SIERRA COSWORTH 30th / #Ford-Sierra
We head to Santa Pod along with a dozen #Ford-Sierra-Cosworth
owners to celebrate 30 years of this legendary fast Ford… Words: Jamie King & Dan Furr images: Dan Sherwood.
The Sierra RS Cosworth is a Blue Oval legend. Its name alone is enough to send shivers down the spines of lesser machines, and that huge rear wing is an icon that has become synonymous with speed! The original ‘Cossie’ epitomises what fast Fords are all about, combining power and style with practicality and usability. And most of all they’re fun – serious amounts of fun!
Seldom does a car achieve such an iconic status and have such a dedicated following of enthusiasts. So we couldn’t simply let the Sierra Cosworth’s 30th anniversary come and go without celebrating the occasion. That’s why we got together with a group of likeminded Cossie fans who joined us at Santa Pod for the three-door’s 30th birthday photoshoot. Typically, the unpredictable British weather played along as we all knew it would, and even with the photoshoot taking place in late summer the dark rain clouds soon gathered overhead. Thankfully though, apart from one downpour at lunchtime (which provided the perfect time to grab a bite to eat) we remained dry for the best part of the day, and the sun even popped out from behind the clouds on the odd occasion too!
But despite the ominous-looking weather, we were pleased to see a great turnout of Cossies as we rolled through the gates at 9am. The familiar roar of a YB could be heard for the next 30 minutes or so as more and more Sierras arrived to join the party. All told a total of 12 cars made it to the photoshoot – which is no mean feat considering it was mid-week and the weather looked so iffy.
But such is the love for this iconic fast Ford, these owners weren’t going to let silly things like work and a little bit of water get in the way of celebrating their favourite Blue Oval’s birthday, and they flocked from all over the country just to be a part of our little homage to the mighty Cosworth.
The line up included a diverse selection of cars (although, strangely, no black ones!), ranging from low-mileage standard examples, to fast-road weekend warriors, right through to out-and out track toys!
So sit back and soak up some of the three-door awesomeness over the next few pages, and join us in wishing the Sierra RS Cosworth many happy returns as it celebrates 30 years of being a true fast Ford legend!
NAME: JOHN STEWART (Moonstone D29 UTV)
OWNED: 14 years
John Stewart’s mega-power Moonstone monster was a completely standard RS when he first laid eyes on it back in 2001. “I wanted a factory-spec Cossie that I could use as the platform for an extensive resto-mod project. Buying an unfettled RS meant that I could put my own stamp on the car without somebody else being able to lay claim to the work for themselves!” he says. An initial plan to hit Stage 3 power levels quickly unfolded, although John credits his Sierra’s current specification to a catastrophic head gasket failure. “The car was heavily modified by the time that it blew its top,” he tells us. “Unsurprisingly, I was faced with an expensive engine rebuild, at which point I reasoned that I might as well chase big power,” he grins.
Sure enough, this cool Cossie is now chucking out a mighty 571.4bhp thanks to a fully-forged engine that makes use of Arrow rods and Cosworth pistons, a WRC eight-injector conversion, a braced GT35 turbocharger, a Hart inlet manifold and an Airtec intercooler. Better still, the Ford’s factory gearbox has made way for a Reyland-modifi ed Tremec transmission that sends power to the rear wheels via a Jaguar 10.5-inch diff mated to a Supreme Car Services six-degree beam! Brembo four-pots with 330mm discs are just about visible when taking a peek through the busy spokes of the car’s Compomotive CXN split rims, while Ford Racing gauges and a Pectel boost controller keep John in tune with his super Sierra’s in-action operating conditions while he’s sat behind the wheel. SPEC: Fully rebuilt engine, 571.4bhp, 200 block, Cosworth forged pistons, Arrow connecting rods, WRC oil squirters, ITG air filter, Hart inlet manifold, WRC eightinjector configuration, GT35 turbocharger, turbo brace, Tial external wastegate, Airtec intercooler and turbo cooler, Mongoose stainless steel exhaust system, modifi ed Tremec gearbox, Triton clutch, Jaguar 10.5- inch rear diff, SCS six-degree rear beam, GAZ Gold coilovers, front strut brace, Brembo four-piston front calipers with 330mm discs, Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4 rear calipers with 330mm discs, Compomotive CXN spit rims, Renault Laguna splitter, Ford Racing gauges, SCS engine monitor, custom pillar pod, twelve-stage Pectel boost controller.
