July 3, 2022

What was your first automotive? We guess it wasn’t a flame-spitting, tyre-shredding, 600bhp Sapphire Cosworth. For Tommi Huttunen it was…

Characteristic from Quick Ford. Phrases: Jamie King. Pictures: Jape Tiitenen

Solid your thoughts again to while you had been 17 years outdated (we all know that’s much more rewinding to do for some readers than others…), and bear in mind while you had been deciding on what your first automotive ought to be.

Older readers would possibly recite issues like 1.1-litre Mk1 Escorts, these of their 30s might need been base-model Mk3 Fiestas and Mk4 Escorts, whereas youthful readers have a way more interesting alternative of sporty-looking, turbocharged 1.0-litre Fiestas and the like. However not many individuals would have purchased, rebuilt, after which tuned a rear-wheel-drive Sapphire Cosworth to make use of as their first ever automotive. Tommi Huttunen is just not most individuals…

Tommi explains, “As I approached driving age [18 in his native Finland], I began choices for my first automotive. It by no means occurred to me to take an outdated Sierra as my first automotive.

“However in December 2014 one in all my classmates stated that he had heard a few real Sapphire Cosworth simply sat within the car parking zone of an outdated, terraced home.”

Intrigued, Tommi went straight spherical for a more in-depth look. Upon additional investigation he found the automotive had been off the street for the reason that summer time of 2013 and it was clear it hadn’t been pushed shortly. However with the Finnish equal of an MOT certificates expiring solely 18 months-or-so earlier, Tommi figured ‘how unhealthy can it’s?’ and inquired if it was on the market.

It was, and the value was good, so the cogs began whirring in Tommi’s head. However earlier than he may seal the deal he had the troublesome job of convincing his household {that a} Sapphire Cosworth was the right first automotive. Amazingly, he in some way managed to win that argument, and after a fast check drive (sliding sideways within the snow), the Cossie was loaded onto the again of a trailer and heading to Tommi’s storage.

600bhp Sapphire Cosworth

“We needed to trailer it as there have been a few oil leaks,” remembers Tommi, “however trying on the final check certificates there was nothing to notice apart from a few small rust bubbles simply beginning.”

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With the Cossie again within the heat and dry, Tommi was in a position to get a more in-depth have a look at what was destined to turn into his first automotive. He freed off the brakes, checked the fluids, and went off for a fast drive.

He says, “The beginning appeared promising, however when the turbo hit 1-bar of increase the breather emptied the entire engine’s oil out onto the ground.” The YB motor was clearly not in good well being. Gutted, Tommi parked the Cossie and left it for a couple of months whereas he calmed down.

However as any Cossie proprietor will testify, as a lot as they check your endurance you possibly can by no means depart them alone. A couple of weeks later, with motivation creeping again, Tommi discovered himself engaged on the Saph once more. However all was not nicely.

After lifting the carpet he unearthed a number of cracks within the ground and chassis rails, and the entire underside was stuffed with rust holes. The automotive was duly stripped fully, sandblasted, repaired (Tommi reckons not less than 100 hours’ welding was wanted to get all the things structurally sound once more), earlier than some substantial rust-proofing was utilized to stop something occurring sooner or later. Then the shell was despatched off for a contemporary respray.

600bhp Sapphire Cosworth

Whereas the automotive was within the paint store, the fabled YB engine was dismantled and readied for a full rebuild. And have you ever ever identified a YB to be rebuilt with much less energy than it had beforehand? In fact not. The story follows an identical path right here, solely Tommi jumped a couple of steps and went straight for an enormous BorgWarner EFR 8374 turbo as the important thing ingredient on this rebuild.

The remainder of the automotive returned from the paint store in September 2015 – taking a little bit longer than the unique plan of a fast refresh – and throughout the summer time of 2016 Tommi reassembled all the things and determined to get the automotive driveable. Different upgrades to the suspension, larger brakes, and some extra tweaks right here and there additionally all discovered their approach onto the automotive.

With situations too unhealthy to drive over the next winter months, Tommi needed to wait till February 2017 earlier than he may lastly get out on the street for the primary check.

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600bhp Sapphire Cosworth

He recollects, “That check additionally began nicely and I even began to have ideas about getting it booked in for the katsastus [Finnish MOT]. However earlier than the time got here to swap the winter tyres for summer time ones (after I wished to guide the check), I had damaged the engine once more. All I may do was take away it, disassemble it, and see what had gone unsuitable.”

