Forget finding a lost Rembrandt in your attic or an oilfield in your back garden, because your passport to riches is discovering a retro or classic Ford in your garage. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing fast Fords fetching serious money, but that didn’t stop our jaws from hitting the floor at the Silverstone Auctions NEC Classic Motor Show Sale 2017. Here’s a round-up of the blue oval headline acts (some of which are still available), along with a few other show-stoppers.
- Retro and classic favourites at the NEC Classic Motor Show
- 6 expensive future classics at the NEC Classic Motor Show
- The retro bargains you can drive to the NEC Classic Motor Show
Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500: £112,500
It’s official: the Ford Sierra is worth as much as a Ferrari. Granted, this RS500 is rather special, with just 6,000 miles on the clock, but to put the hammer price into context, that’s £23,375 more than a Ferrari 550 Maranello and £24,750 less than a 458 Italia owned by Sir Chris Hoy. This isn’t a one-off: in July a similar RS500 sold for £114,750. These are crazy days.
Ford Escort RS2000 Custom: £97,875
This is both remarkable and tragic in equal measure. The best part of £100k is a fantastic figure for an Escort RS2000, even one in “original and unused condition” with just 927 miles on the clock. But the sad part is that it’s unlikely to be driven. A driver’s car built by Rallye Sport consigned to a lifetime as a work of art.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth Lux: £91,125
This 1996 Escort RS Cosworth is straight outta Croydon, having been supplied new by the town’s Ford dealer. Since then, it has covered just 837 miles and is still wearing its original Pirelli tyres. That’s two low-mileage ‘Cossies’ for a combined total of £200,000. And you thought classic Porsche 911s were valuable.
Ford Escort RS1600: Buy it now for £77,050
The first Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) car rolled off the Aveley production line in November 1970, with Ford keen to build on the momentum created by the Escort Twin Cam of 1967. The first car was an Escort RS1600, making this 1972 example a landmark car in the history of Ford. It didn’t sell at auction, which means you can buy it now for £77,050.
Ford Lotus Cortina: Buy it now for £54,050
“High speed performer from Ford… with about town manners,” proclaimed the original press ads for the Lotus Cortina, which delivered race-bred potency to the man on the street. Sadly, today’s man or woman on the street will require deep pockets to get behind the wheel of one of the early pioneers of the performance saloon formula. Yours for £54,450.
Ford Capri 280: £47,250
We’ve grown so accustomed to the rising values of the Ford Capri that £47,250 looks relatively reasonable for a 5,500-mile 280. Amazingly, this example remains unrestored, meaning it’s just as it would have been when it left the Ford main dealer in Lowestoft in 1987. The original owner – a Mrs Rogerson – would have paid £11,999, or £32,328 in today’s money.
Ford Escort RS Turbo: £44,438
The original Ford Escort RS Turbo was a low-volume, homologation special, which means S1 values are significantly higher than the mass-production S2. Before the sale, Silverstone Auctions described this 5,568-mile example as a “very shrewd investment”, but you have to wonder how much higher the values will go.
Ford Focus RS: £43,875
You could walk into a Ford main dealer and order a brand new Focus RS for £32,765. It’d be a wise choice, given the fact that some folk regard it as the best hot hatch you can buy new. So, it’s perhaps a little surprising that somebody would pay £43,875 for a previous generation Focus RS, albeit one finished in Ultimate Green and with just 18 miles on the clock.
Ford Escort RS 2000: £30,375
The RS 2000 arrived in 1973 and was the first Escort to be powered by the 2.0-litre OHC Pinto engine. It would sprint to 60mph in nine seconds, before hitting a top speed of 110mph. For wannabe Roger Clarks, the RS 2000 was as tempting as a ‘South Sea Grill’ and a ‘Brown Derby’ at the local Wimpy.
Ford Escort XR3i: £27,000
Even the most devoted fast Ford fans would have to concede that the Escort XR3i wasn’t the greatest hot hatch of the 80s. But that didn’t stop it from selling in huge numbers or the owner of this 1989 example spending £75,000 in the creation of an automotive ‘work of art’. Look out for this Escort at concours competitions in 2018.
Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet: £22,500
Wheeler Dealers Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead went head-to-head in a ‘Classic Rumble’, with the celebrities challenged to a charity restoration project. With a canny eye for a quick profit, Mike chose an Escort XR3i Cabriolet, which sold for £22,500, raising money for the Marie Crawford Boyd Foundation.
Ford Fiesta XR2: £22,500
The launch press ad for the Ford Fiesta XR2 takes us back to simpler times, with the rapid supermini following hot on the heels of the XR3. Referencing Ford’s Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) department, the copy said: “Their assignment was to develop a Fiesta that you could easily race on Sunday, then commute to work on a Monday.” Simpler times, when a Fiesta would cost £5,150 and not £22,500.
Ford Escort RS Turbo: Buy it now for £21,850
We said that values of the mass-produced Escort RS Turbo will lag behind the low-volume S1, but £21,850 is hardly a small price for a 28-year-old Escort. This example was delivered new by a Ford dealer in Jersey and has covered 37,000 miles. It didn’t sell at auction, so this RS Turbo could be yours.
Ford Escort RS Turbo: £19,688
Could this be a rare example of a ‘bargain’ fast Ford? It’s a more desirable Escort Turbo S1, recently restored to a very high standard, according to Silverstone Auctions. So, what’s the catch? Well, it has covered 56,000 miles and it doesn’t have a current MOT. Proof that low-mileage and provenance are contributing factors to sky-high auction values?
Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet: £16,313
Car enthusiasts of a certain age will remember the Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet when it was new. They’ll also remember the time when its image hit the floor, favoured only by those who fancied going topless on the cheap. Which makes the final price of this 11,000-mile example seem somewhat comical. Still, it’s cooler than a Focus CC, right?
Jensen Interceptor: £95,625
The retro and classic Fords might have grabbed the headlines at the Classic Motor Show auction, but other notable vehicles went under the hammer at the NEC. Take this ex-Eric Morecambe Jensen Interceptor, which just failed to hit £100,000. The late comic was at the wheel of the 1968 classic when he suffered a non-fatal heart attack.
Audi Quattro: £69,750
It’s not red, so we’ll spare you the clichéd reference to Gene Hunt. But the fact is, this is fast becoming a ‘normal’ price you’d expect to pay for a low-mileage Audi Quattro. Hardly surprising, given its game-changing status and the current love of 80s and 90s classics.
Range Rover Classic: £42,750
A final sale price of £42,750 puts this Range Rover Classic just shy of the £48,830 you’d pay for an entry-level Range Rover Velar. We know which one we’d rather have. Yep, the Spen King original.
Reliant Regal Supervan II: £41,625
No, this isn’t a replica, it’s an actual Reliant three-wheeler from the hit comedy series, Only Fools and Horses. There’s some speculation around exactly how much it was used in the show, but it can definitely be seen in a trailer for the 2002 Christmas special when it appeared on the streets of Monaco. Lovely jubbly, Rodney, but at £41,625, don’t bank on being millionaires this time next year.
MGB GT: £19,125
It’s not every day you come across an original and unregistered MGB GT. The rubber bumpers might not be everybody’s mug of Earl Grey, but the black paintwork does an excellent job of ‘hiding’ the offending items. A steal at £20K?