Ford Import Cortina RS1600 – A High Efficiency Rally Race Auto – A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothes

The dull small Ford Escort remarkably served as upscale souped up restricted production version meant for racing and rallying labeled as the Ford Escort RS1600. The RS1600 was to lay Ford’s expertise and path in the coming revolution of modest automobiles. The Ford Escort, announced in 1968, was the most recent in a lengthy line of standard modest family saloons from Ford. A single version of it – the Escort Twin-Cam – was a very specific. Limited- production auto intended for use in touring automobile racing and rallying. This car utilized Lotus-Cortina mechanicals, including the twin-cam overhead engine. It was really productive, but the two-valves-per cylinder engine was obsolescent.

In 1970, it was replaced by the RS1600, nearly identical to the Twin-Cam except for its magnificently conceived 4-valves per engine Ford_Cosworth BDA engine. This was a twin-overhead-cam conversion of the pushrod 1600 cc Cortina unit with belt-driven overhead camshafts. It was also in effect a production-ized variant of the broadly effective Cosworth FVA Formula 2 racing engine. Hence equipped and with all manner of turning gear added, an escort could have up to 280 BHP (boiler horsepower unit)

The first RSc had cast-iron cylinder blocks, which could only be “bored out” safely to 1800 cc the aluminum block adopted in 1972 permitting “boring” to give the full “capacity limit” of two liters.

In 1975, when the Escort’s styling was changed the RS1600 became the RS1800, with a larger but a lot more just carburetor fuel fed engine. All earlier competition extras could be fitted. The RS1800 was dropped in 1977. Other common Escorts for sporting purposes have the 1600 cc Mexico and the two,000 RS2000.

Maximum torque was 112 lb at four,000 rpm. In terms of the transmission choice was a single dry plate clutch and 4 speeds, all synchro-mesh manual gearbox, each in unit with front mounted engine. Gearchange was a remote handle central gear change. As effectively an open propeller shaft to hypoid “live’ rear axle arrangement.

What of the chassis selection. The chassis was of unitary building pressed steel two door saloon body /chassis unit. Front suspension was in the form of independently driven MacPherson struts and an anti-roll bar setup. For the rear suspension the choice produced was half elliptic leaf springs with radius arms and telescopic dampers. Braking was achieved by hydraulically operated and servo-assisted front wheel disc brakes, and normal rear wheel drums. Nicely set up rack and pinion steering, a option ahead of its time
This whole package rolled beautifully down the road on 13 inch press steel disc wheels sporting 165 x 13 inch tires.

Lastly the Ford Escort RS1600 was what was considered a “small vehicle” at a time when tiny cars had been a novelty from domestic American auto producers back home at Ford head workplace in Dearborn Michigan. The refrain of the time from shell shocked American auto producers after the 1st oil supply shocks in 1973 was larger was much better, or very best and “we never want to develop econo-boxes (and small vehicles).” There is no “cash in it” and it really is not trendy or attractive. Therefore this upscale restricted production Ford vehicle meant mostly as a demo item and for the rally and racing circuit certainly could be observed as a test development market place to construct a solution in the kind of a small vehicle that had ultra higher overall performance for its size, and could hold up to grueling motoring and driving demands.

Tommy I Vestore
Known for over 30 years auto sales expertise and credibility Bobby B Auto Sales
Winnipeg Manitoba Canada car truck dealer
North End Wpg Manitoba

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