Rare 1 of 10 pre-production Ford Sierra RS Cosworth on sale

1 of the 10 pre-production Sierra RS Cosworths, used as a test mule and UK press car, can be found in our classifieds

For rarity, performance and prestige, getting your hands on a pre-production Ford Sierra RS Cosworth is a good way of showing you’re a Ford fan. This model, one of the very first manufactured in October 1985, was part of the Pre-Production Prove Out Program before full production of the car began.

It’s believed 10 were made as part of the programme, and were all scrutinised at Ford’s Lommel proving ground in Belgium. Some were sent for press duties, while three continued to be tested, including C357 HVW, the car in our classifieds.

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Although it was used for testing right up to the production model came out, this still has some details that mark it out from the cars that went on the market. There’s no rear window washer, a black lid for the fuse box rather than white, no first-aid box, two types of radio balance controls, and a brace between the engine and gearbox. The last one is the most noteworthy, as it’s believed to have been engineered to reduce vibrations – something obviously fixed by the time the car went into production properly.

The British owner of the car brought the car to New Zealand in 1994, by which point it had covered 40,000 miles on the road. It changed hands five years later to a Ford garage owner with a further 7000 miles on the clock. It remained on the road, getting another 15,000 miles in a decade and having a full engine and turbo rebuild. By 2009 it had clocked 62,000 miles, and after being sold underwent even more work, to the cost of at least £20,000.

This included surface level stripping and repainting, as well as repairing an area of corrosion at the front, replacing all lights, mouldings, door and window seals, electrical sensors and hoses. Suspension bushes were replaced with urethane and the injectors were stripped and rebuilt.

There are very few non-original parts, with just a Sierra Sapphire Turbo heatshield, considered superior to the one originally used in the test machine, a larger bore exhaust and a stainless steel Bailey water tank, used to preserve the original from discolouration. The original heatshield and water tank do however accompany the car.

With just 67,000 recorded miles and a level of care since production which not every test mule is lucky enough to receive in its later life, this is a car not to miss.

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