The Ford Escort, in the hands of the Works Rally team, was practically unbeatable in the late sixties and seventies. Perhaps their most notable early success was winning the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally driven by Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm. Third, in a similar 1850cc Escort, was Rauno Aaltonen and Henry Liddon backed up by Timo Makinen in fifth and the unlikely combination of Tony Fall and Jimmy Greaves just behind in sixth. This result seemed to capture the public's imagination and, with the old adage of "Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday" in mind, Ford developed the Escort Mexico, a road version of their winning rally car, with a1600cc crossflow Kent engine and brought it to market in November 1970. The rallying dynasty would continue to reign throughout the seventies creating household names of the likes of Roger Clark, Russel Brookes, Bjorn Waldegard and Ari Vatanen, and naturally Ford continued to create road cars that echoed their competition siblings. All Escort Mexicos were built at Ford's Advanced Vehicles Operations (AVO) plant at Aveley in South Essex and a total of 10,352 Mexicos had been produced when production ceased. For most drivers of standard Escorts, the rally cars were an aspirational dream and Ford's showroom promotional chant by the end of the seventies after each rally win was ‘'Share in our Success''.
Offered here, is a genuine AVO Ford Escort Mexico built at Aveley in May 1971, and this is confirmed by the V5 which states 'Ford Mexico'. Its rally pedigree is endorsed by an earlier MSA rally competition logbook ( requires renewing) and the roll bar carries some scrutineering stickers. The engine is gas flowed, fed by 45 DCOE Webers and sounds very strong. It's dry sumped with the oil tank fitted in the boot and the gearbox is a Rocket with close cut, straight ratios linked to a limited slip differential. A Rally Weld alloy competition fuel tank with spare wheel recess is boot mounted. It has vented front discs and drum rears with a bias control and comes complete with a spare set (5) of Minilite 13"x6" wheels. The MoT is current until June 2016. It would obviously be sensible for any prospective buyer to check the expiry dates of any safety equipment.
This is a great opportunity to own an iconic seventies 'Fast Ford', with all the history and magic that the name 'Mexico' implies.]]>