A RARE Ford Escort MK1 RS1600 is one of the big draws of the Shannons Melbourne Winter auction, scheduled for July 11.

This Belgian-delivered left hand drive car is finished in its original factory Daytona Yellow, and is one of only around a thousand RS1600s produced by Ford between 1970-1974. Many were 1970-1974. Many were subsequently demolished in competition, making existing cars particularly sought-after.

Built around a strengthened version of the Escort Mk1 two-door shell, and easily identified by its flared arches, custom bumpers and RS badging, the RS was the successor to the car successfully campaigned by our own Frank Gardner, who claimed the 1968 British Saloon Car Championship in both 1968 and 1969.

The belt-driven BDA 1557cc engine is fitted with twin Weber carbies that were enlarged to 1601cc for Group 2 rally and Group 4 tarmac racing homologation.

Coupled with a kerb weight of around 785kg, the RS was a wieldy weapon on both dirt and blacktop.

This particular example has enjoyed a full nut and bolt restoration and is expected to fetch between $100,000 and $125,000. Also vying for top billing at the Melbourne sale are a couple of air-cooled treasures - a 1960 Porsche 356B Cabriolet and a circa-1959 Volkswagen ‘Split Screen’ 11-window Kombi Campervan. The Porsche has had significant engine modernisation to improve driveability while the Splittie sports a custom interior fit out that has to be seen to be believed.