NAME: JIM BLEASE (White D900 AJF)
OWNED: 3 years
To describe Jim Blease’s special-edition Sierra as a ‘scrapyard spec’ example of an RS #Cosworth
might sound like something of a put down, but his is a car that really has been dragged out of a metal merchant’s parts pile! “The son of the scrap dealer bought the car as a project before abandoning it in the corner of his Dad’s yard!” gasps Jim. “All of the Ford’s surviving vital organs had been thrown into its rear end. Unfortunately, the car’s sunroof was less than watertight, resulting in a shell full of green slime and stagnant water. To make matters worse, it was littered with rodent poo, and the all-important engine and gearbox were missing,” he sighs.
Undeterred, Jim bought the compromised Cossie and proceeded to use it as the host for the guts of his accident-damaged Sapphire Cosworth track toy. “Essentially, I re-shelled the Saph,” he continues. “I had to replace the Sierra’s roof skin due to excessive corrosion caused by the leaky sunroof, but I had a healthy surplus of old rally car components that I could delve into when building my scrapyard survivor!” he says.
That fruitful parts pile yielded Gaz coilovers, a 909 rear axle, a GT28 turbocharger and a Level 8 ECU, while Supreme Car Services supplied an engine to the tune of 380bhp and 400lb/ft of torque. AP Racing stoppers and RS500 exterior trim also contribute towards the resurrection of this salvage Sierra.
And because the shell wasn’t a low-mileage minter to begin with, Jim has been able to chop the bodywork about without incurring the wrath of fellow RS owners – and the result is 9-inch wide Compomotive CXNs sitting perfectly in the arches to give one of the best three-door stances we’ve ever seen!
SPEC: Harvey Gibbs built engine, 380bhp, 200 block, forged internals, GT28 turbocharger, custom stainless steel exhaust system, Level 8 ECU, Gaz (front) and Spax (rear) coilovers, 909 rear axle, bespoke sixdegree rear beam, adjustable traction control arms, tubular anti-roll bar, AP Racing fourpiston front calipers with 330mm discs, Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4 rear calipers with 300mm discs, Compomotive CXN split rims, cut wheel arches to accommodate nine-inch wide wheels, new non-sunroof roof skin, RS500 lower rear spoiler and splitter, RS500 front bumper.
NAME: FRANK WILDE (White D454 EEF)
OWNED: 13 years
Representing the ‘as close to a standard RS as I could find’ brigade, Frank Wilde is in possession of a remarkably tidy Sierra Cosworth. “My Blue Oval has covered just 43,000 miles from new,” he beams as he shows off the odometer. “I’m the car’s fourth owner, and despite being its only keeper during the past thirteen years, I have no intention of parting with it any time soon,” he confirms. Frank was determined to bag himself a standard RS, and he spent three years hopping in and out of those that he saw advertised for sale before settling on the white wonder that he calls his own today. Even so, he doesn’t mind admitting that he drove his pride and joy to Motorsport Developments in Blackpool for some mild tweaking shortly after getting hold of the car’s keys. “MSD’s Stage 1 tuning package should have been applied to Cossies at their original point of sale!” he laughs.
A chipped ECU, reset boost levels and a thorough going over by MSD’s team of tuning professionals has tweaked the car just enough to get the best of out of Ford’s factory power package. Frank is thrilled with the way that his RS performs, and he stresses that he will not be adding any further tuning parts to this stunning Sierra. After all, when you’re convinced that you’re in charge of fourwheeled perfection, why start messing with it?! SPEC Original unmodified engine, 270bhp, Stage 1 MSD chip and map, stainless steel exhaust system, factory paintwork.
NAME: STEVE NEWBERY
(Moonstone D749 COS)
OWNED: 5 years
QUICK SPEC: Former ‘Gold Cup’ concours-winning show car, 389bhp, new 200 block, hybrid T34 turbocharger, grey injectors, ported and polished cylinder head, RS500 intercooler, alloy radiator, polished engine bay dressup parts, Scorpion exhaust system, six-paddle clutch, AP Racing six-piston front brakes with 355mm discs, 300mm Sapphire RS Cosworth rear brakes, Koni adjustable dampers, front strut brace, Compomotive MO6 wheels, RS500 splitter, custom twintone leather retrim.
