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Chassis n° BBATHL60034

- Superb period preparation
- Would have been used by Belgian champion Yvette Fontaine
- Suitable for circuit or rally use

When Baudouin Lempereur bought this car, he was told it had been driven by Yvette Fontaine, the famous Belgian Touring Car Champion of 1969 and 1970. Everything leads us to believe that this right-hand drive Ford Escort could have been used by the Belgian driver. In superb condition, it is presented in the driver’s colours of yellow with a green bonnet. This car has been prepared to a standard worthy of the best machines of this period. The bodywork was built at the Ford factory for "Advanced Vehicle Operations" ("AVO") where the sporting versions of the Escort were assembled and also certain Capris. The first RS1600 to come out of this factory was the subject of a special ceremony attended by Graham Hill.
Returning to our car, the body has some special features specific to particular "AVO" productions, such as the absence of a battery cut-out on the front right-hand side, and like most competition Fords in period, there is no stamped chassis number. The numerous reinforcements reflect the attention paid to the assembly of this competition machine, with its fibreglass boot and bonnet. The bolted roll-cage is undoubtedly period but no longer compliant.
On the mechanical side, the car is equipped with a Cosworth BDA ("Belt Drive Type A") engine with two belt-driven overhead cams, rebuilt by Geoff Richardson and in all probability a period engine. Fed by a pair of twin-
choke Weber carburettors and with a Group 2 type "4 in 1" exhaust manifold, it has period electronic ignition and dry sump lubrication (period Group 2 type sump), with a new, aluminium oil pan. The transmission operates via a straight cut gears gearbox including a long first gear, and an Atlas-type "full floating" rear axle, from the English company Race and corresponding to Group 4 specification. This axle has been extensively reinforced in accordance with Group 2 regulations. It is interesting to note that the suspension has twin shock absorbers at the front which is rare for an Escort Mk1. The AP Racing discs on all four wheels ensure this impressive machine can stop. The battery and spare wheel sit in the boot, with the rear section taken by a 50-litre aluminium fuel tank. In the cockpit, the car has the correct pedals, a period dash with large rev counter, and OMP bucket seats.
It is rare to find a car as meticulously prepared and preserved as our example. A superb Group 2 car with certain Group 4 upgrades, this Escort, sold with a period Belgian Ford certificate of conformity, will attract attention at the most prestigious historic rallies, for its appearance and its performance, after a necessary overhaul.

Photo © Peter Singhof

The auction of this lot will take place on Saturday 19 March 2022.

7 rond-point des Champs-Élysées
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