Over the last couple of years there have been many Ford based conversations over at MotorMartin Towers focusing on the merits of the various Escorts, Sierras, Fiestas and such like with the general consensus being that they are sadly missed out on the highways and byways of this green and pleasant land of ours. Indeed, the conversations usually end with a quick check on EBay and a trawl through the classifieds to see if any of these iconic Fords are within reach. And then recently news arrived up on the top floor of the Towers that one of the most iconic performance cars of the 1980s is celebrating its 30th anniversary in style, having been named the ‘Ultimate Cosworth’ by one of the UK’s biggest one-make car shows. Incredible.
The Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth pipped its spiritual successor, the Escort RS Cosworth, to the post, securing over 55% of the votes in an online survey carried out by Ford Fair to determine which of the two icons was the daddy. And not forgetting the Escort which also has a major anniversary in 2017, celebrating its 25th birthday.
All of which was celebrated in style with a special display celebrating both of these famous fast Fords being one of the main features of this year’s Ford Fair show, which took place at Silverstone, Northants, on Sunday August 6.
It’s been explained to MotorMartin that the RS500 was originally developed for homologation purposes to give the Eighties’ favourite repmobile, the humble Ford Sierra, a chance to compete in World, European and British Touring Car Championships. It was famous in the UK, where it performed in the British Touring Car Championship in the hands of drivers such as Andy Rouse, Steve Soper and Tim Harvey. It also competed in the 1988 World Touring Car Championship and enjoyed success in Australia, too, in the hands of legendary Touring Car driver Dick Johnson.
Incredibly, just 500 RS500 road cars were made, 75% of which were finished in black, the rest in either white or Ford’s distinctive Moonstone Blue. They were finished by Aston Martin Tickford, with a bigger turbo, while the main external identifier was its outrageous ‘whale tail’ spoiler – a far cry from the average showroom Sierra.
In addition to the Cosworth anniversary feature, there were also some other birthday’s being commemorated in special display areas which included 15 years of the Mk1 Focus RS, 15 years of the Mondeo ST220 and 15 years of the Focus ST170 – yes, 2002 was a great year for fans of fast Fords.
Ford Fair also had over 4,000 club cars on display, including many other classic and modern Fords, plus a special selection of cars from Ford itself, including the all-new Fiesta.
Other star features were the Live Action Arena, which was once again the centre of the show, a live performance from stunt driver Paul Swift, bookable track time for show visitors and a dedicated Classic Zone, hosted by Classic Ford magazine, which played host to all manner of historic heroes from Anglia to Zodiac.
Once again, the event saw headline sponsorship from aftermarket Ford specialists, mountune, while Hardrace, KSport, BC Racing, BC Forged Wheels, Goodridge, Sky Insurance and ValetPRO are other key sponsors.
New for 2017, Ford Fair also hosted the inaugural Fast Ford Awards sponsored by Sky Insurance. This special display formed part of the Fast Ford stand at the show, and included winners of various categories, such as ‘Best Street Car’, ‘Best Engine Swap’, ‘Best Modern Ford’, ‘Best Old School Ford’ and many more.
All in all, those that were lucky enough to be at the show were lucky to be presented with so much that we all love about those blue oval fronted cars. A heartfelt MotorMartin well done to all the individuals, clubs and businesses involved to make the Ford Fair such a success. Here’s to next year!
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