Concours winning, show condition 1970 Ford Escort Twin Cam Registration no. CIJ 1835 Chassis no. CK49JG9125 Engine no. EG1198B681F015
The arrival of the Escort Twin Cam at the start of 1968 marked the second phase of Ford UK's production-car based competitions programme that had commenced with the Lotus Cortina. The latter had used the Ford-based 1.6-litre Lotus Twin Cam engine to good effect, and combining this unit with the smaller and lighter Escort bodyshell would prove to be an inspired move. Reputedly, Ford's Competitions Manager Henry Taylor had seen a prototype Escort being tested and recognised its potential. A feasibility study commenced at the Competitions Department's Boreham factory in March 1967, which proved that although the list of modifications required to install the bulky Twin Cam engine and 2000E gearbox was a lengthy one, the transplant was possible. The project duly got the 'green light' and a dedicated Twin Cam production line was set up at Ford's Halewood plant on Merseyside where the cars were assembled by a hand picked team using the stronger export-specification Escort two-door bodyshell. Production proper got under way in the spring of 1968 after the first 25 Twin Cams had been assembled at Boreham. Group 3 homologation (500 units built) was achieved in March '68 and Group 2 (1,000 units) in May.
Competition success had been the Twin Cam's raison d'être and Ford's new baby was soon delivering the goods. A pair of the Boreham-built Twin Cams dominated the televised Croft rally-cross meeting in February 1968, demonstrating its potential to an audience of millions, while the car's first major international success was achieved that March when Ove Andersson and John Davenport finished 3rd in the San Remo Rally. The Twin Cam's first outright win was achieved by Roger Clark in the Circuit of Ireland Rally at Easter. Despite a short works career that ended in 1971, the Escort Twin Cam won the World Rally Championship for Makes twice, in 1968 and '69, and helped the Alan Mann Racing-entered Frank Gardner take the British Touring Car Championship in '68. Ford UK's fastest production model when launched, the Escort Twin Cam and its Cosworth-engined successors would go on to be Ford's most successful rally cars prior to the arrival of the Sierra RS Cosworth in the 1980s.
Offered here is a very rare, show condition, Australian specification Escort Twin Cam. The Australian Escort Twin Cam was built using the same Type 49 bodyshell and 1.6 litre Lotus engine as the UK-specification car but assembled in the Ford plant at Sydney. Arguably more interesting and available in a full range of colours from the Ford palette rather than the Ermine White which most of the home market cars were finished in, they also feature some nice finishing touches to the interior and exterior trim. Finished in Onyx Green metallic with tan interior, this particular example has obviously benefited from the predominantly warm and dry Australian climate, which has preserved the bodywork in good order.
This Twin Cam was a well-known show car in Australia before being shipped to the UK in 2008, since when it has had only one registered keeper. Since acquiring the car recently, the vendors have completely re-commissioned it, including totally overhauling the braking system, fitting a new clutch and rebuilding the gearbox. Four new tyres have been fitted and the car is now 'on the button' and ready to go. Accompanying paperwork consists of sundry restoration invoices, current MoT certificate and a V5C registration document.