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Thread: Ford Escort

  1. #1

    Ford Escort

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    Has there ever been a car as popular with racers as the MkI and MkII Ford Escort? This diminutive little British family saloon was first launched in 1968, and was an instant hit with racers around the world. Ford were keen to demonstrate their sporting prowess using the Escort as a showcase, and quickly released a 1,600cc Twin-Cam version which enjoyed huge success in saloon car racing.


    Within six years of its release, Ford had produced 2 million Escorts.


    Its availability, affordability, size, weight, and enormous range of performance parts made the Escort a hugely popular choice among competitors regardless of the strength of their budget, and these are qualities the model still enjoys today in historic racing.


    The MkII was released in 1975, and although the racing world had changed almost beyond recognition in the seven years that separated the release of the MkI and MkII, the MkII would go on to enjoy plenty of success in its own right.


    It wasn't just the Twin-Cam, FVA, FVC, and later BDA variant powered Escorts that found favour with competitors, numerous attempts were made to mate the Escorts light weight and nimble handling with much larger, or much more powerful engines, and competitors explored everything from turbocharging, to V8 conversions, with mixed results. But they all added to the history of the Escort in competition, and its incredible versatility.


    Today, both the MkI and MkII Escort is as popular as ever with racers in both historic and club competition, and still has few equals when it comes to cheap thrills. So here's a salute to the Ford Escort, and its long standing fan base. Go ahead and share your photos and stories of Escorts past and present.....

  2. #2
    Semi-Pro Racer
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    Unfortunately my period NZ Escorts pix are either crap or unscanned. Both, in most cases...

  3. #3
    Ford Escorts have long been popular in Australian Sports Sedan racing.

    Mick monterosso's BDG powered Mk1.


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    Trevor Bridge in a Mazda rotary engined Mk1.


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    John Strudwick with a 6litre V8 powered car.


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    I won't forget Mk2 Escorts.

    The Trevor Ashby/Steve Reed V8 powered car,



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    And the Monterosso's RS6000 Mk2.


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  4. #4
    Killer shots there timbo, thanks for posting. As much as I love the Monterosso RS6000 (and it was a fast car too!) Micks BDG powered MkI is an absolute ripper. Do you know what became of these cars? Are they still around?

  5. #5
    With regards to the Monterosso Mk1 Escort, I will quote from Lee Nicholle on a different forum (if i am allowed),

    The Monterosso Escort went to Ron Newbound who fitted a rotary. He crashed it big time at Winton and rebuilt the car with a new shell. he used parts of the roll cage and rebuilt the front space frame the same as original. It looked and performed the same after. Probably a better car as the original neded a LOT of work when Mick aquired it. last I knew Kevin Eyles from Victoria had it, still with rotary power.

  6. #6
    Semi-Pro Racer kiwi285's Avatar
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    Not my photo but I loved this car especially as Paul drove the pants off it and stirred up many of the bigger V8's. Jim Richards Carney Racing T/c Escort behind him. Real crowd favourites. Great to hear that it is in safe hands and being rebuilt to race again.
    Last edited by kiwi285; 05-25-2011 at 12:42 AM.

  7. #7
    Thanks for that timbo. Keep the pics coming, they're really enjoyable. You must have a bunch that can be added to the Modified 70s and 80s Saloons thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo61 View Post
    With regards to the Monterosso Mk1 Escort, I will quote from Lee Nicholle on a different forum (if i am allowed),

    The Monterosso Escort went to Ron Newbound who fitted a rotary. He crashed it big time at Winton and rebuilt the car with a new shell. he used parts of the roll cage and rebuilt the front space frame the same as original. It looked and performed the same after. Probably a better car as the original neded a LOT of work when Mick aquired it. last I knew Kevin Eyles from Victoria had it, still with rotary power.

  8. #8
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    Goodwood FOS 1996






  9. #9
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    NZ Restored or Replicas.







  10. #10
    Wow, just stunning! Is it a genuine Alan Mann car? I guess it must be given its at Goodwood.

    Thats the earlier post I was referring to.

  11. #11
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Semi-Pro Racer pallmall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Holmes View Post
    Wow, just stunning! Is it a genuine Alan Mann car? I guess it must be given its at Goodwood.

    Thats the earlier post I was referring to.
    I believe it is genuine, can't find my Goodwood programme at the moment to check the description.

  13. #13
    A few Escorts from the 2010 Bruce McLaren Festival at Pukekohe.



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    Last edited by timbo61; 05-25-2011 at 09:52 PM.

  14. #14
    Yep, they were a great little car for having fun in.
    As mentioned in other thread, if any one has any photos of this Escort from days of past mainly run at Baypark, Puke and Taupo in 80s would like to see them.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  15. #15
    Thats a cool little car Rod, can you share some of the details of it?

