Whilst Ford’s Rallying history can be traced back to before the Escort, 1968 is the important year as far as the blue oval rally fans are concerned, as this year saw the launch of the Mk 1 Escort. The rear wheel drive Escorts dominated rallying until Ford switched development to its aborted RS1700T project and ultimately the Group B RS200.
Following the FISA decision to ban Group B cars, Ford rallied the Sierra and Sierra Saphire Cosworths successfully, but they were beset with reliability issues. Therefore Ford set about building a new Escort rally car from the ground up, taking the engine and the running gear from the four-wheel drive Sierra Cosworth, shortening it to fit into a modified Mk5 escort body shell.
Ford’s wait for a win lasted only 5 weeks as on their next event the Escort Cosworths place 1st and 2nd in Portugal, with Francis Delecour setting 18 fastest stage times. The Escort RS Cosworth remained exceeding competitive up to its replacement, by the Escort World Rally car in 1997, following changes to the regulations made by the FIA.
This particular car (K744GOO) is a genuine Ex-works Ford Escort Cosworth, built by Mike Little Preparations (MLP) on behalf of Ford. The car in group N spec was entered into the 1993 World Rally Championship under the management of Marlboro Team Ford and competed in 6 rallies including the Sweden, Portugal, Acropolis, Argentina, Sanremo and Catalunya rallies with its best finish being 6th overall and 1st in class in Argentina. Its engine is a 4 cylinder, 2 litre in line, transversely mounted in the front of the car with twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and produces circa 300+BHP.
The car was driven on the 1993 campaign by Mohammed Bin Sulayem, Arabia’s most successful rally driver to date, having won the Middle East Rally a record 6 times. His Co-driver was an Irishman called Ronan Morgan who was also highly experienced, having previously co-driven for Billy Coleman, Mark Lovell, Tony Pond and Russell Brookes.
The car was released from Mohammad’s private collection and brought back to the UK in 2005. In 2010 the car was bought by its current owner who proceeded to undertake a thorough restoration with the guidance of Dick Cormack and Jim Little (MLP) who originally built the car in 1993 for the Marlboro Ford Team.
Since its restoration in 2010 the car has been used for demonstration purposes including appearing at Top Gear Live on three separate occasions and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the last four years.
Please note that a spares package including wheels, tyres and an original Marlboro service badge is offered under a separate post sales negotiation.
4 cylinder, 2 litre in line, transversely mounted in the front of the car, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, 300+BHP.