1972 Ford Escort


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Mileage 
    54 000 mi / 86 905 km
  • Car type 
  • Chassis number 
  • Engine number 
  • Lot number 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Exterior brand colour 
    Copper Bronze
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Gearbox 


A genuine Mexico built in December 1971 and first registered in early 1972Low ownership car, previously the property of well knownHistoric Racer, Neil CunninghamAcquired by Neil in 2009, from 17 years in hibernation, and returned to its bestRestored, resprayed and fitted with a Vulcan Engineering Stage III engine in the eightiesEngine rebuilt and fitted with a Maxiflow crossflow head in August 2010Rolling road printouts indicate c115bhp at the flywheelIn a private collection since 2012, this Mexicohas hardly been used in recent yearsThe ever-popular Mexico, so named by Ford to celebrate their victory in the World Cup Rally London to Mexico of 1970. Built by the team in Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) to prove reliability and ease of servicing were more important than power and output in certain categories, these models fitted nicely into the niche between Twin Cams and the 1300 GT. Fords Rallye Sport Escorts were never more popular.The Escort Mexico on offer here is a particularly special one, with low ownership and having last been enjoyed by likeable Kiwi racerNeil Cunningham. Neils career included Formula Ford and Formula Renault before a switch to Eurocars (1996 Champion) and British GT brought further success, culminating in a couple of outings in LMP2 Sports Prototypes at Le Mans.In fact, most people would have seenNeil in action without knowing it in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, where his skills were employed as a stunt driver, or Top Gear where he was an occasional stand-in 'Stig' forhis good pal Ben Collins. Sadly, Neil succumbed tomotor neurone disease in May of 2016 at the age of 53.Neil discovered this car, languishing in storage where it had been for 17 years,in 2009. As is often the case, this Mexico appears to have been the subject of various upgrades and modificationsduring its early life. It was offered for sale in 2012 and the advert in Classic Car Weeklyshows the car on Revolution wheels at the time, though our private collector has returned it on to its Mexico wheels for this sale. The advert (clip in the history file) explains that it had covered around 53,000 miles, was wearing a smart coat of Tawny Brown and still displayed many original Mexico features including "the centre console, map reading light, the jack with bag and its AVO deep-dish steering wheel with Bakelite horn-cap."Within the history file, there is an information sheet prepared, presumably by the car's second owner, Stephen Blick, who purchased the Mexico in early November 1976for 865. At some point, after that, the car was modified and rebuilt. The information sheet states that it was fitted with new front wings, sills, rear wheel arches, and front and rearpanels prior to being treated to a respray in '2-pack Tawny Metallic'.The interior benefitted from an Escort 'Twin-Cam' rear seat and Corbeau GTB reclining front seats, the suspension was uprated with bigger springs and adjustable SPAX shocksat the rear, and retardation was improved with Triumph 2500Pi shoes at the rear and DS11 pads on the front.A Vulcan Engineering 1630cc Crossflow with 1300 hi-comp pistons and a Kent 234 Cam was slotted in. The new engine was dressed with twin 40DCOE Webers, Pipercross air filters, Motorplus 4:2:1 exhaust manifold, Lotus distributor, Lucas contactless ignition, High-Performance coil and leads, Kenlowe fan and a high-capacity radiator. We are not sure when this work was carried out but assume it was between Mr Blick's purchase in 1976 and the car goinginto storage in 1992.With the intention of returning the car to full health, Neil sent it to HG Mosley in August 2010 to have the engine reconditioned. When it was stripped it was found that the head was badly cracked (which may have been why it was put into storage in the first place) so it was rebuilt with a new Maxiflow head, rings, tensioners etc. and fully set up. A trip to Mosley's rolling road resulted in a very healthy output of115bhp at the flywheel. Invoices fromMosley's and the rolling road printout are in the file.There are a few older MOTs in the file, the most recent of which appears to be on 4/11/2014 at 53,921 miles and as the current indicted mileage is 53,954, it has obviously hardly been used since. The Mexico has remained in theprivate collection of a man who knew Neil Cunningham well and the time has come to reduce his collection. Neil was universally regarded as one of the nicest people in motor racing and we tend to feel that it would be fitting ifhis quick little Mexico could be returned to general circulation and join the ranks of gleaming sporting Escorts onthe Fast Ford show circuit.You can now book a one-to-one appointment (up to one hour) to view this lot at our central location of Stoneleigh Park (CV8 2LG) Monday to Friday, between Thursday 29th October 12th November. Please contact Gary on 07740 946 796 or [email protected] to secure your appointment or to discuss the car in more detail.The health & safety of both our customers and team remainthe utmost priority, we are therefore operating to strict COVID-19 guidelines and full instructions for arrival and inspection protocols will be given when making your appointment.1972 Ford Escort Mk1 Mexicohttps://youtu.be/eChIaipeqkEfalse