The Mk2 Escort; mere point out of the identify evokes pictures of rally vehicles being suggested through the throttle, sideways thru corners.
There’s just right reason why for the popularity – the Mk2 Escort (and its Mk1 predecessor) ruled in rallying right through the type’s manufacturing generation, and continues to take action in each historical and fashionable occasions. In conjunction with this got here fanatics, who’ve typically adopted sure styling and function cues with their Escorts. Whilst this isn’t essentially a foul factor, just a little of updating by no means hurts.
Input Wayne Arrowsmith, the landlord of this Mk2 Escort Mexico. I met Wayne and his vehicle a few months again at Citadel Combe Circuit right through Rallyday 2022 (extra in this quickly).
Just like the Mk1 Escort Mexico, the Mk2 Mexico was once a different version type that introduced various functionality upgrades over the common Escort. On the middle of the Mk2 Mexico was once a 1,600cc Ford Pinto engine outputting 95hp.
As a facet be aware, the ‘Mexico’ identify comes from the Escort’s good fortune at the 1970 London to Mexico International Cup Rally – an epic 16,000-mile-long (25,700km) trek thru Europe and South The usa. The development began at Wembley Stadium, the place England gained its first soccer international championship on the 1966 FIFA International Cup, and resulted in Mexico Town a couple of days ahead of the beginning of the 1970 FIFA International Cup. The rally’s winners? Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm, in an Escort after all.
Wayne’s Escort Mexico is one in every of round 2,500 vehicles produced, and – to the unsuspecting eye no less than – seems rather inventory. It’s handiest while you glance nearer that the entire particular main points start to expose themselves.
The automobile itself has an enchanting backstory. Wayne grew up in a rallying circle of relatives, spending maximum weekends in rural Wales looking at his dad compete in his personal Mk2 Escort. This supposed that from an early age, the seed was once planted, and Wayne’s aspiration to possess an Escort by no means wavered. The possession dream after all got here to fruition in 2006, when the Mk2 Mexico was once purchased no longer a long way from the place it was once firstly bought in Bournemouth.
In Wayne’s ownership, the vehicle noticed restricted street miles ahead of it got here off the street for an intensive rebuild – one who ended up spanning 13 years. Wayne’s determination is spectacular, with uncommon new-old-stock portions and emblem new elements amassed and fitted over this time.
The outside stays in large part inventory taking a look; unique Workforce 4 Revolution 4-spoke wheels (Workforce 4 variants had a squared-off rim edge, making them more potent for festival) and Toyo Proxes R888R semi-slick tyres deal with the touch patch to the street, with AP Racing Tarmac callipers entrance and rear, at the side of a secondary pair of Wilwood callipers for the handbrake out again.
The suspension accommodates of Gartrac-machined uprights with Bilstein inserts up entrance, and a 4-link association hung off turret-mounted Bilsteins with a Watt’s linkage changing the unique leaf spring setup on the rear.
The inner is slightly sparse on the subject of facilities, however once more the eye to element is excellent. Recaro Profi SPG seats with Sabelt harnesses and a historical rally specification Protection Units 6-point roll cage are the obvious adjustments. Those at the side of a plumbed-in fireplace suppression machine have made the automobile eligible for historical rallies, and Wayne’s Escort recently holds a RAC logbook for festival.
Whilst the Mexico keeps its inventory guidance wheel and sprint association, a Gartrac adjustable pedal field has been fitted. All very important switches take a seat on a small panel within the centre of the sprint and feed into a brand new motorsport-grade wiring loom.
The solar strip from Zenith Motor Game is a nod to Wayne’s dad’s vehicle and the corporate that almost all of its portions had been sourced from. Zenith Motor Game are nonetheless in trade these days, and when Wayne visited not too long ago to investigate a few solar strip, they dug round and located an previous one in garage for him. It’s the only now proudly displayed at the vehicle, and some other neat contact.
Underneath the bonnet sits a totally remodeled and dry-sumped 2.1-litre Ford Pinto engine that includes aftermarket pistons, rods and crankshaft, and a custom-specification camshaft. The high-performance four-pot breathes in thru dual 48mm Dellorto carburettors and out thru a Tony Legislation 2.5-inch exhaust machine with tradition flat oval pipework for added under-car clearance.
The dry sump tank and alloy gasoline tank are living within the boot, with AN fittings and braided strains all the way through. All of this quantities to round 202hp and 167lb-ft of torque.
Wayne has controlled to rigorously stroll the road between updating the automobile to fashionable requirements the place wanted, whilst keeping up the Mexico’s unique ethos. When your purpose is to possess a vehicle for existence, in an instant the drive to hurry of entirety and chance creating a mistake is lifted; a few of us additionally benefit from the procedure up to the outcome. And when a vehicle like that is the outcome, it’s arduous to argue with.