NAME: DAN WILLIAMSON (White D31 XCD)
OWNED: 6 months
QUICK SPEC: Fast Ford magazine project car, Stage 3, over 330bhp, T34 turbocharger, RS500 intercooler, Norris Motorsport map, green injectors, oil catch tank, Samco silicone hoses, alloy reservoirs, Mongoose exhaust system, Gaz dampers, front strut brace, Compomotive MO5 wheels, RS500 splitter.
NAME: TREVOR STOKES (Moonstone ADZ 1687)
OWNED: 3 weeks!
QUICK SPEC: Fully rebuilt engine, Stage 1, 300bhp, stainless steel exhaust system, Koni adjustable dampers, factory brakes, factory wheels.
NAME: IAN RODGERS (Moonstone D700 CAC)
OWNED: 3 years
QUICK SPEC: Fully rebuilt engine, Stage 1, 270bhp, refurbished cylinder head, all new gaskets, standard turbocharger, stainless steel exhaust system, renewed factory-spec suspension, factory brakes, factory wheels, re-lacquered paintwork.
NAME: RIK EDWARDS (White D550 LFC)
OWNED: 2 years
QUICK SPEC: Fully rebuilt (twice!) engine, Stage 1, 270bhp, standard turbocharger, Magnex stainless steel exhaust system, factory suspension and brakes, factory interior, factory wheels.
NAME: COLIN NEWBERY (White D797 PGO)
OWNED: 11 years
QUICK SPEC: Bare shell resto-mod project, 309bhp, rebuilt engine and gearbox, T3 turbocharger, polished engine bay dress-up parts, Roose Motorsport silicone hoses, stainless steel exhaust system, Hi-Spec Motorsport four-piston front brakes with 335mm discs, Spax dampers and springs, front strut brace, polybushed throughout, Compomotive MO5 wheels, RS500 splitter.
NAME: PHIL RAY (Moonstone D2 0YB)
OWNED: 2 years
QUICK SPEC: Former demonstration vehicle for a tuning firm, 330bhp, T34 turbocharger, MSD map, green injectors, drilled airbox with K&N panel fi lter, Roose Motorsport silicone hoses, stainless steel exhaust system, Koni adjustable dampers, polybushed throughout, factory braking system with OE-spec discs and pads, Lenso BSX wheels, RS500 splitter, Alpine head unit.
NAME: KRIS BEECH (Moonstone D300 WGW)
OWNED: 12 years
QUICK SPEC: Track toy, 440bhp, Norris Motorsport-built engine, low compression pistons, T4 turbocharger, ported big-valve cylinder head, cone air filter, Pro Alloy radiator, Mongoose exhaust system, Leda coilovers, adjustable traction control arms, front strut brace, polybushed throughout, 325mm (front) and 300mm (rear) brake disc conversion, Compomotive five-spokes, RS500 splitter, roll cage, Sparco bucket seats.
NAME: RICHARD BARNES SNR (Moonstone D33 XFL)
OWNED: 15 years
QUICK SPEC: Harvey Gibbs engine, Stage 3, 330bhp, Group A head gasket kit, ported and polished cylinder head, hybrid T3 turbocharger, 3-bar MAP sensor, RS500 alloy intercooler and radiator, alloy reservoirs, SFS Performance silicone hoses, stainless steel exhaust system, Bilstein dampers, front strut brace, factory calipers, drilled brake discs with uprated pads, Compomotive CXN wheels, custom pillar pod.
We have to say a big thanks to the 12 owners who gave up their day to stand around for hours on a damp drag strip while we took all the photos we needed to complete the feature. In particular thanks to John Stewart, Jim Blease, and Frank Wilde for hanging around until the end of the day so we could get all the images we needed. We also have to say a huge thanks to the RSOC’s Paul Linfoot for all his help with getting the 12 cars together and arranging the feature.
And finally, thanks to Santa Pod for letting us use the drag strip as a perfect location for the photoshoot. For more info on Santa Pod events and attractions visit www.santapod.co.uk