Ford Escort RS1600-My First Dream Car

Post Updated 10th Jan 2014

The Ford Escort RS1600 would be the one for me,(but it never happened) ?

The first time that I came across this car, was when I worked for one of the Goodyear tyres outlets Tyreservices GB. The company no longer exists, but in the sixties and seventies the company was thriving as this was the time that the tyre manufactures were expanding at a rapid rate, and buying out tyre retail depots all over the UK, to secure a top place for their tyre products.

Whole companies and single tyre depots were bought out by the tyre giants, in order for them to have a full coverage of depots in Great Britain. I remember getting promoted to Branch Manager and it was then that I became interested in car rallying.Ford Escort RS1600

Tyreservices began sponsoring a female driver called Chrissie Ashford in the late 70,s…  She was from North Yorkshire not too far from my depot in Huddersfield . All the depots received a memo asking for volunteers to fit the Goodyear rally tyres for Chrissie and a few other competitors at the local rallies including stages of the Mintex rally staged in Yorkshire.

 

I thought this was a great opportunity for me to gain some knowledge and so I became involved and this is where I began to be interested in the Ford Escort RS 1600, because this was the car that I would be following around the rallies. I believe that the car was then known as the Ford Escort Mexico and in 1970 the car became available to the public as a road going version called the Ford Escort Mexico. I can remember that we still had some working “woollen mills” in the area and the Mexicos were often bought by the rich sons of the wealthy mill owners, so we changed few tyres on these cars, Goodyears of course.

These Ford Escort cars were tremendous to watch

The road version of these classic racers the Mexico were miles away from my budget, as a branch manager we were poorly paid and could not afford Ford Escort RS1600one of these cars even the second hand car cost more than I could afford and in fact kept there prices high, I remember that I had to make do with yet another Mini.

The Mexico was capable of doing 0 to 60 in about 10.5 seconds and would cost around the £1100 brand new, far out of my reach, you must not forget that in those days there were no easy payment deals like today,s car buying public. This car did not have many competitors either, it was virtually in a class of its own. Even today one of these in good condition would

Ford Escort RS1600 on goodyear tyres

Ford Escort RS 2000 Rally Spec

cost you anything up to £20,000.00, (that’s how good they were). This car was tremendous to watch on the road and in the rallies.

The tyres were mainly different sizes of wide 13 inch, the road tyres were different to the rally tyres and the battery was the first type of heavy duty with the “bolt on terminals” part number085 battery(still available today)

For far more information…

“The engine however, was the most important part of the Ford Escort RS1600 as it was the first block that Cosworth – at the time, a very small company – had produced. ‘Cosseh’ as it became known as in later years, bored the engine of the Twin Cam out to 16 valves and dubbed it the BDA (Belt Drive A-Type). Cosworth used a clogged belt drive to spin the cams in time, and combined this with twice the number of valves. The result was the 1.6 litre engine having an increased output from 109 to 120 bhp for street use, and the RS1600 cemented its place in the hearts of driving purists over the world thanks to its light body, sharp handling and decent amount of power”… http://classiccarmag.net/ford-escort-rs1600-history/ .

This was a great part of my life as I also met my wife, who also worked for Tyreservices GB at the Dewsbury Branch.

Eric Roberts

Pellon Tyre and Auto-centre offer car and van servicing and repairs to all makes of vehicles. We are members of Unipart Car Care centres and give a nationwide guarantee for all our work and parts. We also sell Discount Goodyear Tyres Online from our website www.pellonautocentre.com by using the tyre selector and choosing your tyre size. We offer courtesy cars to local motorists who need to go to work and leave their car with us for work doing. We are also an official MOT testing station and are members of Motor-codes, who carry out checks for high standard of equipment and workmanship.