RS Cosworth - "Cassie"


The Jaguar X-Type - nice car, lovely condition
, but ultimately just not 'us'.
  The history behind our purchase of this car is somewhat sentimental. Sadly my (Sprintex) father passed away in 2007 after a short illness, following my mother’s untimely departure two years earlier. In his will, as well as the usual division of the estate, he left me his prized Jaguar X-Type V6 and I believe he did this for one reason only – he knew we wouldn’t keep the car as it wasn’t really our style as nice as it was, but also knew how much we wanted a Sierra Cosworth. This way the Jaguar would go to a good home, and the proceeds would be used for a purpose. The Jaguar went to someone local to my parents who had seen the car around regularly and admired it, again something that would have pleased him. 

As luck (or spiritual intervention?) would have it the right Sapphire RS Cosworth had already been spotted on the Auto Trader website, an unmodified 4x4 example in white with Raven Leather Recaro interior and just 51,000 miles from new, and effectively the same owner, albeit ‘loaned’ to a relation for a year or so before coming back to the first owner again. The car was located in Fife, Scotland and the owner was an ex rally driver who competed in an Opel Ascona 400 alongside Jimmy McRae in his up-and-coming years before he turned professional. The car itself had been cared for throughout its life anyway, but over the last couple of years had been stripped and painted underneath and anything that needed replacing was replaced with genuine Ford parts including brake pipes and hoses, coolant hoses, radiator, suspension, exhaust, etc, etc. The only departure from standard was the fitting of Spax Adjustable dampers and a set of white dials. The owner was reluctantly selling as it was only due to too many vehicles and lack of space, and was keen for it to go to someone who would cherish it and keep it standard, as he had already turned down offers of the full asking price from people who casually mentioned Stage 3 kits and 17” wheels! Plenty of e-mails were exchanged and photos of our two other Sierras sent to convince him we were genuine enthusiasts, and it did the trick. He even kindly agreed to keep it for us until the money came through from the sale of the Jaguar, and put 6 months tax on it so we could drive it home. And so in the December we flew up to Edinburgh and the future Mrs Sprintex’s parents took us to get the car. After showing us the immaculate car and the HUGE file of receipts for parts (which we have since totalled up to over £4,000!) we were treated to a test-drive that proved the cars quality, maintaining perfect poise along the twisting country lanes at speeds into three figures at times. The money changed hands and we drove the car 400+ miles home the next day without a problem. Although we consider the car as joint-owned, I knew just how long my fiancée had dreamed of owning a Sapphire RS Cosworth so made the decision to put the car in her name. I’ll never forget the smile and look of delight on her face when she opened the V5 document.

This is the Auto Trader picture that started it all . . .

. . . and one of the pictures that the owner sent by e-mail. Who could resist?
Pride of place at the RSOC Central Day 2010, the 20th Anniversary of the Sapphire Cosworth 4x4. Banner design by the misses.
It is now a “show days and sunny days” only car, and over the last three years has attended various RS Owners Club shows, National Days and Ford Fair. Many of the standard parts often removed from these cars are still fitted including the square air-box intake pipe, standard Ford exhaust, and original radio cassette and amplifier, and at the time of writing it has just over 54,000 miles on the clock.

Apart from regular servicing items including annual oil and filter change regardless of mileage, the only replacement parts have been a new sensor pack and Group A coil (the old phase sensor removed from the distributor was the factory original – 20 years old), new Ford coolant header tank as these are prone to splitting with age, a replacement front brake calliper due to one departing company from the car shortly after a high speed run (bolts are now well tightened and thread-locked), and replacement of the white dials for standard black ones.


The heart of the beast - the Cosworth YB engine.


Parts still to be fitted include reversion to standard Ford dampers and a replacement upper air-duct for the intercooler as this seems to be the only part missing, although it is not known if this was originally fitted to all Sapphire Cosworth cars as they seem to be very thin on the ground. The intention is to preserve this car as a completely standard example of the marque as they are fast disappearing due to the usual rust problems, and most have already been irreversibly modified.


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