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Thread: Zakspeed Escort Gp5

  1. #1

    Zakspeed Escort Gp5

    Hi All,

    Thought it was about time I started something on the car I have spent the last 10 years researching and restoring so it can be enjoyed again.

    I will start with a brief overview of the history of the car.

    Chassis Number (ZAK E23/75) started life as a Gp 2 Zakspeed Escort in early 1975 in Castrol Livery. Piloted for part of that season by Heyer who won the DRM, division 2 Championship that year.
    For 1976 Heyer was given a new Chassis and 23/75 was taken over by young gun Armin Hahne, carried Europa/Mobel Livery. He was to finish second to Heyer that year.

    For the 1977 season Gp5 regulations come into play. These were loosely based around the Original Body Shell but allowed a large amount of Poetic License, Kevlar was just starting to be used, for Division 2 weight was down to 735kg.

    Early in 1977 23/75 and the sister car were therefor converted by Zakspeed to meet the new Gp 5 regs. Heyer and Hahne were again the Drivers.
    Zakspeed did not compete for the whole of the DRM that year as Erich Zakowski was having some disagreement with the Officials. When the cars did race they were very quick indeed.

    For the 1978 season 2 new Space frame cars were built and 23/75 was used as the customer car, at the end of this season a few Non Championship races were competed in. One being the Macau Guia Rare in Asia. Zakspeed were now concentrating there efforts on the new Zakspeed Capri. So after this race 23/75 was sold away to Ford of Malaysia to be campaigned in Asia for the coming years with great success. Local Hero Harvey Yap won many races throughout Asia in the following years. Ian Grey of Australia also competed in this car.

    23/75 then passed through a few different owners. One being a Leif Norberg who was a Sweed living in KL, he restored the car and used it for several years using it to win the South East Asia Super Car Championship in 1991, in 1992 a very young Alex Yoong drove the car. Leif left Malaysia and moved back home and sold the car away, it again moved through a number of owners. The BDG was removed at some time in this period and a Rotary was fitted with little regard for the car!!

    While living and working in Singapore I was told about this "Old Z Speed Escort" in Malaysia. After some question asking and some calls I was taken to see what was the remains of a very important but now a very well used up 23/75 in a small workshop in Johor Malaysia in 1999, soon after purchase it and sent it home to NZ in 2000.

    Restoration started proper in 2001 when we returned from Singapore back to Christchurch.
    Attached Images Attached Images       
    Last edited by zakspeed65; 11-27-2011 at 05:30 AM. Reason: To Change date

  2. #2

    Explanation of photos

    Photo 1 - Germany 77-78

    Photo 2 - Wigram Revial 2011

    Photo 3 - Car as found in Malaysia 1999

    Photo 4 - Car as found in Malaysia 1999

    Photo 5 - Wigram Revial 2011

    Photo 6 - Germany 77-78

  3. #3
    Great car! Thanks for sharing your efforts and a bit of the car's early history with this forum.

  4. #4
    Weekend Warrior
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    Car Looks Great.Well done.Researching car histories can be rewarding given that you now mostlikely now the most about the overall life of the car.Thanks for your efforts

  5. #5
    Nice job Zakspeed and a great looking car. I'd love to know more about the resto and what was done - I'm especially intrigued about the work needed to swap from rotary mountings to standard engine mountings.

  6. #6
    This is great! I've really been looking forward to seeing this thread started. This is a completely fascinating period in German Touring Car racing, particularly the 1977-82 period with the introduction of the Group 5 regs. Frustratingly, it is really difficult to find information about this period. These cars were so exciting, and it was amazing some of the creations that were built, in particular from Ford, Porsche and BMW, but even Toyota, Lancia, Mercedes Benz and Alfa Romeo. Not all of them factory efforts, but all very interesting and ambitious. And the racing was quite frantic with lots of young hard chargers being employed, especially in the BMWs. The top Porsche 935s were getting 800hp by 1980, which is phenominal for a touring car class from 30 years ago.

    I know the Zakspeed Capri's were very successful when they arrived, and could ultimately challenge the Porsche 935s, but I much prefer the look of the Escorts. Interesting to note the two Zakspeed cars in the first post, one has Shell sponsorship, the other Castrol. Two competing oil brands on the same team. Out of interest, is the blue and red MkII in the first photo related to the two black Zakspeed cars?

    Thanks for posting Gary, this will be fascinating. I hope you can shed more light on the DRM if possible. When you say Ian Grey of Aus raced your car, did he race it in Australia?

  7. #7
    Hi Shano,

    With regards to the Restoration and what was done. Short answer is "Everything"

    Body Shell is still the Original but has needed quite a bit of work, 30+ years of motor-sport was not easy on the old girl!!. All Magnesium components have had pattens made and have been re-cast, complete drive line is rebuilt. I could go on all day.

    As far as the engine mounts are concerned, when the Rotary was installed they kindly left the Original mounts there so I had something to go off. Good of them really!!!

    I will add more photos when I work out how to make them smaller!

    Cheers.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  8. #8
    Hi Steve,

    You are correct a Great period of German Motor-Sport but a time that is very hard to get information about.
    I have been researching the Gp 2 and Gp 5 DRM for many years and have been able to get quite a bit of information together. 3 trips to Germany has also helped!

