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This 1973 Ford Escort RS1600 is not only one of just 1,139 examples of the coveted AVO special edition, but one of just 200 with an alloy-block version of the 120bhp 1.6-litre Cosworth BDA engine with its four-speed manual gearbox. Having undergone a thorough professional restoration to the original specification, this is an immaculate and exceedingly rare machine.

This RS1600 was originally registered on 1 March 1973 and there are eight previous keepers on the log book. The seller bought it after it had been restored by a specialist and has taken care of it for two years, including commissioning a full engine rebuild last year.

The exterior is in flawless condition, almost glowing in its eye-catching Daytona Yellow with skinny black side stripes that highlight the ‘coke bottle’ body design. The 13-inch, four-spoke alloy wheels in black two-tone are equally unblemished and wear fresh tyres – and a matching spare wheel is kept in the boot. There is some visible aging of the window rubbers in places, but this Escort has no signs of damage or rust, and presents superbly.

The black vinyl interior, believed to be original, is similarly tidy and complete. The seller notes a small hole in the driver’s seat and one or two marks on the carpets, but otherwise the trim and upholstery are without fault and ready to take you 47 years back in time. From a functional standpoint, the rev counter is currently inaccurate, but all other gauges and switchgear work correctly.

Before the seller purchased this Escort it was subject to a comprehensive restoration, believed to have cost around £40,000. In January 2019, the engine was also completely rebuilt by Julian Godfrey Engineering, to the tune of £18,141, including a new aluminium block and head – although the original ones are included in the sale. Its specification is just as exactingly original as the rest of the car, including the now rare original air box and cam belt cover.

The seller’s own mechanic performed a service in March 2020, replacing the oil and spark plugs. The car passed an MOT on 23 May 2019 without advisories, and will have a new test done before the sale – though strictly speaking it is not due for renewal until November 2020 due to the six-month extension.

This time-warp classic comes with its original tool kit and jack, plus old MOT certificates and invoices for work done. A new workshop manual, plus various rare period sales brochures and press releases for the RS1600 are also included.

A Mk1 Escort RS1600 would be the pride of any fast Ford collection, but this one comes with the rare alloy-block version of Cosworth’s ‘Belt Driven type A’ twin-cam engine, designed for motorsport and seen in everything from rally cars to Formula 2 racers. On top of this, the quality of the restoration and the originality of the specification mean that the car you see here would not only make you the envy of other Ford collectors, but of anyone looking for a prime example of classic British car culture.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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