Mods & Consequences
This year marks 35 years since the arrival of Ford’s game-changing Sierra and while the RS Cosworths are valuable and sought-after, the more prosaic models are all but forgotten. They also don’t engender the same affection that the Cortina did and as a result prices are low; even sporty editions such as the XR4i and XR4x4 are affordable. If you want a fast Sierra that handles well, then a Cosworth is the obvious choice. Prices have climbed sharply in recent years, but you can still buy an average Sapphire RS Cosworth for around £10,000. Bear in mind that if you modify one, you’ll probably devalue it because enthusiasts value originality.
So it’s best to focus on what you can do to upgrade the less collectable and more affordable mainstream cars. After all, when you can buy a good, late-model Sierra with fewer than 100,000 miles on the clock for under £1000, that leaves a lot of cash at your disposal (compared with the cost of buying a Cosworth) to spend on upgrades. Most obviously, you could create your own Cosworth Sierra by swapping the original Pinto or i4 engine for a YB Turbo or you could replace a fourcylinder engine with a V6. However, in the case of the latter you’re better off starting with a V6 because you’ll have the running gear already in place.
You’ll also need to be careful not to end up spending Cosworth money on a car that ends up being worth no more than a heatedup regular Sierra. But as Ford specialist Burton says on its website: ‘ With so many engine choices, it’s entirely possible to build a Cossie-slayer without a Cossie engine; or if it’s a Cossie that you’ve got, refine what is the ultimate Fast Ford.’