Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
- Mileage: 47,903
- Year: 1987
- MOT Expiry: May 2019
- Exterior Colour: Black
- Interior Colour: Grey Roma Velour Recaro
- Top speed: 153
- 0-60mph: 6.2
- BHP: 224
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- Engine Capacity: 1993cc
- Engine Configuration: Turbocharged 4 In-line
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.
Autocar (2012) 25 years of the Sierra RS500, Available at: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motoring/picture-special-25-years-sierra-rs500.
Recaro sports 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, Electrically operated 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 are to be found. There are also no scuffs or scrapes on close inspection, and all items of trim remain in excellent condition. 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 are additionally complemented with period Tickford emblems. Towards the front the lower splitter is pleasingly undamaged as are the original grilles. The unused factory fog lamps are still present with the car.
The entire cabin is astonishingly well preserved. The classic Ford ‘Roma’ upholstery has really stood the test of time, presenting beautifully throughout. The deep, grey bolsters of the Recaro sports seats are also remarkably free from significant wear, clearly a testament to the Sierra’s four careful owners from new. In fact, the current keeper (of thirteen years) 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 upgrades. Everything from the steering wheel to the gear knob remain just as they did leaving the factory. Even the original Ford sound system is still in place, with no extra speakers having ever been fitted to the door cards or pristine parcel shelf. In recent years the headlining has been renewed, the quality being to an excellent standard. The only real sign of age within the car is some very light cracking atop the dash, which is not immediately noticeable.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The factory two-litre DOHC powerplant, with the larger Garrett AiResearch T31/T04 turbocharger and intercooler, remains in place. The engine bay is particularly clean and retains a factory-fresh appearance throughout. There are no signs of any corrosion or poor repair, and the turbo was fully rebuilt by Turbo Technics at 42k miles. On test the RS500 is a real delight to drive.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The car sits on its original 15-inch lattice wheels. There is little or no curb marking to be found 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.
The Sierra was registered to its first keeper on 17th August 1987. It was supplied new by Godfreys Ford in Cardiff following the Tickford RS500 conversion carried out in the previous month. The car has seen just three additional owners since that time, with the current owner 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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