The Details

Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth




  • Mileage: 47,920
  • Year: 1987
  • MOT Expiry: 12 Months
  • Exterior Colour: Black
  • Interior Colour: Grey Velour Recaro
  • Top speed: 154
  • 0-60mph: 6.1
  • BHP: 224
  • Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
  • Engine Capacity: 1993cc
  • Engine Configuration: Turbocharged 4-In line

Model History

The RS500 was launched two years after the Sierra RS Cosworth at the 1985 Geneva motor show and was conceived as an even more potent choice for touring car racing. In Group A, it proved devastating, taking 40 outright wins in succession.

In race trim, the rear-wheel drive Sierra could reliably produce 500bhp, but road car versions, of which Ford needed to sell 500, were sensibly pegged to 224bhp. Revisions to the standard Cosworth YB engine were extensive, even if an increase of 20bhp over standard sounds small. A Garrett T31 turbo was installed with a larger intercooler and induction system. Twin fuel injectors in each cylinder, pressurised oil-cooled pistons and larger oil and water pumps helped the reliability and pace of the race car.

Performance was impressive, even by today’s standards. It would reach 62mph in 6.2sec and achieve a 153mph, compared to the 6.8sec and 149.5mph of the common-or-garden Cosworth. External changes were subtle, with a front splitter, additional cooling vents and a second tailgate spoiler added. A gurney flap was fitted to the iconic ‘whale tail’ rear wing and RS500 decals were fitted as standard.

Tickford was chosen to build the RS500 at the rate of 15 per day. The majority were supplied in black, but white and Moonstone Blue paint finishes were available as an option. The potential wasn’t lost on the buying public. Despite a £19,950 price tag, compared to the £15,950 price of the standard ‘Cossie’, all 500 units sold. After hitting a sub-£10,000 low in the 1990s, original, low-mileage RS500s have become among the most collectable of all fast Fords.


Recaro front seats, Glass sunroof with sunblind, Remote central locking with Clifford alarm and immobiliser, Electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, Electric front windows, Single slot grille with cooling vents, Disc brakes all round with ABS, Power-assisted steering, Tailgate wash/wipe, Quartz digital dash clock, Leather-covered three-spoke sports steering wheel, Leather-covered gear knob, Front central armrest with cassette storage, Electric aerial, Electronic sound system ECU2 including power amplifier and four speakers, Driver’s seat height adjustment, Spare wheel, Tailored carpet mats, Tailored rubber mats, Original front fog lamps, RS500 Cosworth sales brochure, Ford accessories brochure.


The gleaming black paintwork looks undeniably cool. The finish is glossy throughout with few blemishes to speak of, even to the front end where almost no stone chips can be found. Glancing along both sides you’ll find arrow-straight panels with even gaps in between. The menacing profile is finished with RS500 pin stripes in contrasting grey, and the front wings sport period Tickford emblems. Towards the front the lower splitter is pleasingly undamaged as are the original RS500 grilles; the unused front fog lamps are still present in the boot.



The entire cabin is astonishingly well preserved. The classic ‘Roma’ upholstery has really stood the test of time, presenting beautifully throughout. The deep bolsters of the Recaro sports seats are remarkably free from wear, a real testament to the car’s four careful owners from new. The current keeper has always ensured the seats are covered when in use.

Aside from the welcome addition of a Clifford alarm system, the interior is entirely free from any modern fittings. Even the original Ford sound system is still in place, with no extra speakers having ever been fitted to the door cards or parcel shelf. In recent years the headlining has been replaced, the quality being to an excellent standard. The only real sign of age within the cabin is some light cracking atop the dash on very close inspection.


Under the bonnet you’re presented with a wonderfully clean engine bay. Here you’ll find the original engine sporting the RS500’s larger Garrett AiResearch T31/T04 turbocharger and larger intercooler. Looking closer there are no signs of any corrosion or poor repair with all ancillaries appearing in fine fettle; the turbo was fully rebuilt by Turbo Technics at 42k miles. On test the car is a real delight to drive.


The original 15-inch lattice wheels show little or no curb marking with only light wear to the lacquer as evidence of age. The alloys are shod in a matching set of Goodyear Eagle Ventura tyres with plenty of tread remaining. Between the spokes the calipers appear fresh having been fully reconditioned under the current ownership just a few thousand miles ago.

History File

The Sierra was first registered in August 1987. It was supplied new by Godfreys Ford in Cardiff and has seen just three additional owners since that time, with the current keeper having purchased the car way back in 2005.

The stack of paperwork is complete with the dealer-supplied service booklet and all original Sierra handbooks. An RS500 sales brochure is also included along with a period Ford accessories brochure and RS500 workshop manual. There are plenty of old tax discs and MOT certificates to fully verify the car’s low mileage of 47k.

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