    The 2 Zakspeed Escorts always carried Shell and Castrol respectively, quite strange as you say. How times have changed!!!

    If you look very carefully in the attached photo you will see a third Zakspeed Escort in the back ground this is E23/75 as the customer car in Toshiba livery.

    The Red/Blue car you mention was a Privateer, known as the Ringhahssen Car.
    Erich Zakowski was a great money maker and sold my parts away for Privateers, also built about 50 Gp 4 cars for local drivers. Much lesser specifications.

    Ian Grey did drive my car at some stage I am quite sure of that and may have even owned it for a while. There is a school of thought that thinks he took the car back to WA and used it there a few times. I only have a few photos and no real evidence of this. The car in the photos may or may not be E23/75. I know of 2 cars that were built in Hong Kong/ Macau that were copies of E23/75, it may be that this is what Ian Grey took back to Australia.

    Kind Regards,

    Gary.
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  9. #9
    Would be interesting to know if the car did end up in WA. It would have been raced there as a Sports Sedan I assume?

    From the "as found" photos you've posted, looks like the bodywork remained largely intact throughout its life? Even the rear wing looks original.

    Yours must be one of the few Zakspeed team cars in private ownership surely? What happened to the sister cars to yours, the other Mampe car and the Toshiba car? Does anyone race a Zakspeed Capri in historic events now or are they all museum pieces?

  10. #10
    Given the high profile the DRM enjoyed in Germany, it amazes me how hard it is to find information about it. Frank de Jong has race results and reviews on his excellent site: http://homepage.mac.com/frank_de_jong/Pages/DRM.html

    Finding old race footage is extremely challenging. I'm not sure how much was televised.

    Here is some quite interesting amateur footage from 1977. Nice to hear the sound of the cars, they really scream:



    Here is some more footage from 1977, plus later years of DRM:



    Here is some Norisring footage from 1978:


  11. #11
    Semi-Pro Racer
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    I must say, I always had an affinity with these cars, indeed I followed most of what Zakspeed did after my father bought and built a Capri Turbo kitset remote control for me for christmas '79. looking at both Frank de Jong website and Google images reminded me though that Schnitzer hadn't always been BMW's competition arm, indeed they built Celicas for the DRM in 76 and 77 albeit not very successful machines.

    I have to say though Gary, yours is an absolutely magnificent machine, and the videos from 77 DRM just brings it all just that little more alive to me.

  12. #12
    Hi All,

    Thanks for the great comments.

    It has been a long and sometimes thankless progress, but it seems all worthwhile now that I can get the car out to be seen in action again.

    Steve,

    You are correct the rear guards, wing, boot etc on my car are the Original items. Kevlar under all that different paint colour!!

    The Toshiba car is my car! The sister car to my car was sold away to ford Motor-Sport of South Africa after the Wynns 1000 in Kylami. The car was damaged and written off, the was rebuilt using some Zakspeed parts and was powered with a GAA. The car is being rebuilt there now.
    A good friend of my was working in Europe a few years ago and saw a Gp 5 Zakspeed Capri at Spa. He said it was something else to see and the sound!!
    Of the 5 Gp 5 Escorts built I am sure that my car is only "Original" one competing anywhere today.

    The photos attached are a couple of great advertising posters from the period, 3 of Harvey Yap, in 2 different colour schemes and as the car arrived. The photo in Mampe colours was taken in Johor Curcuit, the 2 others with Rothmans sponsorship were taken in Penang and Buta Tiga Curcuit KL.
    The last one is from the Nurburgring 300 1977.

    Cheers,

    Gary.
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  13. #13
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    A fabulous car and we are extremely fortunately here in NZ to be able to see and hear this car racing. Thanks Gary.

  14. #14
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    Name:  82_Harvey_001.jpg
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    This then would be your car, driven by Ian Grey in the Guia race at Macau in 1981

  15. #15
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    There are also clips during this, however it is in CHinese

  16. #16
    Weekend Warrior
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    I took this photo in 1982, its either at Shah Alam or Penang

    Name:  Escort.jpg
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    I was working on a Formula Pacific in Malayisa in "82" and saw the Escort in the pits, the guy I was helping is a friend of Ian Grey's, I spoke to him the other day about the Escort and he is going to look through his pic's as he has some of the Escort & his Pacific doing race prep at Ian's daughters house in KL. He also said the Rotary was fitted in Perth after the BDG had a blow, it was owned by Mike Mattam at the time.
    Cheers, Les

  17. #17
    Hi Guys,

    Yes that is the car, the video from Macau and the photo from Les are both news for me.

    Great to see, thanks very much. Look forward to seeing some more.

    Cheers,

    Gary.

  18. #18
    Its just blows me away what continues to show up on here. The later pics and video of the Escort are amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing the restoration photos Gary. And hearing how you managed to research the cars history. Must have been a mammoth job.

  19. #19
    There are a few zakspeed replica escorts in the fatherland
    i am told only 2 real cars exist 1 in middle earth the other in germany
    the ian Grey escort saga has never really been finalised it has run on ten tenths and there is thought he had 2 escorts the real McCoy and probably built a copy car- is this correct?

    The DRM came once to Donington in 1980 or 81

    I have BMW 320 DRM i will get round to restoring one day
    Yes I know Im behind you guys, i like warm beer and it rains a lot here too.

  20. #20

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