Friday, May 8, 2009

Escort RS 1600 Mk1

The Rally Legend...
The stats:

1599cc, 16 valve, double over head cam, BDA

120bhp (road), 160bhp (works)

Top speed 113mph (road)

Escort RS 1600 Specification

4 cylinder in line. Cubic capacity 1601cc (97.68cu in). Bore 80.98mm (3.19in). Stroke 77.72mm (3.06in). Compression ratio 10:1. Power 115hp (DIN) @ 6500rpm. Torque 110lb/ft @ 4500rpm. Overhead valves - 4 per cylinder. Twin overhead camshafts driven by toothed rubber belt. Four branch exhaust manifold. Acceleration 0 - 50 mph 6.4 secs. Top speed 110mph plus. (Motor 9/5/70)

Engine Lubrication
High efficiency mechanical pump. Full flow oil filter. Oil cooler unit. Capacity of system 9.25pints (5.25 litres) including filter and cooler. 

12 volt system, ballast resistor coil. 

Fuel System
Mechanical pump. Electrical fuel gauge. Tank capacity 9.0 gallons (40.9 litres). Twin 40 DHLA DELLORTO carburetors. 

Cooling System
Pressurized. Capacity of system 12.5 pints (7.1 litres). 

Three rail shift, four -speed synchromesh gearbox, single plate hydraulic 8 inch diameter diaphragm clutch. Ratios: 1st 2.972: 2nd 2.010: 3rd 1.397: 4th 1.00. Reverse 3.324. Final drive 3.77:1. 

Steel integral construction, safety glass all round with laminated windscreen. Two doors with anti-burst door locks. Air extraction vents below rear window. Single tone paint finish. Black painted aluminum grille and chrome plated front quarter and rear bumpers. Flared front wheel arches to accommodate extra wide wheels. 

Semi-floating, hypoid final drive. Axle ratio 3.77:1. 

Front Suspension
Independent coil springs, MacPherson struts with integral dampers and stabilizer bar. 

Rear Suspension
Live Axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and radius arms. Telescopic hydraulic shock absorbers. 

Front - disc brakes, diameter 9.625in (24.44cm), swept area 190.0sq in (1225.5sq cm). Vacuum servo-assistance. Rear - drum brakes, diameter 9.00in (22.86cm) , swept area 96sq in (619.2sq cm). Vacuum servo-assistance. 

Rack and pinion. Three spoke, sports, leather rim steering wheel, diameter 14in (35.6cm). Turning circle (kerb) 29.7ft (9.054m). 

Wheel and Tyres
Pressed steel ventilated disc, 4 stud fixing, 5 1/2in safety ledge rim wheels, diameter 13in, 175HR 70 x 13, radial ply tubeless tyres. 

Electrical Equipment
35 amp alternator with integral voltage control. Starter motor. Dual horns. Battery 12 volt, 38 amp hour at 20 hour rate. 7 fuse system. 

Binnacle in front of driver containing speedometer and odometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge and battery condition indicator. Warning lights for ignition, main beam and direction indicators. 

Side/headlight, heater fan and windscreen wiper safety rocker switches, choke and starter/ignition switch with combined steering column lock. Direction indicators, main and dipped beam, headlamp flasher and horn controlled from single control stalk mounted on steering column. Hazard warning flasher. Floor mounted, foot operated washer/wiper control. 

General Equipment
Two circular (quartz halogen 55/55w) headlamps with combined sidelights. Separate direction indicators below headlamps. Twin tail light assemblies incorporating direction indicator flashers, rear lights, brake warning lights and reflectors. Rear number plate illumination light. Windscreen washers and two speed wipers. High grade pvc upholstery, washable plastic headlining. Padded top to fascia and front of collapsible parcel shelf. Looped pile carpet. Individual front bucket seats with anti-tip device. Remote floor mounted gearshift. Door operated courtesy light. Reversing lights. Cowlslide map pocket. Two rear grab handles with coat hooks. Luggage compartment light. Safety styled door handles and window winders. Breakaway stem dipping rear view mirrors. Ashtray in fascia, rear ashtrays in side panels. Two padded, safety, sun visors. Face level ventilation system, vents in fascia combined with demister nozzles. Seat belts fitted to driver's and front passenger seats. (inertia Reel.) Vanity Mirror in passenger sun visor. Heated rear window.

