Classic Ford Escort RS Cosworth sells for $173k
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A Ford Escort RS Cosworth dubbed a 'time capsule' car after covering just 1339km since 1996 has sold for $173,793 at auction.
The rally-influenced Escort RS Cosworth was considered the king of the boy racers in its day and was famous for both its huge wing and immense power.
Now the Escort Cosworth is considered a fully-fledged modern classic car and the two previous owners' decision to forgo driving this one and wrap it in cotton wool instead has been celebrated with the astonishing price fetched at Silverstone Auctions' NEC Classic Motor Show sale.
The 1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth had been described by auctioneers as a unique opportunity for a classic car collector.
It said: 'This is without doubt one of the finest Fords Silverstone Auctions has ever offered and this car presents a unique opportunity for an astute buyer to complete the ‘full set’. Form an orderly queue here, please.'
There were just 7,145 examples of the cars built between 1992 and 1996 and many were heavily used, modified and driven hard.
While it might have looked like any normal Escort of the generation - albeit one with a body kit and huge rear wing - the Cosworth was an entirely different beast.
Instead of being based on the family-friendly model it shared its name with, the Escort Cosworth was underpinned by a shortened version of the Sierra RS Cosworth and used the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing a then mind-bending 170kW that sent this version to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds.
This is one of the latter cars to come off the assembly line in February 1996, and is the higher-spec Lux model, featuring upgrades that include Recaro seats, electric windows and mirrors, central locking, a heated rear windscreen and a sunroof.
The Lux was slightly pricier too, retailing at around $1,900 more expensive than the $40,775 standard car just over 20 years ago.
It was originally supplied by Dees Ford of Croydon in Diamond White with a Raven Black leather interior - the stereotypical Essex Boy's specification. But that's not what makes it so valuable today.
Locked away and barely used, it has covered an average of just under 64km each year. Even the original Pirellis it came with are there - and the spikes you get on a fresh set of rubber remain today.
The auctioneer's description details the 'like-new' condition, saying: 'Open the driver's door and the waft of new car smell still remains, whilst the Recaro seats are in A1 condition and barely look like they've been sat in, which they haven't much.'
To guarantee that the car runs as smoothly as it did when it left the factory 21 years ago, it was fully serviced by a Ford main dealer, with new cambelts and given a new MOT prior to the auction.