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A Model-New, Road-Authorized 1980 Ford Escort Rally Automotive May Be Yours

  • A motorsport company in Great Britain started building new versions of the Mk 2 Ford Escort in the 1970s.
  • The second-generation European escort generation, which had been successful as a rally car for decades, was the last to have rear-wheel drive.
  • Motorsports Tools’ newly built RWD Escorts start at around $ 90,000.

    Although the Ford Escort is rarely high on the list of the most memorable models of the Blue Oval in the US, the Escort name has been given to some of the more exciting cars in Europe. This list includes both the famous RS Cosworth variant from the 1990s and the double-decker rear spoiler, but also the spectacular rally vehicles of the earlier generations Mk 1 and Mk 2 with rear-wheel drive.

    These RS Escorts were extremely successful racing cars at the time. Ari Vatanen drove an Mk 2 RS1800 to the World Rally Championship in 1981. They’ve stayed on the sharp end of the European rally thanks to ongoing improvements to engines, transmissions and suspensions.Since then, particularly in the UK and Ireland, it has also remained competitive against more advanced four-wheel drive competitors. Check out the fast-paced Mk 2 of the late Colin McRae or the spectacular “Baby Blue” of Northern Irishman Frank Kelly to see how exciting these evolved escorts can be.

    The tremendous popularity of the escort has created a thriving market for both upgrades and parts. The British motorsport specialist Motorsport Tools has now taken the next step in developing brand new cars. You can see pictures of the first rear-wheel drive escort, which was registered in the UK since 1980. The company plans to produce around 10 finished cars per year. Prices start at £ 65,000 – nearly $ 90,000 at current exchange rates.

    Motorsport tools

    One thing you won’t see is a Ford badge as MST has not received official approval to bring the escort out of retirement.

    “Our main business is rally auto parts and all parts are available to build these cars,” Carwyn Ellis, managing director of Motorsport Tools, told Car and Driver of his company’s Wales headquarters. “We just took them and put them together.” . We obviously can’t sell it as a Ford, especially since these cars are now very different from the original cars from the 1970s. But I know Ford is very proud of what the car has achieved and continues to achieve. “

    While those planning to drive their new escort rally have had the greatest interest, Ellis confirms that some are built as highly tuned street cars. “Many of our customers have no intention of rallying with them,” he said. “They want a toy that looks like a rally car and works like a rally car – the power they can use on the road or in a race track. There are a lot of people out there who realize that supercars get too fast to drive hard on the road – you can still do that. “

    Motorsport tools

    The first Motorsport Tools demonstrator was built with a Ford Duratec four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine with a displacement of 2.5 liters and separate throttle valves. That means it has around 200 horsepower, enough to be exciting in a car weighing less than 2,200 pounds with no driver aids. It has a six-speed manual transmission that drives its active rear axle with Bilstein shock absorbers, AP racing brakes and golden Minilite wheels in elongated wheel arches. Buyers can opt for much more power with more aggressive engines – British supplier Millington produces escort engines with up to 370 hp – as well as sequential gearboxes and other expensive upgrades. Tick ​​each box and the finished car will cost well over $ 140,000.

    “We will work with individual customers, they will all be unique,” says Ellis. “It depends on what people are looking for, whether they have to adhere to the restrictions on certain championships, and how fast they want to go.” He also confirmed that there will also be a similar “sequel” to the earlier Mk 1 Escort, which was manufactured between 1968 and 1974 and will be more attractive to those competing under historic rally regulations.

    “The interest has been a bit overwhelming, to be honest,” admits Ellis, who says potential buyers’ interest in US production will be limited to even no more than ten cars a year, and Ellis has no doubt about it that this will be the case will be able to find willing buyers for all of them.

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