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/Drive: The Escort Goes to Rally

MK1 Ford Escort Rally Car

MK1 Ford Escort Rally Car

With all this talk of old school and retro cars, including my previous post on Ken Block hooning a MK2 Ford Escort, I couldn’t help but notice an upcoming feature on /Drive. My favourite Youtube channel announced a two-part episode where the MK1 Ford Escort’s Aussie owner, Sandy takes his beloved car back into rallying. If you love rallying this should be an interesting feature as they’ll show exactly how they set up the car for rally and how they ran.

Check out their preview below.

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DC Shoes Presents Ken Block Ragging A MK2 Ford Escort

Ken Block - 1978 MK2 Ford Escort

Ken Block – 1978 MK2 Ford Escort

Gargling Gas loves Ken Block’s hooning abilities, especially his Hoonicorn ’65 Mustang. Yesterday’s post involved a nostalgic reflection on the tin boxes my Grandfather drove me around in, one being an Austin Metro, the other a MK2 Ford Escort. I recalled a video of Ken Block hooning a MK2, which led to a rather silly mind’s eye image of my Grandfather ragging his sandy coloured MK2 like Block style.

30 years on, the legendary MK1 and MK2 Escorts’ prices are soaring, and the simplistic and lightweight, RWD car is still the preferred choice of chassis to learn the art of rally in.

Check out Block and the 1978 MK2 Ford Escort rally car – I can’t remember where I read it, but I’m sure Block does this from time to time, man and machine stripped of computer aids, a pure way of honing reflexes and skills.

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Skogen Racing: Connoisseurs Of Sleeping

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Skogen Racing Cortina – Mondeo ST220 Engine

This outfit from Sweden are exactly what messing about with cars are all about. Take a 30-year-old car on the verge of being either parted out or scrapped, wrench on it, give it a major heart transplant, and then drift it or race it through forests.

My favourite of the bunch, despite being a massive BMW fan, is the Ford Cortina pictured above and below. Once Skogen Racing have finished with it, you are left with a 950-KG car boasting 306-whp, a transplant from a Ford Mondeo ST220. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than shoe-horning a bigger power plant into the car, the list of modifications more than enough to both harness the extra grunt and stabilise the little car.

306-whp Ford Cortina With A Mondeo ST220 Engine

306-whp Ford Cortina With A Mondeo ST220 Engine

I say ‘messing about with cars’, but Skogen Racing are a little more than that, regularly competing in auto events. When they aren’t injecting serious power into retro cars, they’re either sliding, racing or dragging them, the team often arranging events and meets.

770-bhp BMW Powered Ford Seirra

770-bhp BMW Powered Ford Seirra

Some of their cars do hint as to being modded, but when you consider their Ford Seirra pictured above and its turbo-charged BMW M50B25 transplant, no one would expect it to boast 770-bhp. After swapping the Ford 2.8i V6 for a BMW 2.5-L inline-6, followed by adding a Garrett GT40 turbo, intercooler, injectors and forged pistons to handle the power, I consider this a serious sleeper.

So if I were facing the crusher, this is the way I’d like to go out: smoking and screaming, sliding through the Pearly Gates so violently an immediate one-way ticket to Hell would be issued.

Check out more of Skogen Racings insane livery and the way they add massive power without making it too obvious.

The one gem they did build that can be called a pure sleeper is the MK1 Ford Fiesta featured in their video below. I remember this car as a four-year-old, two of them in my street, both owned by elderly people. Take a look what Skogen Racing did to it…

Resto-modding: Saving The Underdogs Of Yesteryear

Ford Escort Mk1

To some people, resto-modding is nothing more than stripping a car of all its originality. This group of people are called ‘Purists’, a breed I totally respect and fully understand their views on maintaining originality, but there are some cars that just don’t warrant the expense of sourcing original parts, whether resto-modded or not.

Take the Mk1 Ford Escort above, for example, the base for a potential resto-mod project that could end up resembling the rally legend featured in Fast N Furious 6.

Paul Walker Ford Escort Fast N Furious

The Ford driven by the late Paul Walker in the Fast N Furious 6 was the legendary Escort Mexico, a car still used today for amateur rally because of its superb yet simple layout and chassis.

To find an original Mk1 Mexico in good condition today will set you back around £25,000, a car I’d personally like to see kept 100% original because of its adequate power and sufficient brakes. However, the Ford pictured at the beginning and below is just the 1.1-L Popular base model.

