FORD ESCORT TWIN CAMAdvert ID: 43072 To Be Auctioned
Twin Cam rally car built in 1970/71 and first registered in 1972. Delightfully restored and absolutely period correct.
• May have been a Ford Motorsport development/test car but never used by the factory
• Significant items in the specification, engine, suspension, seats, rollover hoop, dashboard and instruments appear to have authentic 'works' history
• Rallied privately during the 1970s but off the road since 1984
• Superb bare shell restoration in 2012 by Kerry Sealey, the Registrar of the Mk1 RS Owners Club
• Fitted with a works-style Siamese 1,800cc block Twin Cam, converted to 'big wing' wet sump. Steel crankshaft, steel con rods, forged pistons, lightweight flywheel, steel cam followers, cam sprockets. Twin 45DCOEs
• Brand new Quaife-supplied 2000E box. Long first, straight-cut gears and a competition paddle clutch
The Twin Cam owed much of its ancestry to the Mk1 and Mk2 Lotus Cortinas sharing many mechanical components and, although its creation appears a logical step, the road to full production was quite tortuous. Near the end of 1966, some very early, hand-built standard Escorts were being track tested at Boreham when they were spotted by Henry Taylor (Ford's Competitions Manager) and his Chief Mechanic Bill Meade who, apparently concluded that the light and nimble Escort, if fitted with a Twin Cam, could well turn out to be a winning rally car. What happened next was essentially a race against time and Ford's higher authority. Henry Taylor knew he wanted a car that was faster and lighter than the Lotus Cortina but that it would be a nightmare to follow all the company procedures to introduce a performance Escort in the timeframe they had available. So in early 1967, after some hasty planning, Taylor and Ford's Public Relations Officer, Walter Hayes managed to convince the Board of Directors that their concept would work and they, reluctantly, agreed that a few prototypes could be built.All the tooling for production of the new Escort had already been ‘frozen’ and there was no time to develop any more, so a standard production Escort shell was all the Twin Cam developers could use. This led to a number of problems not least of which was getting the engine to fit in the first place. The wide Lotus DOHC cylinder head with its twin side-draught Weber carburettors fouled the offside inner wing, so offset engine mountings were used to push the nose of the engine towards the nearside of the car. The rear carburettor also fouled the brake master cylinder, so this was relocated inside the front bulkhead along with the clutch master cylinder. There was also insufficient space to locate both the battery and the brake servo in the engine bay so the battery was relegated to the nearside of the boot well (as per the Mk1 Lotus Cortina) and the remote brake servo was then mounted where any standard Escort's battery would be. Moving the battery to the boot meant that the spare wheel was bolted flat to the boot floor instead of being housed in the standard Escort's upright position. The "2000E" gearbox and its bell housing (borrowed from the Ford Corsair) were made to fit by literally adjusting the transmission tunnel with a few hefty blows from a lump hammer and the rear axle from the Lotus Cortina was transplanted completely including the latter's radius arms to allow positive axle location. In short, by the end of a very busy weekend, the mechanics at Boreham had solved all the major problems. Now their manager had to work on Ford's production staff to convince them to build the Twin Cam alongside Halewood's main Escort production line.The authorities at Halewood eventually agreed to produce Twin Cam bodyshells (known as Type 49) at their factory and essentially the Type 49 shell was a strengthened and slightly modified Escort GT (Type 4) shell. At a strategic point on the production line, the modified Type 49 shells were whisked off to a side workshop where dedicated staff turned them into Twin Cams. The all-important Lotus engines were shipped in from the Lotus plant at Hethel in Norfolk.
To ensure that the Twin Cam was available to "Works" and other works-supported rally teams as soon as possible, the first 25 models were assembled at Boreham in early 1968. Mainstream production then transferred to Halewood during Spring 1968, with the car's official launch price being £1,162.78. The Twin Cam's specification only altered in detail during its short lifetime and, apart from a headlamp change, only minor revisions took place to the interior trim, although a potential owner could specify competitions-developed items at extra cost. Approximately 883 cars were built in total but no Escort Twin Cam was ever built at AVO. Production of the Escort Twin Cam ceased in June 1971 as, by this time, Ford was already producing an exciting new Escort, the 16-valve Cosworth BDA-powered RS1600.
This fabulous Twin Cam dates from 1970/71 but sadly its early history, in common with many motorsport Fords, is unknown as all records from the period have been destroyed. Our vendor was informed that it was built at Boreham from a Type 49 shell and it may have been assembled from an old development/ test shell but it certainly wasn’t a team car. However, none of that really matters as the car on offer here is undoubtedly one of the smartest, straightest and best built Twin Cams that we have ever seen. What we do know is that it was first registered as LPE 2K in Surrey in 1972, was presumably used in club rallying for a few years and was certainly off the road from 1984 until 2011/12. At this point, the car was entrusted to Kerry Sealey, RS guru and Registrar of the Mk1 RS Owners Club, to carry out a total restoration before he sold it, in 2013, to our vendor who description of the restoration follows; “The front wings and front panel were the only panels replaced, and the panels are genuine Ford parts. The shell had a full bare metal respray. All components on the body shell are either new old stock or re-plated originals. The new old stock parts include – front headlights, front indicators, front bumpers, bonnet pins, washer bottle, wing mirror, rear lights, rear reversing light, rear bumper, interior mirror, wiper blades and arms. The front suspension, brake discs, rear leaf springs, callipers are fully rebuilt, the front struts and rear shocks are Bilstein. The rear shocks are in turrets. The rear axle is fully rebuilt and has a brand new 4.1 diff. The gearbox is a brand new Quaife supplied 2000E box with a long first and straight cut gears.
The engine is a ‘Works’ Siamese 1,800cc block Twin Cam, converted to 'big-wing' wet sump with a steel crankshaft, steel con-rods, forged pistons, lightweight flywheel, competition paddle clutch, steel cam-followers, valve spring caps, cam sprockets and 45 DCOE carburettors. The ‘works’ front seats have been fully rebuilt, the car has a period single roll-over hoop, it has its original metal Avanti map light and the dash is a Boreham-built split dash complete with Halda and stopwatches, and all the original stickered switches on the console.
The only thing I added to the car was a full bespoke Simpson two-box exhaust system built especially for it, and modern Minilite copies, although the original steel Lotus wheels are available as well.
The engine builder was Terry Dolphin, one of the best guys in the country, and one of the men who worked on Roger Clark’s cars. After buying the car I sent it back to Terry for a full spanner check which included adjustments to the brakes, clutch, distributor, thermostat, steering, boot and door locks, and tracking.”
Finished in vibrant Sebring Red with a period-correct, black vinyl interior, this stunning Escort is a testament to its exacting restoration by a man who really understands these cars. The exterior look is enhanced by a quartet of 1970s Cibie Oscar spot lamps with dove grey shells, a Lucas spot/reversing light, bonnet pins and rubber boot straps, and everything else you would expect to find on a 1972 Twin Cam Rally Car. Freshly MOT'd with an indicated mileage of 47,439, this is an excellent example of one of the most evocative rally cars of a generation and we welcome any inspection.
Estimate: £50,000 - £60,000
+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%
Viewing and bidding The NEC Classic Motorshow is a closed event and an event ticket will be required along with an auction catalogue to enter the sale. Ticket information can be found on the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show website. The NEC Classic Car Sale Auction Catalogue 2019 admits two people into the auction and viewing.
10:00 to 18:30 on Friday 8th
09:00 to 14:00 on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of November 2018
19 Dec 2013
Ashorne, Warks, CV35 0AA
Phone: +44 1926 691141