Launched at the beginning of 1968, Ford’s Escort had a new platform, the new Kent crossflow engine, a new all-synchromesh gearbox and, for the first time on a Ford, rack-and-pinion steering. It was a nice drive, with light controls, a slick gearchange and excellent handling. Ford were not slow to appreciate the potential of the new model, and thus were born a series of fast Escorts, for road, track and rally that brought competition success and a queue of customers looking for a sporting drive.
These Escorts – the GT, the Twin Cam, the RS1600, the Mexico, the RS2000, the Sport and the 1300E – have become more and more collectable, and enthusiasts have revived and restored surviving examples to put them back on the road or back to work in competitive events. Their value has soared, and the rare RS1600 and Twin Cam, in particular, are now almost priceless possessions.
During their production the Mk1 Escorts went through countless changes, large and small, and when restoring one, considering one for purchase, or owning one, it is important to know what its correct original specifications and equipment would have been on the day it left the factory, both for major components like the engine and for details like the gear lever gaiter or the spark plug leads. These things matter not only because they give the satisfaction of having got things right but also because value increases with originality.
This book, then, is the comprehensive guide to originality in all departments for all the sporting Mk1 Escort models. It covers engine, transmission and running gear, body panels, interior and exterior trim and badging, electrics, dashboard, instruments and switches, lamps, under-bonnet components, paint and trim colours – in fact everything right down to the tool kit, from the beginning of production to the end.
Each model has its own section of the book, consisting of a full text description and analysis accompanied by specially commissioned colour photographs showing outstanding examples of the cars in all aspects. For quick reference to accurate information, this formula is hard to beat, while the book also provides a definitive history of the production of all the sporting Mk1 Escorts, enabling the reader to view every model in very considerable detail.