Classified Info

Ford Escort RS1800 ex Henri Toivonen

Advert ID: 39706 To Be Auctioned

Advert Began: Oct 15, 2017, 10:30
Number of Times Viewed: 11864
  • t1.png
  • t2.png
  • t3.png
  • t4.png
  • t5.png
  • t6.png


Offered here is a remarkable Ford Escort RS1800 originally built new in 1979 for Henri Toivonen and Phil Boland’s entry in the 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain. It has remained with founder and owner of PCA Motorsport, Peter Clarke for its entire life. KWT 556V was used by him in 1980 in the first few rounds of the British National RAC Castrol with great success before being placed in long-term storage. The stunning Escort has now been totally restored making it probably the most capable Escort RS1800 Group 4 rally car available today in superb condition.

As part of a large Ford and RS Dealership in the North of England, PCA Motorsport operated as a Ford Satellite Rally Team between 1976 -1979. Team Principal Peter Clarke was himself UK National Champion in 1978. During 1978, with Ford factory assistance, PCA ran various drivers including Bjorn Waldegard, Chris Slater and Jean Pierre Nicholas finishing 11th overall on the RAC that year. During the course of that event, the PCA Team Total Gold befriended and assisted an unknown Finnish driver, Henri Toivonen, who amazingly had finished ahead of Jean Pierre in a somewhat uncompetitive Talbot Sunbeam in 9th place overall.
The post-event debrief showed just how talented Henri was. Discussions took place with PCA's sponsors, Total Oil (UK) and the Ford factory, resulting in them running a 2 car team in 1979. Henri was signed for the British Open Championship (all 6 rounds) alongside Malcolm Wilson. PCA prepared Henri's cars during the year with Malcolm's cars being prepared by another Ford dealer, Thomas Motors of Blackpool.

All on-event servicing etc. was under the control of PCA Motorsport. The season started with the International Mintex Rally with the 3 car PCA Team winning the Yorkshire Post Team trophy. Henri finished 3rd o/a on his debut and Peter Clarke was 7th ahead of Malcolm Wilson in 8th place. It's fair to say the pairing made a major impact on the championship that year. During his time in the UK Henri lived with Peter and his family for several months learning much from hands-on experience at Peter's Ford Dealership and competitions department. For the 1979 Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain, PCA built Henri a brand new car, KWT 556V. Specified at the same level as the works cars, it was fitted with the latest Brian Hart engine, along with ZF gearboxes from Terry Samuel. Unfortunately, whilst very well placed, Henri and his co-driver Phil Boland had to retire the car due to on-going gearbox issues, the car having used all 3 gearboxes available to them. For 1980, Henri's co-driver Phil Boland teamed up with Peter Clarke in KWT 556V and they enjoyed a great season with a number of podium finishes in various rounds of the Castrol Autosport national championship. At the end of the season, Peter took the decision to retire the car from 'active service' and placed it in long-term storage.

After 35 years, in 2015, it seemed the time had come to extract KWT 556V from its cosy garage and restore the complete and totally original RS1800 as a fitting tribute to the late, great Henri Toivonen. It was essential that the car was prepared to exactly the correct 1979 specification and this project was entrusted to Ramsport, the renowned Rallysport specialists in Ruthin.

The original BDG #79841 was totally rebuilt with all new components by Graham Hicks who, coincidentally. had worked for Hartpower (Brian Hart) on the original in 1979. The original Hartpower engine supply invoice is in the history file, as is a comprehensive specification sheet, dyno readouts (246 bhp@7500rpm) and quotes explaining the impressive torque curve of this engine and the virtues of the cams fitted for drivability. The V5 lists KWT 556V with chassis number PCA 0002 as an ‘Amateur Build Clarke' signifying a chassis/body rally build and a way of avoiding the pitfalls of British Type Approval at that time. It was registered normally by Peter Clarke’s dealership in November 1979.

This stunning, seriously well engineered, RS1800 Group 4 rally car has never left the control of the team owner/driver of the operation entrusted by Ford and driven by the internationally acclaimed Henri Toivonen, is a must for any collector or driver requiring the ultimate on-the- button RS1800. It looks, sounds and goes exactly as it would have in 1979 when it helped play a part in the career of one of the bravest rally drivers of all.

The car is FIA compliant to '2015 Historic Motorsport' regulations and is, naturally, matching numbers. A Certificate of Authenticity will be available signed by Peter Clarke the car's owner from 1979, Philip Boland the original co-driver, and the build team.

Registration: KWT 556V
Chassis Number: PCA0002
Engine Number: 79841
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1998
Year of Manufacture: 1979
RHD/LHD: Left Hand Drive
Estimate (£): 90,000 - 120,000
(+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%)

The NEC Classic Motor Show Sale takes place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th November 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham.
The NEC Classic Car Sale Auction Catalogue 2017 admits two people in to the auction and viewing. Tickets for the Lancaster Insurance NEC Classic Motor Show will also be required and are available for purchase from

Viewing of the lots will be available all day on Friday 10th and on the mornings of the Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of November 2017.

Bidding at the auction can be done either in person by attending the sale, by telephone, by leaving a commission bid or live, online via Proxibid. Full details of registration requirements and a buying guide can be found on the Silverstone Auctions website (
On each day, the automobilia, lifestyle and watches auctions start at 10:30am and the car auction starts at 1:30pm.
For further information please contact Silverstone Auctions on +44 (0)1926 691 141.

Seller Info

Silverstone Auctions

Member Since:
19 Dec 2013

Gaydon, Warwickshire, CV35 0EP

Phone: +44 1926691141
Phone 2: +44 7773776414

Print Friendly printer friendly

Tell-a-Friend tell-a-friend

Add-to-Favorites add-to-favorites

Report Abuse Report Abuse

Report Sold Report Sold

Seller Notes

Seller Accepts:
Bank Transfer