Sierra Cosworth RS500

1988 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Sywell, U.K. | May 28, 2022

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Ford Sierra was a European family car sold between 1982 and 1993. For a brief time, the two-door variant was sold in the U.S. as the Merkur XR4Ti. A high-performance version, offered as a hatchback in 1986 and 1987 and as a sedan from 1988-1992, was also sold. It was called the Sierra RS Cosworth.

In 1987, some people at Ford thought about homologating the car for touring car racing, which required 500 “evolution” models. So Ford roped in Aston Martin Tickford to help convert the cars to “RS500” spec. Changes included a larger turbocharger for the 2.0-liter inline-four, which now was good for 224 horsepower. The front end was reworked to aid cooling, and a second spoiler was added beneath the rear wing.

This car has less than 36,000 miles, and a pre-sale estimate has not yet been published. You can read more about it here.

March 881

1988 March-Judd 881

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Hendon, U.K. | March 5-6, 2022

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The March Racing Team was founded in 1969 and appeared on its first F1 grid the following year. They took a few breaks over the years, returning to F1 in 1987 after a four-year absence. For 1988 they had a young new designer on staff. That guy was Adrian Newey, and this was the first Formula One car he designed.

The team was branded as Leyton House March Racing for 1988 (they would race under the Leyton House Racing name in 1990 and 1991 before the March name returned for the team’s final year in ’92). The car features a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter Judd V8. The complete race history for this chassis is not known, but the team’s drivers were Mauricio Gugelmin and Ivan Capelli, the latter of whom is said to have run this car at the Japanese Grand Prix in 1988 where he qualified fourth and DNF’d.

The 881 was kind of a success, scoring a decent number of points and achieving two podiums in 1988. It was also used by the team for the first two races of the ’89 season. No pre-sale estimate is yet available, but you can read more here and see more from this sale here.

Marcos Mantula

1988 Marcos Mantula Spyder

Offered by H&H | Duxford, U.K. | November 17, 2021

Photo – H&H

Marcos built some interesting, if not a little awkward-looking, sports cars in the 1960s. By 1972, the company was out of business. However, in 1981, Jem Marsh, who had co-founded Marcos initially, brought the company back to life. A stream of more modern cars followed until everything went belly-up again in the late 2000s.

The Mantula was introduced in 1983 and was sold as a coupe or a spyder. Just 119 spyder variants were produced through 1993. Externally, they carried many of the same visual cues as Marcos cars of the ’60s, but everything was just a little sleeker to fit the times. Power is from a 3.5-liter Rover V8 that was much lighter than the previous sixes the company used previously.

This 30,000-mile example is expected to sell for between $16,000-$19,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,651.

Excalibur Sedan

1988 Excalibur Series V Sedan

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | September 25, 2021

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Excalibur sort of invented the neo classic. The first Excaliburs were actually produced in 1952 and looked nothing like this. They were sports cars based on a Henry J chassis. The whole endeavor was a series of false starts. The ones we all know first went on sale in the mid-1960s, and they remained in production under a few different corporate umbrellas up until about 1990. They spawned countless look-a-likes, such as Zimmer, Clenet, Tiffany, and more.

Styling was originally reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz SSK and was penned by Brooks Stevens for Studebaker. Studebaker went out of business, so SS Automobiles was set up in Milwaukee in 1965. That company gave way to Excalibur Automobile Corporation in 1986 after a bankruptcy. It was owned by the Stevens family, and that’s where the Series V came from. It was offered as a sedan and limousine.

This car is powered by a V8, likely from Ford. Excaliburs aren’t something you see everyday, but the sedan versions are especially uncommon. This one is expected to sell for between $25,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $26,880.

Evante Mk I

1988 Evante Mk I

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot, U.K. | May 15, 2021

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

Evante Cars Ltd was founded by George Walter Robinson in Spalding, England, in 1987 as an offshoot of Vegantune, a restorer of Lotus Elans. Vegantune found opportunities for improving the Elan, thus the formation of Evante to build a “modern” Elan.

The Evante roughly shares the Elan’s looks and is bodied in fiberglass over a tubular steel spaceframe chassis. This car is powered by a Ford-based 1.7-liter inline-four rated at 170 horsepower. The cars were built to order at a time when the global economy was in a recession. So it didn’t go great.

Production stopped in 1991, and the rights to the design passed between a few other companies over the years, with an Evante Mk II appearing later on in the 1990s. This Vegantune-era example carries a pre-sale estimate of $16,000-$22,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $16,811.

Escort RS Turbo

1988 Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 2

Offered by Historics Auctioneers | Ascot Racecourse, U.K. | December 12, 2020

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

In America, there is nothing remotely sexy about the name “Ford Escort.” There are no glorious images of the car on African rallies. No clips of RS-branded hatchbacks racing through the streets. We just got the crappy sedans and hatchbacks.

Not so in the U.K., where cool Escorts appeared as early as the 1960s. The fourth-generation Escort went on sale in 1986 and was produced through 1992. The RS Turbo actually debuted during the previous generation (thus why this is called a Series 2) and continued in production for the duration of the fourth-generation model run.

