A rare pre-production Ford Sierra RS Cosworth is heading to auction in the United Kingdom in the final week of July, tipped to fetch the equivalent of around R1,2-million.

Interestingly, this 1985 example is one of just 10 right-hand-drive pre-production units built. Online classic car auctioneer TheMarket.co.uk says seven became rally cars, leaving just three as road cars (the whereabouts of the other two are unknown).

The three-door Sierra RS Cosworth has 68 000 miles (around 110 000 km) on the clock and is expected to be sold for between £39 000 and £59 000 (R820 000 and R1 240 000) via online auction from 23 to 30 July 2020.

Key statistics include a claimed top speed of around 240 km/h and a zero to 100 km/h sprint time in the region of 6,2 seconds. The turbocharged 2,0-litre engine generated around 150 kW, directed to the rear axle via a five-speed manual gearbox.

This example was built approximately nine months before official production kicked off, having been registered in the UK at the end of October 1985. It was exported to New Zealand in 1994, where it spent four years in storage while being treated to an engine rebuild.

It changed hands twice after that, before being faithfully restored, gaining new headlining and new foam in the front seats, along with replacement lights, mouldings, door seals, window seals, electrical sensors, hoses, suspension bushes, cambelt and front splitter. It arrived back in UK in 2016, reunited with its original registration number and retaining its original Ford dealer sticker in the rear window. 

“This car is a piece of Ford history. Not only is this one of the most desirable fast-Fords made but this is one of the very first examples ever built. The auction will be a very special opportunity for enthusiasts and collectors looking for a genuine Sierra RS Cosworth, with a price tag which is within reach for serious buyers,” said Tristan Judge, director at TheMarket.co.uk.

“The current owner took an already very good car and made it perfect. Like so many of us, he once had a poster of a Sierra Cosworth on his bedroom wall. Now it’s somebody else’s turn to own it, and an opportunity like this one rarely comes along.”