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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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Ken Block: My Modern Day Superhero

Now the dust has quite literally settled upon the sun-baked streets of Los Angeles, and Ken Block’s snorting ’65 Mustang is stabled and resting, I can reflect on Gymkhana 7 and how it turned back my metaphorical clock by three decades or so.

To elucidate on the actual driving that went on in L.A., I penned an article for Motorward magazine along with the video, ignoring all of the details such as driving techniques and listing reams of technical data, instead harping on about how Block and his fantastical machine took me back in time for 12 minutes, leaving me a little confused and angry at the fact I found myself back in 2014 as a 36 -year-old afterwards.

Rally purists may criticise Block and his Rally X/Drift hybrid style, but this is 2014 – if X Games dirt bike riders can get away with grabbing massive air, opening their legs and calling the move the ‘Paris Hilton’, then Block is doing the right thing here – it simply boils down to exciting and impressive viewing. Don’t get me wrong though; I’m a massive fan of the X Fighters bike format, along with all the X Games sports, and adding cars with 80’s Group B rally power to the list is obviously a recipe for success.

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Big power and exciting viewing leads me neatly onto the superhero/stuntman angle I’m pushing here – for those 12 minutes I sat gawping as the Block’s Hoonicorn tore up the streets of L.A., miles of internal wiring fused inside my head, leaving me experiencing waves of nostalgia, seamless flashbacks of stars and stripes, bleating dixie horns, and a whole fleet of toys I put through a similar ordeal to the car on my computer screen.

Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle

Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racer

Dukes of Hazzard Wrist Racer

007's Underwater Lotus Esprite

007’s Underwater Lotus Esprite

The toys pictured above were my favourites, and I think it was the combination of terrific film producing, the smoking and squealing of tyres, that evil Mustang, and of course its superhuman pilot that evoked their memory.

Dressed in a retro style leather jacket and donning a glittery patriotic race helmet along with meridian goggles and skull face scarf, Ken Block was my childhood Bo Duke, my Evel Knievel, my James Bond, my Bandit, and perhaps even my Superman all wrapped up into one super-being.

So now it’s all over, do I watch it again and go back to 1982, or do I face reality and help my wife lay the table?

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My Swan Vs The Ugly Duckling

 

If you’ve read the previous post about my latest acquirement you’ll know I purchased a mint BMW E36 325i coupe that left me a little confused. Having wanted a potential drift missile to stamp my mark upon, the words “strip”, “gut” and “hoon” all circulated my mind as I drove HeLLga (yeah, yeah, yeah, I named her) home. I knew from the pictures and paperwork she was a great example, but I had to keep reminding myself she was a 19 year-old car as I looked around at the pristine leather and marvelled at the familiar raucous engine note (I owned an E46 M3) and the solid ride.

The aforementioned words circulating my mind seemingly matching the engine revs and picked up speed, a full-on whirlwind reminding me why I bought the car – “I’ve bought the wrong car,” I countered, knowing my appreciation of well-maintained and non-molested cars wouldn’t allow any of these words to be directed at my Bavarian beauty.

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I have, however, installed a K&N panel filter and bought a straight through back box with DTM tips for both aesthetics and to enhance HeLLga’s fantastic vocal range. Although the straight-pipe on the M50 engine is a symphony of spitting, crackling and popping, going down this route seemed a little undignified for my clean E36 – imagine Mariah Carey singing vocals for Slipknot – entertaining for a few songs but a bloody headache after an entire album.

So whilst I will try my best at maintaining HeLLga’s stock appearance and refraining from any more sideways action when it’s a little damp (on quiet and empty roads), I’ll have to make do with videos until I find a suitable E36 beater missile. Check out The Ugly Ducking below, what a beauty… hang on, that didn’t make sense. Ah well, you know what I mean.

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Drifting… Arab Style

We all know most Arabs aren’t short of a bob or two and own some of the most expensive cars in the world, showing them off in the globe’s biggest cities and car events such as the Gumball 3000 Rally. However, this video I stumbled across on YouTube reveals they are also A: Competent drivers, B: Utter maniacs, C: Not bothered about what car they use to drift, and D: Have a death wish.

Take a look for yourself and behold the lack of public safety, the AK-47s, and the total misuse of Toyota 4-door saloons.

I have to say I am very impressed with all this and now see Arabs in a completely different light. They may come from a completely different world and culture, but damn they can Hoon with the best of them.

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Ken Block Gymkhana 6!

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Finally, after waiting too long after this Hoonigan tore up the streets of San Francisco in Gymkhana 5, Block is back for another instalment of rally/drift mayhem.

Ken is using his latest whip, a 650-bhp 0-60-mph in 1.8 secs Ford Fiesta ST RX43. I think you’ll agree that when Ken floors it and starts pulling his signature gold-plated handbrake, anything is possible in a car. If you are wondering what those garish blue hubs are, they are in fact bladed to act like fans in order to cool the front brake discs.

Following a teaser earlier this month, Block has officially unveiled Gymkhana Six: The Ultimate Grid Obstacle Course. You couldn’t dream up a course better suited to showcase the sheer speed and exhilarating driving such a small powerful car – it’s insane. Block throws his Ford Fiesta ST RX43 around a series of obstacles including cop Lamborghini Aventadors, a moving spiked wrecking ball and more cops on Segways.

F**K the PoPo!