Su­per-clean Sap­phire Cossie is the per­fect sum­mer cruiser.

Fast Ford - - Contents - Words: Danni Bag­nall Photos: Matt Richard­son

The mod­i­fied car game is some­thing that con­tin­u­ally evolves; one year you’re run­ning brightly coloured neons and the next you’re polishing the most com­pli­cated set of splits you could find on the mar­ket. My point be­ing, the car ‘scene’ is for­ever chang­ing, which is what is so cool about this pas­sion. The owner of this beau­ti­ful Sap­phire Cos­worth you cur­rently see sprawled across th­ese pages, how­ever, has taken it back to ba­sics, mak­ing a clas­sic even more clas­sic – and we bloody love it!

There’s some­thing to be said for a car that doesn’t need a whop­ping great spoiler, an en­gine swap or slam­ming to the ground. The pure class that is the Cos­worth speaks for it­self and Danny recog­nised that straight away. Some cars just don’t need the level of mod­i­fi­ca­tion that oth­ers do – the fact that the Cossie was built so well in the first place is tes­ta­ment to that – but as time goes on and technology gets more and more ad­vanced; it’s of­ten preva­lent to re­place some aged bits. “I’d al­ways wanted to own one. It’s one of those cars you grow up watch­ing on TV and you wish to own one day, but never think you ac­tu­ally will. There wasn’t any need to go mad with it, be­cause it was al­ready an icon – I just felt a bit more boost and a few up­dated parts were needed,” Danny said.

Go­ing from a two- door Mk1 Es­cort, which was also home­built, Danny al­ready knew what he wanted to do to the Saph, as well as a good idea of what would work well. The

“Danny tack­led all this work him­self, fit­ting all the up­grades and even re­build­ing the en­gine”

Ford Sierra Sap­phire is a clas­sic – one of which is not al­ways as cel­e­brated as it prob­a­bly should be. The likes of the Es­cort, for ex­am­ple, gets much more praise and is shouted about much more of­ten. How­ever, the fact that it’s cou­pled with Cos­worth me­chan­i­cals makes the Saph Cossie sim­ply un­for­get­table.

Danny isn’t ex­actly a stranger to build­ing a car or two, oh no. Be­fore buy­ing this 1989 twowheel drive Sap­phire, he had an Es­cort RS2000 that he sold fol­low­ing a com­plete restora­tion. “I pur­chased the Saph eight years ago from the Pis­ton­heads web­site, just after I’d just sold the RS2000. I bought the Sap­phire with the in­ten­tion of just mak­ing it a good driver – it was stupidly low mileage for what it was and how old it was, it was an all-round great buy – but it wasn’t long after own­ing it that I de­cided it just wasn’t clean enough,” the 49-year- old lorry driver tells us.

So, nat­u­rally, it had to come to pieces. It was com­pletely stan­dard when Danny bought it and, much like most of us fel­low petrol heads, it wasn’t go­ing to stay com­pletely stan­dard for long. We all like to put our stamp on things, after all. Danny set about strip­ping the car down. He re­painted all the run­ning gear him­self, as well as paint­ing and seal­ing the un­der­side. The shell was then sent to Wat­mough Panel­craft where they fully re­sprayed it in the orig­i­nal colour, Moon­stone Blue. While the shell was in paint, Danny took the op­por­tu­nity to per­form a few light mod­i­fi­ca­tions here and there. Start­ing with the en­gine – we say ‘light mod­i­fi­ca­tion’, what he ac­tu­ally did was take the whole thing apart – re-build­ing it as he went. Key up­grades to im­prove re­li­a­bil­ity and drive­abil­ity were the or­der of the day, in­clud­ing a full set of poly­bushes un­der­neath, a multi-layer Cometic head gas­ket, ARP head studs, a larger Airtec ra­di­a­tor, and a K& N panel fil­ter to name but a few of the choice im­prove­ments.

Danny tack­led all this work him­self too, fit­ting all the up­grades and even re­build­ing the en­gine. The only thing he couldn’t do at home was any en­gine ma­chin­ing, so that was sent away to be done by Gos­nays, in Rom­ford.

It didn’t stop there, though. Danny got in touch with Bernie’s Blow­ers for a com­plete turbo re-build too. At the same time he in­structed them to add a 360 de­gree thrust

When the styling’s this good, there’s not much more you need to do!

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