This Ford Escort RS Turbo is a superb example of a 1980s ‘everyman’ performance hero, remaining in highly original condition and with low mileage to date. Under the vented bonnet is the original four-cylinder turbocharged 1.6-litre CVH engine producing around 133bhp, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The odometer indicates just 32,365 km (20,110 miles). The engine bay is remarkably clean with factory plates, stickers, inner wing stamps and the slam panel data plate.

Registered on 15 December 1989 in Naples, Italy, this EU-market 1990 model year example was first owned by a local lady by the name of Ms Rosaria, who subsequently sold it to the director of a Ford dealership, Mr Silvio. He kept the car for over 20 years – dry stored within his showroom – and the low mileage is corroborated by its stamped service history. It has been in the hands of the current vendor for the past three years, who imported it into the UK in 2018. Throughout its life the car has always been garaged.

Finished in Radiant Red, the paintwork is believed to be wholly original to the Escort. As with almost any car of its age, there are a handful of scuffs visible on the corners of the front bumper, as well as stone chips to the front end. A small dent is visible on the offside rear quarter, with slight pitting of the paint visible on the offside front wing, nearside rear bumper corner, nearside front wheel arch extension, and paint blistering on the rear spoiler. Overall, the vehicle remains completely original and in good order, with an appealing patina commensurate with its low mileage.

The undercarriage of this car is reported to be original and in exceptional condition, with the vendor stating that it is absolutely solid with no rust issues whatsoever, and has never been welded or restored. It also retains the original factory welds on the boot floor and rear panel. The car is also accident-free and unmodified.

This hot hatch icon retains its original model features including front driving lamps, electric body-coloured door mirrors, tilt and slide glass sunroof, headlight washers, and rear quarter opening glass. It also has the correct 1990 model year updates with the facelifted front bumper and rear spoiler. Wearing its original date-coded 15-inch alloy wheels, these remain in good condition – but would benefit from refurbishment to make them perfect.

Inside, this sporting Ford features its original ‘Zolda’ fabric Recaro interior. There is some age-related wear on the driver’s seat bolster, and two small holes in the rear bench centre section, but in general the upholstery is in remarkably well-preserved condition. The carpets, door cards and plastic trims are all in very good order, reflecting the gentle use this car has seen to date. All of the switches and dials function correctly, with no electrical faults. Furthermore, the boot area is spotless and houses the genuine jack and wheel brace.

The most recent service was completed in March 2021 by L&J Vehicle Specialists of Taplow at 32,365 km (20,110 miles). This work included an oil change, with genuine Ford Motorcraft oil filter and spark plugs fitted. In addition, the turbocharger was rebuilt, with Roose Motorsport red turbo hoses fitted. Prior to this, the Ford was serviced in September 2016 at 30,095 km (18,700 miles), and in January 2014 at 29,338 km (18,229 miles). The vendor states that the timing belt was replaced at 16,400 km (10,190 miles) by the previous owner.

During their ownership, the valve stem oil seals, thermostat, clutch ratchet and coolant have all been replaced with genuine Ford items. A Koni suspension setup has also been fitted to improve handling, prior to their ownership.

This example will also be supplied with a copy of the original Italian logbook in addition to the original stamped service book.

The most recent MOT test was on 15 February 2021 at 32,344 km (20,097 miles), which it passed with zero advisories. Wearing a matched set of BF Goodrich tyres, these are in good condition with ample tread remaining.

Offering a beguiling blend of practicality and performance, this Ford Escort RS Turbo is an unmodified, low-mileage example of the marque’s 1980s hot hatch. With minor cosmetic attention, it would make for a compelling show contender, or in its current form it could readily be enjoyed as a weekend toy.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

Car Overview

  • 32,365 km
  • manual
  • LHD
  • Radiant Red
  • Recaro Zolda
  • 1.6L

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Lot Overview

  • Lot #02870
  • private Sale
  • Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom


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