It turns out its not all glistening Ferrari GTO’s and Porsche 911’s that collectors are seeking from the turbulent and dynamic modern day classic car market.
The last decade has seen a spike in demand for speedy sports cars from the 1980s era, and the Ford Sierra Cosworth is a prime example. Here we have an extraordinary classic model that once retailed for a very ordinary price.
A Brief History of the Sierra Cosworth
The Sierra Cosworth production line began in the UK in 1986, a year after the first authentic RS Sierra Cosworth was revealed on the world stage at the Geneva Motor Show.
Just over 6,000 original two-wheel-drive Cosworth hatchbacks were built, of which just 1600 were sold in the UK.
A year later, Ford decided to produce the vastly more powerful and tuned racing version: the Sierra Cosworth RS500. The name derives from the production numbers – you guessed it, only 500 were ever made. It just so happens the RS500 is also the most desirable and valuable version on today’s market.
The RS500 went on to achieve great success in both racing and rally car competitions, dominating the field in the late 1980’s era. Major series wins include:
- Australian Touring Car Championship – 1988, 1989
- Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft – 1988
- Japanese Touring Car Championship – 1988, 1989
- AMSCAR series – 1988, 1989, 1990
- Nissan Mobil 500 Series – 1989, 1990
- New Zealand Touring Car Championship – 1989, 1990, 1992
- British Touring Car Championship – 1990
- Australian Endurance Championship – 1990
Investment or Pleasure?
The Cosworth retailed at £15,950 ($20,679) when it first debuted in 1986. For a car with a top speed of 151mph, this was seriously good value for the money.
Due to the immense power and sheer fun of exerting these sports cars to the end of their tether and testing the full potential that the 400bhp it has to offer, pristine condition examples come in short supply.
In fact, Autocar estimates that at most there are only a few hundred top condition models remaining, and describe the Cosworth as a “rare, capable, fun and practical family car with an exceptional competition history.”
Even if you don’t purchase it as an investment, this is a car that should be taken out on the road and enjoyed for what it is: a simplistic and practical sports car that is capable of an exhilarating driving performance.
How Much Will a Sierra Cosworth Cost You?
Autoclassics gave a handy definition of how much you should expect to pay for a Sierra Cosworth dependent upon condition and your budget. It goes as follows:
- Project £3,500-10,000 ($4,500-13,000)
- Good £15,000-33,500 ($19,500-43,500)
- Concours £35,000-80,000 ($45,400-103,700)
Average examples of Sierra Cosworth’s are still relatively affordable, however pristine examples will set you back a lot further. The RS500 is by far the most desirable and expensive due to its rarity; therefore expect to pay big bucks should one come up at auction.
The current world record fee for a Ford Sierra Cosworth is an ultra-rare RS500 with only 10,000 miles on the clock. It fetched £115K (about $149k) at a Silverstone auction in 2017.
Since then two Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500’s have gone under the hammer with starting price tags in excess of £100,000 (~ $130k). Take the £105,000 ($136k) RS500 Cosworth for example.
Although neither car sold, this gives an indication of the huge rise in demand for classic, speedy Ford Sierra’s; a trend that is likely to continue in years to come.