Ford Escort RS Cosworth Motorsport ‘Group N’ rally car – 703 miles from new
ADVERT ID: 32744
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Ford Escort RS Cosworth Motorsport ‘Group N’ rally car – 703 miles from new – Thought to be lost to the world, this fascinating piece of Ford history has now returned to the UK. Unrepeatably original and in superb mechanical and cosmetic condition.
The Escort RS Cosworth was an ‘homologation special’ and its sole role was to incorporate parts that Ford planned to use in their rally cars to ensure success in International Rallying. Because it was smaller, lighter, and more nimble than any of the Sierras, the combination of Cosworth power, four-wheel-drive transmission, and an effective aerodynamic package made it a Rally Giant in all conditions. Success duly followed between 1993 and 1998 in the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, but the road cars were very rare – with just 2,500 ‘homologation special’ versions made, becoming known as ‘big turbo cars’, all capable of 150mph and easily identified by the aptly named ‘Whale Tail’ rear spoiler.
The car presented here was built on the 19th August 1992 and is one of those early 2,500 cars; delivered new in factory ‘Motorsport’ specification, so in Diamond White (73) paintwork, with ‘Raven’ interior/Hexagon fabric and A/C deleted, and like many others in this configuration, was destined to become a rally car. It was originally purchased through Brooklyn Ford of Redditch by ‘Co-ordSport’ of Oldbury, the hugely well-respected and long-standing motorsport specialists, who have built and run rally cars with many major teams and sponsors, around the World and have won FIA events & Championships and the SCCA North American Rally Championship. The car was subsequently rally-prepared to Group N + standards, utilising genuine Ford Motorsport 909 parts (its Motorsport bladder fuel tank was made by Premier Fuel Systems of Castle Donnington), before being exported in 1993 to Jakarta (photo attached of it waiting to leave in the Co-ordSport offices) for their customer, a Mr Maher Algadri, a businessman and son of Hamid Algadri, the prominent Indonesian political figure.
The Escort was destined to have an extremely short career though, and after tackling the Indonesian forests in only a couple of events, where Maher was co-driven by Peter Collinson (the MD of Co-ordSport), it was parked up in late 1993, having covered only a few hundred miles. Maher’s new rally cars had started to arrive and were to take priority. The Escort was destined not to turn a wheel for a very long time, and although garaged, with the dust beginning to gather on its bodywork and the rally tyres starting to deflate, the car’s hibernation was well underway. Although very much hidden from public view, there was the odd, rare sighting and one occasion being when the engineers from ‘Possum Bourne Motorsport’ came across it. Richard Rowlands, the former head mechanic for Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne, the late champion New Zealand rally driver, recalls a vivid memory seeing this Escort in Maher’s basement:
“In July of 1995, myself and one of the other boys from Possum Bourne Motorsport went to Indonesia to look after a ‘Group A’ Impreza that our customer Maher Algadri was running in a round of the Indonesian Rally Championship. Whilst there, we were staying at Maher’s residence in Jakarta, and I ventured down into his extensive underground car park and found a Group N Escort Cosworth sitting in the corner on semi flat tyres, covered in dust.”
Although still a current model at the time, it was seemingly just forgotten about. As the legacy of the Escort Cosworth rally cars was beginning and they were making their attack on rally stages all over the world, quickly becoming a fan favourite, this car was properly disconnected from the action, distant and lost, but its day was still to come. Many years later Richard Rowlands tried to track the car down but to no avail as it had already started the next chapter of its story over the ocean in Australia.
In the 2000s, the Escort became the property of an enthusiast-owner in Australia, however, sadly for the car though, many more years lay ahead of being under a cover and tucked away in a garage and its new life in Australia was to be even less action-packed than in Indonesia. The hibernation continued.
In 2021, the Escort was to get its first big break in almost 30 years, as it was ‘stumbled across’ by its next and more proactive owner, who instantly recognised its outstanding originality and appreciated its sought-after status. As Ford’s RS Cosworth range had never been made available on the Australian market, this rally car had perhaps been overlooked for many years presumed to be a ‘foreign Ford’ with its wider appeal and reputation perhaps lost on those ‘not-in-the-know’ Down Under. Under new and dutiful ownership, the little RS received a well-deserved 30th birthday when it was meticulously checked-over, with all appropriate maintenance carried out, ensuring its originality was upheld whilst all serviceable components were replaced. Only after this most thorough and careful recommissioning process, was it then ready to begin its new life.
This astonishingly original and barely used Escort RS rally car has covered just 703 miles from new, with an integrity and condition wholly commensurate with such low mileage. It remains a fully matching-numbers, engine-and-Motorsport-tags-present car and all the Ford Motorsport 909 parts are still in place with even the numbers-matching factory glass remaining in-situ.
In the car’s boot is yet another reminder as to just how unused it is, the original spare wheel and Michelin FB81 gravel tyre are still present and correct. The underside of the car is immaculate and would be a remarkable sight on a road car, let alone a rally car! The composite underbody protection has merely a few chips and light grazes, the only slight sign this car has seen any form of use.
After recently travelling 30,000 miles by sea over eight weeks but only 703 miles on land over 31 years, this unrepeatable Escort RS ‘Cossie’ Motorsport has finally now returned home. It has never been registered/owned in the UK (only ever showing on the internal Ford dealer data system) and consequently any buyer will be its first UK owner. Importantly, it is recorded as an Escort RS Cosworth for logbook/V5C purposes, not as an ‘Escort’ as many of the rally cars are.
A hugely rare opportunity to a acquire a ‘time-warp’ car that could be used as a template for any restoration – it is that good!
More professional images and a very special (additional) video will follow soon.
THE CLASSIC SALE AT SILVERSTONE FESTIVAL 2023
We are now inviting entries for The Classic Sale at Silverstone Festival – one of our biggest auctions of the year. This is our 13th year as the event’s exclusive Auction partner and this year we will be holding a Race and Competition Car Sale on Friday 25th August followed by a Sale of Collectors’ and Classic Road Cars on Saturday 26th August. Join us for one of the best historic motorsport weekends of the year, attracting around 110,000 visitors, where you can also enjoy incredible live music, family fun, a foodie fest and of course our fabulous auctions.