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
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.