Ford Escort RS2000 1980

front cover


1980 Ford Escort RS 2000 in concours condition. Flat front in iconic signal orange. This car has been the subject of a complete bare shell ground up nut and bolt restoration with no expense spared and rebuilt with a host of bespoke components. This car has had an absolute fortune lavished on it, under the bonnet sits a fully rebuilt race spec 2.1 litre pinto with twin 45 Webber’s, 4 branch manifold and sportex exhaust. She is completely concours under the bonnet, every nut and bolt has been polished, every pipe has been braided and it looks beautiful. Alloy radiator , electric fan, group 4 clutch, electric fuel pump, quick shift 5 speed type 9 gearbox, bias pedal box, group 4 high torque starter, 4.2 limited slip diff, quick rack steering. It would take pride at any RS owners club show. I have a dyno print out here showing 152bhp which feels awesome in this car, the sound from the 45’s and the engine is reminiscent of a proper rally car and it’s a real adrenalin rush. You feel like Colin McRae in his hay day every time you drive it!! Above all she is reliable and is properly set up to be driven without fault, turn the key and drive it across Europe, it wont skip a beat. Suspension and brakes. Group 4 shocks all around give this car a fantastic feel, its firm but  comfortable and you quickly feel how solid it is. 2” lowering blocks in the rear give her a nice stance too. Group 4 front suspension and discs, The breaking power is excellent, AP racing callipers on the front and all braided brake pipes etc. Underneath looks brand new, all nuts and bolts are gleaming and all components are as new. Floor pan is fully detailed orange too which also looks concours. The interior is beautiful and immaculate, fish net recaros completely re upholstered in the genuine Ford fabric, brand new old stock carpet set, new head cloth, All this gives the car a brand new look, feel and smell inside. Most of these cars have interiors that are totally knackered and busted up. Everyone gets a shock when they open the door of this car and looks inside. This car was taken to a complete bare shell and stripped back to bare metal, she was always a rust free shell and has no welding or patching carried out underneath and the boot floor is in mint unwelded rust free condition, this car has definitely got one of the best rust free shells in the World, the majority of these cars disintegrated into a heap of rust, or where welded and patched up and poorly restored. Brown tinted glass is a lovely combination with the signal orange and all the window rubbers are brand new, and new headlights along with lots of other new trim pieces. Its all these little details that make the difference to the overall mint appearance of any car. All the panel gaps are perfect and the doors open and shut effortlessly. The paint is mint with no bubbles or rust at all. Overview. This RS is a stunning piece of kit that has been professionally hand built and would cost you in excess of £60k to build it,if  you where doing the same job yourself. This car is not an unfinished project or something that needs finishing done to it, she has been finished to the last nut and bolt and you wont have to do one single thing to it. Its difficult to find a good escort Mk 2 with a rust free shell, they suffered badly from corrosion. This is a car to take pride in, you could take it to a show and win an award or you could take it to a track day, at the same time its tame enough to go for a cruise to the beach on a summer day or even a dry crisp sunny winter morning. It’s a buzz when you see how it makes everyones eyes light up when they see it coming, a Mk 2 defined an era, anyone who grew up in the 80’s remember these with a lot of affection and nostalgia, they where the proper muscle car to have, you certainly where the man about town if you drove an RS2000 and whats amazing is that every generation loves these cars, even today, when I drive into town even the young kids go crazy when they see it and they all know exactly what it is, the racing heritage has immortalised these for eternity, thats what adds to the fun and experience of driving them, they capture all your senses when you’re driving, listening to the 45 Webber’s sucking and keeping the throttle correct, watching the oil pressure, keeping the wheels from spinning when pulling out onto a road, and the list goes on. After getting out of this car you are on a natural high and thats a feeling you wont get with any other car. Values of these cars are climbing and rightly so, they are estimated by experts to be the next car to go through the roof in value as so few rust free examples are left. Get one while you still can!!

Only 1 UK owner since 1986

Pistonheads have done a great article on the RS this month (MARCH 2015)

Don your flameproof suits, because this will be controversial choice for some of our more committed Blue Oval fans. But if there’s one thing guaranteed to warm PH’s collective cockles, it’s a performance car for the masses. And that’s why we’ve brought you an RS2000 where you might have been expecting an RS1800

So let’s get this out of the way early. The RS1800 is without doubt the purest and most extreme Ford Escort Mk2. Powered by the same hand-built Cosworth BDA (Belt-Driven type A, based on the old Kent) as the Mk1 RS1800, it’s a truly legendary car. But there’s a big problem: only a little over 100 were ever built*.

