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Car Of The Day: 1975 Ford Escort RS1800

1975 Ford Escort RS1800

Most people probably don’t know that Ford has been around in rally racing almost as long as it has in any other format of motorsport. The Ford Escort represented the American automaker’s first real foray into the off-roading landscape, and arguably its most successful too. Beginning with the Ford Escort RS1600, the car eventually evolved into the RS1800 and enjoyed a healthy spell of dominance in competition throughout the 1970s.

1975 Ford Escort RS1800

This started after Hannu Mikkola was crowned champion of the World Cup of Rally in 1970 and garnered enough momentum for him to become the first foreign/European driver to win the East African Safari Rally in 1972. The RS1800s would continue to seal a number of title-winning runs late into the 1970s, with an expanded ensemble which also included drivers Ari Vatanen and  Björn Waldegård.

1975 Ford Escort RS1800

The Ford Escort RS1800 came with a naturally aspirated 1.8L Cosworth BDE engine, a five-speed ZF gearbox and five-link suspension system. Compared to the road-going version, the chassis was heavily reinforced and featured wider wheel arch extensions which differentiated it most easily from the regular car. Four large spotlights were also fitted for night stages. While not overly remarkable on paper, even for its time, the car’s undisputable success was an important foundation in Ford’s tenure in rally motorsport.

 1975 Ford Escort RS1800  1975 Ford Escort RS1800  1975 Ford Escort RS1800  1975 Ford Escort RS1800  1975 Ford Escort RS1800  1975 Ford Escort RS1800

Photo Source: Bonhams Cars