A half decent 2 door example can be sourced for around the £3-5K mark. Now instead of scrapping the poor car or parting it out, how about giving it a big heart transplant, disc brakes and a cool paint job?

 

Mk1 Ford Escort

Keeping a classic on the road with modern parts and technology is surely a good thing? Whether it’s an original Mexico or not, the finished project could still look like the car below. I’m all for keeping cars original, but when you can take a base model and inject it with fire breathing technology, I’m all for saving the underdogs of yesteryear.

Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico

As a side note, Paul Walker was a real petrolhead, a Gas Gargler like myself. He had a great ‘car guy’ collection. Check out my Fast N Furious personal rides piece  here and see for yourself.

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Ford GT Swaps 8 Cylinders For 6

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Think Ford GT and you automatically picture Le Mans and the 60s GT-40s bringing the fight to Ferrari. As well as the teal and orange GULF livery colours, you’ll also most likely imagine the twin white racing stripes traversing the deep blue sea of low angles and beautiful lines that form the modern GT’s sleek body.

Next up, and synonymous with all American muscle, particularly the Ford GT-40 and it’s modern tribute, the GT, is it’s V8 heart.

So what would you say if you found out the latest edition to the GT family has decided it doesn’t fancy a V8? What would you think if it wanted a V6 instead? You’d first no doubt gasp in horror, perhaps calmed somewhat in the knowledge it had asked for twin turbos.

Turbos are looking to be the future in maintaining high horsepower without pushing emission limits.

I’m all for technological progression, and as far as the following video shows, I think the new Ford GT is something to behold.

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ZZZ ZZZ Sleeper

What you see above isn’t quite what you’d expect. Okay, so it’s obviously a sleeper build (the title and reg plate also give it away), and you’d be right in thinking this ordinary 80s Ford possesses a little extra grunt. Now take a closer look at the Granada’s wheels – you’re probably now expecting the build to have taken on more than the usual sleeper modifications.

I first saw this car featured in a forum a few years ago when it featured a 600-hp Ford Cosworth YB engine. Even that was a monstrous transplant, leaving a demon sleeper capable of embarrassing pretty much anything on the roads. 

I have so much respect for the owner and builder for what he did next I think I’d swoon if I met him. I know he is from Norway, and judging from his history with his beloved Ford Granada, he’s missing a few nuts and bolts upstairs. As if 600-hp wasn’t enough, he ripped the Cosworth engine out and installed (wait for it) a twin-turbocharged 4.7-L V8 built by Ford and re-engineered by Koenigsegg. Multiply its previous power output by nearly 3 and you are left with 1700-hp… Jesus H Christ.

Isn’t she a thing to behold, a wonderful experiment taken too far? Of course, all this ludicrous power is harnessed by a lot of other modifications – follow this thread for a detailed diary and pictures of the build.

What I admire most about this creation is the fact the owner knew exactly what his sleeper should be. The Granada isn’t the obvious choice as there’s the classic Escort and Sierra that are the usual Fords to take on the mods. It’s 80s, boxy and cool, and although it suggests a few extra hps, you’d never suspect a whopping 1700 of them.

I take my hat off to you, you mad Norwegian Doc Emmett Brown – you’ve created the world’s most terrifying sleeper.

If you agree and want to see more of this chap, check out his Facebook page and watch the monster come to life in the video below.

 

 

Fugly Yet Fast Sleeper

What you see above is a typical elderly person’s car, or a hand-me-down any teenager would secretly appreciate as a key to freedom . It’s a rather bland Ford Festiva, a late eighties box of delights. By ‘delights’ I mean the installation of a beautiful mid-mounted V8 – this is taking the creation of the Sleeper to the highest level. 

In many ways this is complete insanity; not in the concept of transforming this car into a stealth whip, but the fact the gorgeous V8 and its set-up must cost around twenty times the price of the vehicle. Whilst it can obviously pump out some serious BHP, it can only find the tarmac through the Ford’s silly little 13″ wheels.

The engine may be mid-mounted but it’s still a front wheel drive car, which equals mental under/torque steer. Another factor that may/will kill its driver is the decision to overlook the addition of bigger brakes… the builder “might get around to those” – let’s hope he stays alive long enough.

Now take these exhausts into consideration – I’ve seen a picture with them hidden beneath those black flaps (Maybe they only pop out when on the move?) but they are a pretty original looking, very Mad Max. If you dig this sleeper, there are more pictures on Autoblog.