William Randolph Hearst created his San Simeon castle by importing the best of Europe's ancient architecture and having Julia Morgan find ways to incorporate it. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a Ford Sierra that would make Hearst proud.
The ‘80s gave us many awesome cars (as well as Bar Refaeli, grrrr), but few cars were more awesome than the rally contenders from the big gun manufacturers. BMW spawned the beloved E30 M3, Mercedes the 190E 16V, and Ford - who at the time found their European racing efforts flagging - partnered with their long-time BFF Cosworth to build the Sierra RS Cosworth.
The standard Sierra had been as radical a replacement of the long-lived Cortina as would be - a few years later - the Taurus in supplanting the LTD. Jelly bean-shaped and initially hatch-back only, the cars' unique appearance was backed up by decent performance, comfort and utility. It was only a matter of time that the popular line received a hot, and then hotter version to help keep sales lively. The RS Cosworth was intended to compete in Group A racing, for which 5,000 cars needed to be homologated for street use - lucky street users. The 204-bhp YBB motor is based on the T88 ‘pinto' block, but with a Cosworth-designed twin-cam head and Garrett turbocharger with intercooler. The body is based on the two-door Sierra hatchback, although Cosworth's contract demand that Ford buy 15,000 motors meant a later 4-door version was also made available.
This 1985 Sierra Cosworth RS is a bit of an enigma. Offered by New England Classics, it's claimed to be street legal in the states. As the Sierra Cossie was never intended to be sold here, and the sight of the pitbull under the hood would likely drive DOT inspectors into seizures, there had to be an end-run in order to accomplish this feat. That was done through the use of a stock Merkur XR4Ti as a base and registration title, and then stripping one of the 5,545 cars in Europe for its Cosworthiness and applying all that to the Merkur. That means you should be able to register it anywhere you don't need to have a visual inspection.
What that extreme Merkur-over has accomplished is both the visual punch of the RS, including the vented hood, industrial mesh grille and a whale tail that would make Kim Kardashian proud. Gone are the Merkur's tradmark vinyl cladding, triple sidelights and bi-plane spoiler. And those changes are all for the better, although, like many an ‘80s survivor, the wheels look kinda' dinky.
Underhood things don't look dinky, but the four cylinder with the techno-script on the cam cover is only 2-litres. The seller notes that there's only about 1,000 miles on the freshly rebuilt YBB, and theorizes that its 24-28 lb(!) of boost gives it 375-bhp or more. The real Sierra Cossies came with the Mustang's T5 cogger, however, those transmissions were built on a special line, incorporating up-rated hardware to withstand the engine's brutal power delivery. The T-5 in this car is claimed rebuilt, and only time and gear whine will tell if the box is equally as sturdy. The rest of the chassis is said to have been renewed and updated so the European Sierra 170-mph speedo's odometer reading not having any relation to the car's actual mileage is probably irrelevant.
The rest of the interior won't shock anyone who has spent any amount of time in an XR4Ti, and looks a little ratty in comparison to the new coat of black (this car's best color) on the outside.
If you have a cute girlfriend, who sorta looks like Angelina Jolie, you could possibly talk her into getting some plastic surgery, having her hair dyed, maybe getting a boob job, and in the end, she might look even more like Jennifer Aniston's arch rival. But that wouldn't make her Jolie, and that certainly won't make you Brad Pitt. That's kind of how this car comes across, and, like a Cobra kit car, no matter how nicely done it is, you're still a poseur.
Still, this is unique and interesting, and it appears to have been well crafted, if the ad and pictures are to be believed. If you present it for what it is, in the manner that this seller has, there's no reason to not to enjoy wringing the bat shit out of it, and it'd sure make a lot of people put on their Moe face and say whaaaa?.
But what about that price? At $25,000 it's more kidney pie than kidney auction, and there's no way you'd be able to replicate this for anywhere near that cost, even with craptacular Merkurs going for about $500 a piece these days. For full disclosure, it should be noted that this car was offered by the same dealer in 2007 for five grand less.
So, what's this Cosworth to you? Does that $25,000 for a faux Ford make you say sierra madre dios!? Or, does that price make this an RS-ted development?