To today’s teenagers, a ‘whale tail’ is something a bit risqué. But to their parents, especially the ones that grew up during the raucous eighties, ‘whale tail’ means something very different.
They were the ostentatious aerodynamic hallmarks attached to fast Fords – notably, Escort and Sierra Cosworths. See, in the late eighties and early nineties, having a whale tail on your car was a sign of utter dominance – a bit like having a fidget spinner made out of memes (or something) to today’s youth. The sheer ratio of rear wing-to-car brought unparalleled respect, and whale tails were paraded around like fibreglass Peacock feathers.
But the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 was the ultimate rare breed. Where the standard RS Cosworth was a homologation special in the truest sense (Ford built 5,548 Sierra RS Cosworths between 1986 and 1987, in order to go Group A racing) the RS500 was the evo special that got people excited. With only 500 produced – all of them RHD, and all meant to be black (in reality 56 were white and 52 moonstone blue) they became hot property. Especially for thieves.
However, they’re now big-money classics. People who were too young or poor back in the day now pay top whack in order to live out their boy racer dreams. And not just a lot of money, but crazy money. Like the one above, which recently sold at Silverstone Auctions for R2 million – Yowch.
The car is question was a bog stock low-miler (hence the value) that’s had a recent restoration. So under the bonnet is a 167kW and 276Nm from a 2.0-litre engine featuring a Garrett turbocharger. It’s chassis number #387, which, according to its records, went to Tickford on the 21st July 1987 with 10 kilometres on the clock, and exited on the 28th July 1987 with 30 kilometres indicated before being sold to its first owner who ran the Cosworth for 13 months.