Nope, not a typo. Sixty thousand British Pounds was paid at Silverstone auctions for this series 1 Ford Escort RS Turbo this week. Now, we’re not averse to paying firm prices for a decent classic car, and something is worth what someone else is prepared to pay, but this really isn’t a decent classic car to us MotorPunks. Here are some pics;

Before frothing Ford fans fill our inbox with an angry defence of this most wildly over-priced example of their marque, lets consider what usually makes an old car into a classic, one worth paying £60k for. Things such as; Motorsport success (the MKIII Escort has barely any), technical innovation (it has a turbo but it’s otherwise utterly normal), exclusivity (nope), outstanding performance (it was quick enough for it’s time, I suppose), styling (it’s a mass-produced hatchback with go-faster bolt-ons), celebrity appeal (Lady Diana owned one, pfft), an iconic engine (CVH!), handling (FWD, as standard they were OK, no 205Gti though) and reliability (watch it rot).  It’s nice enough but, £60k? Really?! OK, so this particular example is old, clean and original – but so is my Granny.

ford rs turbo near some bins in the eighties

We MotorPunks grew up in the ’80s. We get the appeal of owning modern classics, “car club 18-30” kinda cars, and we can even understand why you might pay a little over the odds for something that stirs some daft teenage nostalgia (see above for some of that) – but sixty grand for this is surely fifty-five too far. It’s over the twice the price of this immaculate Sierra Cosworth, for flip’s sake! This price isn’t an isolated case of lunacy from a single ‘money no object’ collector at auction, either, there were eighteen people bidding on this car until the hammer fell.

Can anyone explain the appeal to us?

Pics and info from here. 

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

18 Responses

  1. Daz Smith

    I agree, but you’re still gonna be found murdered to death in a Dagenham lay-by. “The only clue Police have is the thick cloud of blue smoke left by the suspects”

    • Kev

      Were the auctioneers giving out free drugs to the bidders before and during the auction?

  2. Tim Lloyd

    Pure speculation, I reckon. As ‘classic’ Ford prices continue to climb, someone’s probably taking a (very) long view on this.

    What would be funny however, is if this was a confused overseas bidder thinking they’d bought a mk1 Escort.

    • Ted Andrews

      Lads,its fine you don’t get it, and can’t join us
      hard working collectors buying cars at this level.
      But don’t worry there are loads of uber cool Allegro’s and
      and Austin Princesses under 5k out there for you guys.

      • Rich Duisberg
        Rich Duisberg

        Hard working? We hate hard work. And overpriced cars.

  3. Tipex

    As already mentioned, I think there is a bit of speculation going on here and I can see why, look at earlier Escorts, how many can you find? Mk1 & 2’s are very rare and command silly prices, simply because there are none left, even ones that aren’t Mexicos go for big money, the mk3 is the next logical step and the S1 RS Turbo is considered the daddy of the mk3, they are also getting increasingly rare these days, sadly this one willprobably never see a public road again, it’ll sit in an air conditioned garage until some time in the future when someone with more money than sense decides they want to own it.

    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      What we don’t understand, though, is the appeal of the car. The mk1 and 2 had rally credentials, RWD, and retro looks. What makes this model “£60k special?”

      • Tipex

        I’m not sure it is £60k special, as you say, it has no stand out feature, but while not as retro as a mk1 or 2, it is still retro. We are the generation that would love to have owned one when we were 17 but could not afford it, now we’re at an age when our mortgages are all but paid off and we have some disposable income, we want to relive our youth, for my generation the mk3 holds more appeal than a mk1 surprisingly, simply because I couldn’t have one back then, being pretty rare now if you want one, you’re going to have to pay for it, think of it as a £60k mid life crisis rather than a £60k Escort.

  4. Brian

    60k is ridiculous…but 20k all day long. Mk2 escorts rare??? Hardly…..mass produced worldwide…..series one rs turbo really rare….just remind me of working as a petrol pump attendant and hearing that fuel pump buzz. Colour ai t nothing special but when in sun over that bodykit….beautiful. lots could be said about certain cars commanding huge figures because owners believe they are iconic/historic….but do they ever sell?? Differnt strokes for different folks. Whatever you are into is your personal choice

  5. Dom

    “but this really isn’t a decent classic car to us MotorPunks”

    One of the most iconic cars of the 80s
    First edition (Mk3)
    Very low mileage
    Incredible condition
    Nostalgic appeal to millions of people
    First FWD production car to be fitted with a Limited Slip Diff

    I’m not even a Ford fan but not difficult to see the appeal of this car.

    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      Each to their own, and all that, but look at that price again and see what else it gets you.

  6. Glenn Edwards

    Lovely car, just look at it. Real stance and presence.
    In my opinion should only have been made in white full stop.
    However its like any appreciating classic if there’s real passion and the numbers are fast declining then why not?
    Personally I wouldn’t thank you for a split screen vw camper but they have a huge following.

    • Rich Duisberg
      Rich Duisberg

      It has the stance and presence of a MK3 Ford Escort. Each to their own! PS – Agree on the VW van, though! 🙂

  7. Ed

    Stunning car not many left and supply and demand command high prices. It’s an RS and rare and AB icon from the 80s. Beautiful thing.
    Buy one now for about 20k look after it the values are only going North like all classic RS Fords

  8. Michael

    You lot are drips in my opinion one of the best 80s cars full stop and to have one that clean these days it’s worth that doe if a Sierra cossi is 100k why not just as iconic

  9. Phil

    A friend of mine has one squirreled away. He paid very little for it in the late 90s.
    Really crude, really noisy and whenever I was a passenger in it I felt as sick as a dog.
    I bet he would get £30k for it.

  10. Malvern Jones

    I think Les Lenard Cars in Builth Wells may have a great example if anyone is interested.


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