1978 Ford Escort RS1800, Group 4, Safari spec., period restored. For Sale
Model: Escort RS1800
Series: MK II
Homologation number: 650
Shell builder: Safety Devices
Shell type: Works Safari spec., service shell, auto transmission tunnel
Shell number: SD 214
Engine type: Cosworth BDG, aluminum alloy, 1975cc, in line 4 cyl., 16 valve DOHC, Cosworth L1 inlet, Cosworth BD3 exhaust, dry sump, double Weber 48 DCOE carbureted, 261bhp at 9000 rpm
Engine preparation: A. V. J. Developments Ltd, Race Rally and Road Engines, Pershore, UK
Engine block number: AVJ 80057
Engine block cast number/markings: H721F 6010AA / SM (Sterling Metals produced for FORD)
Cylinder head number: AVJ 80057
Camshaft carrier number: AVJ 80057
Gearbox model: ZFS5-18/3
Gearbox type, ratios: 5 speed, full synchromesh, 2.30/1.80/1.35/1.14/1.0
Gearbox number: 014999
Rear axle type: Ford Atlas, free-floating 5-inked, thick-wall / double tube reinforced
Rear axle number: 69GG-4198-A-A
This RS1800 Group 4 Escort was sourced in 1980 by rally expert Tim Davis for its works specifications on behalf of a promising and affluent Greek rally driver of the era. A new engine was supplied by Tony Jones of A.V.J. Developments at Pershore UK to produce 265bhp at 9000 rpm. Once ready, the car and engine were dispatched to the owner’s workshop in Athens, Greece to be finalized for the upcoming rally season by his team’s experts under the supervision of Mr. Davis. The body remained free of liveries till 1981 when it was decided to feature Moretti’s MOMO decals as the owner represented the brand in Greece. The performance of the owner and his team gained enough attention by the media and the car was subsequently featured in a special article in Greece’s most popular automobile magazine, namely 4Troxoi, June 1982 issue, p.32-38. Notably the impression the car left to the magazine’s chief editor and established rally driver was so profound that he decided to race it himself a year later in 1983 ‘Pititsa’ Hillclimb. Soon after the car was bought and raced by another driver only to be sold in 1984 to its last owner, a well-respected rally driver and member of Greece’s most established family of rally drivers. After several rallies, the owner decided to store the car amongst his private collection of special cars. Three decades later, the owner’s son, an engineer himself, decided to conduct an exhaustive 3-year long grounds-up restoration reviving the car to its former glory. All parts and equipment the car was fitted with between 1984 and 1986 were preserved and reconditioned. The engine, gearbox, drivetrain, steering, suspension and brakes were overhauled using NOS parts from 1984 as outlined below. The accident-free body received hand scraping to bare metal and restored to its original condition. In January 2019 the car was test driven in a private road.
Body stripped down to bare metal by hand scraping, prepared and resprayed in Ford Snow White.
Original to the car Safety Devices multipoint (14 point) bolt-on roll cage was reconditioned with side bars fitted.
Original strut brace preserved and installed.
New Old Stock (NOS) steel bonnet, steel boot with alloy spoiler, steel front fenders and Boreham alloy arches from owner’ 1984 team stock of spares were fitted with original boot and fenders stored.
Weld-in FIA spec Seat mounts.
Laminated front windshield, toughened driver’s main, toughened passenger’s main and toughened passenger’s side window were cleansed and fitted with new seals.
Rear windshield and driver’s side window were replaced with toughened period correct original Ford glass.
Original to the car Cosworth-designed A.V.J. developments engine. Original A.V.J. – Hart Designed FORD alloy engine block, original A.V.J. cylinder head, original A.V.J. camshaft carrier, original A.V.J. cast alloy camshaft lid, original L1/BD3 Cosworth camshafts, original Safari spec. radiator (re-cored), original Kenlowe 8-blade fan, original Webers 48 DCOE and all hose fittings were retained and reconditioned for general overhauling of the engine.
New forged Cosworth pistons, cylinder liners, forged steel connecting rods, ARP bolts, valve springs, valve platforms, valve retainers, camshaft buckets, cylinder head studs, gaskets, seals, all Cosworth pulleys, high pressure oil pump, water pump and Weber links were supplied by John Wilcox Competition Engines, Leicestershire, UK towards the general overhaul.
