We’re proud to present this most unusual offering from the Blue Oval; one of the very first Sierra RS Cosworth’s having been declared manufactured in October 1985 and produced as part of the 4P Pre-Production Prove Out Program of 1985, prior to full production in 1986.
It is believed that there were ten pre-production vehicles hardened and scrutinised at Ford’s own Lommel proving ground, Belgium, before several cars (all White) were sent for the Spanish Press Launch in late November 1985. Three remained in Genk to continue pre-production testing duties, of which C357 HVW was one.
As confirmed by Ford SVE Team Leader, Gordon Prout, our car remaining in road-legal guise was most likely retained as one of the British car magazine vehicles as Ford were keen to receive press comments while they still had four to six months before official production began.
Minor pre-production features that weren’t taken to production include the deletion of the rear window washer on the top of the hatch, a black fuse box lid with metal clip (as opposed to white plastic clip lid of the production cars), parcel tray without first-aid box, both types of radio balance controls, and a brace between engine and gearbox – believed to have been designed for anti-vibration, but not present on production vehicles.
This car was exported with its British owner to New Zealand in 1994 with 40,000 miles recorded. Poor health and subsequent passing saw ownership pass in 1999 at 47,000 miles to a Ford Garage owner in Oamaru NZ who added approximately 15,000 miles in his decade of ownership, but in return rebuilt the engine using quality parts from Lodge Auto Centre in Hastings NZ who incidentally also rebuilt the turbo on the customer’s behalf. By 2009, and now with 62,000 miles but a relatively recently rebuilt engine, saw a Ford enthusiast and somewhat obsessive owner take the reins, lavishing a healthy £20,000+ equiv GBP on this car to strip and repaint, make good one small area of corrosion on nearside front strut (a common weak point) and replace all lights, mouldings, door and window seals, electrical sensors and hoses. Suspension bushes were replaced with urethane, the injectors stripped and rebuilt and numerous other jobs tackled in the pursuit of perfection, which was achieved.
The result really is a very special car not just in condition, but in history too….
The only non-original parts fitted to the car are a Sierra Sapphire Turbo heatshield (because they’re better), a larger bore exhaust and a stainless steel Bailey water tank, used to preserve the original from discolouration. The original heatshield and water tank do however accompany the car.
With just over 67,000 miles recorded and accounted for, the condition truly belies this mileage. It’s fast, reliable, fully-sorted and wants for nothing. This is a most unusual and appealing RS and your considered interest is most welcomed.
Ford: Cars with a Future; Our car, C357 HVW, features from 1.53 to the end…
Just for fun, here’s several images which have been uncovered in researching our car from testing in Lommel, Belgium, in early to mid-November 1985.
Also, another source, this time from Italy lists C357 HVW as the tenth pre-production car built, and the only one in Moonstone Blue. (Pictured in New Zealand, wearing ‘XF7457’ registration)
|Number of cylinders:||4|
|Year of Manufacture:||1985|