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A collectable very rare AVO Mk1 Ford Escort RS1600 Custom in astounding condition.
Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) Type 49 body, front quarter bumpers, flared front wings, strengthened chassis rails, strengthened flitch plates, reinforced front suspension strut top mounting plates, rear radius rods, safety glass, anti-burst locks, black painted aluminium grille, six pod sports binnacle, leather rimmed sports steering wheel, heater fan, two speed wiper, courtesy light, washable plastic headlining, push-round ashtray. Factory fitted options: Custom Pack.
This Club Registered immaculate example is finished in Electric/Monza Blue, (Code U), exactly the colour it was produced in at the AVO facility. Attention to detail can be witnessed in every conceivable area from the obvious panel gaps to the spectacular underside, all factory correct and as manufactured by Fords Advanced Vehicle Operations. This vehicle was owned by marque expert, Andrew Stapley, proprietor of ASM Restorations who carried out the meticulous works to the original shell and is a showpiece. Correct fixtures and trim adorn the exterior such as FoMoCo rear lights and Cibie sealed-beam units and the chrome has a mirror finish. The triple coachline which came as part of the Custom Pack is fitted and the original FoMoCo side glass has some minor marks along with the front screen. Unmodified, factory correct and rarely available.
Having the optional Custom Pack specified from new this example is fitted with Contour semi-bucket seats in grey herringbone with matching cloth trimmed rear seats, the drivers bolster has some wear to the original material. An immaculate black looped-pile carpet with the sound insulation kit is fitted and all door cards, headlining and padded dash top is unmarked. The RS three-spoke steering wheel with leather rim is lovely offering a view to the prized 140mph speedometer and 8,000rpm rev counter only fitted to the early examples. A desirable and optional black plastic coin tray with detachable ice scraper remains in situ. All gauges function along with the heater fan on both speed settings. The boot area has the original blue jack and wheel brace wrapped in the fawn muslin bag and the immaculate body coloured boot-floor bears the eight studs for the black stone deflector fitted underneath. Perfectionists will note the FoMoCo branded earth strap and black rear light protectors. Stunning.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The amazing Cosworth-designed BDA (Belt Driven A series) engine boasts a 16-valve cylinder head with twin belt-driven cams and is instantly recognisable with the cam cover finished in hammered pale blue. Competition-bred with a 1601cc engine quoted at 120bhp with 0-60mph despatched in 8.9secs and a top speed of 113mph. As noted on the Ford RS1600 Register, this example is fitted with an earlier 691M cast iron block rather than the 711M cast iron block and has the Twin-Weber 40DCOE carburettors. Everything under the bonnet is beautifully detailed to show standard. The 4-speed gearbox engages with ease with a positive clutch feel.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Immaculate 5.5x13in pressed steel wheels with cooling slots and stainless domed hub caps are shod in matching Firestone 175/70 R13 tyres with excellent tread. The remote servo-assistance brakes powered by the early Girling Powerstop system with the steel connection pipe clipped across the body slam panel on a standard single line circuit has 9.625in front discs and rear drums to offer adequate braking.
A total of just 1,154 RS1600s were made, (Source: Factory-original Sporting Mk1 Escorts by Dan Williamson), with most being extensively raced and rallied and very few genuine survivors remain. Built at Fords Advanced Vehicle Operations factory in Aveley in December 1971 this example is importantly recorded on the RS1600 Register. Supplied new by Tate Cars Ltd in Leeds on the 10th April 1972 only three former keepers are recorded on the new style registration V5. Documents in the history file and with the Club track each owner, any engine changes and significant dates, for example in 1996 when the colour was changed to Le Mans Green. A copy of the original Buff Log Book is also present. Photographs in the history file reveal the comprehensive works carried out by highly regarded ASM Restorations with this example being owned by the business owner himself. Subsequently sold into a huge Ford collection with the current custodian, Mr Dell, owning one other RS1600 and a Twin Cam amongst many others. A unique, very rare opportunity and the holy grail of any Ford collection.
MOT November 2019, Tax Exempt, HPI Clear.
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