So apparently today is “Brian Loves old British Fords” day and while maybe I do, it was merely a coincidence that I found this insanely awesome 1974 Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 for sale in England and immediately decided to figure out what the exchange rate is. The bad news is that I found out that this car would run me $76,023 American dollars but if I had it, I’d be on the phone with the seller because this is one of the nicest examples I have ever seen of an Mk1 RS2000. This was a factory built rally car. Just like today’s Ford RS designated machines, it was at the top of its particular performance food chain. This one has been expertly restored right down to the cool blue and white paint and the spiffy little Minilite wheels on the corners.
The car was not only restored but needed up for vintage rally action. Areas of the unibody were reinforced the way that racers would have done in the 1970s (but with the cleanliness of 2019), components were upgraded like sway bars and stuff like that.
The 2.0L engine was rebuilt with twin Weber carbs and it makes 155hp as it sits right now. There’s a five speed stick in the car swapped over from a Ford Sierra. When combining the engine with the more favorable ratios in the five speed transmission this thing is likely super fun to drive. The rebuild concentrated on tuning the engine for low end torque, presumably to drag this thing out of corners in the woods in a fun sideways fashion. Damn we want one.
In the USA the Ford Escort is seen as kind of a hapless junkpile of an economy car. In England, it’s got racing pedigree in the toughest conditions one can imagine. Crazy, right?