Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2019

Back to lot listing

1970 Ford Escort Mk1 Twin Cam

Lot No.: 315

Registration: BLN 315H
Chassis Number: BB49JG10472
Engine Number: JG10472
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1557
Year of Manufacture: 1970
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 42,000 - 47,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

 

  • Coachwork, paintwork, engine, gearbox are reported to all be in "very good" condition
  • Immaculate interior. Contour front seats.Original 'Springalex' steering wheel
  • Reading only 69,695 (believed genuine) miles, only 2,000 since 2007
  • Full inspection and Valuation Certificate from the Ford AVO Owners Club, dated 1989.
  • Recent electrical overhaul. New starter and battery. New wheel bearing. Wheels balanced
  • It's not often that a Mk1 Twin Cam of this quality comes onto the open market 

 

The arrival of the Escort Twin Cam at the start of 1968 marked the second phase of Ford UK's production-car based competitions programme that had commenced with the Lotus Cortina. The latter had used the Ford-based 1.6-litre Lotus Twin Cam engine to good effect, and combining this unit with the smaller and lighter Escort bodyshell would prove to be an inspired move. Reputedly, Ford's Competitions Manager, Henry Taylor, had seen a prototype Escort being tested and recognised its potential.

A feasibility study commenced at the Competitions Department's Boreham factory in March 1967, which proved that although the list of modifications required to install the bulky Twin Cam engine and 2000E gearbox was a lengthy one, the transplant was possible. The project duly got the 'green light' and a dedicated Twin Cam production line was set up at Ford's Halewood plant on Merseyside where the cars were assembled by a hand-picked team using the stronger, export-specification Escort two-door bodyshell. Production proper got underway in the spring of 1968 after the first 25 Twin Cams had been assembled at Boreham. Group 3 homologation (500 units built) was achieved in March '68 and apparently, Group 2 (1,000 units) in May, although there may have been some 'artistic licence' with this as it's now clear that Twin Cam production totalled 883 units.

Competition success had been the Twin Cam's raison d'être and Ford's new baby was soon delivering the goods. A pair of the Boreham-built Twin Cams dominated the televised Croft rallycross meeting in February 1968, demonstrating its potential to an audience of millions, while the car's first major international success was achieved during March when Ove Andersson and John Davenport finished 3rd in the San Remo Rally. The Twin Cam's first outright win was achieved by Roger Clark in the Circuit of Ireland Rally at Easter. Despite a short works career that ended in 1971, the Escort Twin Cam won the World Rally 'Championship for Makes' twice, in 1968 and '69, and helped the Alan Mann Racing-entered Frank Gardner take the British Touring Car Championship in '68. The Alan Mann cars all used Cosworth's Formula 2 engine - the FVA - which was based on the Twin Cam cylinder block and thus eligible under the UK's relaxed Group 5 rules.

Ford UK's fastest production model when launched, the Escort Twin Cam and its Cosworth-engined successors would go on to be Ford's most successful competition cars prior to the arrival of the Sierra RS Cosworth in the 1980s.

To make life easy for aspiring competition drivers the Twin Cam was offered in a 'Clubman Specification' fitted with twin fuel tanks, a roll bar, Contour bucket seats and magnesium Minilites and a good number were sold in this form, however this original road-specification Escort Twin-Cam is a 1970 example finished in Ermine White (nearly all Twin-Cams were) with a black interior and was purchased new for road use. It was ordered with the factory option of a full-length sunroof which does compromise torsional rigidity somewhat, hardly noticeable on the road but not ideal for competition which would explain why BLN 315H has been spared race or rally action over the years. The history file includes a full inspection and valuation certificate from Andrew Wildblood of the Ford AVO owners club, dated 1989. The certificate states that the interior is standard and in good condition, with optional Contour front seats and standard rear seats. The wheels, suspension and engine were found to be standard and the bodyshell was reported to have been restored in the late eighties and in good standard condition.

Today, the coachwork, paintwork, engine, gearbox and interior are reported to all be in "very good" condition with rust-free bodywork, and an immaculate interior which, pleasingly, still retains its original 'Springalex' steering wheel. A recent electrical overhaul by an approved auto electrician resulted in a new starter motor and battery being fitted and the car's electrics are now in good shape. A wheel bearing has recently been replaced and all four wheels balanced at the same time. This smart Escort is definitely cherished and obviously lightly used as it has only covered 2,000 miles in the last eleven years. Supplied with a full year's MOT, previous test certificates and its V5, this stunning car represents a rare opportunity.

Reading only 69,695 (believed genuine) miles, it is not often that a Mk1 Twin-Cam of this quality comes onto the open market and with prices continuing to climb, it offers its next owner the chance to own a piece of Ford competition-inspired history. Occasionally at Concours d'Elegance events, there is a category for "The Car the Judges would most like to Take Home" and we are sure that this lovely, unmolested little 'Twink' would frequently top that list.