A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £48,375
The Mark 1 Ford Escort was introduced at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1968 and soon became a commercial success as an everyday car followed by development into a succesful competition car. 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 gave rise to the famous Escort Mexico (with the 1.6 L "Kent"-engine) special edition road versions in honour of the rally car. In addition to the Mexico, the 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 at the now famous 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 bodyshells, making them ideal for rallying. Even today, Mark I Escorts are still very popular in the Historic rally scene with their reputation for a great balance of power and handling, making them true driver's cars. The BDA engine emits a distinctive and appealing 'growl', which can be heard for quite a distance when the vehicle is being driven hard. Estimates suggest that only around 1,137 RS1600s were produced in total. The car offered for sale today was first registered in the UK on 11th February 1972 and was purchased by the current owner approximately 3 years ago. He has kept the car in a dehumidified garage and cherished this extremely collectable road-going example. The speedometer is reading 3,490, which is the total mileage covered since this car underwent a ground up restoration. There are bills in the history file from renowned marque expert Andy Stapley Motorsport and the car will be supplied with a fresh MoT certificate for the auction. There are also dyno testing sheets that show an impressive 167.8 bhp @ 6200 rpm. According to a number of sources, there are reputed to be less than 50 RS1600s registered or SORN in the UK. The vast majority have been extensively raced, rallied or exported and have lived hard lives. As a result, it is most unusual to find a road specification example finished to such a high standard. The Le Mans Green paintwork is superb with excellent shut lines and has been completed to a very high standard. The interior is completely standard and correct, and the engine bay is spotless.