Review: Behind the wheel Legends: Ford Escort 1600

Crowds of impatient fans lining the roadsides, boxes full of equipment, racing cars and careful preparation. The automotive world has changed a lot, from the mighty eight-cylinder engines are transferred to the three-cylinder turbo reminiscent hairdryer and mostly they still must assist motor that average climbed a steep hill. In these difficult times it is almost a miracle that the World Rally retains one spark of excitement for decades.

Heroes who literally flew through the forest and gravel managed to bend with ease, I’ve always admired. In the fast passages narrow and villages with long strides across the horizon into obscurity until breathtaking. Perfect interplay driver, navigator and car. This world is accompanied by a number of famous names, Lancia Delta Integrale, Porsche 911, Volvo Amazon, Škoda 130 RS and Ford Escort in any generation.

I have always wanted to get acquainted with one of these heroes, and when you really want something, it’s often true. Escort has ever petrolhead special status. Each of his generation was interesting, garnered success in racing and family life, and it was also one of the first models bearing the RS, which is still used today. Escort itself, however, she lived to see this day, and maybe it’s good. Actually, it’s kind of saved the reputation. But let us return to the beginning.

End of the sixties was scope for Ford in Europe is crucial. In 1967 he founded the European headquarters of Ford of Europe and its first act was, wonder of wonders, the first Escort just introduced a year later at the Brussels Motor Show. News had to be successful, so developers bet on a proven recipe. Lightweight monocoque body, front engine and rear wheel drive. Textbook foundation for racing at that time had no idea created a legend.

Overall, it was a modern European car, the production ran in England and Germany. The front wheels have independent suspension McPherson suspension with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers. Rear solid axle got a simple leaf springs with telescopic shock absorbers, but it worked. And on select models, you could pay extra for disc brakes. Since we Czechs, indicate the volume of trunk 425 l, because everyone needs half a cubic meter in two plastic bags with weekend buying. In addition to the two-door and four-door liftback was later also available wagon and van. Nothing that we were not valid because tuzex we could buy a maximum of Cortina, Escort since traveled to southeastern and western markets.

Under the hood is most often featured four-cylinder engines in 1100, 1300 and 1600. Some markets are even supplied and engine of 0.950 liters, such asthmatic mouse in a circle, you might say. I just nehanil even weaker 1100 Escort pretty rushed. With a weight of 760 kg engine pulled it to 130 km / h, hundred humbled in just over 24 seconds and to 100 km took an average of 9.5 l gasoline. Today such values ​​laugh, but then it was a very competitive car.

In the racing world, however, he applies a completely different scale, and here came into play just the letters “RS” in conjunction with Lotus DOHC engine 1600 with four cylinders and sixteen valves. The positive is that they did not stop there and gradually came into the world RS1800 and RS2000 models, and it was already force. Racing RS2000 had a power of 280 hp and 100 km / h made it in 5.6 seconds.

And then it happened. It was a routine day, like everyone else, but I knew that I liven it is this legend. On the whole afternoon I had available replica model RS1600 1974. Onu iconic chrome grille with round lights I knew at a glance. Pure metallic silver shone on the parking lot and powerful additional lights along with martial stickers express their racing ancestry. The interior smelled brand new, it’s someone really won and it was the skilful hands of the Serbs.

Yes, this car has been completely renovated in Serbia, the company focused on youngtimers which breathe new life. Escort soon stripped to the bare frame, which surprised his good state. They completely repaired and treated galvanizing. Wheel arches are the work of honest plumbing, no modern laminate. Even all the tricky places treated with wax, the water was not able to hurt him. The chassis got a solid set of sports, polyurethane pads and other functional details.

The same attention was also paid to the engine and transmission. The power unit also disassembled into a screw and subsequently refolded from original parts imported from England. During the work got Escort several advanced solutions in the refrigeration cycle and the steering mechanism to let comfortably walk curves as at the time of its greatest glory.

Pedants would admittedly argued that the interior is not exactly original, but overall was adapted active use. Anatomical seats of the second generation are comfortable and provide adequate lateral guidance. Brown leather was chosen by contemporary shade for the authentic feel of staying inside. Classic RS steering wheel made it clear what I want to do next hour – drive and very fast.

But the old cars are like women or horse. You can not jump on them and go right to the fullest, be defied. It takes a while dating because each veteran requires a specific approach. But here she was feeling renovations, which made it friendly for drivers right from the start.

He first victory was that it did not have to start persuasion and fell off a fine job setting choke. The other positive news came in the wake straightforward as gearboxes, which did have a little play in the backdrop, but thanks to four degrees a person hit everywhere at first. It was not long after a few kilometers we greatly understand.

Jested hills around are always a safe bet and also show what is hidden under the bodywork. In this case, it was a very well-tuned suspension that kept the car firmly on the road, giving the driver a sense of security and a desire to go still a bit more rapidly. Due to the low weight and good debugging worked playful impression, but it also turns left to lead with absolute certainty. On the other hand not to be disappointed or brake. Assembly quality is played and managed willingly and sharper pace.

Four-cylinder heart itself after starting power does not know the correct expression being commissioned into the mountains, where they enjoyed a high speed and acted čiperným impression. The problem for one afternoon is missing tachometer and if you do not have overheard spectrum peak speed, it can not go completely full. And so you can enjoy the fun of lightweight croup and rear-wheel drive with differential tuned. It is not a “door first,” it’s more of a joy that makes the ride an extraordinary experience and put a smile on the lips.

In the afternoon, this car gave me a little taste of what you experienced rally legend Hannu Mikkola and as Roger Clark, who ran with the escort. This piece also shows that there is an older car with which you can have fun without a long familiarization, which allows slip into the world of historical events to a wider range of drivers. Best of all, Escort finished fifth generation in the nineties, which is inextricably linked s Cosworthem. Why is it good? Escort ended just before she started the modern era of electronics and alarm about greenhouse gases, which completely killed the magic of live communication driver and car. So, whether you encounter any Escort, it’s certainly a pleasant experience. If you desire right after this piece, you’re in luck, because currently looking for a new owner.

Thanks for arranging a test gallery Youngtimerclassic from Liberec.

 Source article: Za volantem Legendy: Ford Escort 1600