1985 Ford Sierra XR8


  • One of only 250 made
  • Homologation special
  • 5-litre V8 with manual transmission
  • MOT to August 2023
  • Just 56,209Km / 34,927 miles 

The Appeal

Produced in South Africa by Samcor (Ford’s wing in the country during the 80s), the XR8 is a homologation special. Built for the SA Group One category, only 200 were needed, but 250 ended up being produced. Featuring the monstrous 302ci V8 from a Mustang and numerous upgrades over a standard model, the car was a fearsome performer and today is exceptionally rare.

This is car no.88, originally imported to the UK in 1990. Purchased by the current owner as a project to return to concours condition in 2019, the global pandemic put a halt on proceedings and they now find themselves in a position where they cannot complete the project. Therefore this low mileage, factory specification vehicle is now being offered for sale.

If you love a fast Ford (and who doesn’t), then this vanishingly rare machine simply has to be considered. You’re unlikely to see another for sale anytime soon.

The History and Paperwork

  • South African homologation special - no.88/250
  • First registered in 1985
  • Imported to the UK in 1990 - all relevant paperwork completed
  • 5 owners since import to the UK
  • According to the MOT history, the car was off the road from 2010 to 2016
  • Current owner since 2019
  • Only selling as they have too many projects to finish
  • Garaged since purchase in 2019
  • Being offered for sale as a running, driving project requiring some finishing
  • Recommissioned and put back on the road this summer
  • Current MOT to August 2023
  • Just 56,209Km / 34,927 miles, confirmed by MOT history back to 2010
  • Comprehensive history file with numerous invoices, old MOTs and magazine articles
  • Original handbooks included
  • Eligible for various race classes, should the new owner wish to race it

The Interior

  • Original grey cloth interior
  • Fire extinguisher system
  • Electrically operated wing mirrors
  • Sony radio/cassette player
  • The analogue and digital clock is not working at the moment but the vendor is investigating

As the car is very original and unrestored, the cabin is in need of some refreshing, but generally it is all in good order for the age and is very usable. The light grey cloth seats show some wear and sagging in the front, but there are no tears or signs of significant wear we could identify. In fact, they appear to have survived remarkably well for seats from this period. They’re matched with darker grey carpets and black overmats that look to be in pretty good order.

Looking at the driving controls and instrumentation, everything appears to be present and correct. There is evidence of wear from use, and some scuffs and marks to the plastic trim, but nothing more than you’d expect. It’s a solid base for light restoration, should this be the route the new owner decides upon. We are told by the vendor that all of the interior functions work just as they should, with no issues declared.

At the back, there’s the usual large boot you’d expect from a Sierra hatchback. The grey carpet is a little stained, but generally in reasonable condition. Underneath, the floor looks to be nice and solid, and free from corrosion. There’s also a full size spare wheel, toolkit and the original first aid kit.

Note: Vehicle has no air conditioning, switch replaced at some point with a similar switch with the air con logo

The Exterior

  • Diamond White paintwork with Ford Blue pinstriping
  • Factory fitted double-deck spoiler from the XR4i
  • Original seven-spoke alloy wheels
  • Spare set of wheels and tyres for track use

Quite unlike the original Ford motorcar, you could have the XR8 in any colour you liked, as long as it was white with a blue stripe. You’ll be unsurprised to learn then, that this is the car’s original factory paintwork. As such, and being nearly 40 years old, it’s seen better days. There are a few areas where it has clearly been touched in, but this looks like it has been well done. There are, of course, chips, blemishes and some scratches. However, it’s generally in pretty good order considering the vintage. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the body of the XR8 isn’t much different from a standard Sierra. Other than the bonnet vents, widened front grille and double-deck spoiler (pinched from the XR4i), there’s not much usually to hint at the behemoth that lurks beneath. Generally the bodywork looks solid and well, with no signs we could see of notable corrosion. There are a couple of dings and a minor dent to the near-side quarter panel, but nothing that has broken the paint.

Most of the trim and badging appear to be presented well too, with just minor blemishes. Having said that, the bumpers will require some attention, as there is evidence of some cracking and buckling, while the bumper-mounted indicators and fog lights appear to require re-seating.

The car is still riding on its factory seven-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels, finished in colour-coded white. We would imagine a new owner would want to have them refinished, but they look to be solid and in good condition, with some paint flaking but no signs of kerbing or damage we could see. The centre logos are missing, but we imagine these can be fairly easily sourced if required.

Underneath, it’s clear the car has been well looked after and has been garaged for many years. When left to the elements, Sierras have a tendency to struggle with corrosion, but other than some light surface corrosion to some drivetrain elements, the underside of this vehicle looks straight, clean and corrosion free.

The Mechanics

  • 4,942cc / 302ci atmospheric V8
  • 5-speed manual transmission
  • Recent brake overhaul
  • Current MOT to August 2023

Of course, the real party piece of the XR8 is the fact that, lurking beneath that relatively unassuming Sierra bonnet, there lurks a monster. Fitted with a 5-litre Mustang V8, complete with 4-barrel Holley carburettor, to say that the performance and noise from the XR8 is startling is something of an understatement. In factory trim, that engine offers 216hp and 374Nm. In a Sierra.

Of course, there are some compromises to this, as the vendor tells us the clutch and gearchange are quite heavy, as with all XR8s. But we think that’s a small price to pay to have a Mustang-powered Sierra. To make it all work, the factory used the differential from a Granada, while a unique propshaft and driveshafts were manufactured.

There is a smattering of surface corrosion to some elements in the engine bay, but overall it presents well, looking clean and tidy with no signs of damage or leaks apparent. As part of the recommissioning this summer, the vendor overhauled the braking system. The master cylinder was rebuilt and the rear brake callipers were refurbished.

We’re assured by the vendor that the car drives well, with no smoke under load, no oil leaks and no mechanical issues to declare. Quite proudly, they tell us that it “sounds like thunder”. Yes, we imagine it does.


If you love the idea of a Mustang-powered, factory Sierra then you’ve come to the right place. This rare and remarkable machine is quite the unicorn. Presented in factory specification, with low mileage, a long MOT and comprehensive history file, it must be one of the most unique performance Fords on the road in the UK today.

Whether you want to go the full race car route, or lightly restore the car back to its original condition, this is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a solid and usable example of a very desirable car.

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1985
  • Make Ford
  • Model Sierra XR8
  • Colour Diamond White
  • Odometer 34,927 Miles
  • Engine size 4942
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town North Yorkshire
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • Sp•••• £19,500 30/11/22
  • sa•••• £19,000 30/11/22
  • Sp•••• £18,500 30/11/22
  • sa•••• £16,000 30/11/22
  • Sp•••• £15,500 30/11/22
  • sa•••• £14,000 30/11/22
  • Sp•••• £13,500 30/11/22
  • ar•••• £12,750 30/11/22
  • sa•••• £12,500 30/11/22
  • la•••• £12,000 30/11/22

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