Legendary, iconic, magnificent are superlatives often attached to classic cars. Often incorrectly. We take a look at one car coming to market which these terms were invented for.

A Cosworth RS500. Not just any of the 5,554 or so RS Cosworth’s built or, not just any of the 500 built and converted by Aston Martin to RS500 specification, no, this is number #3 of the four prototypes RS500’s built. D114 VEV is historically very significant car.

The original Ford Sierra RS Cossie was introduced to the motoring public via the Geneva Motor Show in 1985. Ford Motor Company were keen to break into the prestigious Group A Touring Car racing circuit. To do that they needed to follow homologation rules meaning a minimum of 5,000 vehicles had to be built. Once Ford had built the required number, Group A rules meant they could build an updated model to race in Group A on the proviso that 10% were sold a “road cars”. The legendary RS 500 was born.

The RS500 offered here by Silverstone’s Classic Auction in February, is the third of just four prototypes of the RS500’s. It was never envisaged the prototypes would endure. Proto number #3, however, clearly had other ideas.

RS500 Cosworth

It is reported, all the RS’s were put through rigorous testing by Aston Martin Tickford, we suggest that’s code for a thorough thrashing! Components and ancillaries, probably thrashed to within an inch of their lives, were continually swapped amongst their peer group of vehicles. Number three was no different. Records from Tickford that accompany the car show it had an engine from proto number 10, which is retains today.

RS500 Cosworth Engine

Meticulous ownership records reveal a remarkable history, meticulously well documented too. As expected, number #3 was originally registered to Ford Motor Co. After being intensively thrashed, err, we mean intensively tested, it was placed in storage until 1989 when it was sold to a Ford Dealership. The first private owner registered that car later that year. Number #3 subsequently had a further three private owners. All of whom expertly cherished and cared for the car. The current owner has had number #3 since 2012.

What can we say about this wonderful car. The most pertinent thing is, the chances of finding another prototype are vanishingly rare. Get along to Silverstone auction and see and touch a piece of motoring history before its buried away for another two decades.

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