The Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration show is in full swing, with enthusiasts filling the halls of the NEC to see all manner of classic cars – from restored beauties to in-need-of-restoration barn finds.
One car manufacturer that is well represented is Ford, with a model to appeal to everyone…
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
With fast Ford prices rising as quick as they are, it’s no surprise to see this RS Cossie roped off at the Classic Car and Restoration Show. Finished it silver, it almost looks understated. Almost.
Ford Focus WRC
The Focus WRC is a rally car loosely based on a Mk1 Focus and driven by Colin McRae following his Subaru days. It made its debut at the Monte Carlo rally, where it was disqualified for being equipped with an illegal water pump. It soon picked up 11 world rally victories.
Ford Escort XR3i
Sunburst Red paint. Cloverleaf alloys. Do XR3is get any more perfect than DJX? It’s also got one of the cleanest MOT histories we’ve ever seen, and has covered less than 80,000 miles. It’s high on the ‘want’ list…
Ford Escort RS1600i
As is this RS1600i. Based on the non-fuel-injected XR3, the RS1600i was a homologation special built to limited numbers. This example at the NEC looks to have escaped the rust that has killed off most examples of the RS1600i. In fact, it’s mint.
Ford Taunus 20M RS Coupe
This is an exceptionally rare car in the UK: a 20M RS Coupe built in Germany in 1971. It was one of the first Fords to be given the Rallye Sport moniker, along with the Mk1 Escort RS1600.
Mk1 Ford Mustang
Mustang fever shows no sign of waning as Ford facelifts the current model, so it’s nice to see such a tidy example of what started it off originally. We particularly like the whitewall tyres.
Mk4 Ford Mustang
By the 1990s, the Mustang had got fat. It wasn’t a patch on its former self. Ford’s since restored its honour with the latest one, but if you don’t have that sort of cash, this V6 Mustang is at least a bit of a steal. You can honestly say you do actually own a Mustang – just don’t let on which one…
Mk1 Ford Escort Mexico
More than 10,000 Mk1 Escort Mexicos were built in celebration of the model’s rallying success in the late 60s and early 70s. Those who couldn’t afford an Escort Mexico wanted an Escort Mexico, so replicas were once very common.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Along with the McLaren F1 and Honda NSX, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth is one of THE finest cult cars of the 1990s. Its muscular styling was absolutely millimetre-perfect and the motorsport-focused chassis beneath was so ready-made for the WRC rally stage, it made light work of British B-roads. One of the most covetable fast Fords of all time.
Mk1 Ford Escorts
Take two early Ford Escorts, one in full-bore fast Ford Mexico guise and the other perfect and pristine in cooking shopping-car spec (and the most gorgeous colour). Now try to pick between them. Can’t we just have both of these beauties?
Ford Fiesta XR2
In facelifted guise, the hot Fiesta was one of the most popular hot hatches of the 1980s, along with its sportier bigger brother, the Escort XR3i. It produced less than 100hp but that wasn’t such an issue in those days, thanks to light kerbweights, and sentimental children of the 80s are now busily pushing prices up to well beyond what they cost when new.
Based on the Mazda MX-6, the Probe was intended to be a modern-day Capri when it was launched in 1993. Its lacklustre styling and front-wheel-drive layout – not to mention a poor interior – meant it wasn’t the sales success Ford hoped for. Today, the Probe is a fairly rare sight, but it’s finally getting recognition as a modern day classic.
Ford Sierra XR4i
The V6-powered Ford Sierra XR4i was a pretty special thing, with a bespoke three-door bodyshell and fruity engine. With its Cosworth-style ‘whale tail’, it was a bombastic-looking thing, although it ultimately didn’t quite have the right sort of sporting edge to make it a classic. With the roll-out of the Sierra RS Cosworth, it was quietly forgotten…
Ford Fiesta Supersport
It took Ford a little while to find the fast Fiesta formula. This Supersport was getting closer, and was certainly a better package than the earlier 1300S it was based upon. But it still only had a 1.3-litre engine, so wasn’t a match for more potent rivals. That would soon change with the 1982 launch of the 1.6-litre Mk1 Fiesta XR2 (a car that actually nabbed a few styling bits from this UK-only Supersport…).
Ford Racing Puma
The Racing Puma was a limited-run model based loosely on the regular Puma. Converted by Tickford, the Racing Puma was heavily modified – with a wider front and rear track, Sparco seats and an engine producing an extra 30hp over the standard car. Although only 1,000 were planned, Ford struggled to sell them due to the high price tag. 500 were shifted in the end, and they’re increasingly seen as a solid investment today.
Ford Granada Perana V8
A Ford Granada Perana? What’s that? Why, a bona fide fast Ford that’s what – courtesy of a 5.0-litre V8 Mustang engine under the bonnet. Yes, that would do it. It’s part of the famous range of cars developed by Basil Green in South African starting in the early 1970s.
Ford Capri Perana V8
Green also popped a V8 into the Ford Capri. It really was the British Ford Mustang – and remarkably, the Windsor Small Block motor weighed barely any more than the lumpy old 3.0-litre V6 it was swapped for. Buyers could pick from Bright Yellow or the Peri Peri Red pictured here.
Ford Escort XR3i cabriolet
Those of us of a certain age, who grew up watching Dempsey & Makepeace, will always hanker for a Ford Escort XR3i Cabriolet. This later ‘Mk3.5’ was posher than anything Makepeace ever drove, but still desirable, particularly in this limited-run two-tone paint finish.