Another famous race car is being brought back to life in continuation form, this one a bit further afield than the Jaguars and Bentleys we’ve seen of late. England’s CNC Motorsport AWS is building three Ford Sierra RS500 racers that campaigned in the British Touring Car Championship in the 1980s. CNC has chosen the 1990 version of the car as built and specced by former BTCC driver Andy Rouse and his company Andy Rouse Engineering (ARE). Rouse had been crowned driver’s champion four times, but he finished second in the championship that year in his ICS-branded RS500.
Although unknown here except as the Merkur XR4ti, the Sierra RS500 so thoroughly dominated BTCC for a few short years that last year Autosport named the Ford first among the ten-best-ever BTCC entrants. It’s not hard to see why. Three Sierra RS500s ran in Group A in 1987. The car was so good that come 1998, 14 of 15 Group A entries drove the RS500. In 1989 only one Group A team ran something other than an RS500, and in 1990 the whole Group A field was one make of car.
The provenance for the builds couldn’t be better. Rouse is helping guide the build of a car he drove, the nuts and bolts being fastened by Alan Strachan, who worked for Rouse’s team in the BTCC days and now runs CNC Motorsport AWS. The first car, expected to be completed early next year, will get an unused 909 Ford Sierra Motorsport bodyshell that’s been in storage since the car’s heyday. The other two continuation cars will use original Sierra bodyshells. Up front will be a newly built 575-horsepower Cosworth YB engine shifting through a Getrag five-speed manual transmission. All will get Rouse-specific parts like ARE front suspension uprights, side-exit exhaust, and ARE steel roll cages, plus all the period gauges, a fuel cell. The three will also come with an ARE build plate and an FIA Historic Technical Passport (HTP) to enter classic events. Unless requested otherwise, the bodies come in white so the customer can apply the livery of choice.
Pricing starts at £185,000 (about $253,000 U.S.) before spares packages and options.