A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Sold for: £23,063
The Ford Escort Mark I was introduced in 1967 and was a commercial success in many parts of Western Europe. However, in the UK it was the best selling car during the 1960s. In June 1974, less than six years after the car's UK introduction, Ford announced the completion of the two millionth Ford Escort, a milestone unmatched by any Ford model outside the USA. The Escort used a brand new unitary construction bodyshell and came with a choice of 1098cc or 1298cc four cylinder, overhead valve engines. It also featured contemporary styling cues in tune with its time: a subtle Detroit-inspired "Coke bottle" waistline and the "dogbone" shaped front grille - arguably, the car's most famous stylistic feature. The Escorts became very successful as a rally car and they eventually went on to become one of the most successful rally cars of all time. 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 1968 Escort Works Rally Replica was built between 2006 and 2008 by renowned marque experts, Retrosport, for one of its owners. A solid donor shell was sourced and fully stripped for the build. New steel front wings and steel arches were fitted and the entire shell fully seam welded, gusseted and strengthened to Group 4 specification with works type jacking points. A Smith and Deakin fibre glass bonnet and boot were custom fitted along with a 6-point roll cage with door bars. The completed body was then painted in Ford Diamond White, photos of which are included in the history file. The running gear was completely replaced with an Atlas axle, and many RS components such as hubs, vented discs and adjustable Bilstein struts. The engine is a lightened and balanced 2.0 litre Pinto on twin delortoes by respected engine builder Agra Race Engines of Dundee and boasts 187bhp at 7,000rpm. Additional features include an alloy sump, twin throttle cables, electronic ignition with electronic coil and Magnecor plug leads, Spenco silicone hoses, 12 gallon aluminum fuel tank, works replica dashboard/centre console and a 5-speed Type-9 2.8i Capri close ratio gearbox. The car was stored after completion, having covered only 500 road miles. In 2011, it was recommissioned and supplied with a current MOT, tax and R.A.C.M.S.A motorsport logbook. The history file details the rebuild with a complete file by Retrosport, specifying every ordered component. The documentation confirms that this Escort has been built using new or refurbished parts to the highest possible standard with no expense spared. In 2012, the car was sold to a well-known Bristol-based racing driver, in whose ownership the car has since remained. 'SLD 245F' has been taxed and MOT'd up until May 2013 since when it has had the benefit of a SORN. The car remains in good running order throughout. It is currently set up for tarmac rally competition and would make an ideal entry into historic motorsport.