Ford Escort RS Cosworth ‘Group N’ Rally Car
ADVERT ID: 39676
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Ford Escort RS Cosworth ‘Group N’ Rally Car – Road-Registered – Part of the Cheshire Collection since 2014 and boasting the unique attributes of a road registered Anglo-German rally car with just over 12,000km from new.
The Cheshire Collection is a carefully curated ensemble of modern classics that represent our vendor’s enthusiasm, and are all offered on a No Reserve basis to make way for new additions to their respective collections. For nearly a decade, they have been a welcome sight at our auctions, and whilst we have appreciated their energetic bidding, we have valued their chats, enthusiast to enthusiast, just as much. Each car is special, whether it’s the vastly improved 1973 Ford Escort, the last production Sierra RS Cosworth showing more than 21,000 miles, the fabulous 12,000km ‘Group N’ Escort Cosworth, the well-maintained Clio V6, the one-owner, low-mileage Evo VI GSR to, perhaps, the best 2005 Honda Civic Type R on the market.
Stuart Turner of Ford was the leading light in pushing through the Ford Escort Rally program in the 1990s. Previously, the Sierra Cosworth had maintained a competitive presence in world rallying but a new genre of rally cars was emerging. The brief now called for a smaller, lighter car to challenge the rapidly emerging cars from Japan. Indeed, Turner had cited that nearly a third of all cars entered in a previous national rally were Japanese in order to encourage the Ford decision-makers in Detroit to ‘sign off’ the Escort Cosworth rally program. They still took some robust persuading, as the production model was only available in front wheel drive, and the RS Escort was going to be far removed from the production item destined for the ‘masses’. Worse still, production would have to be outsourced to Karmann, Germany. Two major considerations swayed Ford’s decision to go ahead, firstly the new Escort was being labeled ‘rather bland’ by the press and needed a ‘halo/hero car’ and secondly the drivetrain for the new rally car was the well-proven, world-beater system from the Sierra Cosworth. Turner’s plan had been to produce a ‘pizza’ rally car; Sierra Cosworth base with an Escort body-shell topping. A prototype was entered in a somewhat obscure rally in Spain, it won, and Ford’s Marketing machine quickly seized the opportunity with an advertising campaign that meant they could only continue wholesale with the program, spawning the mantra, ‘Everything we do is driven by you’. On its WRC debut 1993 Monte Carlo Rally, the RS Escorts of Miki Biasion and Francois Delacour led until the final stages. It was a success and provided Ford with ten WRC victories from 1993 – 1997 for Miki Biasion, Francois Delacour, Franco Cunico, Tommi Mäkinen and Carlos Sainz.
Joining the Cheshire Collection when purchased from us in 2014 is this Ford Escort Cosworth ‘Group N’ Rally Car, built by R&M Motorsport in Frankfurt from a trimmed, LHD 909 Bodyshell in March 1995. It was brought into the UK and used by Neil Thompson of Performance Parts in Luton under the guise of its German number plate. In 1997, it was sold to its previous keeper and registered in the UK on a ‘Q’ plate and used in a Rally Sprint and RSOC shows. Purchased by our previous owner in 2011 and recommissioned for stage rallying with upgrades that then included; new fuel lines, installation of an FIA fuel drain, FIA-approved Motordrive fibreglass seats and FIA belts (which are currently out of date) replaced cambelt, current-spec restrictor to the turbo fitted, and professionally set up to suit by Dave Griffiths of InterPro producing 297bhp and 317ft/lb at the time.
Used as a show car, it competed in the 2011 Regency Stages Tarmacadam Rally. Specification includes; Hemmerle matter cage, anti-lag, water-injection, 4:4 diff, LSD front and rear, ‘Group N’ sport gearbox, bonnet lamp pod, Kevlar guards, homologated ‘Group N’ alloys with Pirelli P Zero road tyres, OZ ‘Group A’ alloys with Dunlop C03 Slicks, Morette headlight conversion, small spares package. Presented with former Ford Motorsport ‘Group N’ Rally Preparation Manual and FIA ‘Group N’ homologation papers. Also included are previous event paperwork including some from the 1998 Rallye de la Boucles de la Semois that the car completed.
This car is a proper time-warp ‘Group N’ specification car with some 12,100km from new at the time of cataloguing. Presented to auction recommissioned for the road and sporting new livery, ready for the next show.
THE NEC CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW SALE 2023 – CARS
Our auction finale of 2023 is taking place at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC, Birmingham (B40 1NT) 10th – 12th November. The UK’s biggest and best motor show attracting visitors, bidders and buyers from around the world. Viewing is available on Friday 10th November 10am – 6pm as well as Saturday and Sunday from 9am. Cars and Automobilia can be viewed in Hall 2 and Motorcycles in Hall 5. The Collectors’ Car Sale will take place on Saturday 11th at 10am with the Automobilia Sale following at 4pm and the Motorcycle Sale will take place on Sunday 12th at 10am – all in Hall 2. Admission to the auction stand is by catalogue only. Catalogues will be available to purchase at the catalogue desks at the entrance to our stands for £10. Each catalogue admits two people. Admission to the show is not included in the price of the catalogue. Show tickets can be purchased via the Classic Motor Show website, use the code ICONICAUC for £2 off per ticket.