European Escort RS1600i

While working the 24 Hours of Nelson Ledges endurance race one year, I woke up one morning and found this parked across from my tent.

Needless to say, I immediately recognized the car and sought out it's owner.

 

 

 

 

This car was brought into the US by Heinz Prechter of ASC. I had a chance to talk to him briefly.

It was road tested by AutoWeek, amongst others, and was very well received. AutoWeek briefly had some talk about bringing the car into the country, although in the end Ford decided to add some performance to the American Escort (which was built on a slightly bloated version of this identical chassis). The suspension bits and wheels/tires were later sold by Bat Inc.

 

The European Escort was a far more serious Escort than any American model. This car was the full equal or superior of the then-new (to the US) VW GTi, for example. Ford could have established legions of American FWD car enthusiasts with this car - and with follow-up evolutionary enhancements.