His father, Pauli Toivonen was 1968 European Rally Champion and his brother, Harri Toivonen, was a famous racer.
" Henkka " Toivonen started his career as a works driver in 1980 at the age of 24 on a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus at the Lombard RAC Rally. He is after Jari -Matti Latvala the youngest driver, who managed to win a World Rally Championship round. After two years at Opel and Porsche, he moved in 1985 to Lancia, where he S4 1985 RAC Rally and 1986, the Monte Carlo Rally and the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire won with the Lancia Delta.
Also off the gravel roads Toivonen was able to prove his great talent and versatility. He was 1977 Finnish champion in Formula V and could also run the European Championship decide for themselves. Eddie Jordan, for Toivonen drove some Formula 3 guest appearances, certified him a similar talent like Ayrton Senna.
On 2 May 1986 accident Henri Toivonen, lying mortally at this time in the World Cup standings in the Tour de Corse in the lead. His Delta S4 slipped from a 90 -degree left turn, fell down a slope and then crashed into a tree. The brittle aluminum tanks burst and the car exploded in a fireball visible from afar. The car burned beyond recognition. Neither Toivonen nor his American co-driver Sergio Cresto survived the tragic accident. Hours later the FISA announced the end of the always controversial group B of the World Rally Championship for the end of the season. The group B had extremely high-powered cars such as the Audi Sport quattro S1, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 E2, Ford RS200 and Lancia Delta S4 produced, with engine power of around 380 kW. Tragically, Toivonen had a bad cold even in his last interview between the stages and stresses from fever, that the rally is much too long and much too fast.