ESCORT VESSEL

Mick Haven UK

I really enjoyed JBís piece on the Mk I Escort Twin Cam in UC #388. When Ford ditched the Lotus Twin Cam in favour of its own engine, the legendary BDA, the car became the RS1600, and I worked on the line building them at Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) in the UK, in 1974/75, along with the Mexico and RS2000. There were few RS1600s made, in comparison to the Mexico and RS2000, as most were intended for motorsport.

When the completed car reached the end of the line, we used to wait to hear that BDA fire up as the foreman drove it out to the compound. Itís a sound Iíve remembered ever since and will treasure for ever. If readers want to understand just why the little Fords were so great at what they did, I suggest they look on YouTube for ĎSimon McKinley The White Escortí.

Whether you like Fords or loathe them isnít important.

The video is about a car driven at 11 tenths through country lanes and villages in Ireland, much of it spent on opposite lock.

The car is a Mk 2 not a Mk I, probably an RS1800 originally, but is still that same little four pot on full chat. Details of the car are hard to find but I believe it had a 2.3 litre motor with 300bhp! His driving has to be seen to be believed. Itís what made the Escort the legend it became. Sadly, Simon McKinley died following an accident in 2015, in a similar event in a single seater. Even if youíre a die hard Holden fan, put your bias aside for a few minutes and watch some of the most outrageous driving youíre ever likely to see.

Enjoy!

ED