Lot 155 - 1975 Ford Escort RS1800 Rally Car
|Result||Sold - £43,244|
- Successful competition history
- High specification
- Highly original
The squarer-styled Escort Mk. II appeared in January 1975 with the first production models having rolled off the production lines on 2nd December 1974. Unlike the first Escort (which was developed by Ford of Britain), the second generation was developed jointly between the UK and Ford of Germany. Codenamed ‘Brenda’ during its development, it had the same mechanical configuration as its predecessor; the estate and van versions even used the same panel-work as the Mk. I but with the Mk. II front end and interior. The car used a revised underbody which had, in fact, been introduced as a running change during the last six months of the life of the Mk. I. The car was a success with just four body styles competing in a variation of market niches where rival manufacturers had multiple models. The ‘L’ and ‘GL’ models were mainly purchased by the private sector; the ‘Sport’, ‘RS Mexico’ and ‘RS2000’ in the performance market; the ‘Ghia’ for an untapped small car luxury sector and ‘base’ models for the fleet market. The Escort continued to prove hugely popular with buyers in Britain during the second half of the 1970s, but production slowed and after an incredibly popular model run, ended in Britain in August 1980 with other countries following soon after.
Built around one of the spare shells provided to Ford South Africa for their works rally team, it is reported that this RS1800 was bought by the well-known and respected Italian driver, Piazza Musso when the South African Ford team closed. Along with the unused shell and another, he also acquired direct from Ford South Africa many spares including; gearboxes, axles and suspension. UK based and well-regarded Escort rally specialists, Phil and Mick Squires were asked to travel to South Africa to complete the builds and compete in the sister car. By the end of the event, a deal had been struck to buy the car offered here. Mr. Squire even remembers having the factory ‘Team Span’ stripe stickers included in the deal, which are fitted to the car to this day. Before the car was sold, its 2.1 litre engine was removed as it would not have been legal to run in UK competition. Upon its arrival to the UK, the car was sold as a rolling chassis to the vendor who prepared the car to BTRDA specification, originally in the 1600cc class and latterly the 1800cc class. The car enjoyed good success between 2003 and 2009 winning several rallies in its respective classes before being converted to period specification to compete in the Historic Rally series, before later that year being put into long term storage.
Full specification of the car can be seen in its history file, but highlights include; 2.0 litre three stud BDX competition engine with 48 Weber carburettors, AP racing twin plate clutch, Tony Law manifold and exhaust system, Terry Samuels built gearbox, works wiring loom, safety devices roll cage, four link box turrets, large differential housing with Atlas limited slip differential, GP4 adjustable pedal box, Bilstein shock absorbers, GP4 adjustable front struts with roller bearing top mounts, ‘Monte Carlo’ brake calipers and dry sump oil feed system. Supplied with a V5 registration document and fitted with a new starter motor, this piece of rallying history is ready to hunt down victories once more.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.