1970 Ford Escort



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  • Competition car 
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Introduced in the last days of 1967, the Escort was of particular importance to the newly formed "Ford of Europe", which brought together the German and British subsidiaries of the firm into a single structure. Thus, for the first time in its history on the Old Continent, Ford offered an identical model in the UK as elsewhere. Much more ambitious than the Anglia, which it succeeded in the UK, the Escort was a small wagon of just over four metres in length, designed by Harris Mann. The then popular 'Coke bottle' profile gave the new Ford much of its stylistic dynamism, clearly defined in contrast to the proverbial austerity of the Opel Kadett, one of its main rivals in the still nascent European compact car market. The technical specifications of the car were based on tried and tested solutions, such as the retention of the rear wheel drive and the rigid rear axle at a time when, in France, the Peugeot 204 and the Simca 1100 were already relying on front wheel drive and four independent wheels.
The Escort, however, was soon to demonstrate a different kind of sporting ability, as Ford had decided to enter the car in competition and to develop the road car range upwards, with brilliant engines and suggestive fittings in a formula that in some ways already heralded the GTI craze. Thus, after the victory of the Mikkola/Palm team in the 1970 London-Mexico rally, a Mexico Escort was introduced, which was not only designed for driving enthusiasts, but also for pilots, and was very well received. With a 1600cc engine and a reinforced body, just over 10,000 were produced until 1974. The car we present here is right-hand drive. Sold new in England, it dates from 1970 and its current owner (the third) acquired it in April 2003. He has driven it for about 30,000 miles out of the 36,255 on the odometer (uncertified value). This is the 118th car to be produced by the legendary Boreham workshop, where all competition Escorts were built until the mid-1970s. Neither pledged nor guaranteed, this extremely rare "AVO" (Advanced Vehicle Operations) certified Mexico has a Belgian registration certificate.