1972 Ford Escort Mk1 RS1600 - BDA by 'HPE' For Sale
The revered RS1600 and fully restored.
To be sold by Silverstone Auctions at ‘Autosport International’ on Saturday 12th January 2019 at the NEC, near Birmingham (B40 1NT). For more information please contact classic car specialist Joe Watts 00 44 (0) 7779 082707.
Lot number: 346 - Estimate (£): 60,000 - 70,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)
- Only 1,137 RS1600s were produced in total
- The RS1600 utilised the legendary competition-bred Cosworth-developed BDA engine
- Sports suspension, a strengthened body-shell, and steel Forest/Bubble arches
- Subject to a fully documented and exacting restoration. Superbly presented in Copper Brown
- Specification includes a 1993cc BDA engine built by 'Harris Performance Engines' costing in excess of £20,000
The original Ford Escort was introduced at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1968 and soon became a commercial success as an attractive small family saloon. Ford had, for a number of years, used active participation in motorsport as a means of getting their showroom doors swinging on a Monday morning, and the new Escort was to prove no exception. Popular at club level in every discipline of the sport, it was at International level that the name 'Escort' became synonymous with winning. The Ford works team was practically unbeatable in the late 1960s / early 1970s, and arguably, the Escort's greatest victory was in the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally being driven by Finnish legend Hannu Mikkola. This result and the ensuing acclaim prompted Ford to produce the famous Escort Mexico (1.6-litre 'Kent'-engine) road version in honour of the rally car.
One step up from the Mexico, the Escort 'RS1600' was developed using an engine that was essentially a detuned Formula 3 unit designated BDA (Belt Drive 'A' Series). Both the Mexico and RS1600 were built simultaneously at the Ford Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) facility located at the Aveley Plant in South Essex. As well as higher performance engines and sports suspension, these models featured strengthened body shells, making them ideal for rallying.
Even today, Mk1 Escorts are still very popular in the historic rallying scene with their reputation for a great balance of power and handling, making them true driver's cars. The BDA engine emits a distinctive and appealing 'growl', which can be heard for quite a distance when the vehicle is being driven hard. Only 1,137 RS1600s were produced in total and with many of them ending their days against solid objects, they are now quite rare and hugely collectable.
The car presented here is an Escort Mk1 RS1600 which has recently been the subject of a fully documented and extensive restoration, done to an impeccable standard. A few years ago our vendor bought the best example he could with a view to creating the ultimate RS1600. The jewel-like BDA engine has been fully rebuilt by 'Harris Performance Engines' (HPE) of Maidstone, who are considered to be one of the best and most sought-after Ford engine builders in the country. Their BDA engine builds cost in excess of £20,000 but are exceptional. The rest of the car has also been prepared to a similar standard, with specialists 'Central Classic Restoration' of Wednesbury and 'Aldridge Trimmers' of Wolverhampton ensuring that the AVO shell and RS interior are both in the best possible order. The striking Copper Brown paintwork works particularly well with the wider stance of the steel Forest arches, giving this car a touch of rally-styling for the road. The car is now offered at a very tempting guide price given the total expenditure on the superb restoration.
Registration: RRE 727L
Chassis Number: BFATMR10849
Engine Number: SC04302
Number of cylinders: 4
Year of Manufacture: 1972
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
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