The 4 best Cosworths that aren’t race cars


Cosworth stands as a bright spot in the dark room of British reliability jokes. Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth founded the company in 1958 with the goal of making a living building racing engines. Starting with Formula Junior, the Cosworth team built powerplants that won races. In 1969 the company branched out and began dabbling in road-going motors as well. Here are four of the best cars to feature Cosworth’s magic touch. If you think we missed one, let us know with a comment below.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/02/14/top-4-cosworth-road-cars

The Vega project was cancelled by Cosworth because the GM supplied block was inadequate. The Cosworth design material was shipped back to GM, and GM finished it. They then blamed the resulting detuned engine on emissions. This engine is one that Cosworth wished they had never been associated with.


Collin Chapman’s Lotus, post Renault powered, Europas were Cosworth powered. And, they were road-going cars I would rate in the “four best” and remove the Vega from that list.


I think one could safely remove “Vega” from any list with a title containing the word “best”.

  1. Ken Block’s car that burned at STPR was a Cossie Escort, not a Sierra.

  2. srwiggin44 is incorrect about Europa engines. The Lotus Twin Cam engine used in the later Europa and all Elans (aside from the 90s M100 Elan) is an English Ford block with a Ron Hickman-designed head.

  3. This is kind of a silly article because, aside from the Cosworth Vega and the Mercedes 2.3-16, Cosworth has pretty much just worked with Ford on road car engines. There are a bunch of other Cosworth road cars not included in the list, but, like the Cosworth Sierra and Cosworth Escort, they are all Ford models not sold in the US.


Did the Ford Lotus Cortina from the early 60’s have a Cosworth engine?


@sb748 - Thanks for the correction on the Block’s STPR car-B-Q. We’ll get that updated.


In the 70s around my neighborhood there were several Vegas that nobody wanted, especially the station wagon ones. “Haul it out here and it’s yours “. I did take advantage of that, besides them being rust buckets it’s biggest weakness was the engine. However there was a simple solution to them, sleeve the block with Buick steel sleeves. I rebuilt several of them successfully and actually acquired a liking to them. When the Cosworth came out of course they were so much more expensive that very few of them sold.
Years later I found a dealer in South Texas that had one that was brand new untitled. The dealer saw the interest I had in it and I bought the car for less than what he paid for it and he was obviously happy to get rid of it. It had several problems however the warranty had never been used so all the repairs were done under warranty. Including new tires. By then there wasn’t anybody left that could work on their fuel injection system. It left me stranded several times! I finally got a hold of somebody at Chevrolet corporate and told me that they were sending somebody from Houston to work on the injection system. Although the redline was at 9000 RPMs I used to be so upset with it that I would go beyond that hoping it would blow to get a new engine. The factory rep told me that they’re pretty much indestructible that would easily rev north of 14,000. I did gain lotta respect for it and enjoyed it the time I had it.
Years later in one of my travels through Texas I pulled into a gas station and there was a guy there with a 64 GTO same color as the Cosi black. He expressed a real interest in the car and right then and there he said he would be interested in swapping evenly. I thought he was really kidding but we did end up swapping titles.


Was it not a Cosworth engine that was used by Chrysler Corp.in both a Dodge and Plymouth sports vehicle as well as the TC 5 speed?