SORRY NOW SOLD – SIMILAR WANTED
A rare alloy block engine AVO Mk1 Ford Escort RS1600 with incredible history.
The Potent Mix is how Ford initially marketed the RS1600. Sedate looks of the family Escort Saloon but with an amazing Cosworth-designed BDA, (Belt Drive type A), engine. Only 1,154 RS1600s were made with production initially alongside the Twin Cam at Halewood in January 1970 transferring to the new AVO, (Advanced Vehicle Operations), facility in Aveley from October 1970. From late 1972 this homologation special replaced its Kent iron cylinder block with a Brian Hart light alloy unit only fitted to the last of these models. Less than 150 alloy blocked cars were produced helping to continue the world-class competition wins in the hands of Rally greats such as Roger Clark and Timo Makinen.
Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) Type 49 body, front quarter bumpers, flared front wings, strengthened chassis rails, strengthened flitch plates, reinforced front suspension strut top mounting plates, rear radius rods, rear stone deflector, safety glass, anti-burst locks, black painted aluminium grille, reversing lamps, RS1600 wing badges, RS circular boot badge, six pod sports binnacle, leather rimmed sports steering wheel, heater fan, two speed wiper, courtesy light, washable plastic headlining, push-round ashtray. Factory Options; Quartz Iodine headlamps, locking fuel cap, inertia reel seat belts.
This AVO Club registered stunning example is finished in striking and build specification, Sebring Red, (Code N). A remarkable survivor featured in many Ford hardback reference books, it boasts its originality proudly and correctly as manufactured by Fords Advanced Vehicle Operations. Owned by knowledgeable AVO Club Members this example has only ever had sympathetic conservation work and has never been completely restored. This includes the underside with all the correct AVO workmanship visible and commensurate with the 73,000 miles covered. Optional Quartz Iodine headlamps remain fitted along with FoMoCo rear lenses and the original front quarter chrome bumpers and rear chrome bumper have a mirror finish. Discreet RS badges are present and fitted. Rarely does a genuine and correct RS1600 come to market, especially an alloy block version, arguably making this the ultimate Mk1 high performance Escort.
A Non-Custom cockpit fitted with Black padded GT-type seats, all in remarkable condition along with the rest of the interior. The leather rimmed RS three-spoke steering wheel, black headlining and L-design door cards are all undamaged. A genuine Mk1 Escort black carpet set replaced the original due to wear and all gauges and controls function along with the heater fan on both speed settings. The boot compartment is standard with the spare wheel correctly secured to the floor with the jack and wheel brace all within the hessian bag secured by a rubber strap. Marvellous.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Vitally important, this example is a matching numbers example still fitted with the Brian Hart alloy cylinder block installed to the few later produced cars enabling an increase in cylinder capacity to two litres to keep the cars competitive. The legendary Cosworth-designed BDA engine also boasts a 16-valve alloy cylinder head with the correct later twin Dellorto carburettors. With a 1601cc engine producing 120bhp, 0-60mph is despatched in 8.9secs and a top speed of 113mph is quoted. The cleanliness and detail under the bonnet is remarkable with the original Ford chassis plate and Special Build Order body plate proudly on display. The original 4-speed 2000E heavy duty gearbox is a sheer delight with a short throw action and a precise change.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Excellent and correct Silver Fox painted 5.5x13in spoke-style sports steel wheels are shod in Dunlop SP30 175/70 R13 tyres with ample tread. The remote servo-assistance brakes powered by the correct Girling Powerstop AHV 550 Mk2B helps grip the front discs and rear drums to offer by todays standards, fair braking performance.
Believed to be one of the earliest surviving alloy-blocked cars to leave Aveley, this rare non-Custom was built in February 1973 and registered on the 1st August 1973 by F English Ltd, Ford RS dealers, to Mr Malcom Cluett. It has absolute traceable history from new commencing with a letter Mr Cluett explaining how he ordered a Monza Blue RS1600 with optional Quartz Iodine headlamps and inertia reel seat belts and on collection was presented with this Sebring Red car, albeit with the correct options! He even took a photo of his brand new RS1600 and it looks identical today! Detailed notes on each subsequent owner with accompanying invoices each time it was sold make fascinating reading. One such owner, previous RSOC Secretary Kevin Shortis, made a detailed video of the car in 1986 now transferred to a CD! There are also many historic photos taken by proud owners. This rare example is very well known to both the Ford AVO Owners Club and Ford RS Owners Club and has been previously valued by William Arnold, the Club RS1600 Registrar. It attended AVO National Day in 2009, the only time the current custodian of 15 years Darren Peacock, showed the car where it won best RS1600 and the glass trophy in the presentation case will be passed to the next owner. The vehicle has featured in both Rallye News and HAVOC and even in hard back books including; RS The Faster Fords by Jeremy Walton and Factory-Original Sporting Mk1 Escorts by Dan Williamson. In the latter, it features on the front cover and numerous photos of the car are used as reference to correct and unique features. A signed copy of the book is included in the history file along with an original brochure, price guide and workshop manuals. With such a special, correct and well documented example of the iconic RS1600, this is the one to have.
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