Is it time for the Sapphire Cosworth to shine?

You can’t have missed the enormous prices Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworths seem to trade for these days – a couple have breached the £100k mark at auction over the past year. That’s filtered down to standard 3-door Sierra Cosworths and the Escort RS Cosworth – you’re looking at big league prices for those, with values ranging from £30k to anything up to £80k for low-mileage minters.


But there is a breed of Ford Cosworth you can buy for a lot less. In fact, an absolutely mint example is attainable for the price of an entry-level 3-door Sierra or Escort Cosworth. It is, of course, the Sapphire Cosworth.

Some argue that the the two-wheel-drive Sapphire Cosworth is the best handling rear-wheel-drive car. If you fancy all four wheels driven, then essentially you’ve got a half price Escort RS Cosworth – there’s more Sapphire under the whaletailed hero’s body than Escort MkV.


Prices haven’t really reflected that, however. Many more Sapphire Cosworths were made than Escorts and Sierras, so they’ve always been the cheap way in. But time, car thefts, rust and general neglect has worn away at numbers – when was the last time you saw a Sapphire Cosworth out in the wild?


So this 1988 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Coworth, up for grabs with Classic Car Auctions at the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show at the NEC in Birmingham in March, provides some food for thought. It’s estimated at £25k-£30k, putting it at the upper limit of where we’ve seen Sapphire Cosworths trade for, but it deserves it. Rated four stars across the board by CCA, it comes with its original bill of sale and a mammoth history. It’s also done just 36,000 miles in the hands of its two owners.

The Sapphire Cosworth may lack the visual drama of its illustrious three-door Escort and Sierra siblings, but any seasoned petrolhead will clock the subtle styling and accord the Sapphire Cosworth respect. In a way, it’s perhaps the car that added to the Cosworth legend the most – it was the Cossie you were most likely to see. Even the police got in on the act, and bought a few.


The Sapphire Cosworth – whether you’re a Blue Oval fan or not – is a key element of car culture from the 80s and 90s and we believe this is what will bring a rapid growth in values before very long. Though £30k for a Sapphire might seem strong, we believe this could well be one your last opportunities to get into a mint low-miler for vaguely sensible money. Comparable 3-door Sierras and Escorts can be anything up to twice the price. You can see where they’re going…

The sale takes place on March 24. How much do you think it will go for?

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