Between 1968 and 1981 the Ford Escort became the most successful family of rally cars in the world, at all levels. During that period rallying became progressively faster, tougher, more glamorous and more popular as a spectator sport, while the teams and the drivers became more famous and the cars grew more colourful. European, then World, Championships were set up and prospered.
The first specialised Escort, a Twin Cam, won its first major International Rally in April 1968, and its last in mid-1981. During that period Escorts won the World Rally Championship on three occasions, and their drivers won the Drivers’ Championship twice. The Escort was always competitive. In several forms, it became the standard by which all other rally cars were judged during those 13 years. Even to this day, many individual machines survive, have been restored, and are worshipped by Escort lovers all around the world.
The Ford-UK factory and its closest associates built no fewer than 113 works or ‘works-blessed’ Mk I rally cars of all types between 1968 and 1974, and went on to build 55 Mk II cars between 1975 and 1981. In this book the distinguished rally co-driver, team manager and dedicated historian Graham Robson provides individual coverage of every one of these cars, itemising their careers, their triumphs and their occasional misfortunes. Build details, competition histories, drivers, development, specification changes and colour schemes are provided for almost every single car, no matter how many or how few competitive outings it had. Not only that, but the sometimes complex stories of cloning, duplication, and mysterious changes to certain cars are carefully explained, in some cases for the very first time.
Every individual car is illustrated in its principal liveries using contemporary photographs, and several of the more important cars, which survive to this day, have been specially photographed for this book to enable enthusiasts to study them in great detail.
This is truly the most in-depth study of the legendary works Escorts that has ever been published, and only Graham Robson, with his long rally experience, his decades of rally analysis, half a lifetime of accumulated information, and an intimate personal knowledge of the personalities, the cars themselves, and the workshops which developed the machinery, could possibly have compiled it. It sets a standard by which all future competition histories will always be measured.