Fast Fords are rock­et­ing in price; is now the time to buy one?

The sen­si­ble money is on speedy Blue Ovals this year, as prices rocket

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Richard Bar­nett, mar­kets editor

In­ter­est in per­for­mance Fords has seen a re­cent strong reap­praisal, with mod­els in­creas­ing dra­mat­i­cally in value. Prices reached jaw-drop­ping lev­els at the end of 2015 and the be­gin­ning of this year, and auc­tion­eers are pre­dict­ing a con­tin­ued de­mand and con­se­quent value hold­ing.

In Novem­ber Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions’ Clas­sic Mo­tor Show sale saw an im­mac­u­late 1987 Sierra Cos­worth RS500 sell for £90,000 while a 1985 Es­cort RS Turbo S1 made a heady £60,188.

Early 2016 in­di­ca­tors of in­ter­est re­main­ing undi­min­ished have come with Anglia Car Auc­tions’ un­der-2500 miles 1987 Capri 2.8i that made £35,500, and SWVA’s three-owner, 45,000 miles 1986 Sierra Cos­worth at £45,360.

While MkI Lotus Cortina val­ues re­main strong and early, three-litre Capris con­tinue to ap­pre­ci­ate due to their rar­ity, later mod­els are catch­ing up rapidly as a new gen­er­a­tion who cov­eted 1980s and early-1990s cars in their youth can now af­ford them. Hard lives and de­scent into the bar­gain base­ment have seen many per­for­mance Fords down the years writ­ten-off or scrapped.

For those in the in­dus­try, the value hike is down to scarcity of fine-con­di­tion ex­am­ples, and that ap­pre­ci­a­tion was ex­pected. ‘Fast Fords are reach­ing a kind of “hey­day reprise” with many peo­ple liv­ing out the dreams of their youth and own­ing the elu­sive RS2000s and Cos­worths that were so as­pi­ra­tional to them in the 1980s,’ says Justin Lazic, founder of auc­tion­eer Clas­sics Cen­tral.

‘With per­for­mance that is strong even by mod­ern stan­dards and iconic looks, th­ese were the cars peo­ple ei­ther dreamed about or lived out their dreams in. By com­par­i­son to mar­ques like As­ton Martin and Fer­rari, fast Fords of­fer sim­i­lar thrills but at a sen­si­ble price level.’

Lazic’s views are echoed by Will Smith, sales man­ager at Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions, who says: ‘Fast Fords have seen a rapid rise in value at our auc­tions over the last 12 months. Their mass ap­peal is un­ques­tion­able and as fewer orig­i­nal, low-mileage cars fil­ter onto the mar­ket, col­lec­tors are start­ing to pay large pre­mi­ums for concours ex­am­ples. We are not sur­prised by this growth and sus­pect prices will con­tinue to climb across all RS mod­els as de­mand sim­ply over­whelms sup­ply.’

And while per­for­mance Fords en­joy a good rep­u­ta­tion for their mix of speed and han­dling, the mo­tor­sport con­nec­tion adds to the ap­peal, with Ford hav­ing been a leader in ral­ly­ing and cir­cuit rac­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to Ed­ward Bridger-Stille, auc­tion di­rec­tor of His­torics at Brook­lands Ford of Bri­tain’s ‘club­man’ mo­tor­sport his­tory is ex­em­plary. ‘Cou­pled to the hugely im­pres­sive sus­tained Ford Mo­tor­sport works teams, and the cre­ation of the Ford AVO Divi­sion, this has given the mar­que a pow­er­ful DNA of per­for­mance, which re­ally could be tapped into by all, com­peti­tors and road mo­torists alike,’ he says.

‘That’s re­flected to­day in the ris­ing in­ter­est and pop­u­lar­ity of all clas­sic Fords and par­tic­u­larly the cream on the cake RS – Ral­lye Sport – ver­sions. The fact that 21 mod­els bore that renowned sig­na­ture helps ex­plain the rich depth of ap­peal that ex­ists for fast Fords to­day.’

Ford Capris that cost more than Porsche 911s? Oh yes, wel­come to 2016’s new re­al­ity.

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