The May Sale 2018

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1987 Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth Chassis No1

Lot No.: 551

Registration: D112 VEV
Chassis Number: WFOEXXGBBEGG38771
Engine Number: GG38771
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1993 CC
Year of Manufacture: 1987
Sold for (£): Unsold
  • This is the definitive RS500, the only one built by Ford themselves, there are no others like it
  • A genuine pre-production model.  Re-shelled by Ford during the development process
  • Due to be inspected by a leading expert on the story of the RS500, with a written report at the sale 
  • For any serious Ford collector, this must be the car to have. The one that started it all
  • We welcome any inspection of this significant Ford

When Stuart Turner was appointed the head of Ford Motorsport in Europe in 1983 he quickly came to the conclusion that the company was no longer competitive in motorsport. Walter Hayes, having instigated the Cosworth DFV engine and Fords assault on Le Mans with the GT40, was still the driving force at Ford and, not surprisingly, Hayes was enthusiastic about Turner's plans to produce a turbocharged Cosworth 2.0 litre engine that would power a Ford saloon in motorsport. Cosworth already had a cylinder head design that fitted the Ford T88 Pinto block, so they agreed to produce a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine provided that Ford signed-off a production run of 15,000 units.

Disappointingly slow sales of the distinctively shaped Ford Sierra after its introduction in 1982, suggested that a serious marketing boost was required, and it was the obvious choice to become the platform for Ford's new competition aspirations. It was rear-wheel drive, had good aerodynamics, albeit being prone to lift at high speeds, and it was available as a three-door. A wind-tunnel developed body kit and rear spoiler would sort out the lift issues but, more importantly, Ford still needed to build 5,000 units for motorsport homologation, somewhat worrying when Stuart Turner's initial approach to the dealer network came back with an estimate that indicated that they could sell around 1,500 units! The successful eventual sales record is of course history. Ford went on to sell 5,545 three-door cars including the RS500, of which only 500 were built to conform to the eligibility regulations relating to International Touring Car Racing, 'Group A'. 

Aston Martin at Tickford were assigned to convert these 500 cars and that included upgrading the engine to 224bhp (with the potential to exceed 400bhp in full-race mode), numerous aerodynamic enhancements including a 30mm lip spoiler applied to the tailgate to increase downforce, a more effective chin spoiler known as a 'splitter', and larger cooling ducts for both the brakes and the engine intercooler. The cars were exclusively available through 90 nominated RS specialist dealers and went on sale in Britain on August 1st, 1987 at a price of £19,950.

This car is the very first one ever produced, Chassis Number 1. Defined as a pre-production model, it was the only one ever completed by Ford. It is well known that the first four cars were designated Development /Prototype cars, but this was Ford's car, not a Tickford development. With values of the RS500 having soared during the last few years, this is surely the proverbial 'Holy Grail' for any Ford collector, an opinion shared by the knowledgeable team at 'Fast Ford' magazine who have featured the car at various times in its life. The car has been out of the UK for much of its recent life, however, it still presents superbly with very little modification from new. Aside from a stainless steel Magnex exhaust system, and a replacement dashboard (shrinkage and cracking were frequent issues with the early dashboards) the RS appears remarkably original.

However, the essence of this particular RS500 is its history. With the car, is a comprehensive history file containing a number of older MoTs, some early Tax Discs, and the usual registration and ownership information etc. It appears it suffered accident damage in 1988, however, this alert on the Condition Register was subsequently removed. More importantly, our vendors have commissioned a report by a leading marque expert with extensive knowledge of the development of the RS500 and his report will be available to interested parties. It's a very thorough report with a very positive outcome.