1988 Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 2

Guide Price - £34,000 - £39,000


• Major Service completed in October 2021
• Less than 400 miles since cambelt changed
• Complete respray in April 2021
• Ceramic coating with 5 year guarantee
• Just 6 owners, 4 from the same family
• Original wheels and other parts included with lots of rare accessories


Produced between 1986 and 1990 the Series 2 Escort RS Turbo was in many ways a much better car than the Series 1. New features were adopted for the Series 2 including utilising the 1600cc, fuel-injected CVH engine from the Series 1 Turbo but now fitted with the Garret T3 turbo (water-cooled, unlike the S1). 

Also included were an improved gearbox, new limited-slip differential, a larger clutch, improved KE Jetronic unit, and an intercooler. The Series 2 car produced an impressive 132bhp at 5750rpm, giving it serious performance with a top speed of 125mph and a 0-60mph time of 8.3 seconds. The Series 2 RS Turbo was considerably easier to drive quickly and was a far nicer an easier car to drive quickly.


This 1988 Series 2 RS Turbo was first registered in October 1988 and had few owners since.  The current owner is the 7th, but it should be noted that four of the previous owners were all from the same family. Although it has covered a fair few miles the RS is in absolutely exceptional condition for a 33 year old car. 

Actually it has only covered a healthy 2,700 miles per annum from new!  It is obviously been treasured, and the thick history folder, jammed with invoices and receipts bears testament to that.  According to the seller the RS has never required any welding or major remedial work, and is in exceptional condition inside and out, as well as underneath!

The Paperwork

The history folder documents the history of the RS nicely, with sheaves of old MoTs and every tax disc from new. 

There is a full complement of Owners books, and a Service book with 10 stamps up to 1999 when it had covered 61,000 miles (it had a cambelt change at that service).  From there onwards it was serviced by two of the previous owners, who were both mechanics and were doing all the servicing by themselves until 2021, with receipts to prove the servicing.

Most recently it had a major service in October this year, just 369 miles ago, at which point it again had new timing belt, water pump, camshaft, followers and tappets, as well as new outer CV joints.

Earlier this year in April it has a professional respray at a cost of £4,500 ( invoice on file) after which it spent two days at DDB Detailing in North Shields, who treated the RS to a £600 ceramic coating.  This is covered by a 5 year guarantee. 

There are 2 sets of keys, plus the original card key and one key for the immobiliser and alarm system.  The current MoT is valid until May 2022.

The Interior

A quick glance at the interior photographs shows how well it has stood the test of time. The Recaro seats with smart grey and red cloth are clean and untouched throughout.  

The dash area is smart and unmarked.  The steering wheel is a rare and genuine RS item, and the original steering wheel comes with the car. The grey carpets are all clean, without stains, having been protected by rubber mats.  The door panels are both tidy although the driver’s side shows a few marks.

We inspected the interior extremely closely, looking for faults. On the whole it is immaculate although a couple of minor areas could do with improvement.  

There is a small tear in the vinyl on the back of the driver’s seat, and the rear parcel shelf has a few marks and has faded, probably from sunlight.  Apart from those minor faults the interior is lovely and about as good as you could possibly hope to find.

The Exterior

With so much expense lavished on the appearance of the RS it’s hardly surprising that it’s gorgeous and probably better finished now than when it was new! Firstly the rare RS seven spoke wheels are in excellent condition with fresh Pirelli P Zeros all round. If these aren’t to your taste then don’t worry! 

The original and genuine RS wheels come with the car, and they too are in equally good condition, with part worn Toyo tyres.  Then we come to the rare accessories; original Ford mud flaps (£400), super rare Ford plastic headlight protectors (£500), the list goes on..  

The fresh Mercury Grey paint with its ceramic coating has an excellent shine and depth, and is completed with new RS Turbo decals.  Any remedial bodywork that was done prior to the respray has been well executed and is invisible. The glass appears to be perfect, all original to the car, and is marked with the registration.  

The original 1989 tax disc sits in the windscreen holder, adjacent to a sticker for the RS Owners club.  The lights and lenses are all unmarked and look new.

Overall we would say that the exterior is pretty much concours condition, and probably better than new. 

The Mechanics

Lifting the bonnet reveals that the same attention has been given to the engine bay and engine itself.  No nasty aftermarket bits, just genuine Ford parts.  Even the battery is the correct Motorcraft part. You would never guess this is a 33 year old car, it has been well cared for and it shows.  All the surfaces are clean and free of corrosion, no leaves and detritus hiding in the crevices!

The underside of the RS is as clean and tidy as you could possibly wish for.  A stainless steel Mongoose exhaust (£440) is fitted complete with a 31/2 inch tailpipe.  

On the road the RS sounds the business, just the right amount of growl accompanied by turbo whistle under load. The seller hasn’t driven the RS far in the short time he has owned it, but he reports that it drives beautifully, although the lack of power steering reminds him that these were cars for serious drivers! 

The Appeal

It’s not often that we see performance cars that have lived such a charmed life. Usually these models are thrashed to death long before they become classics.  

Here is not only true survivor but one that is probably better than it was originally!  Performance Fords are hot property at the moment and examples as good as this are super rare.  If you are looking for one then it’s unlikely you’ll find a better example. Now’s your chance! 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1988
  • Make Ford
  • Model Escort RS Turbo
  • Colour Mercury Grey
  • Odometer 91,553 Miles
  • Engine size 1597
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
24 bids
  • gonow.a•••• £20,000 16/11/21
  • gary-mc•••• £19,500 16/11/21
  • chrisdu•••• £19,250 16/11/21
  • gonow.a•••• £19,000 16/11/21
  • Shannah•••• £18,000 14/11/21
  • abbyfaz £17,000 14/11/21
  • Shannah•••• £16,000 14/11/21
  • chrisdu•••• £15,250 14/11/21
  • Shannah•••• £15,000 14/11/21
  • chrisdu•••• £11,500 14/11/21

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