1971 Ford Escort Mk1

We’re not going to lie, we didn’t really think the Ford Escort would be the sort of car that we wrote about on The Coolector but, truth be told, we forgot just how cool they were back in the day – as this 1971 Ford Escort Mk1, which is going under the hammer with Stratas, admirably illustrates. For those with a love of old school motors with a racing vibe, this one is definitely for you.

It’s fair to say that few cars demand as much affection among rally fans as the Ford Escort Twin Cam. These rather understated cars propelled Ford’s Competitions Department to the top of the rally world winning two World Rally Manufacturer’s Championships and a string of international victories – so they definitely deserve the adulation. The successes kick-started Ford’s famous Advanced Vehicle Operations plant and Rallye Sport performance dynasty and this 1971 Ford Escort Mk1 from Stratas is your opportunity to own a piece of iconic motor racing lore.

Extremely Rare Example

This spectacular 1971 Mk 1 Escort Twin Cam was one of just three twin-cam examples delivered new to Ford of Portugal so it’s a rare opportunity for any classic car fans out there. The car was converted to left-hand drive in Portugal when new and it is powered by a 1.6-litre DOHC inline-four with Weber 40DCOE carburettors backed by a 4-speed manual gearbox. The engine was rebuilt by Brett Sims Motorsport, Hampton, UK. While never having been completely restored, the car has had an exterior repaint at some point so looks in excellent condition.

The original finish can be seen in the trunk and engine compartments of this 1971 Ford Escort MK1 from Stratas. The majority of Halewood built twin cam cars were finished in Ermine White, however Maize Yellow and Sunset Red were offered as special-order options at the end of production. This is thought to be one of three factory produced Sunset Red cars – a rare breed indeed which will make it all the more alluring for motor racing aficionados. 

While the car did not campaign in period, it has taken part in a number of vintage rally events including the 2013 Rally Costa Brava Historic and the 2014 Bordeaux Sud-Ouest Classic. Some modifications have been carried out on it which includes a roll bar, racing seats (original seats included with sale though), rally instrumentation and a driver’s side view mirror. Lotus badges have been added to the correct Springalex steering wheel, front grille and rear deck lid. It has slotted front and rear disc brakes and Minilite alloy wheels with Vredstein tires all around.

Old School Interiors

The interior of this particular Mk1 has been fitted for rallying with instrumentation, rally timers, roll bar and fire extinguisher installed to give it a really authentic rallying look and feel. The installed seats are quilted vinyl with cloth inserts and they are presented in excellent condition to deliver a great race performance in comfort.

The added rally instrumentation is all in good working condition, as are the original gauges so you can guarantee this Ford will gather a lot of attention at classic car meets and races. A Lotus emblem has been affixed to the steering wheel. As with other rally cars, the interior is sparse, but functional and delivers just about enough comfort for a day on a historic rally circuit or just cruising around the neighbourhood.

Leo Davie
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