|Ford Escort Mk1 Twin Cam
& Mk2 RS Mexico Main Page
|To see larger pictures click on thumbnail|
|Brief History: It started when Lotus were commisioned by Ford UK to make a performance version of the Mk1 Cortina. This was to be known the Lotus Cortina. This was a very successfull competition car. The later Mk2 Cortina was heavier than the previous Mk1. Because the Lotus Twin Cam engine was its performance limit the Mk2 Lotus Cortina wasn't going to be a quicker car. Now here was a problem. On a spur of the moment suggestion, approval was granted for the competition department to install the running gear from a Mk2 Lotus Cortina into a mock up Escort. This was done over a weekend. Permission was then given to fit the running gear into one of the precious Mk1 Escort prototypes. This proved to be successfull, unfortunately it was written off during testing. Ford management weren't impressed, but the competition department had proved that they had a winner. Helped by the ligther body sheel. Approval was given to assemble the neccessary cars to gain homologation. This car was to be the begining of a very successful competion period for Ford. After a couple of years the limitations of the Lotus Twin Cam engine started to affect the Escorts competitive ways, as it had for the Cortina. To over come this the Cosworth designed BDA engine was fitted. This was a more powerfull powerplant. This was tthe basis for the RS1600 Escort (and later RS1800). Its arrival resulted in the demise of the Lotus powered Twin Cam Escort.
So what makes an Escort Twin Cam different to the other Escorts? The main difference is the engine, this being the Lotus/Ford Twin Cam. Gearbox is 2000E three rail. Twin Cams also have a stronger body shell (called a type 49 ). The body shell has a number of additional strengthening plates that the lesser models didn't. The car is also fitted with anti tramp rods at the rear and a stone deflector, uprated suspension and steering The battery was relocated to the rear to make room in the engine bay for the brake servo. Interior is pretty much standard GT Escort with the 6 dial dash. My Car: I have sold my Australian assembled Twin Cam :-( I now own a Mk2 RS Mexico to compensate.
|The two photos above left show the latest toy - the Mk2 RS Mexico. It was brought into New Zealand by Dean Mitchell. Dean purchased the car when he was in the UK. It was in the UK that he fully restored the car.
The car is very original. It still has the 1600cc OHC Pinto engine. It has been fitted with the factory front and rear rear spoilers. Dean has also fitted a set of factory RS alloy wheels. The body shell is in very good condition with no signs of any rust. The chassis rails and floor are in excellent condition. Needless to say the car is kept garaged under lock and key.
It is tempting to modify the car. I am tempted to extract some more power out of it so it doesn't disgrace itself. Given that the RS Mexico shares the same RS body shell as the RS1800 I am feeling tempted to build up the BDA engine and fit it into the car. I think all that would be required is a new flywheel to take the RS Mexico clutch and fit the different type of ring gear. There would be minimal modifications required as the BDA was fitted into many Escorts. The main visual changes apart from the engine would the exhaust (as it is on the opposite side of the engine compared to a SOHC engine), and the braking system. I believe I would have to run a pedal box with integral master cylinders. Remote resevoirs with a new brake pipe arrangement would be neccessary. The battery could remain in the engine bay if a remote servo was either not required, or if needed mounted up under the dashboard.
Time will tell if this project goes ahead.
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