It is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four rated at 132 horsepower. It was fuel injected, intercooled, and capable of 125 mph and 60 in 8.3 seconds. Not super quick today, but fun and relatively cheap in 1988. This one has 36,000 miles and looks pretty good in black with a sly rear spoiler and driving lights up front. It is expected to sell for between $18,000-$24,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

EuroBrun ER188

1988 EuroBrun-Cosworth ER188

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Essen, Germany | TBD…

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

EuroBrun was a short-lived Formula One team that competed between 1988 and 1990. The team was formed by the joining of powers of Giampaolo Pavanello’s Euroracing team (that operated the factory Alfa Romeo F1 team in the early 1980s) and Walter Brun’s Brun Motorsport.

Based in Milan, the team used Cosworth engines in 1988 before switching to a Judd powerplant. This car retains its 3.5-liter Cosworth DFZ V8. It was driven by Stefano Modena during the 1988 season, but the specific history for this chassis is not provided.

Modena finished 11th at the 1988 Hungarian Grand Prix, the team’s biggest highlight. They did not pre-qualify for any races in 1989 and made only two starts in 1990 before it was all over. This orange-and-green F1 car (with an engine!) is now being offered at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $99,952.

Italdesign Aztec

1988 Italdesign Aztec

Offered Online by Bring a Trailer

Photo – Bring a Trailer

The Aztec was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign as a celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary. It was shown as a prototype at the 1988 Turin Motor Show. Then the company decided to actually build road-going examples. They wanted to make 50 of them, but probably only 18 were actually completed.

It’s an almost-mythical car. They never come up for sale (at least publicly) and this is the first one to hit the auction block in more than a decade (though a quick search will show you zero auction results for the model at all). This one was once in the Shanghai Auto Museum, which seems like a place cars don’t escape from. But it was brought stateside by the Blackhawk Collection (who has a magical way to get some other classics out of China).

The Aztec is powered by a turbocharged 2.2-liter Audi inline-five that made 250 horsepower (if the stickers on the car are to be believed). That’s not exactly supercar territory, power-wise. But, those looks. That’s why this qualifies as a supercar. It looks like it drove off of a Star Wars set. It has a dual-canopy cockpit with gullwing and side-hinged doors. It’s straight out of bizarro land.

And it. Is. Amazing. This is a car I’ve wanted to see come to market for a long time (since I started this site almost a decade ago). And it’s the first one to hit the open market. What’s it worth? That’s the fun part. No one knows… there isn’t a big list of past sales to give us a clue. But if it isn’t a big money car, it deserves to be. Chances are you won’t see another one change hands for quite a while (unless the selling price here knocks it out of the park… then we’ll see a few of them).

Think about all of the wild stuff that came out of the 90s supercar madness. This is like the genesis of that. It’s a bummer this wasn’t a bigger success, then maybe they would’ve put the Nazca C2 into production as well. That could’ve led to even more fun in the 90s (Alfa Romeo Scighera anyone?).

The Aztec is among the wildest designs ever put into production, and it is the precursor to all of the low-run, high-end stuff we are awash in today. Check out more about this car here. But hurry, the auction ends Monday.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $165,000.

Venturi Coupe 200

1988 Venturi Coupe 200

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 20, 2017

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

Venturi cars are so cool! I hope you like them, because there were quite a different number of models in the early days and I plan to feature each one of them as they come up for sale around Europe. These cars went on sale in 1987 and they were originally called the MVS Venturi before being renamed the Venturi Coupe.

The auction catalog lists this one as an MVS Venturi but I can’t find anywhere that lists the year the name switched over. It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter V-6 making 200 horsepower. The car was luxurious and sporty for its day.

The Coupe 200 was replaced after the 1990 model year. Only 194 were built – 104 of those were from 1988 alone. This was the most common of all Venturi automobiles, so that should say something about their rarity. This nearly 24,000 mile car should bring between $15,500-$19,500. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Historics’ May catalog.

Update: Sold $20,376.

Lamborghini Jalpa

1988 Lamborghini Jalpa

Offered by Auctions America | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida | April 1, 2017

Photo – Auctions America

Lamborghini went bankrupt in 1978 and was acquired by the Mimran brothers in 1980. They updated the Countach, killed off the Urraco and the Silhouette, and introduced the Jalpa (and later the LM002) before selling the brand to Chrysler in 1988.

The Jalpa was based on the earlier Silhouette and was supposed to be Lambo’s “entry-level” model. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V-8 making 255 horsepower. It was easier to drive than the full-on exotic Countach and the styling, which is by Bertone, is much more restrained. The V-8 was good for a six second sprint to 60 and top speed was 145 mph. All Jalpas were Targas.

This model was introduced in 1981 and 410 were produced before Chrysler killed it off in 1988. They’re around, but they aren’t plentiful – and they’re very 1980s (in a good way). This one should bring between $85,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.