  16. #16
    There you go Steve, Couple of shots of how it looked in Shellsport/club guise. Sister car to Carney (Williment) car and raced by Murray Soames, Think Platt did some and Vern McLaren and then sat for awhile and Robert Van Gisbergen did a deal (as he did) and had it for awhile. I raced against him for couple of seasons in Angle Box and then in 83 Cheese did deal with me and I have had it since. Originally Twin cam but did later years with 2ltr OHV. Good fun car.

    Jan 2013. Since been informed that Bryce did not have car, but still researching as it is not all clear at this stage. Definately Soames connection. Apparently built to same as Carney car at time.
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    Last edited by Rod Grimwood; 02-09-2013 at 11:21 PM.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=pallmall;441]


    I built a 'Street' version of this Escort around 1980/81, 4/door,same paint scheme,fitted with a 2litre motor and Box ,even had the'round' holes cut in the front pan,split bumpers from a wrecked Escort van, it went like that stuff of the 'shanghi'........nearly finished and a friend decided that it was just what he wanted for the 'good' lady wife...I'm trying to explain that its reasonably Q.U.I.C.K, so I subjest he jumps in.....well up till now I had only had a couple of 'Development' drives to over come some Overheating problem.....so around the back of the Ford dealership I was contracting to at that time where we had a residential 'test Track' and I stand on it!!!!!

    1st...2ndddd......3rdddddddd......4thhhhhhhhhhhhh..comming up to the T.intersection,apply the Brakes,.............what F#*!^'n brakes!!????

    I had over looked the lack of brakes the basic Escort was provided with by the parent Company!!!!

    Well, I'm all over the Gearbox ,rowing back down the selection ava,thinking ,Turn left ,go with the flow,so around the corner, ease back down, look across to my prospective buyer who has this 4ft wide grin on his face,exclaiming ..."Shit,Yes,this sucker hauls,how soon can I pick it up"?????????........I never mentioned the Brakes!!!!!!!!!!!! or how hard I had worked to keep us both alive!!!........................love the Round headlamp look.............regards thunder427?MJ
    Last edited by thunder427; 06-13-2011 at 01:21 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Grimwood View Post
    There you go Steve, Couple of shots of how it looked in Shellsport/club guise. Sister car to Carney (Williment) car and raced by Murray Soames, Think Platt did some and Vern McLaren and then sat for awhile and Robert Van Gisbergen did a deal (as he did) and had it for awhile. I raced against him for couple of seasons in Angle Box and then in 83 Cheese did deal with me and I have had it since. Originally Twin cam but did later years with 2ltr OHV. Good fun car.
    Very cool Rod. Do you still own it?

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=thunder427;1052]
    Quote Originally Posted by pallmall View Post



    I built a 'Street' version of this Escort around 1980/81, 4/door,same paint scheme,fitted with a 2litre motor and Box ,even had the'round' holes cut in the front pan,split bumpers from a wrecked Escort van, it went like that stuff of the 'shanghi'........nearly finished and a friend decided that it was just what he wanted for the 'good' lady wife...I'm trying to explain that its reasonably Q.U.I.C.K, so I subjest he jumps in.....well up till now I had only had a couple of 'Development' drives to over come some Overheating problem.....so around the back of the Ford dealership I was contracting to at that time where we had a residential 'test Track' and I stand on it!!!!!

    1st...2ndddd......3rdddddddd......4thhhhhhhhhhhhh..comming up to the T.intersection,apply the Brakes,.............what F#*!^'n brakes!!????

    I had over looked the lack of brakes the basic Escort was provided with by the parent Company!!!!

    Well, I'm all over the Gearbox ,rowing back down the selection ava,thinking ,Turn left ,go with the flow,so around the corner, ease back down, look across to my prospective buyer who has this 4ft wide grin on his face,exclaiming ..."Shit,Yes,this sucker hauls,how soon can I pick it up"?????????........I never mentioned the Brakes!!!!!!!!!!!! or how hard I had worked to keep us both alive!!!........................love the Round headlamp look.............regards thunder427?MJ
    Great story Myles, and I agree, the red and gold on those cars is as good as it gets. Is there anyone who hasn't owned a MkI or MkII Escort at some point in their lives? Mine was a metallic poo brown MkII Sport. It was rough as guts, sat low on 13" kidney bean mags, had a 1600 with all the good bits, and sounded great. I knew it was bad just walking around it the first time I viewed it, but the guy selling it took me for a blast, and that was it for me. Sold! Then I spent the next six months fixing up all his sloppy work.

  20. #20
    Yes Steve still have it, when I have finished fixing the poor old 72 Mk1 rally car after a fence and gate got in way, I intend to put it back together and do some fun historic events.

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