1987 FORD SIERRA RS CosworthView vehicle description
The Sierra was, like the Cortina before it, the backbone of British motoring life, shuttling the widget rep along the motorway network with the same aplomb as it shuffled the family around at weekends. It excelled at both, being spacious, comfortable, reliable and decently economical.
What it wasn’t though, was fun. At least not until the XR4i came along with the nonchalant claim to be able to cruise at two miles a minute; if the bog-standard Sierra was an Airbus 310, the XR4i was Concorde.
Ford upped the ante again with the RS Cosworth, which was essentially a road-going SR-71 Blackbird. Capable of around 150mph (after passing 60mph in 6.2 seconds) the 204bhp Cossie was an absolute revelation. The turbocharged Cosworth engine fed its power to the rear wheels via a Mustang gearbox, the suspension was based on Andy Rouse’s race car, and the body kit and spoiler were there for their aerodynamic performance and to hell with the aesthetics.
Ford needed to build 5,000 for Group A homologation, a figure the dealer network estimated was about three times the number it could actually sell.
They couldn’t have been more wrong. Ford ended up building more than 5,500 plus even more than of the later, four-door Sapphire version. Instantly recognisable, the Sierra RS Cosworth was a bona fide legend from day one and a worthy successor to the Lotus Cortina.
First registered on the 5th of January 1987, this Ford RS Sierra Cosworth might just be the most original and unmolested in existence. With just 30,000 miles on the clock and three owners from new, it even still has the supplying dealer’s rear number plate as well as the dealer window stickers.
In storage for a dozen or so years, it has an advisory-free MOT history stretching well into next year and a fully documented history.
On the Outside
Believed to still be wearing its original Diamond White paint, D377POD is in a stunning condition. At a time when almost every other example seems to have been thrashed, crashed or stolen, it refreshing to see one that still sports its original shutlines, panels and paint.
The original dealer number plate on the rear too, plus the dealer stickers in the windows, both of which might be minutiae but then the rarified world of the modern classic pivots on this kind of stuff as it makes the difference between a car that is merely so-so and a collector quality example like this.
All the rest of the details are correct too from badges to light lenses, trim sealing strips to the lower rubber edge on the front spoiler. The iconic rear boot spoiler is also present and correct, as are the side skirts and front chin spoiler.
The factory sliding steel sunroof works as it should too, opening and closing easily and sealing tightly. The aperture is clean and free of rust and rubbing points. That might sound inconsequential but it really isn’t.
The 15-inch lattice alloy wheels look stunning, and while they might look small compared to the ridiculously large wheels we’re used to seeing on even the most humble family hatchback these days, they look utterly period-perfect and give the Cosworth its great stance.
They’re also shod with matching, nearly new 205/50R15 Uniroyal RainSport tyres, all of which have good tread.
Brilliantly, it doesn’t end there because the vendor also has the car’s original Dunlop D40 tyres - all five of them, along with the spare alloy, which are included as part of the sale and still with the seller. Whilst they are time-expired for road use, their presence for use when showing the car adds yet more interest to an already unique example of the breed.
(The tyres themselves are so rare that the vendor has even turned down cash offers for them from other Cosworth owners when they learned of their existence. That he turned these offers down says only good things about him and his determination to act as a responsible custodian of D377POD.)
Plus, as we will never tire of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but it does perhaps give you an insight into their attitude towards maintenance.
Aside from the odd minor stonechip and mark, the only work that needs doing seems to be limited to a small – no more than 2/3-inch in diameter – patch on the bonnet where the paint is starting to lift/bubble. Please see the photograph for details.
On the Inside
The cabin is as clean and unsullied as the bodywork; hell, even the outside bolster of the Recaro driver’s seat still appears minty fresh and that’s never the case.
Again, the small stuff that’s usually missing or damaged, bits like the parcel shelf, three-spoke steering wheel and the original Ford radio-cassette player, are not only there but they’re also in a great condition.
The same is true of the carpets, door cards, headlining and dashboard. All are there and in as close to showroom condition as is feasible for a car well into its fourth decade.
That it’s all so refreshingly modest in its accoutrements merely serves to remind you how little stuff you actually need in your high-performance car when the underpinnings are as impressive as this.
The boot is as clean as the rest of the interior. The spare wheel well is very solid and still fresh, and as previously mentioned, the spare wheel itself is the OE alloy – and it’s still shod with the original, factory fitted Dunlop D40.
The current pandemic has meant making some significant changes to our working practises, and while we’re still very happy to arrange a video call to walk you through the car’s many benefits, it really is so clean and original that it deserves a visit in person to fully appreciate it.
Faults? Well, just the only ones we can see are lightly wrinkled cloth to the base of the front seats and a slightly warped parcel shelf – but to call them faults is surely the very definition of a first world problem.
Fresh from a full engine management set-up and a new turbo wastegate actuator and ignition service in July 2018, the only modification we are aware of is a Stage One chip that gives a dyno-verified 250bhp along with a written report and dyno printouts. Compression checks carried out at the time showed 169psi, 172psi, and two of 170psi across the four cylinders.
The Cosworth’s MOT certificate, which is valid until March 2021, was gained without a single advisory point, something it’s been doing since it came out of storage in 2017.
As might be expected, it is driving very well indeed.
The engine bay is clean and well presented with plenty of evidence of rust-proofing fluid. Only a little scruffiness to the bulkhead soundproofing in the offside corner and the odd semi-rusty bracket detract from its appearance.
The underside is good, being strong and original still. A stainless-steel exhaust is fitted.
It has a number of expired MOT certificates plus a thick sheaf of invoices and bills (we’ve only photographed a selection; there are many, many more available) to confirm the work that has been done to it over the years.
It also still has its original owner’s handbook, book pack, stamped service history booklet and storage wallet plus two sets of keys and the original advert for the car.
Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained to a very good standard.
If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.
What We Think
One for the enthusiast and collector looking for a genuine Sierra RS Cosworth for high days and dry days, this one’s low-mileage/owner status adds yet another layer of interest to what is an already attractive car.
Almost unique in both its condition and provenance, we can’t see that an opportunity like this will arise in the foreseeable future, which means its estimate of somewhere between £65,000 and £85,000 seem considerable, but you try finding another...,making it possibly very reasonable.
Plus, of course, cars like this are always in demand and are becoming harder and harder to find, a fact that helps explain their rapid rise in value over the past few years; as the vendor himself puts it: “they’ve been fighting like hell recently for very average cars” a succinct market summary we can’t fault.
If you’ve ever considered buying an early, three-door Sierra RS Cosworth please do get in touch and make an appointment to come and see it for yourself; all we would ask is that you set aside plenty of time because there’s an awful lot to admire…
Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.
If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and an array of regional providers for transporting it.
BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.
Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.
Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.
Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.
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