1986 Ford Sierra

RS Cosworth
£132,750 ($155,012)
Sale Price
£90,000 - £120,000
Est. Range
12 November 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Silverstone Auctions
Auction House
Chassis no. WF0EXXGBBEGM21728; Engine no. GM21728. Moonstone Blue over grey cloth. 2.0/204hp Cosworth YBD, Borg Warner T5 5-speed, Recaro seats, electric windows, alloy wheels, sunroof.

Evaluation: One of just 5545 Sierra Cosworths built in total from 1986 to 1992. This one has only covered 8795 miles from new, and was dry stored for 30 years before recent full mechanical recommissioning. A time-warp ’80s British icon.

Bottom Line: The Sierra Cosworth turned a bland Belgian-built commuter car into a touring car champion. The 2.0-liter Ford four-banger (the same one from the Pinto) got a 16-valve aluminum head and intercooled Garrett turbo, while the suspension was upgraded, the steering quickened, and the trunk/rear window festooned with the most ridiculous (but also functional) rear spoiler this side of a Porsche whale tail. In the press, Motorsport magazine called it “quite simply the best high performance saloon in the world,” and on track the Sierra Cosworth RS500 won in DTM, the 24 Hours of Spa, the Bathurst 1000, the 1988 European Touring Car Championship, the 1988-89 Japanese Touring Car Championship, the 1988-89 Australian Touring Car Championship, and the 1990 British Touring Car Championship.

On the road, however, the combination of being affordable and easy to modify as well as easy to steal and stuffed with desirable parts meant that insurance premiums on Cosworths (aka “Cossies”) in the ’90s were crippling. There aren’t a whole lot of clean ones left, but there’s plenty of nostalgia for them and it certainly helps that this may very well be the world’s nicest. Makes sense, then, that it’s also the world’s most expensive. Bidding soared past even the lofty presale estimate and, other than a handful of historic Group A race cars, this is the most expensive Sierra Cosworth to sell at auction, anywhere.

by Andrew Newton
26 November 2022
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