Tommi spent the following couple of years shopping for, promoting and accumulating components; a brand new crank and block was sourced, and all of the outdated commonplace components that had been not used had been bought. Throughout this time, Tommi made varied tweaks too; issues like smoothing the engine bay, swapping the fabric Recaro inside for full Raven leather-based after which flocking the sprint in black to match.

However progress was sluggish and sporadic; there was no plan and no finish aim. “That’s after I determined to set a deadline,” says Tommi. “There was an American automotive present that I booked the automotive in for, and I stated the automotive would must be driving by then.”

With the present a couple of weeks away and the workload mounting up, Tommi received caught into ending the mission. It was a slog and included plenty of late nights and early begins, however at 6pm the night time earlier than the present, the automotive was trying good and able to be fired up.

Sadly, Tommi couldn’t carry the freshly-built YB to life earlier than it was time to load the automotive into the trailer and head for Helsinki.

Clearly he was disillusioned, however the optimistic feedback the younger Cossie fan acquired from the present fuelled his inspiration, and after per week on show Tommi was quickly trying ahead to getting the Sapphire again residence the place he may get to work – with out the stress of a looming deadline – on getting the YB began.

600bhp Sapphire Cosworth

With a methodically strategy the brand new powerplant quickly burst into life. “Sure, it was an incredible feeling,” smiles Tommi. A couple of tweaks ensured the Cossie was operating nicely sufficient to be taken to the dyno. The primary go to highlighted a couple of points that wanted ironing out, however with these sorted the return go to went very nicely certainly; the brand new engine produced a powerful 600bhp and 472lb.ft, at a comparatively low increase setting of 1.5-bar.

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Evidently, after ready so lengthy to get out on the street in his 600bhp Sapphire Cossworth, Tommi loved the remainder of summer time: “I feel I coated about 5000km and went by way of quite a lot of rear tyres.”

So, after taking so lengthy to get on the street, certainly Tommi isn’t going to mess with it now? In fact he’s – it’s a Cossie and we will’t depart them alone; he’s already received his eyes on a stronger rear diff and winding up the increase.

He might have needed to hold on till his 20s to get rolling in his epic 600bhp Sapphire Cosworth, however for Tommi it’s all been definitely worth the wait.

Tech Spec: 600bhp Sapphire Cosworth

Engine:

1993cc Cosworth YB, 200 block, long-studded, Coopers rings, ACL bearings, cast pistons, cast conrods, under-piston oil spray jets, big-wing sump, high-pressure oil pump, Cat Cams camshafts, double springs, Piper vernier pulleys, carbon fibre (prototype) inlet plenum, Jenvey throttle physique, Bosch 2000cc injectors, Fuelab adjustable gas stress regulator, BorgWarner EFR 8374 turbo, customized exhaust manifold with 4in downpipe, stand-alone engine administration system, coil-on-plug improve, customized oil breather system, Thrust intercooler, Airtec radiator

Energy:

600bhp and 640Nm (472lb.ft)

Transmission:

Sapphire Cosworth BorgWarner T5 gearbox, light-weight metal flywheel, four-paddle clutch, Gripper plated-type limited-slip differential

Suspension:

Seam-welded chassis, bolstered strut towers, 28mm entrance and 18mm anti-roll bars, Gaz Gold coilovers

Brakes:

Entrance: 328mm discs with four-pot Brembo callipers and Ferodo D2500 pads; rear: 300mm discs with two-pot Brembo callipers and Ferodo D2500 pads, plus unique 2WD Cosworth callipers with handbrake perform

Wheels & Tyres:

8x17in Compomotive TH alloys in ET25 offset, with Hankook 215/40×17 (entrance) and 235/35×17 (rear) tyres

Exterior:

Sapphire Cosworth 2WD, LHD, physique soundproofed with STP Black Gold bitumen mat, 4×4 vented bonnet with carbon vents and AeroCatches, carbon mirrors caps, fibreglass entrance bumper with rubber splitter and fast locks

Inside:

Recaro leather-based inside, flocked dashboard, roof and inside trim panels, black carpets, Pioneer head unit, Floor Zero audio system and 8in sub in boot