Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2019

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1972 Ford Escort Mk 1 RS1600 rally car

Lot No.: 342

Registration: MLP 770L
Chassis Number: BFATML00092
Engine Number: ML00092
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 2000
Year of Manufacture: 1972
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Sold for (£): Unsold

 

  • Endurance rally prepared Mk1 RS1600. Field Motorsport 2.0-litre BDG engine (1,000 miles only)
  • ZF gearbox, AP Racing twin-plate clutch, ZF LSD 5:1 differential
  • AP Monte Carlo brakes. Fully adjustable GAZ coil-overs, adjustable track control arms, quick rack
  • Supplied with previous MSA logbook, FIA Regularity Rally car pass and UK V5c
  • Well prepared, smartly presented and ready to return to the forests

 

It is difficult to imagine a Stage Rally in the early seventies without the Mark 1 Ford Escort. Those of us who put up with the really early morning starts and the trudge through dank woods over ankle-twisting tree stumps in order to get as close to the action as possible were often rewarded with the sight and sound of Escorts doing what they do best. You could hear them way before you saw them, the cacophonous howl of a BDA at 10,000 revs screaming for more cold air, would echo up through the pines and then, suddenly, a pair of bright headlights on the outside of four seven-inch Cibie Oscars would burn a hole in the mist and then past, only inches away, the exhaust resonating in your chest as your internal organs vibrate in sympathy and, if you were really lucky, you would get showered in gravel as well. Addictive.

Ford had, for a number of years, used active participation in motorsport as a means of getting their showroom doors swinging on a Monday morning, and the new Escort was to prove no exception. Popular at club level in every discipline of the sport, it was at an International level that the name 'Escort' became synonymous with winning. The Ford works team was practically unbeatable in the late 1960s/early 1970s, and arguably, the Escort's greatest victory was in the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally being driven by Finnish legend Hannu Mikkola. This result and the ensuing acclaim prompted Ford to produce the famous Escort Mexico (1.6-litre 'Kent'-engine) road version in honour of the rally car.

One step up from the Mexico, the Escort 'RS1600' was developed using an engine that was essentially a detuned Formula 3 unit designated BDA (Belt Drive 'A' Series). Both the Mexico and RS1600 were built simultaneously at the Ford Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) facility located at the Aveley Plant in South Essex. As well as higher performance engines and sports suspension, these models featured strengthened body shells, making them ideal for rallying.

Presented here is a 1972 Ford Escort RS1600 that has been prepared for endurance and historic Rallying. It wears an RS1600 AVO body plate and is supplied with its original V5 showing that it is a genuine RS1600, first registered on 19th September 1972. The car was prepared for the 1993 Lombard London to Sydney Marathon in which 106 teams competed in the 25th-anniversary re-run of the 16,000km classic rally. Many of the original drivers from the 1968 event were persuaded to return and even some of the original cars participated. The entry fee alone was £12,900! The car has since been driven on the 2008 Classic Marathon and many other stage rallies.

The bodyshell was fitted with steel arches, Ford Motorsport plates and gussets, along with a Safety Devices bolt-in roll cage with door bars, before being finished in Ford Ermine White. The powerplant is a 2.0-litre Field Motorsport BDG (to Gwyndaf Evans spec) reputed to cost £30,000 to build and now having covered just 1,000 road miles since build. Mated to the engine is a ZF gearbox with an AP Racing twin-plate clutch and ZF LSD 5:1 differential - offering a rapid departure from the start line. The brakes are AP Monte Carlo on both front and rear with a brake bias adjuster fitted. Fully adjustable GAZ coil-over dampers are fitted, along with adjustable track control arms and a quick rack. A long distance fuel tank with dash gauge is fitted with twin Facet fuel pumps. The interior features the '93 London to Sydney Corbeau seats, Luke harnesses, Stilo Intercoms, a Retro Tripmeter and a plumbed-in fire extinguisher. All prospective buyers should satisfy themselves as to the currency and legality of all the safety-related equipment.

Supplied with its old MSA log book, a previous FIA historic regularity rally car pass and its UK V5c, this RS1600 is a competitive car and an ideal entry into the enjoyable world of Historic Rallying.