Most of those were race cars, many were crashed and most of the decent ones have long ago been sold into a lifetime of polythene bags and dehumidifiers.

What we’re saying is; if you want to enjoy a bit of late ’70s oversteer, and don’t have a winning lottery ticket to hand, the Mk2 RS1800 might just be a bit of a stretch. Sure, it housed a high-revving, Cosworth Belt-Driven Type A motor, but that’s no good if you can’t buy one or even drive one.
And that’s why we’ve plumped for the RS2000 as a PH Hero. Yes, it might lack the credibility and glimpse-into-the-future tech of a 16-valve motor but at least you can still buy one for less than a new Focus RS. For now.

Turn back time
And let’s check the stats. That 2.0-litre Pinto puts out 110hp where a stock BDA musters 115hp. The dry weights are 941kg for the RS2000 versus 915kg for the RS1800. Not a million miles out, neither in performance nor in experience.

Slide into the soft Recaros and it’s like taking a step back in time. Those ‘fishnet’ headrests, the big ‘CUSTOM’ badge in the dash, and that super-solid black leather steering wheel. This is pure 20th century working man’s chic. It’s the car you wish your dad had bought.
Pull the choke lever, turn the key, and this particular example barks into an excitedly enthusiastic fast idle. The only non-standard part of Chris Hoey’s 1979 RS2000 is a period K&N air filter stuck on to the top of the OEM Weber 32/36mm twin venturi carb.
“Dual 40mm Webers, or even 45mms, were an option,” he admits. “But as far as I can tell, the car has been standard all of its life and I’m trying to keep it that way. I’m looking for an original airbox.”
The steadying rumble and rasp from the exhaust suggest it’s time to push the choke back in a little and go for a drive. Excitement and enthusiasm abounds inside the cockpit. This particular example isn’t just rust-free and shiny, it’s also had more than its original purchase price spent on servicing in the last year alone. Driving it on the roads of 2015 seems like time travel, or witchcraft.

The simple chassis of the Escort, with its leaf-sprung, solid rear axle, is utterly unsophisticated. A 60mph sweeper with a bump in the middle is enough of a shock to induce a number of oscillations in everything from the car to your own rear dump valve.
The front wheel hits, the wheel dances merrily. Then fractions later, the rear axle hits and the whole car shimmies a few inches while you, the pilot of this merrily haphazard vessel, adopt a fixed grin and tell yourself something along the lines of: “They don’t make ’em like they used to!” Well, of course not. Or we’d all be dead. And happy about it too.
And that’s the wonderful dichotomy of driving any classic car in a world of 200hp Fiesta STs, 450hp BMW M4s and 670hp Ferrari 488s. It’s easy to poke holes in the newest cars, and declare that they’ve lost ‘it’ over previous generations. But it’s often hard to put a quantifiable measurement on what ‘it’ is.
Whatever that X-factor is, the Escort RS2000 definitely possesses bags of it.

Legal high
In fact, there’s a temptation to offer a direct comparison to an E30 M3 or maybe a first-generation MX-5. But even those two differing examples of simple RWD fun can’t quite match the wobbly hilarities and irresponsible sense of danger of pedalling this Escort hard down a country lane. They’re both better, and they’re both much faster too. Because legal speeds in the RS2000 become a target, rather than a limitation.

You know you’ve found the right roads for the Escort when you can start to stir that 4-speed gearbox a bit. Revving out all the way to 6,000rpm is no problem for the RS, though it’s best up to around 5,500rpm, truth be told.
Zooming out of 30mph limits, hedges brushing door handles. That’s the Escorts forte, along with turning any boring suburban errand into a test of driver skill and nerve. You see owning, or just briefly driving, a classic sports car like this Escort doesn’t take anything away from your modern stuff, but it does bring it all into focus a little.

“I’ve got a VW Golf R as my everyday car,” points out Chris. “And it makes utter mincemeat of the Escort in every way possible. It’s an amazing study in just how far cars have come, but I don’t love either one of them any less after driving the other.”
So forgive us for not choosing the unarguably superior twin-cam RS1800, but we think the whole point of fast Fords is to get out there and drive it. And with an RS2000, you can. For now.

Engine: 1,993cc four-cyl
Transmission: 4-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 110hp@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 119@4,000rpm
0-62mph: 8.6 seconds
Top speed: 109mph 
MPG: Yes
CO2: Probably a lot
 Price: £2,857 new (anywhere between £10K and £40K now)

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