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MK1 Escort RS

a blue escort on a race track as part of a driving experience day

The Info

  • Not suitable for juniors
  • No premium upgrade needed

Important Bits:
MK1 Escort RS
Left hand drive manual

The MK1 Escort RS, particularly the RS1600 and RS2000 models, is a revered classic in the world of rally and performance cars. Produced by Ford in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the MK1 Escort RS series was a significant step forward in Ford's performance car line up, combining practicality with remarkable sporting capabilities.

The RS1600 was one of the first cars to use Ford's BDA engine, a 1.6-litre, 16-valve unit developed by Cosworth, which later became synonymous with high-performance engines in motorsport. This engine, known for its power and reliability, made the RS1600 a formidable competitor in rally racing. The car's lightweight construction, combined with the potent engine and rear-wheel-drive layout, contributed to its agile handling and responsive driving dynamics, characteristics that made it highly successful in competition.

The RS2000, introduced slightly later, featured a 2.0-litre Pinto engine. This model was known for its distinctive droop-snoot front end and round headlamps, which set it apart from other Escort models. The RS2000 was more road-focused compared to the RS1600, offering a good balance between everyday usability and sporty performance. It was popular among driving enthusiasts for its robust engine, enjoyable driving experience, and distinctive styling.

The MK1 Escort RS models retained the practical and straightforward look of the standard Escort but included modifications like flared wheel arches, larger wheels, and sometimes additional rally equipment for competition versions. These changes not only enhanced the car's performance but also gave it a more aggressive and purposeful appearance.

The interiors of these cars were relatively spartan, focusing more on functionality than luxury, in line with the cars' sporting intent. Instrumentation was geared towards driving, with additional gauges and dials in some models to monitor engine performance.

Today, the MK1 Escort RS models are highly sought after by collectors and classic car enthusiasts. They are celebrated for their heritage in rallying, their pioneering engineering, and their role in the evolution of performance cars. Driving an MK1 Escort RS offers a nostalgic journey back to the roots of performance motoring, where the connection between driver, car, and road was more direct and unfiltered.

Participating in a driving experience with the MK1 Escort RS offers a unique and thrilling dive into the world of classic rally cars. As enthusiasts strap into the driver’s seat of this iconic vehicle, they're instantly connected to a rich history of motorsport. The MK1 Escort RS, renowned for its success in rally racing, delivers a raw and unfiltered driving experience.

Its lightweight body, combined with a potent engine, makes every throttle input and steering manoeuvre feel direct and engaging. On the track, drivers experience the car's nimble handling and responsive dynamics, characteristics that made it a legend in rallying. The car's simplicity, devoid of modern electronic aids, challenges drivers to rely on pure driving skill, offering an authentic and exhilarating connection to a bygone era of racing. This track day is not just about speed; it's an immersive lesson in the heritage and craftsmanship of classic performance cars, providing a nostalgic yet adrenaline-filled journey through automotive history.


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