During the RS1600's life the works cars started out with 1600cc BDA, 160 bhp engine, 4 speed gearbox and finished with 240 bhp 2000cc BDA engines, five speed ZF gearbox's.  

The story:

1970 was a very important year for the Ford Motor Company of GB. This was the year in which the Ford Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO), and the Ford Rallye Sport (RS) dealer network were setup: AVO to build performance versions of the Ford range of cars and manufacture tuning equipment. The Rallye Sport dealer network to merchandise the AVO products to the public. 1970 was also the year of the Daily Mirror World Cup Rally - won by Hannu Mikkola driving a Ford Escort. In fact Escort took not only 1st but 3rd, 5th, 6th positions.

The RS1600 was announced 1970, this car was the next development step from the Escort twin cam. The RS1600 was fitted with a 1600cc BDA 16 valve engine.
The cars that won the World Cup Rally were RS1600's fitted with 1860 pushrod engines (X-flows) instead of the BDA unit. The reason behind this was the pushrod engine was built to be bullet proof and was Ideal for a long distance event. With the success of the World Cup Rally gave us the MEXICO road car.

4 Cylinder in-line, OHV, 1598 CC (road)

86 Bhp / 92 lb ft (Road)

The Escort Mexico used the same AVO Type 49 strengthened shell that the RS1600 used, a Pushrod (X-Flow / OHV) engine was installed.

The Ford Escort - Most successful rally car in the world

In 1968 the newly launched Escort Twin Cam kicked-off a 30 year winning spree with a spectacular first season scoring enough international rally victories to secure the coveted World Rally Championship for Makes. Ford Escorts of all types, competing at all levels, were successful rally winners up to the turn of the century, and even today are still occasionally winning events all round the world. 

When those original Escorts first appeared, Ford cars were already known as fine rally cars, following high-profile victories in the world's most important rallies - Monte Carlo, Safari, Acropolis and RAC. The birth of the Escort was to boost Ford's motorsport fortunes still further: by any measure it would go on to become the world's most successful rally car.

In 1968 the original 1.6-litre Escort Twin-Cam started its competition career in an astonishing opening season - by winning the Circuit of Ireland, Dutch Tulip, Austrian Alpine, Acropolis and Scottish rallies, all within eight weeks. By the end of its first season, the Escort had also won the famous 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland, which helped Ford secure the World Rally Championship for Makes. Ford Escorts won the World Championship again, in 1969.

The 'works' Twin-Cam Escorts continued to win all round the world in 1969 and 1970, while special overhead-valve-engined cars dominated the toughest ever event the 16,000-mile London-Mexico World Cup rally of 1970, taking first, third, fifth, sixth and eighth places. As a result of this victory, the Escort Mexico production model was developed.

As the Ford Escort was developed through the 1970s, the 1.6-litre 16-valve RS1600 took over from the Twin-Cam. By this time, the cars had an amazing reputation for strength and reliability. Engines for motorsport were progressively enlarged, first to 1.8-litres with 205 bhp, and later to 2.0-litres with up to 250 bhp.

By 1975, RS1600s had won world-class rallies as different as the East African Safari (1972, when Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm became the very first European-based crew to win this long and gruelling event), the British RAC (three times in succession, 1972 - 1974), the Finnish 1000 Lakes (five times), the Arctic Rally in Finland and New Zealand's Heatway Rally. 

No matter what the competition, the surface, the conditions, or the nation, the Escort was always successful, at all levels of the sport. Near-standard Group 1 Escorts (this is the 1970s equivalent of today's Group N 'showroom' category) were also often victorious, memorably with three consecutive outright wins in the 1974, 1975 and 1976 Tour of Britain events, which combined racing with rallying. 

A new-style Escort, the 1.8-litre RS1800, emerged in 1975, and within months the Boreham-based 'works' team had turned it into a formidable World Championship machine. Its first outright victory came in the 1975 RAC rally, when Timo Makinen completed a personal hat-trick, and the Escort took its fourth straight win. Ford retained the RAC trophy in the following year, 1976, when Roger Clark won for the second time in an Escort - four years after his first RAC triumph.

