Classifieds Hero: £30k 1972 Ford Escort

Seeking a rally-prepped automotive icon for less than £30k? Here’s your perfect blue oval champion – a ’72 Escort Mk1

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Look, you can worship originality or you can respect those who take a slice of yesterday’s mundane and inject it with life-saving DNA. The perfect example of show-scene disgruntlement is Ford’s Escort Mk1; the originality brigade foam at the mouth when a factory-standard example is transformed into a rally beast. Yet, if someone offered you a fix for the perfect body, wouldn’t you take it?

This striking 1972 left-hand-drive Ford was built by Belgian rally ace Paul Lietaer for Wilfried Masschelein and Edwin Vitse to drive on the 2016 Ypres Historic Rally. The Escort finished a credible 28th out of 54 starters, and hasn’t been driven in anger since.

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Recently imported into the UK, this is far more than a replica or homage to the tarmac abusers made famous by Ford’s unbeatable works team of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

There’s a healthy all-steel shell with steel works-style arches and chassis-mounted sump guard, powered by a 2.0-litre Pinto engine employing twin Webers, an alloy radiator and four-branch exhaust manifold.

Furthermore, there are Bilstein front struts, alloy top mounts, adjustable TCAs and vented disc brakes. Not enough for you? How does an Atlas axle with a short four-link kit and Panhard rod, slipper springs and a limited-slip differential sound? Glad we have your attention…

Safety devices – or a lack thereof – usually hasten an instant and painless death when behind the wheel of a bog-standard first-generation Escort, yet it’s a different matter here . A bolt-in roll cage and full racing harness have been installed should the worst happen.

If you happen to try reliving teenage illusions of powersliding around every obstacle, Kumhos 7x13 Minilite tyres will prevent a collision with WH Smith or a tree.

Although the advert states that the vehicle would benefit from ‘light recommissioning’, this opportunity provides an excellent base for those venturing into classic rallying. We can promise you that it’s almost impossible to create such a rally-stage warrior for less than the asking price of this Escort Mk1, making this a potential bargain of the decade.

Take a closer look with the AutoClassics classified advert.

Get a taster of what could be in store!

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