19th Jun, 2024 13:00

Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Lot 30

1972 Ford Escort Mk1 Rally Car

Estimated at £32,000 - £38,000

Lot details

Registration No: KAR 808L
Chassis No: BBATMY09986
MOT: Exempt

  • Featured in Classic Ford magazine (Aug 2009)
  • Build completed in 2007 by competitive rally driver Peter Elliott
  • Vauxhall 2 litre XE, 16 valve engine

The MkI Ford Escort was introduced in Ireland and the United Kingdom at the end of 1967, making its show debut at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1968. The Escort had conventional rear-wheel drive and a four-speed manual gearbox, or three-speed automatic transmission. The suspension consisted of MacPherson strut front suspension and a simple live axle mounted on leaf springs. The Escort was the first small Ford to use rack-and-pinion steering. The Mk1 featured contemporary styling cues in tune with its time: a subtle Detroit-inspired "Coke bottle" waistline and the "dogbone" shaped front grille – arguably the car's main stylistic feature. The MkI Escort became successful as a rally car, and eventually went on to become one of the most successful rally cars of all time. 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.

Built over a three-year period by competitive rally driver Peter Elliott and finished in 2007. The attention to detail he applied during the build is nothing short of outstanding. The car has been lovingly maintained and has covered less than 1,500 miles since then. It remains very close to ‘as built’ condition. 'KAR 808L' was the subject of a six-page spread in Classic Ford magazine (Aug 2009) and they commented that ‘it’s a stunner’ and concluded ‘it’s one of the best new Escorts in a long time.’

Peter Elliott started with a 1300 Sport bodyshell, cut out and replaced any corroded sections and made the following modifications: Seam welded the whole car; Gusseted and triangulated the engine bay; Enlarged the transmission and differential tunnels; Installed a footwell access panel (for speedy gearbox removal); Installed CDS & T45 historic-spec roll cage (seam welded and tied into suspension); Wings given a 20mm greater lip; Brightwork re-chromed; Full bodyshell repaint and brought to a weight of just 960kg

Peter was looking for a bulletproof, reliable yet powerful engine and chose a specification based on a John Cleland championship-winning grass-track unit. The specification is as follows: Vauxhall 2 litre XE, 16 valve; Big valve QED Coscast head with hydraulic lifters (12.3:1 compression ratio); Kent KCD pick up cams; Vernier pulleys; UltraLite all steel bottom end; Forged pistons; Custom built Simpson manifold and stainless-steel exhaust; Twin Weber 45 DCOE’s; Facet race pump; MBE fully mappable ignition; Alloy ‘big winged’ baffled sump; Alloy radiator; Kenlowe fan; Custom alloy expansion and breather tanks; Mocal oil cooler; Uprated alternator; Rolling road set up and reading (at that point) 249bhp (6950rpm) and 204lb.ft (6050rpm).

Again, with the focus on reliable performance, Peter specified and built the following transmission: Ultra-lite steel flywheel; SBD alloy bell housing; Triple plate sintered clutch; Reco-Prop 4” large flange racing propshaft; Tran-X plate type LSD with a 3.89:1 final drive ratio.

This is a rally car but needed to have road manners too. Suspension and steering was specified with: Koni 2.25” coil-overs all round; 250lb springs at the front, 180lb at the rear; Fully adjustable roller bearing top mounts; Fully adjustable TCA’s and compression struts; 5 linked strengthened English axle with Panhard rod; 2.4 ratio quick rack; Strengthened steering column with phosphor bronze bushes. It’s rolling on the road on Laser 4 spokes (6J x 13) with 185/60R13 tyres

Brakes consist of: Capri 2.8i vented discs and calipers at the front; Mk2 Fiesta discs and calipers fitted to rear; balance system (lever in cockpit between seats); braided lines throughout; rally handbrake.

Inside, it’s finished to a very high standard. ‘Functional, everything you need, nothing you don’t’: Group N Prodrive steering wheel; Original six clock dash and dash top; Additional tacho and temp gauges; Custom switchgear; Plumbed in fire extinguisher system; OMP bucket seats; TRS harnesses; Boot mounted battery box, fuel pump and spare wheel.

For more information, please contact:
John Markey
01428 607899


Auction: Imperial War Museum | Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 19th Jun, 2024

An auction of classic, collector and performance motorcars held at the iconic and visually stunning Imperial War Museum, Duxford. Venue Details 

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