The Escort Cosworth shared only 50% of its body panels with the standard Escort, making it a fairly expensive piece. The most prominent features were the vented hood, wider front arches with air exits from the engine in front of the doors, wider rear wheel arches, revised front bumper with huge air intakes and low front spoiler with adjustable splitter. Ford did not have the space to build it, so it was put together by Karmann in Germany, starting in February 1992.
The Escort RS Cosworth rally car garnered eight victories in Group A, and after modifications made it a WRC competitor, scored two more wins.
In 1994, after the 2,500 cars required for homologation were produced, Ford put a more civilized engine into the Escort Cosworth. The new engine was basically the same old engine in a new package. It had a smaller turbo (Garrett T25 or T35) and new engine management system. This led to more low-rev punch but less boost available above 5500 rpm. It was produced until early 1996, when the EU dictated a new set of noise regulations; the Escort Cosworth couldn't pass those without modifications, and that was the end. The last of 7,145 Escort Cosworths rolled out of the factory on January 12, 1996.
This particular car belongs to Jin Takemura, a former PR man for Mitsubishi. "I was first in line for the Evo VIII, but then the Cossie came along," recalled Jin. "It was no contest-the Escort RS is a much cooler car, not as recognizable as the Mitsu but hugely appreciated by those who know what it is. Mine is a 1995 model built to 'decontented' spec, devoid of the larger rear wing, front chin spoiler, moonroof and leather seats. Mods include a Group N-spec fuel pump, retuned chip, better tires and a U.S.-spec speedometer." -Les Bidrawn
Driving On Sidewalks...In A Daytona Coupe
Bob Bondurant's Wild Ride In The Tour De France
By the early 1960s, Ford Motor Company, under Henry II's direction, was back into racing after a few year's absence. In the States, Ford was dominating Daytona and readying engines for Indianapolis. But the company wanted to be known as a world player in competition, and after Ferrari rebuffed a purchase offer, Henry chose to go it alone. And he spent lots of money getting to the top.
One of Ford's most prudent decisions was to support former Le Mans champion Carroll Shelby. Shelby's Ford-powered Cobra roadsters were trouncing Corvette, Ferrari and Porsche in the States. He had such drivers as Bob Bondurant, Dan Gurney, Ken Miles and Phil Hill and was itching to take on Europe. Ford wanted the international recognition and teamed up with Shelby to go after the GT Class Manufacturer's Championship.
The Ford GT program was also warming up, but it would be two more years before it would dominate Le Mans. Shelby's Cobras gave Ford quick victories over Ferrari, including a GT Class win in the 1964 Le Mans 24 heures with Bondurant and Gurney driving a Daytona Coupe. Cobras were winning key events in 1964 and would win the Manufacturer's Championship in 1965 with Bondurant at the wheel. But, according to Bob, who savored each day he raced in Europe, one of his favorite events was the Tour de France.