1973 Ford Escort
The Ford Escort was launched at the 1968 Brussels Motor Show. Acutely aware that the Lotus Cortina was at the end of its competition career, Ford's competition department had been developing a race and rally version of their new model throughout 1967 and had the 'Twin-Cam' ready and waiting as the standard road cars were released. One of the Escort's most memorable early competition wins was Hannu Mikkola's victory on the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup rally. To capitalise on this victory Ford created the limited edition, AVO built, Escort 'Mexico' in time for the 1971 season. It featured a specially strengthened shell and was fitted with 'Rallye Sport' (RS) suspension and brakes. Powered by a reliable and quick 1600cc 'Kent' engine, the model was given its own dedicated racing series known as the 'Mexico Challenge'.
Built at Fords Advanced Vehicle Operations factory in Aveley in January 1973 this vehicle incredibly has a fully traced owner history from new and throughout just six owners. Not only this but the history file contains information on the previous owners, what they did and how they came about the car as well as letters written between them and even old photos! First registered on the 19th April 1973 to first owner Mr G Trill by Ford Main Agent The Endeavour Motor Company in Brighton, who, after two years and 27,500 miles part exchanged the car for an Audi Coupe to Romans of Woking. Mr Geoff Bishop, the second owner and a Ford Mechanic, was informed of the car by his father who worked at Romans. A letter in the file from Mr Bishop details his fond ownership memories until the sale in 1983 to his friend Derek Horsell who worked at the same garage. In April 1986 Mr Horsell advertised the car for sale as 'the best Mexico in the country' for £1,850 and Mr Barrie Robertson flew down from Scotland to secure the car, becoming the fourth keeper for 13 years.
Mr Robertson, a bodywork specialist, fitted new front wings and panel only due to taking a dislike to the Monza wing mirrors and spot lamps that had been fitted! The car was then sold by word of mouth to Mr Stephen Farquar in 1999, who after a couple of short journeys, decided to commission the previous owner to carry out a full repaint in the original Daytona Yellow. The car with a mileage of 71,839 was then stored for the next ten years until sold in April 2009 to car collector Mr Nicholas Jarvis. The previous and sixth owner, Mr Peter Jenkins, convinced Mr Jarvis to part with this wonderful Mexico after becoming increasingly frustrated viewing 15 other 'genuine' AVO Mexicos.
This enthusiast owned example is finished in Ford Daytona Yellow (code T) and the highly detailed finish to the paintwork is excellent. The spotless underside enjoys the absence of underseal to showcase the incredibly straight and structurally perfect Type 49 shell, with AVO workmanship laid bare for all to see. The beautifully clean and accurate engine bay detail is an enthusiast's delight with all correct badges, plates and stickers clearly displayed and ready to uphold the closest scrutiny! All original trim sections, rubbers, glass and lights are immaculate and complete the showpiece appeal.
Attention to detail and correct to manufacturer specification, the interior of this RS Mexico is a credit to the dedication and resolve of the former keepers to stay true to Ford AVO's vision and keep the car away from the often inevitable fate of modification. The original high grade Black PVC upholstery (code AA) fitted as standard is immaculate and free from wear or damage, with pristine matching door cards. All equipment housed in the flawless dashboard with padded top fascia and correct six pod binnacle operates perfectly. The boot area continues the showroom experience with the original blue jack neatly wrapped in the hessian bag resting on a genuine unmarked boot mat, alongside the correct angled pressed steel spare wheel. A wonderful interior born from a devoted quest for originality and accuracy. A large history file accompanies this RS Mexico and Silverstone Auctions can say with confidence that it is the finest we have ever offered for sale. Mk I Escort aficionados please form an orderly queue...