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1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

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  • Mileage~30,000
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine2 L
  • LocationAshingdon


1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth

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Adam Purrier
Trade Classics CEO

Welcome the legend that is now the Escort RS Cosworth, or ‘Cossie’. It doesn’t matter if you are five or fifty five, you still want one.

It was born in an era where manufacturers lived by the rule ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ and were not bound so strictly by emissions and pedestrian crash safety.

Turbo charged, in an obvious ‘wait, here comes the boost’ manner. Whale tail. Aggressive bumpers. Four wheel drive. Mechanical. Intensely rare. Tuneable. Recaro seats. Raw, unhinged and recognisable anywhere in the world as a performance icon. And thus it deserves to be put into perspective in today’s world, not with statistics.

Buy it and park it next to a Prius in the supermarket car park, or even an Ecoboost Focus; feel proud.

This listing was written from information supplied by Adam after meeting John the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

John is the seller and second owner for the last 13 years and he’s covered just 3k miles in that time.

Take a look at the video here to meet John, learn about what he loves about the car and why he’s selling it.

We visited the car on the 4th of February and were immediately wowed by it. It’s a credit to John and in superb condition, always garaged and only covered a total of just over 30k miles since its registration in May 1996 (supported by MOTs from 1999).

The car is finished in metallic black and black leather wrapped over stunning and supportive Recaro seats.

We think you’ll love this car and bidding will be energetic. If you have any question then write it below and one of our team, or John, will answer for you.

Vehicle Owner

John saved £8,100* when they
sold their Ford with us.


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The exterior of the car is in excellent condition and really looks amazing in the metallic black.

Take a look at our video here to see a close up walk around the car.


Original five spoke alloys are fitted and are in excellent original condition – never curbed. There is a small scratched area on the NSR outer edge (see pic). An unused space saver tyre and tool kit is present in the boot.


The bodywork is in excellent condition with no parking dents and the panels all look like factory fit on visual inspection. The doors and bonnet all shut nicely as expected. There are small traces (we mean very small) of bubbling on the wheel arches (see images).


The paint is in excellent condition and we didn’t notice any visible signs of colour difference (in direct sunlight) or any difference in factory orange peel across the panels.

John has had minor stone chips blown in on the front of the bonnet at some point during his ownership (see picture of paint depth gauge).

There is a small chip in the middle of the OS driver’s door and some small chips on the leading edge of the bonnet. There is also a small masking line on the lower part of the inside ‘B’ posts indicating some paint repair in the distant past.

In summary, we are being fastidious in our write up, however, the paint really does look in excellent condition for a 21 year old car and would look even better with a full polish / wax.


No issues noticed.


The interior is in excellent original condition with unmarked supple leather on stunning Recaro seats.

Seats and Carpets

All seats are in original condition with wear in line with the 30k miles. Even the front seat bolsters show virtually no signs of wear, as shown in the photos, and the leather is soft and supple.

Carpets are original and show little sign of wear.


All original gauges and no aftermarket additions have been made. There is no waxy coating on the dash, i.e. it’s in its original matt state.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

Steering wheel shows little signs of wear, however, the gear stick gaiter does need to be refurbished as the creases have lost the black colour (see pictures). Also, importantly, John has the original gear stick and will include it in the sale.


We took the car out for a short test drive (4 miles / max 50mph) and observed no issues. It performed faultlessly and felt every bit worthy of the low mileage it’s covered since new.

The video here shows a cold start and short run on an uneven road.

Engine and Gearbox

The car starts first time from cold with no visible signs of smoke and idles as expected. No issues with gear selection from cold in any gear. Turbo boost pressure increased as expected during acceleration and the car felt quick / responsive. The exhaust tailpipe could do with some attention as shows signs of mild corrosion.

The engine number is inaccessible for photos and we have not seen it ourselves, however, John has confirmed he has personally checked the number when the car was previously up on the ramp and it matches the log book.

Suspension and Brakes

On the drive there were no audible signs of any steering or suspension wear, in fact there were no signs of any rattles, knocks or squeaks. John reports braking was smooth with no signs of juddering or unevenness.

The Drive

Gear selection was smooth and no issues with the clutch and drove as expected.


John reports all electrics work as expected. John has fitted an aftermarket and period correct CD player that is not powering up. The new owner may wish to either fix or replace with the blanking plate.

John also reports the air conditioning is cold and works as expected.

History and Paperwork

This is a rare and desirable two owner car that has covered on average just 1,500 miles a year, always garaged and looked after by the same owner for the last 13 years; gold dust.

There are 8 service book stamps from 1997 with the last one being 2007 (3 years into John’s ownership). All MOTs are present with the exception of 2002.

John has all the original keys and the importantly the master keys are present too.

Mileage recorded on HPI check as follows – also, see all previous MOTs (except 2002) in the images below.

30,264 miles recorded on 21 Sep 2017
30,246 miles recorded on 19 Oct 2016
30,209 miles recorded on 9 Sep 2015
30,121 miles recorded on 12 Aug 2014
29,926 miles recorded on 13 Aug 2013
29,787 miles recorded on 14 Aug 2012
29,532 miles recorded on 8 Aug 2011
29,320 miles recorded on 9 Aug 2010
28,432 miles recorded on 7 Aug 2009
28,257 miles recorded on 8 Aug 2008
27,920 miles recorded on 31 Jul 2007
27,756 miles recorded on 2 Aug 2006
16,941 miles recorded on 29 Aug 2000
11,684 miles recorded on 9 Dec 1999
8,949 miles recorded on 27 Aug 1999
6,868 miles recorded on 3 Jun 1999

Key Details
  • ModelEscort RS
  • Transmission5 speed manual
  • Reg. Date1996
  • CC1993
  • Mileage30000
  • HistoryMOTs & Service Book
  • ColourBlack
  • Interior ColourBlack
  • Interior TrimLeather
  • Chassis #WF0BXXGKABSP93166
  • Engine #SP93166
  • Matching #sYes
  • RestoredNo
  • Engine RebuildNo
  • MOT18-Oct-18
  • MOT ExemptNo
  • Road Tax ExemptNo
  • HPi ClearYes
  • Tyre Tread4mm
  • Tyre BrandPirelli & Continental
  • Tyre Age5yrs+
  • Security SysFactory
  • Master Key2+Master
  • # of KeysYes
  • CO2 (g/km)N/A
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • OwnedSince 2004
  • Key FeatureCosworth Engine
  • Auction ID100

Vehicle Sold

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This vehicle has now been sold - click 'I Want One' below to get notified when we consign a similar vehicle.

Ask Questions
Post a comment or ask the owner a question about the car.
6 years ago

Great…. this is in the £40k+ mark now… still mega cheap for this 2 owner and rare car…!

Kulraj Salh
6 years ago

They don’t make these anymore, and you don’t find many in this condition, so will be a great buy for the winning bidder!

Kulraj Salh
6 years ago

Reserve now met, it will be selling tonight to the highest bidder, good luck to those bidding tonight.

6 years ago

Com’on everyone… over 9,000 view of this auction in the last week… who’s got a burning question for John… or perhaps an RS expert? 🙂

Gary Turner
Gary Turner
6 years ago

Low volume Ford pocket rocket. So much to like with this example

  Gary Turner
6 years ago

Agree Gary – we had so much interest in this car with over 7k views. Also lots of people saw the auction at the London Classic Car Show and they love ‘Fast Fords’… smart place to put your money at the moment I think.

6 years ago

Excited to have consigned such an awesome car… If you have any questions then just type them here and we’ll ask John to answer…


Vehicle Location

Ashingdon, Essex

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