'Sleeping beauty' supercar found in garage after being covered in dust for DECADES – now it's been sold for huge sum | The Sun

A 'SLEEPING beauty' supercar which had been gathering dust in a garage for 34 years has sold for an eye-watering sum.

A legendary Ford Cosworth RS500, one of only 500 ever made in the late 1980s, went under the hammer and sold for a staggering £137,250.

The car was made famous when 200 of them were upgraded and swept all before them in the British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch, Silverstone and other circuits, watched by millions on TV.

The one auctioned yesterday at the NEC in Birmingham with the registration D64 XVX, left the Ford factory on June 23, 1987, and is believed to be the 13th of 500 off the production line.

Stored like a Sleeping Beauty under dust covers in a lock-up garage, it hasn't been driven on the roads for 34 years.

But when it was unwrapped and put on show yesterday, people from round the world queued up to make bids.

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Fans watching the RS500s win motor race championships in the 1980s were often youngsters who now have careers giving them the wealth to buy one.

As a result they have become collector's items, and RS500 prices have been rocketing in recent years – one sold in February this year for a jaw-dropping £596,000 to a multi-millionaire fan living in Dubai.

The Cossie sold yesterday wasn't ever raced – it was one of the 300 which were 'road legal'.

After it rolled off the production line in 1987, it remained with Ford for a year and was used as a press/promotional car, appearing in What Car magazine in September 1987 in an article entitled ‘Ford’s 500’, a copy of which was sold with it at the auction.

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It passed to its second owner on June 1, 1988.

His plan was also to use it for promotional purposes but after twelve months, work commitments dictated a move abroad and the RS500 was placed into storage in 1989, on stands, with wheels removed and covers in place.

And there it has remained until now, tucked away, with just 12,530 miles on the clock.

Iconic Auctioneers said before the sale: "Within the knowledgeable RS500 community, the car was thought to have disappeared many years ago although a number of attempts to trace it were made over the years without success.

"With the upsurge in interest in these rare cars, the decision was recently made by our vendor to find a new custodian for the increasingly desirable 1980s homologation special, with it seeing light of day for the very first time since being interred all those years ago.

"With wheels re-fitted and covers removed, it rolled freely out of the garage for the photo shoot which accompanies this listing, with the condition externally and internally being exceptional with no obvious deterioration.


In the mid 1980s, asked to produce a 'fast' car, Ford made 5,500 RS Cosworths, based on the bodyshell of hundreds of thousands of ordinary Sierras sold round Britain every year.

Once Ford had built the requisite 5,000 Cossies, the racing world's Group A rules allowed an upgraded 'evolution' model, for an extra 500 cars, to be launched – the RS500.

It was introduced as a means of homologating the Sierra for the 'Group A' Touring Car Championship.

Two hundred of the RS500s were set aside for racing, the remaining 300 turbo-charged cars were sold for use on Britain's roads.

Some were written off in crashes, but it's estimated that of the original 500, over 400 still survive, many in the hands of canny collectors as far away as Australia.

The original Sierra RS Cosworth was the first Ford to wear the Cosworth badge and was presented to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1985.

Of the 5,500 built, the 500 'specials' were sent to Aston Martin Tickford for conversion to become the Sierra RS500 Cosworth.

It was designed by Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) and had a specially-built 2.0-litre turbo-charged Cosworth engine producing 224bhp, which could be upped to 400bhp when modified for competition.

They featured numerous aerodynamic enhancements, cutting edge at the time, that have become a thing of legend among collectors.

That includes the 30mm lip spoiler applied to the tailgate to increase downforce, sweeping front splitter, and larger cooling ducts for both the brakes and the engine intercooler.

The cars were exclusively available through 90 nominated RS specialist dealers and went on sale in Britain on August 1, 1987 at a price of £19,950.

"It is simply quite remarkable and should be considered as a 'benchmark' example with an incredibly low and warranted 12,530 miles from new.

"After much consideration, the decision has been made to offer D64 XVX exactly as it rolled out of storage after 32 years with no attempt being made to start, run or enhance the vehicle in any way.

"So it should be noted that, if the new owner’s intention is to put it back on the road, a full recommissioning will be required. Your early inspection is welcomed and encouraged to fully appreciate the opportunity on offer."

The RS500s were not just any old Ford Sierra – they were turbo-powered rockets capable of over 150mph.

The '500s' had an extra rear spoiler under the huge whale-tail wing, a redesigned front bumper and badges on rear tailgate and front wings.

Inside is a real 1980s retro treat, with red and grey cloth seat trim.

Today's prices have to be set against the cost of an RS500 when it was brand-new – £19,950.

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Many canny buyers saw the potential and bought good examples of the car years ago, storing and cossetting their Cossies away from the public roads, often paying to have them housed in climate-controlled secure compounds.

Away from prying eyes, the value has climbed and climbed, with owners knowing there was another bonus – there's no capital gains tax payable on classic car sales.

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