Offered for sale is an extremely rare Ford Escort RS2000 that was one of 100 factory built to Group 1 competition specification.
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Compared to the standard 110bhp production RS2000, the comprehensively uprated Group 1-equipped version was priced at DM20,000 compared to DM14,000 and featured:
- blueprinted engine producing 160bhp at 6800rpm with Gr.1 cylinder head, Gr.1 cam profile, two Weber 44 IDF carburettors, Gr.1 inlet manifold, Gr.1 extended dipstick, Gr.1 pancake airbox and Gr.1 big bore exhaust manifold
- Rocket close ratio gearbox (with 3.545:1 final drive ratio to this car)
- Atlas rear axle with Limited Slip Differential
- Gr.1 braking distributor
- Gr.1 throttle cable
- ATS Gr. 1 Ford RS 6 x 13 deep spoke alloy wheels
- Re-positioned battery for optimal weight distribution
- Stripped shell with integral roll cage (overall dry weight of 885kg compared to 925kg)
- Scheel Ford RS fixed-back racing bucket seats
- Klippan 4-point racing harnesses
- Carello spot lights for endurance racing / rallying
For FIA Group 1 homologation, manufacturers had to build 5000 production cars over a 12 month period.
Most Mk2 RS2000’s competing in period Group 1 class events were simply regular production models that had been uprated by their owners with any combination of Group 1 parts, most of which were available from the Ford Rally Sport catalogue.
This car though is number 19 of 100 that were constructed from scratch as competition cars during early 1977. They were the first competition derivatives of the Mk2 Escort RS2000 built which, after its launch in January 1976, had been produced in sufficiently large numbers for Group 1 homologation to be granted for 1977.
Intended for use in both top flight circuit racing and rallying, only 100 were built. Each of the major European concessionaires were allocated a handful of examples that were generally reserved for special customers.
In rallying these cars went on to secure many high profile wins and multiple back-to-back championships from 1977 until the end of the decade. At the same time they were also very successful in the European Touring Car Championship that normally comprised endurance races lasting anywhere up to 24 hours.
Few of these factory built competition cars seem to have survived and even fewer have an authentic original shell.
History of GCATTM55000C
Chassis GCATTM55000C was manufactured in March 1977. Painted Diamond White and delivered to the Italian Ford concessionaire, it was the 19th of these Group 1 RS2000's built.
The new car was purchased by Pietro Beltrandi who owned a Ford dealership in Saluzzo, Italy. Beltrandi acquired the RS2000 to contest the 1978 rally season running under the Autosalone Beltrandi banner.
The car was first registered on January 6th 1978 and issued with the license plate CN 408493 as confirmed by official documentation in the history file.
Emblazoned with an orange and blue striping kit, Beltrandi’s RS2000 contested the 2-litre Group 1 class on the following events in 1978:
25-26/02/1978 NRT Rally Team 971 (Beltrandi / Simone) 22nd oa, 9th in class (#60)
13-14/05/1978 NRT Rally Dei Vini (Beltrandi /Simone) 12th oa, 3rd in class (#60)
17-18/06/1978 NRT Rally Valli Pinerolesi (Beltrandi / Simone) 6th in class (#60)
01-02/07/1978 NRT Rally Ruota d’Oro (Beltrandi / Simone) 11th oa, 3rd in class (#60)
05-06/08/1978 IRC Trofeo Colline di Romagna (Beltrandi / Simone) result unknown (#89)
21-22/10/1978 NRT Rally 100,000 Trabuchi (Beltrandi / Simone) result unknown (#60)
NRT = Italian National Rally Championship / IRC = International Rally Championship
For 1979 the RS2000 was purchased by Marco Marchesini and the authorities issued it with a new plate, BZ 293915, as confirmed by official documentation in the history file.
Run under the famed Jolly Club banner with backing from Jagermeister, Marchesini sparingly entered half a dozen events on the World and European Rally Championship over the next three seasons, the undoubted highlight being a 12th overall and 4th in class on the 1980 WRC Sanremo Rally plus Monte Carlo Rally outings in 1980 and ‘81.
26-28/04/1979 ERC Rally dell Isola d’Elba (Marchesini / Caorsi) DNF (#136)
18-20/05/1979 ERC Rally 4 Regioni (Marchesini / Caorsi) DNF (#???)
