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Mk2 RS 1800 – 1975 to 1977

Feb 02,2006 Julian

After lucrative sales of the Mk1 RS2000, you might wonder why the Mk2 RS1800 was the first Mk2 model to make it out of the blocks - the answer was more to do with Ford’s competitive exploits around the globe than it was to do with its European sales. The Mk1 Twin-Cam and RS1600 had always been Fords preferred choice as works-machinery, and as any new competition model would require homologation before being permitted to compete in events, it was natural that Ford wanted to concentrate on the new RS1800, which would ultimately go on to provide the platform for competitive use up until the eighties.

The RS1800 had, to a certain extent, been waiting in the wings, however the decision to close the AVO plant had been a relatively quick one, and so there were some inevitable delays in getting the RS1800 to market. The first RS1800 models reached customers in the Summer of 1975, by which time the Boreham built rally machines had already notched up competition victories in the hands of ‘works’ drivers such as Roger Clark.

 A BDA Powered Grp4 Mk2 Escort

The RS1800 was again BDA powered, the engine now bored to 1835cc and utilising a Kent crank, however, the car was effectively de-tuned before reaching market with a single downdraught Weber fitted instead of twin carbs and throttle bodies.

Apart from a small number of early models assembled at Halewood, the majority of RS1800 Escorts were effectively German built Mexico’s, shipped over to Britain minus engine and gearbox, with final fitting and assembly at the old AVO premises. The RS1800 utilised the flat-front body and featured two-tone stripes along the bottom of the door with the offset RS1800 decals on the rear-quarters and bootlid. The ‘Sporty’ and RS Mk2 Escorts were denoted by front and rear spoilers, and black paint around the windows & back panel. In addition, a ‘Custom Pack’ was available on the early RS1800 models.

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