New engine mounts were placed.
Original Safari-spec. long range alloy casing fuel tank was restored with enlarged inspection hatch and renewed roll over valve
New Advanced Fuel Systems LTD foam-filled bladder was fitted with original Marston bladder stored.
New Facet Red Top fuel pumps (as original ones) were installed. New Goodridge fuel hoses were placed using most original as well as new Goodridge fittings.
Original dry sump container and catch tank were preserved connected to new Goodridge piping.
Original AP Purolator oil filter was overhauled and connected.
New 16-row Mocal lub-oil cooler (as original one) was installed.
Original to the car Zanspeed 4 to 2 to 1 manifold was retained and sealed in place with new gaskets.
Stainless steel middle and rear sections were made by hand to original specifications and connected to the manifold.
Gearbox: Original to the car ZF gearbox was overhauled with all synchros, seals and bearings renewed with original parts.
Clutch: Original ‘quick release’ bell housing, 12-bolt steel flywheel, original AP Racing 2-plate lug mount clutch, original Gartrac pedal box were repaired and fitted along with new master and slave cylinders.
Rear axle: Original 5-linked free floating Atlas thick wall double tube-reinforced was restored with new bearings and seals.
Differential: Original ZF Limited Slip Differential in 5.1 ratio was repaired with new discs, bearings and seals
Steering / Suspension
Original Gartrac cross member reconditioned with new heavy-duty engine mount bushings fitted.
Original double width anti roll bar was reconditioned with new heavy-duty bushings.
Original Gartrac quick 2.4 ratio rack was overhauled and fitted with new heavy-duty bushings.
Original steering knuckles and hubs were preserved and overhauled.
Original rear suspension leafs were reconditioned.
NOS adjustable forest/gravel struts fitted with Bilstein inserts were placed from owner’s stock of spares.
NOS Gartrac top mounts and UNF track rod ends were sourced and fitted.
MOMO Cavallino steering wheel (as original one) was bolted in place.
Original Lockheed CP2361 4-pot in the front with vented discs and CP2383 2-pot in the rear with solid discs were overhauled with new AP pistons, seals and bleed valves
Original hydraulic handbrake and adjustable brake bias were reconditioned.
All flexible hoses and fittings were supplied by Goodridge.
All hard lines and master cylinders were renewed.
Original 13-inch magnesium Minilites fitted from owner’s stock of spares.
Original wiring loom was checked and conserved with new connectors installed.
Original alternator was overhauled and connected.
Both original fuse boxes were restored with period-correct switches and reproduced labels.
Original steering column was situated with original levers preserved.
New period-correct Lucas distributor, ignition amplifier, coil and leads were supplied by John Wilcox with originals stored.
Period correct Hella H4 headlights, CIBIE spot lamps and drive lamps were sourced, overhauled and fitted.
CB transceiver was replaced with period correct Hitachi CB unit and aerial.
Tripmaster Terratrip 2 was sourced and fitted as per original specifications.
Lumenition rev-limiter fitted for engine safety.
Single battery to upgraded engine starter fitted, with original dual battery set up and battery base preserved.
Upgraded starter fitted with original stored.
Period correct fuel pump relays installed for fuel supply safety.
New VDO fuel gauge installed.
Original driver’s Recaro seat with recliner was re-padded with original trim preserved.
Original passenger’s Sparco seat repaired and re-padded with original trim preserved.
Four-point Sabelt seat belts (out-of-date) were secured with original Sabelt-Britax seatbelts available.
Original Bilstein quick lift jack was reconditioned.
Original cabin-mounted tool pouch was cleansed and moisturized.
Original helmet loops were hand scraped and resprayed
New as per original plumbed-in 4-nozzle manually operated fire extinguisher system installed.
New handheld extinguisher.
New pull cables were installed using the original handles to maintain originality.
Preserving its authenticity and heritage renders this RS1800 as one of the most original cars ever offered for sale. It is ready to show or race at any historic rally event.
Prepared by Gabriele Terzi at the time starting from a new Ford chassis. The car was rented leased until 1982; at the time participating in several races of Italian Touring Championship with various drivers.
In 1982 it was purchased by trainer Narciso that the chartered for hill-climb races.
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