; an ancient civilization that gave birth to democracy… or, to some, the ‘Rally of Gods’, the fearsome Acropolis Rally. For over 50 years, the rally’s stifling dust and ultra-rough terrain have challenged the likes of Colin McRae, Walter Röhrl, Juha Kankkunen and Stig Blomqvist, to name but a few. The Acropolis demands a special breed of both car and driver to overcome its severe physical and mental challenges; and the cars below showed the right pedigree for the job.

Peugeot 205 Group B: End of an era

Rally of Gods: 5 cars to conquer the Acropolis

Before a series of fatal crashes in 1986 brought an abrupt end to the Group B era, Peugeot’s 205 T16 was a dominating force in the World Rally Championship. It won the Acropolis in both 1985 and 1986, using its immensely powerful turbocharged engine and ultra-lightweight chassis to overcome the strain of the Greek terrain.

Buy this Group B 205 in the Classic Driver Marketplace >>

Audi Quattro: 4WD revolution

Rally of Gods: 5 cars to conquer the Acropolis

When the Quattro burst onto the world rally stage with its revolutionary four-wheel-drive system, it seemed all but unbeatable. The Quattro won the Acropolis in 1982 and 1984 – piloted by Michèle Mouton and Stig Blomqvist respectively – while Audi’s 4WD wonder scooped the World Rally Championship victories in both those years.

Audi Quattros in the Classic Driver Marketplace >>

Ford Escort: Tuneability

Rally of Gods: 5 cars to conquer the Acropolis

Björn Wåldegard and Ari Vatanen won two Acropolis Rallies apiece, steering the iconic Ford Escort. The popular family saloon’s immense rallying success can be attributed to its straightforward mechanicals and the ease with which it can be tuned.

Ford Escorts in the Classic Driver Marketplace >>

Alpine A110: The power behind

Rally of Gods: 5 cars to conquer the Acropolis

The combination of grunty, rear-mounted, four-cylinder engine and short, exploitable wheelbase made the might Alpine A110 the ideal machine to tackle the twisty mountain roads above Athens. No wonder it conquered the Acropolis three times: in 1970 and 1973, under Jean-Luc Thérier’s control, and in 1971 with Ove Andersson at the wheel.

Alpine A110s in the Classic Driver Marketplace >>

Lancia Delta Integrale: Champion of champions

Rally of Gods: 5 cars to conquer the Acropolis

The most successful car in the history of rallying, the Lancia Delta Integrale won the Acropolis a whopping five times between 1987 and 1995. This particular car won the 1995 (non-WRC) event, piloted by ‘Aris’ Vovos and Kostas Stefanis: the first Greek victory in 40 years and only the fourth in history. Perhaps more importantly, this Integrale scored the 78th and final overall victory for Lancia in a World Championship rally.

Lancia Delta Integrales in the Classic Driver Marketplace >>

Photos: Classic Driver dealers / auction houses