1976 Ford Escort


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1976 Ford Escort Mk2 RS2000 Group 1 Rally Car
Registration no. to be advised
Chassis no. GCATSL86849

It was the Escort that really put Ford on the rallying map, proving capable of winning World Championship events from 1968 when the Twin Cam model was the works' frontline rally car, right through to 1981 when Ari Vatanen became World Rally Champion driving an Escort RS. Ford customers could choose between GT and 1.6-litre Twin Cam or - later on - RS1600 and Mexico models. Manufactured at Ford's Advanced Vehicles Operations plant, the latter pair were closely related, the Mexico being, in effect, an RS1600 fitted with a 1.6-litre OHV Kent engine in place of the RS1600's 16-valve Cosworth BDA. Both models had shortcomings: the Mexico being not fast enough for many while the 'homologation special' RS1600, although very quick, was expensive to produce and required careful maintenance. The answer lay in a new model: the RS2000. Powered by the 2.0-litre single-overhead camshaft Pinto engine, the RS2000 was a huge success, proving quicker than the Mexico and easier to live with than the RS1600.

This beautiful Ford Escort RS2000 Mk2 has played a prominent role in Ford's impressive rallying history. It has been a purpose-built rally car for its entire life, mainly contesting major rallies in Finland. This impressive history has been fully documented since 1977, including all rally results and who drove the car. The latter includes true masters of the sport such as Timo Makinen, Antero Laine, Lasse Lampi, and Kyosti Hamalainen, who drove this Escort to podium finishes on numerous occasions as a privateer on behalf of Ford Finland (results list on file).

The Escort was completely rebuilt in 2010 in accordance with the Group 1 regulations. A valid Historical Technical Passport is present and all special parts are homologated. The result of this painstaking preparation is reflected in its winning the Finnish Historic Rally Championship in 2011 and 2012. Equipped with Weber 44IDF carburettors, a big-bore exhaust manifold, Group 1 camshaft, and larger valves, the engine produces 152bhp engine. The gearbox is a four-speed Rocket unit, while the Atlas rear axle is equipped with a ZF limited-slip differential and a 4.63:1 crown wheel/pinion. The special suspension features Bilstein 300/70 struts.

The Ford Escort is the perfect rally car because it is well balanced and therefore easy to drift. This car is potentially competitive in all types of rallies, whether they be held on snow and ice, tarmac, or the desert sands.