FROM BOY RACER TO CLASSIC ICON THE FORD ESCORT RS2000 BECOMES EVER MORE COLLECTABLE

4/06/2020    

H&H SOLD ONE IN MARCH FOR £65,250 & HAS ANOTHER GOING UNDER THE HAMMER ON JUNE 24TH WITH AN ESTIMATE OF £35,000 - £45,000. A PERFORMANCE CAR FOR THE MASSES IS NOW WORTH MORE THAN MANY A FERRARI, ASTON MARTIN OR JAGUAR!

When the Blue Oval launched the Ford Escort RS 2000 few people would have thought of it as a future classic, selling at auction these days for prices which would have astonished car pundits half a century ago. Certain Jaguar E-Type derivatives are cheaper as are numerous more modern Ferraris and Aston Martins!

A performance machine for the masses, the two-door saloon was – and still is – huge fun to drive. With a punchy 2-litre engine, low kerb weight, specially strengthened bodyshell and entertaining rear-wheel drive handling, the RS 2000 added to the race and rally silverware accrued by its Ford Escort Twin-Cam and RS1600 predecessors.

H&H Classics’ Live Auction Online on June 24th features a rare Stardust Silver example which has been subject to an extensive professional restoration for an estimate of £35,000 to £45,000.

Boasting just three former keepers, the Ford has not only benefited from a comprehensive bodywork refurbishment in its original livery but also had its engine overhauled by renowned specialist Tom Edwards.

The 2-litre Pinto unit features a 205 Block and 32 / 36 twin-choke Weber carburettor, while the interior was re-trimmed by Aldridge using the correct Beta cloth. Riding on Yokahama-shod RS alloys, the Escort is as impressive underneath as on top and even retains its original, and super rare, Hessian jack bag.

The Ford Escort was launched at the 1968 Brussels Motorshow. Acutely aware that the Cortina was in the autumn of its competition career, Ford's competition department had been developing a race/rally version of the model throughout 1967 and had their Twin-Cam variant ready to roll. The company was duly rewarded too, winning the World Championship for Makes in both 1968 and 1969.

Among the Escort's most memorable early competition wins was, however, the model's domination of the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally - the 1860cc push-rod engine cars finishing 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th. To capitalise on the success, Ford created the limited edition AVO-built Escort Mexico in time for the 1971 season. Its specially strengthened Type 49 shell was fitted with Rallye Sport suspension and brakes and powered by a 1600cc 'Kent' engine. The model was even given its own dedicated race series - the Mexico Challenge. By now, the 1600cc BDA-engine RS1600 was taking over from the Twin-Cam and in 1973 that the company announced the RS2000.

Introduced in June that year, the RS2000 MKI was destined to be the last model to be built at Ford's legendary AVO (Advanced Vehicle Operations) Plant. Based around the same strengthened Type 49 monocoque bodyshell as its predecessors, the newcomer boasted equally predictable / entertaining handling thanks to the provision of Macpherson strut independent front suspension, a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle, servo-assisted disc / drum brakes and rack and pinion steering. An unusual tortoise / hare hybrid in that it essentially combined the pace of the highly-strung RS1600 with the reliability of the more pedestrian Mexico, the RS2000 was powered by the Blue Oval's new 1993cc SOHC four-cylinder 'Pinto' engine. A difficult installation - Ford's engineers only managed to shoehorn it in place by removing the standard fan assembly (substituting a thermostatically controlled Kenlowe instead) - the 'Pinto' developed some 100bhp and 108lbft of torque.

Another example SNX 369M sold with H&H Classics in March for £65,250. Its pre-sale estimate was £50000 - £60000.

This 1974 Ford Escort RS 2000 had just one owner from new until 2009 and the current owner at the time of the sale since then. It had been based in same Oxford village since new.


SNX 369M was first registered on 15 May 1974 and retained by its first owner for no less than thirty-five years before passing to its second owner in 2009. Fitted with steel arches from new by Broadspeed in Warwickshire, the car had Dinitrol treatment applied in May 1974 and more recently has been extensively restored over a nine year period to a clearly exemplary standard overall.

Liveried in its original and correct body colour, Stardust, and original interior trim it was accompanied by MoT certificates dating back to 1979. Fitted with Toyo Proxes 205/50/R15 89V tyres this exciting and very collectable RS2000 came with a current MoT to March 2021.

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