Roger Clark, Hannu Mikkola and Bjorn Waldegard spearheaded the 'works' team's international charge in the following years. As ever, the Escorts were still the class of the field. Bjorn Waldegard won three of the world's most punishing World Championship rallies in 1977 - the East African Safari, Acropolis and RAC events, and the Swedish in 1978, while Hannu Mikkola also won the RAC rally in 1978. 

Throughout this period, drivers used Escorts to win hundreds of events at World, European and National Championship level. One of those Ford rally experts, Gilbert Staepelaere of Belgium, won more events than any other individual driver in Europe. The Ford Escort was also unbeaten in the British Rally Championship for eight consecutive years, from 1971 to 1978.

In 1979 the Ford Escort then made a clean sweep of the World Rally Championship. By the end of the year, the well-developed and versatile RS1800s had won five World Championship rounds, in Portugal, Greece (Acropolis), New Zealand, Canada and the UK (RAC) - the RAC being won for the eighth consecutive occasion.

Not only did Ford win the World Manufacturers' Championship in 1979 - for the third time in twelve years - but Bjorn Waldegard also became World Drivers' Champion, with team-mate Hannu Mikkola close behind him.

As the 'works' team concentrated on developing new models for the 1980s, another member of that famous team, Ari Vatanen, spearheaded a privately-financed Escort rally team which contested the World Rally Championship in 1980 and 1981. After winning the Acropolis rally in 1980, Ari went on to win three more World Championship events in 1981, and became the first, and only, privateer ever to win the World Drivers' Championship. 

At the same time the production Escort range went front-wheel-drive and was clearly never going to be competitive at a world level and with the introduction of Group B all the 'works' effort went into the four-wheel-drive RS200s followed later by the Sierra RS Cosworth, but the Escort was never forgotten.

In 1993 a new-generation of Escorts triumphantly returned to International rallying. In its very first World Championship season, the turbocharged four-wheel-drive Escort RS Cosworth won no fewer than five World Championship rounds, with four second places to back up that achievement. It was an amazingly versatile machine, for there were victories on Portuguese gravel, on the twisting tarmac of Corsica and San Remo, and on one of the toughest of all World Championship rallies, the hot and dusty Acropolis event. 

In 1994 Francois Delecour's Escort RS Cosworth won the Monte Carlo Rally, while Tommi Makinen's victory in the 1000 Lakes proved the strength of the modern-day Escort. As in 1993, this success was matched by many victories in European, British and other International Championships.

In 1995, the Escort RS Cosworth won rallies all around the world, both in Group A and Group N form. Not only did this Escort model win 25 European Championship rounds, but it also won Championships as far apart as Africa and Austria, Switzerland and Portugal, Finland and Turkey.

Two more World Rally Championship victories followed in 1996. A privately-prepared Escort RS Cosworth, driven by private-owner Patrick Bernardini, won the Monte Carlo rally, while Carlos Sainz won the Rally of Indonesia. 

To suit the latest World rally regulations for 1997, Ford then evolved a new version of the Escort, the World Rally Car. This 300 bhp turbocharged model won two World Championship rounds, one being the toughest of all rallies, the Greek Acropolis: both wins went to double World Champion Carlos Sainz, who had joined the team in 1996. In a desperately hard-fought series, the Escort WRC also took second place in the World Rally Championship for Makes. 

Further improved for world-class motorsport, the Escort WRC was used by the Ford 'works' team and many private teams during 1998, and recorded several podium positions during the season. Even at the end of its career, and as in every one of the previous 30 years, the Escort was still one of the world's most formidable rally cars. 

The Ford Escort, in its many forms, has won 46 world-class and World Championship rallies, and innumerable national and International series - privately-owned Escorts continue to record victory after victory, and will surely add fresh entries into the record-books in the months, and years, to come.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing content regarding the Ford Rally. I remember my first rally race as a viewed on the sidelines and it was quite memorable. Sad to say there wasn't any Ford Escort there.