Rally legends don’t come more famous than the Ford Escort. Ask any experienced rally driver about their favourite rally car and almost often enough the unanimous answer will be the Ford Escort. The Escort was a commercial success in Europe, especially in the UK, and grew to fame thanks to their unbeatable dominance in the late ‘60s / early ‘70s rally championships.
The Mk2 Escort debuted in January 1975 and was much squarer than the Mk1 but it still used the same mechanical components. Like the Mk1, the Mk2 Escort also enjoyed a successful rallying career further cementing its name in the history books.
It’s no different here in Malaysia. Ford Escorts are highly coveted items and can fetch a high price, especially the 2-door models. Most Escort owners prefer to keep their Escorts as close to original as possible, but there are those who also take it up a notch.
We spotted this awesome Mk2 Escort at the 2014 Art Of Speed Asia, and it turns out that it has the same owner as the Holden Monaro in this issue. Rajinder Mohan Mayer of Home Restorations is a man of excellent taste, and he isn’t afraid to put his beloved Escort under the knife.
The first thing that draws you towards it is its metallic dark green paintjob with yellow stripe accents. A fitting colour combination matched only by the X-Pack wide body kit; reserved for the hardcore Ford models. So I bet it makes you wonder, what kind of motor lies inside of this mean machine?
Pop the hood and you will be greeted with a piece of engineering marvel. This is no ordinary 1.6-liter Escort motor. This is in fact a special Cosworth motor which has been completely rebuilt, fully balanced, blueprinted and fitted with a rare crossflow cylinder head. The internals have been spiced up with high compression pistons and the head runs a 285° camshaft from Piper Cams with upgraded double valve springs. Air is fed via twin Weber 40 DCOE carburetors, a highly sought after item for carburetor motors. Power is transferred through a 4-speed manual gearbox which has been equipped with an upgraded clutch to compensate for the increase in power.
For a car weighing less than a tonne and producing such power, this beast of an Escort requires 235/40/17 Achilles tyres to put the power down, while the 5-spoke 17-inch Centerline Wheels nicely retains the classic look of the Escort. Overall the car has been lowered by 2 inches and given specially made Titan coilovers up front. The brakes are original items, but the discs have drilled holes for better heat dissipation.
The interior has been tastefully upgraded to equally match the exterior. Everything has been wrapped in full leather, including the Recaro semi bucket seats for the front occupants. The owner gets to enjoy driving with a host of Momo items, consisting of a steering wheel, gearknob, handbrake, and pedals.
After all these years the Escort remains to be one of the most fun and engaging cars of all time, even by today’s standards. That’s why it is immortalized as a classic and I have no doubt it will continue to entertain drivers for generations to come.
Car: Ford Escort Sport Mk2
Engine: Cosworth 1.6-liter crossflow cylinder head, fully balanced and blueprinted, twin Weber 40 DCOE carburetors, high compression pistons, Piper Cams 285° camshaft, double valve springs, custom exhaust
Electronics: OEM Distributor
Transmission: 4-speed manual gearbox, upgraded clutch
Chassis & Handling: Titan coilovers in front, lowered by 2 inches all around
Brakes: Original with drilled rotors
Wheels & Tyres: 17-inch Centerline Wheels, 235/40/17 Achilles tyres
Interior: Full leather with Recaro semi bucket seats in front, Momo steering wheel, Momo gearknob, Momo handbrake, Momo pedals
Exterior: Full original X-Pack wide body kit
Garage: Home Restorations