19-25/01/1980 WRC Rally Monte Carlo (Marchesini / Caorsi) DNF (#253)
17-19/04/1980 ERC Rally dell Isola d’Elba (Marchesini / Caorsi) DNF (#110)
06-11/10/1980 WRC Rally Sanremo (Marchesini / Caorsi) 12th oa, 4th in class (#53)
24-30/01/1981 WRC Rally Monte Carlo (Marchesini / Caorsi) DNF (#198)
After the ‘81 Monte the car did one more event in period, the 1983 NRT Rally 1000 Milgia on 26-27 March wearing number 28 and with Bianchi driving (result unknown). Thereafter the car went through the hands of three further owners during the late 1980’s prior to the penultimate Italian custodian in 1990 who stored the car until 2008 when it was still wearing its same white and blue livery from that final 1983 contest.
The last Italian owner purchased the car in 2008 and after giving the car a straightforward refresh used it in a handful of regularity events before embarking upon a sympathetic restoration in 2012 since which time it has contested another few historic events.
Whereas many Escort competition cars from this era have been re-shelled, this car retains its original bodyshell and nearly all the original Group 1 equipment it left the factory with, right down to the correct Scheel bucket seats and Klippan harnesses.
The car bears the correct chassis plate, AVO plate and VIN stamping on the strut tower.
The shell, which was in a remarkably straight rust-free condition, underwent a comprehensive strip down, repaint and complete re-assembly. Photographs on file show it was taken back to a bare shell and comprehensively restored. A dyno sheet from January 2012 shows the engine as producing 157.8bhp at 6550rpm. Since restoration, the car has contested around a half dozen regularity type events always with complete reliability.
We have recently spent nearly £5000 having this car prepared at one of our local classic Ford specialists. Work included an oil change and filter, new timing belt, spark plugs, half shafts, propshaft centre bearing, thermostat, washer jet set, washer bottle & pump assembly, platinum battery and rear lights. New brake discs, pads, calipers, backing plates, drums, shoes and pipes were fitted along with a reconditioned brake master cylinder, handbrake linkage dust boot and rod axle guide bush. New wheel bearings and cylinders plus Group 1 studs and nuts were also fitted, the special ATS wheels being refurbished and shod with new Yokohama tyres.
It will come issued with a fresh 12-month MOT, runs superbly and is extremely fast. All the instrumentation works as it should and there are no oil leaks. The engine, bay and ancilliaries are all in excellent condition along with the drivetrain, suspension, and brakes.
Depending on what the new owner chooses to do with the car, it can be easily set up to suit any requirement from street use to hillclimbing, rallying or circuit racing.
Structurally the original shell is in superb condition and appears to be completely straight. Re-assuringly the floor and chassis rails display the type of evidence you would hope to see from a car that was professionally rallied but never seriously damaged back in the day.
Overall the paint is in in very good condition with just a few minor imperfections here and there. The decals are also in excellent condition with no peeling. The car looks resplendent in its original and iconic Jagermeister livery.
The car appears to retain all its original date stamped glass from when it left the factory. This is in excellent scratch-free condition and suffering no de-lamination thanks to years of dry storage in Italy. The exterior rubber trim is excellent as are the window, door and boot rubbers.
The correct original Scheel Ford RS fixed-back bucket seats are in incredible original condition having been removed from the car when nearly new and seen very little use in their lifetime. These are extremely hard to find and very valuable in their own right. The period Klippan four-point harness are also in very good condition although the old stitched labels are slowly coming away. The steering wheel is the correct original three-spoke leather-rimmed competition type with rubber RS boss still in place. There is no carpet or sound insulation, just black rubber matting in the driver and passenger footwells.
There are no cracks in the dash and all the instruments operate as they should along with the roof-mounted navigator torch for night rallying. Door trims are the correct type and in excellent condition as is the correct original type roll cage. An Automobile Club d’Italia brass plaque is mounted on the rear parcel shelf.
This car has cast-iron provenance with the following documentation:
- copy Italian Registration logbook (confirming both Italian number plates used)
- Automobile Club d’ Italia certification
- Automotoclub Storico Italiano certification
- current UK V5C Registration Certificate
- current UK MOT certificate (issued 22nd December 2017, no advisories)
- period entry lists and results
- pre and post restoration photos
- restoration bills and outline of work
- period rallying photographs
This car is eligible for a host of desirable events from serious circuit racing and rallying to more relaxed regularity type affairs.
It could be a very competitive proposition in any discipline and with practically every part available off-the-shelf will also be a relatively inexpensive vehicle to maintain.
Considering the prices being achieved for low mileage RS road cars and other factory RS racing cars of the period, I believe this car represents good value in the current marketplace.
Although now MOT and tax exempt, a new MOT will be issued upon sale.
Part exchange possible.
Please call 07758 845837 or send me a message to book an appointment to view. Car located in central Bournemouth.
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