• Ford Escort RS2000

    Ford Escort RS2000

    Attachment 1273

    The escort RS2000 was the last car
    to be introduced to the AVO production range, introduced in the June of 1973.
    The car fitted nicely into the AVO range with its performance almost comparable
    to the complex RS1600, but with the reliability and ease of maintenance as the
    Mexico.

    The original name for the car was to be the "Puma", but it was
    decided to keep with the RS tradition and so it was re-named the
    RS2000.

    The car used the same type 49-body shell as the Mexico and
    RS1600. Fortunately, there was a new engine in use at ford, the 2-litre overhead
    cam pinto design, which Ford then decided to use instead. Fords then had the
    major problem to persuade the new bulky pinto engine to fit into the engine bay,
    which was something it had never been meant to do. The only way of achieving
    this was by discarding the engine driver cooling fan and replacing it with a
    thermostatically controlled Kenlowe fan. The engine produced 100bhp (2bhp more
    than in the Cortina).

    The gearbox was the German type e-box and was
    totally different from the RS1600. They used a final drive of 3.54:1. The car
    was launched in England on 11th October 1973 priced at 1586.
    It was claimed that the first 2000 cars were built between the June and September of
    1973, and were reserved for the German market, which is why British buyers could
    not get hold of the cars until the October of that year.
    Although group 1 homologation was achieved (5000 units built) it is now accepted that around 3500 RS2000 cars actually left the production line at Aveley. It has been claimed
    however, that over 1000 cars were produced on the Ford production line at
    Saalouis in Germany, although no solid evidence of this is to hand.

    The early cars were fitted with the superb German scheel seats, but these were
    replaced with Fords own RS cloth seats for the British market.
    At the AVO factory Ford built 4 Mexico estates, with one of these being later converted
    into a RS2000 estate by the request of Charlie Reynolds. To our knowledge this
    car still exists and is located in Bristol.

    When it comes to works
    competition cars, the only ones to be built by Ford were AOO 674L and the two
    PVX cars, which ran in the Tour of Britain in 1974.
    AOO was originally a
    left-hand drive German built 1973 Mexico spec shell, which was later to be
    changed to right hand drive for the Mintex Dales rally. Ford had to up-date its
    rear suspension from 73 Mexico spec to the 74 Mexico/RS2000 system. This
    entailed fitting a transverse member at the four end of the boot floor, which
    can best be described as an internal cross member, on to which the rear shockers
    locate. They are thus much nearer the ideal vertical position than before and
    mounted so that they will not punch holes in the floor, which, is what non
    turreted escort shockers required a reputation for doing.

    As for the
    engine, it was along way away from the glossy catalogue description. A total of
    165bhp at 6750rpm and 152lb ft torque at 4000rpm, is quite an improvement on the
    standard figures. The head was polished and ed with valves from the V6 Capri and
    given a 10.9:1 compression ratio. Janspeed made up the exhaust manifold to
    Borehams specification. Carburation was by twin 45 DCOE webbers on conventional
    stud manifold.

    The car was entered into the Mintex Dales under group 2
    and was on average 80bhp under powered against its competitors, but still
    managed to win the event. In early 1974 the car was given to Gerry Marshall to
    allow him to fully familiarise himself with the car so that he could enter the
    1974 Tour of Britain. This was done because the RS2000 car was totally new to
    Gerry as he was originally a Vauxhall team driver.

    Next came PVX 445M
    and PVX 446M, which were both entered into the 1974 Avon Motor Tour of Britain.
    This was an event designed to incorporate rallying and circuit racing into one
    event, featuring rally and race drivers from all over the world. These cars were
    all entered under group 1 classification (designed as a cheap form of motor
    sport). The event ran between the 12th and 14th of July 1974, and consisted of 5
    race circuits and 11 special stages. The first leg covered 36 hours and a lot of
    driving. The drivers of these cars were Roger Clark and Jerry Marshall.

    The cars were build almost identical except for the drivers seat in the
    car that Roger drove, as this was changed for a Terry Hunter design, which was
    Rogers preferred seat at that time. Borehams secret weapon unveiled when the
    cars arrived at pre event scrutineering was that the RS2000 have somehow been
    homologated with twin downdraft solex carburettors. Certainly 140bhp maybe even
    150bhp was available.
    At the end of this long and tiring event, the two
    RS2000s finished a respectable 1st and 2nd place respectively.

    An RS2000, driven by Tony Pond, entered and won the 1975 Tour of Britain. This was
    the last time an RS2000 was entered into an event by a works team. The AVO
    factory was closed in December 1974 to make way for the development and
    manufacture of the MK2 escort.