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A very rare Graphite Grey Ford Motorsport developed Escort RS1600i.
Colour coded bumpers with front and rear overriders, laminated windscreen and all round safety glass, RS aerodynamic front and rear spoilers, RS1600i decals, Ford spot lamps, remote control door mirrors, RS 4-spoke leather trimmed steering wheel, cassette holder, 2 speed plus intermittent wipers, tailgate wash wipe, Ford RS interior with sports reclining seats, head restraints, side window demisters, perforated headlining, coat hooks, vanity mirror on passenger sun visor, cigar lighter, rear ashtrays, front door stowage bins, 3-speed heater fan, coin box, trip recorder, tachometer, roof mounted digital clock. Factory options; Tinted glass, tilt/slide sunroof.
Introduced in September 1981, Ford intended on making just 5,000 RS1600i’s for homologation requirements, but the car sold so well that 8,659 cars were in fact built with just 2,000 for the UK market. The exterior of this example is finished in Ford Graphite Grey (code 9 1), the equal rarest of colours along with Strato Silver, only 250 of each being produced (Source; RS Owners Club). The metallic paintwork has a bright gleaming shine and smooth finish, complimented by the correct RS1600i decals on the bonnet, boot lid and sides. Two small touched in blemishes to the bonnet are visible yet inoffensive, the sunroof has some delamination and the bottom of the rear valance minor paint lift. The original rear spoiler is perfectly straight and free from common distortion issues. All further exterior trim sections are in excellent order as is the glass, lights and badges, the glass having original number plate etching present. A clean engine bay reveals correct factory stickers and identification plates and the twin coil set up remains just as Ford intended. A superb and now very rare example of the first front wheel drive Ford ever to wear the RS badge!
The interior of this RS1600i is in fantastic order. Finished in Shark Grey Crushed Velour (trim code TC), the seats and bolsters have retained all structural integrity and the coverings have only the mildest age related wear especially noticeable on the driver’s bolster inner edge. The matching door cards and perforated headlining are in pristine condition. The deep grey carpets are clean and free from undue wear. Amazingly, the dashboard is completely free from the all too common cracking. All interior equipment is functional and the trim pieces intact, including the immaculate rear parcel shelf which has remained free from speaker cut outs. A Ford push button radio completes this wonderfully classic Ford interior.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Fitted with Fords 1600 Compound Value angle Hemispherical chamber (CVH) unit producing a manufacturer quoted 115 BHP. Mated to the Bosch K Jetronic Fuel Injection System and incorporating deceleration fuel shut off, the instrument orange and red lamps illuminate upon deceleration once the engine is at operating temperature and the engine speed is above 1600rpm. The car has a top speed of 118mph and achieves 0-60 in 8.7 seconds with an addictive and instantly recognisable rasp from the standard size exhaust. The gear changes are light and exact, a pleasure to operate.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The original 15 X 6 inch RS seven spoke alloy wheels are pristine and correct to the RS1600i model having only one spoke on each wheel stamped with the Ford emblem as opposed to the more common RS Turbo fitments with three stamped spokes. The spare has minor curb damage. The wheels are shod with matching quality 195/50/R15 tyres all round. Diagonally split hydraulic circuits with tandem master cylinder, vacuum servo assistance and 9.4” ventilated discs up front bring the car to a halt but far short of modern standards.
Registered new on 5th August 1983, this example has covered just 76,688 miles from new in the hands of five former keepers. The history file comprises of some previous MOT certificates and some invoices including one dated April 2012 documenting a full cambelt kit and new water pump with less than 5,000 miles covered since.
A remarkably well preserved example of a rare car that is fast becoming highly desirable, most definitely one for the true enthusiast.
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